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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2015

Rickey Hill

To locate and assess the significant variables in Obama’s victories and provide a theoretical framework of racism and the racial problematic that explicates why the Obama

Abstract

Purpose

To locate and assess the significant variables in Obama’s victories and provide a theoretical framework of racism and the racial problematic that explicates why the Obama presidency has been animated by racism and the race problematic.

Methodology/approach

A demographic profile of Obama’s election is developed in order to assess the results, how different cohorts voted, and explain the critical nuances of why Obama won. A theoretical framework of racism and the race problematic is developed in order to illustrate how racism and the racial problematic function and situate the Obama phenomenon within the critical processes of the American discourse on racism and the fallacy of a post-racial moment. An examination is also made of some of the current trends in how racism continues to define the responses to the Obama public policy agenda.

Findings

While Obama was elected and reelected with broad-based support from nearly every voting cohort, racism and the race problematic played out in the campaigns and the general elections, and opposition to Obama’s public policy agenda has been animated by racism.

Originality/value

This assessment argues that a post-racial moment is a fallacy and calls for a rethinking of the theories and approaches to the study of Black politics.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama: Part 2
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-982-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2015

Ravi K. Perry and Joseph P. McCormick

To identify the Obama administration’s policy responsiveness to the (African) American LGBT communities.

Abstract

Purpose

To identify the Obama administration’s policy responsiveness to the (African) American LGBT communities.

Methodology/approach

Theory development and content analysis.

Findings

Civic universalism, as a theory, can explain President Obama’s evolution on his support for marriage rights for same-sex couples. Obama employed the concept of e pluribus unum in his many approaches to LGBT responsive politics.

Research limitations

To date, theoretical development within the social sciences of LGBT policy responsiveness is limited.

Originality/value

Very little is written on the subject of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) politics in the 21st century. The study of the LGBT experience generally has been devoid of political variables because of a lack of attention toward LGBT issues, until recently, in national political party agendas. In this chapter, we review some of the contours of the LGBT community’s fight for political recognition in the United States as a precursor to the election and reelection of President Obama. Drawing parallels with presidential responsiveness toward Blacks in their quest for rights, we examine the Obama administration’s LGBT public policy initiatives as administrative policy and programs. We conclude by identifying new areas of research to explore on LGBT politics.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama: Part 2
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-982-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2015

Yvonne D. Newsome

This study compares filmic and televisual representations of fictional black presidents to white Americans’ reactions to the advent of the United States’s first African…

Abstract

Purpose

This study compares filmic and televisual representations of fictional black presidents to white Americans’ reactions to the advent of the United States’s first African American president. My main goal is to determine if there is convergence between these mediated representations and whites’ real-world representations of Barack Obama. I then weigh the evidence for media pundits’ speculations that Obama owes his election to positive portrayals of these fictional heads of state.

Methodology/approach

The film and television analyses examine each black president’s social network, personality, character traits, preparation for office, and leadership ability. I then compare the ideological messages conveyed through these portrayals to the messages implicated in white Americans’ discursive and pictorial representations of Barack Obama.

Findings

Both filmic and televisual narratives and public discourses and images construct and portray black presidents with stereotypical character traits and abilities. These representations are overwhelmingly negative and provide no support for the argument that there is a cause–effect relationship between filmic and televisual black presidents and Obama’s election victory.

Research implications

Neither reel nor real-life black presidents can elude the representational quagmire that distorts African Americans’ abilities and diversity. Discourses, iconography, narratives, and other representations that define black presidents through negative tropes imply that blacks are incapable of effective leadership. These hegemonic representations seek to delegitimize black presidents and symbolically return them to subordinate statuses.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama: Part 2
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-982-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2019

Ido Davidovich

In this chapter, I analyze former US president Barack Obama’s foreign policy decision-making process during his two terms of presidency between the years 2008 and 2016…

Abstract

In this chapter, I analyze former US president Barack Obama’s foreign policy decision-making process during his two terms of presidency between the years 2008 and 2016. The analysis covers six decisions with an emphasis on decisions concerning conflicts that embodied a potential for the use of force.

Using the Applied Decision Analysis (ADA) method, I find that Barack Obama’s decision-making pattern in these decisions fits the poliheuristic decision theory, where the domestic politics dimension constitutes a non-compensatory dimension. By understanding President Obama’s use of the poliheuristic decision code, this study can offer an explanation to his willingness to use force in some cases, and his avoidance of the use of force in others.

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2015

Donald Cunnigen and Robert Newby

Barack Obama has had considerable support among scholarly circles since his win in the Iowa primary in early 2008. A segment of the Association of Black Sociologists…

Abstract

Purpose

Barack Obama has had considerable support among scholarly circles since his win in the Iowa primary in early 2008. A segment of the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS), “Black and Progressive Sociologists Obama Working Group (BPSOWG),” was particularly active during the 2008 campaign. The purpose of this chapter was to determine if the level and type of activism among this group differed from other progressive groups of sociologists.

Methodology/approach

The data for this study were collected from a web-based survey administered to approximately 800 professional sociologists in the United States. The survey consisted of items that focused on the extent to which respondents supported the Obama campaign for the presidency and the extent to which they were satisfied with and/or agreed with his policies during first two years of his presidency.

