This book presents a class-based analysis of poststructuralism and race. The author positions this fundamental question at the heart of his project: why does race still work if it is commonly misunderstood to be a social construct? The answer is that race works because it operates like a commodity, and like any commodity, as long as it generates value (understood in the widest possible sense: economic, political, and cultural-ideological value), it will remain in circulation. This study should contribute to our understanding of race by linking questions of use value to exchange value.
Robert Young is associate professor of English at University of Alabama. He specializes in African-American literary and cultural theory.
Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Introduction Part 3 Chapter 1: Race as Commodity Fetish Part 4 Chapter 2: Putting Materialism back into Race Theory: Toward a Transformative Theory of Race Part 5 Chapter 3: The Linguistic Turn, Materialism, and Race: The Postmodern Crisis in African-American Literary Theory and Richard Wright's Critique of Ideology Part 6 Chapter 4: The Politics of Race and Psychoanalysis: Richard Wright's Critique of Bourgeois Subjectivity in Savage Holiday Part 7 Chapter 5: Oral Textualities, Oral (Blues) Poetics, and Oral Erotics: Disabling the Exchange Economy in Gayl Jones' Corregidora Part 8 Bibliography