Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Racial Formation Theory
Racial formation theory is a theoretical perspective created by sociologists Michael Omi and Howard Winant that focuses on race relations in the United States. By racial formation , they refer to the sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed, and they treat the concept of race as a middle ground between extreme social construction and a rigid, fixed biological definition. Omi and Winant argue that extreme social constructionism, embraced by both right-wing and left-wing ideologues, leads to an understatement of how deeply racialized U.S. society is. On the other hand, they continue, proponents of the idea of race as a fixed biological constant, also covering the range of the political continuum, understate the ...