The 1980s witnessed major transformations in the nature of post-industrial capitalism, often characterized by a commensurate ferment in the social theory that was offered to make sense of it. In particular, political economy, urban social theory, and contemporary cultural change all boasted major transformations, epitomized in the debates that described the end of organized capitalism and the advent of "post Fordism," a sustained debate on the essence of the urban and fevered competitions to write a major account of "the postmodern."
In the 1990s it is already clear that the incandescence of this spate of innovation could not obscure the repetition of a major omission in the subject matter that had impoversihed the social theory that the new vogues attempted to succeed. At its crudest, the experiences addressed by new social theory remained Eurocentric, bourgeois, masculine, elitist, and culturally monolithic. The advent of regimes of flexible accumulation in one part of the world often peak at the same time as in less affluent Fordist production systems were just beginning. The salience of the experience of migrant communities in metropolitan economies was rarely considered in frequently exotic portraits of cultural change. In short, issues of racism and race formation appeared fundamental to the urban forms of late capitalism but marginal to the academy's theorization of it.
This volume brings together contributors from different backgrounds in an attempt to address silences and omissions. It examines the way in which economic and cultural changes are underscored by racial exploitation.
Contributors include Leonard Harris, Purdue University, David Goldberg, Arizona State University, Michael Smith and Bernadette Tarallo, University of California, Davis, Margaret Wier, Princeton University, and Howard Winant, Temple University.