Democracy Remixed

Democracy Remixed : Black Youth and the Future of American Politics

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Since at least the 1960s, the impact of black youth on American politics has been dramatically disproportionate to its small population size and lack of electoral clout. Their influence likes in their undeserved status as the stand-in image for the larger pathologies of American culture and society: teenage pregnancy, street crime, the crack epidemic, the urban crisis, and "gangsta" culture, to name a few. That image has been central to some of the bitterest battles between left and right in recent times. They have factored heavily in contests over welfare policy, affirmative action, busing, the culture wars, and the fallout from the social turmoil of the 1960s. And despite whatever racial progress there has been in recent years, the status of black youth remains for many a bellwether indicator of social decline. But it is not just whites who adhere to this view; older blacks like Bill Cosby do as well. As Cathy Cohen demonstrates, these misconceptions are not merely inaccurate; they have also undermined the struggle for racial equality. For the past few years, Cohen has been running the Black Youth Project, a groundbreaking and sophisticated national survey of the opinions and experiences of black youth in America. She will discuss the very real social problems that do exist in the social worlds of young blacks, but her primary purpose is to paint the most complex and nuanced portrait of this population to date. Taking us through the election of Barack Obama, Cohen shows us how young blacks really live, what they really think about politics and society, and how the entrenched structural barriers they face-and which often go unmentioned by those who see America as 'postracial'-are the real problem. Featuring vivid stories and and a hard-hitting argument, Cohen's book will change how we think about black youth in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 8 black and white line illustrations
  • 0195378008
  • 9780195378009
  • 1,443,927

Review quote

"Clear, hones, and insightful, Cohen authors an incredibly important and well-researched book that provides and analysis of the state of black youth in the US today. The real contribution of this book is Cohen's success at connecting politics and culture to demonstrate that black youth continue to be promised equality, but the structures in place limit that possibility...Summing Up: Highly recommended." --CHOICE "An important and fresh look at the crises facing young black Americans, Democracy Remixed is a fierce, critical examination of the newest generation of black youth caught between American democracy s promise and its failure. Bold, uncompromising, and fearless, Cathy Cohen points us toward solutions." --Bakari Kitwana, author of The Hip-Hop Generation "After decades of listening to elected officials and cultural critics talk about young black people, Cathy Cohen offers an opportunity to listen to black youth speak for themselves. There are two very different stories told about American youth today. One celebrates a post-racial revolution led by Obama-inspired young voters. The other condemns the cultural expressions and personal choices of black youth as a source of moral degradation. Cohen examines the meanings and consequences of these competing narratives by talking to black youth about their own experiences in contemporary America. The result is a compelling account of the complex struggles and innovative strategies of young black people who are facing a dynamic political world." --Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies, Princeton University, and author of Barbershops, Bibles and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought "A mashup of political theory, challenges to the cult of black respectability, progressive thought and just good ol' common sense, Democracy Remixed, is Cathy Cohen at her brilliant best. Perfectly pitched for both the skeptics and converts of post-Race America, Democracy Remixed is must read for all those navigating the troubled waters of race, class, gender and sexuality in the 21st Century." --Mark Anthony Neal, author New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity "Democracy Remixed does what so many pundits, politicians and scholars alike have refused to do: actually talk and listen to the thoughts, experiences and perceptions of young black people. But Cathy Cohen's powerful new work does more than this: it combines careful empirical research with nuanced analysis to reveal much more complex conditions and responses among black youth. Instead of the usual pontificating, Cohen has rolled up her sleeves to find meaningful answers to a terrible crisis in U.S. society. This is a transforming, humanizing, and politically-smart must read!" --Tricia Rose, author of The Hip Hop Wars "Democracy Remixed is an insightful, data-rich study of the paradoxes associated with the political marginalization of black youth in an era marked by the election of America's first black president." --American Journal of Sociologyshow more

About Cathy J. Cohen

Cathy J. Cohen is the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Cohen is the author of the book The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and the co-editor with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader (NYU, 1997). Her work has been published in numerous journals and edited volumes including the American Political Science Review, GLQ, NOMOS, and Social Text. Cohen is also editor with Frederick Harris of the Oxford series "Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities." Her general field of specialization is American politics, although her research interests include African-American politics, women and politics, lesbian and gay politics, and social more

Rating details

26 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 38% (10)
4 38% (10)
3 15% (4)
2 8% (2)
1 0% (0)
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