Findings

The response rate for the survey was 40% (N=305) and 96% of respondents (N=293) submitted surveys with complete information. Over two-thirds of participants were members of the American Sociological Association Section on Race and Ethnic Relations and 5.5% of respondents identified themselves as members of the BPSOWG. A slight majority (53.6%) of study participants were females and the largest two racial groups making up the study population were whites (47.1%) and African Americans (36.1%). Most of the respondents provided support for President Obama during his first campaign, including financial contributions (66%).

Originality/value

Sociologists who responded to the survey were generally positive about Barack Obama as a candidate and a President. However, the subtle differences between groups about Obama administration policies and the use Presidential power highlighted key areas in which diverse coalitions for progressive change are needed.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama: Part 2
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-982-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2011

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and Louise Seamster

This essay tackles the Obama “phenomenon,” from his candidacy to his election, as a manifestation of the new “color-blind racism” that has characterized U.S. racial…

Abstract

This essay tackles the Obama “phenomenon,” from his candidacy to his election, as a manifestation of the new “color-blind racism” that has characterized U.S. racial politics in the post-civil rights era. Rather than symbolizing the “end of race,” or indeed a “miracle,” Obama's election is a predictable result of contemporary U.S. electoral politics. In fact, Obama is a middle-of-the-road Democrat whose policies since taking office have been almost perfectly in line with his predecessors, especially in terms of his failure to improve the lot of blacks and other minorities. In this essay, I review the concept of color-blind racism and its application to the Obama phenomenon. I also revisit some of my past predictions for Obama's presidency and evaluate their accuracy halfway through his term. Finally, I offer suggestions for constructing a genuine social movement to push Obama and future politicians to provide real, progressive “change we can believe in.”

This chapter is based on a chapter I added for the third edition of my book, Racism without Racists. Louise Seamster, a wonderful graduate student at Duke, helped me update some material, locate new sources, and rework some sections, as well as abridge some of the many footnotes (interested readers can consult the chapter). I kept the first person to maintain the more direct and engaged tone of the original piece and because the ideas (the good, the bad, and the ugly ones) in the chapter are mine, and thus, I wish to remain entirely responsible for them.

Details

Rethinking Obama
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-911-1

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2010

Robert E. Washington

Barack Obama's emergence as the leader of the world's most powerful nation stirred much enthusiasm in Africa. This article examines Obama's relationship to Africa and…

Abstract

Barack Obama's emergence as the leader of the world's most powerful nation stirred much enthusiasm in Africa. This article examines Obama's relationship to Africa and African reactions to Obama – spanning from the time of his election to the United States Senate to the current period of his role as president of the United States. Focusing specifically on Obama's Ghana speech and subsequent African policy initiatives, the article suggests that many Africans are disappointed with Obama's Africa policy and that this is the result of several misperceptions: misperceptions of Obama's power as US president, misperceptions of his moderate political world view, and misperceptions of his cosmopolitan identity as an individual of African ancestry.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-167-2

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2010

Yvonne D. Newsome

Democratic candidate Barack Obama campaigned for the office of President of the United States on a message of hope and change. Included in this message was an avowed…

Abstract

Democratic candidate Barack Obama campaigned for the office of President of the United States on a message of hope and change. Included in this message was an avowed commitment to fighting for equality and social justice. This chapter evaluates the Obama administration's record on social justice issues from a black feminist perspective. I find that although the administration has made some notable achievements, the universalist paradigm from which it operates may cause policymakers to overlook multiply oppressed groups. It might likewise blind them to the processes that generate and maintain social inequality. I argue that the results could hinder Obama from succeeding with much of his social justice agenda. I conclude by discussing how examining inequality through a black feminist prism would enable the Obama administration to speed up its program and develop and implement more effective policies. Finally, I also recommend a social justice project that might help the president create a legacy that will promote his goals long after he leaves office.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-167-2

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Book part
Publication date: 26 January 2011

Patrice McDermott

On his first full day in office, President Obama issued a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government (White House, 2009a) committing his Administration to create an…

Abstract

On his first full day in office, President Obama issued a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government (White House, 2009a) committing his Administration to create an unprecedented level of openness in government and indicating his belief that government should be transparent, participatory, and collaborative. This chapter examines the Obama Administration through June 2010, and looks at how closely the administration is hewing to its promises, in the context of the legacy of secrecy it inherited.

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2011

Louise Seamster and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

In this special section of Political Power and Social Theory, we present the work of scholars from various disciplines documenting and analyzing the Obama phenomenon. The…

Abstract

In this special section of Political Power and Social Theory, we present the work of scholars from various disciplines documenting and analyzing the Obama phenomenon. The work in this section, including both theoretical and empirical analysis, is an early step in the much-needed academic discussion on Obama and racial politics in the contemporary United States. We offer this compendium as a call-to-arms to progressives and leftists, encouraging the revival of radical critique of Obama's discourse and policies instead of the fulsome praise or confused silence that has so far greeted Obama from the left.

Details

Rethinking Obama
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-911-1

1 – 10 of over 2000