(Re)constructing Race: Racial Identities and the Borders of Race

  • Kristen Ali Eglinton
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 25)


In this chapter, Eglinton uses the corpus of ethnographic data and offers an analysis of the ways in which young people at the Hope after-school club in New York City used visual material culture (VMC) to make sense of, maintain, and (re)construct racial identities and the racial boundaries or ‘borders’ making up their worlds. Describing three intertwined cultural processes, she demonstrates how young people made sense of and constructed black, white, and Latina/Latino identities through the deployment of ‘racialised’ VMC which included those cultural artefacts and practices that the youth associated with particular racial groups. Using the case of the ‘n-word’, Eglinton illustrates how the youth used popular VMC to construct, claim, and invoke a particular form of authenticity. Finally, the author shows how the unique intersection of authenticity, VMC, aspects of place, and youth experiences supported the reworking or reconstructing of racial borders and, consequently, the production of new racial identities.


Young People Racial Identity Black People White People Black Youth 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Ali Eglinton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology Digital World Research CentreUniversity of SurreyGuildford, SurreyUK
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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