Jennifer C. Mueller

Jennifer C. Mueller
Skidmore College · Department of Sociology

Ph.D., Sociology

About

19
Publications
26,387
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
314
Citations
Introduction
I am an Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Intergroup Relations Program (IGR) at Skidmore College, a liberal arts college in upstate New York. My research and teaching centers on racial and ethnic relations, culture, knowledge social inequality, and critical pedagogy.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - May 2020
Skidmore
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2012 - December 2012
Texas A&M University
Position
  • Dissertation Fellow
August 2005 - May 2007
Texas A&M University
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (19)
Article
Recent scholarship demonstrates that whites' racist action requires creativity as much as habit. Racial cognition is implicated in this behavior, as white people use ignorance and apathy to overcome epistemic challenges that threaten white power, privilege, and wealth. Using Mueller's Theory of Racial Ignorance, we show how these cognitive processe...
Article
Critical race scholars lost a true comrade with the passing of renowned philosopher, Charles Wade Mills, on September 20, 2021. Along with his larger corpus, Mills’ landmark text, The Racial Contract, remains a beacon to scholar-activists across many disciplines, sociology included. Here, I reflect personally and sociologically on our inheritance f...
Article
Directing attention to racial ignorance as a core dimension of racialized social systems, this article advances a process-focused Theory of Racial Ignorance (TRI), grounded in Critical Race Theory and the philosophical construct white ignorance. TRI embodies five tenets—epistemology of ignorance, ignorance as ends-based technology, corporate white...
Article
Full-text available
By a wealth of indicators, ignorance appears a bona fide if often vexing social fact. Ignorance is socially constructed, negotiated, and pervasive; ignorance is often socially inevitable, even necessary; and, without a doubt, ignorance is socially consequential. Yet, despite its significance, ignorance has appeared a largely secondary concern among...
Preprint
Recent scholarship demonstrates that whites’ racist action requires creativity as much as habit. Racial cognition is implicated in this behavior, as white people use ignorance and apathy to overcome epistemic challenges that threaten white power, privilege, and wealth. Using Mueller’s (2020) Theory of Racial Ignorance (TRI), we show how these cogni...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we explore how popular culture—through dominant social institutions and within the ubiquity of everyday life—bolsters white supremacy as a global system. Tracing examples from early U.S. history through contemporary society, we elevate ways dominant groups have deployed and engaged popular culture to naturalize and defend white powe...
Chapter
Full-text available
The chapter engages a focused study of the white racial frame as a theoretical concept and analytical tool. As Joe R. Feagin’s students during the time he developed the concept, the authors draw on their knowledge of the frame at various stages of development and areas of expertise. Using a roundtable format, they explore three questions: (i) what...
Article
Full-text available
Many analysts argue colorblindness as the reigning ideological buttress of a historically distinct form of structural white supremacy, color-blind racism. In contrast to slavery and legal segregation, color-blind racism is theorized as covert and highly institutionalized. As such, analyses of contemporary racial reproduction often emphasize the str...
Chapter
Full-text available
Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave (2013) swept up extensive praise from critics and the movie-going public alike. Evaluating critics’ consensus, popular website Rotten Tomatoes declared the film not just “brilliant,” but “quite possibly essential” cinema. What accounts for the contemporary appeal of this type of reality-based...
Chapter
Full-text available
Though popular belief and social science analyses often assert the racial tolerance and liberality of institutions of higher education and the white students who attend them, our research reveals young, educated white students’ everyday lives are anything but racially neutral. We pull back the curtain on these “post-racial” assumptions by presentin...
Article
Full-text available
The “millennial” historical moment presents fresh dilemmas for race-critical instructors. In addition to being well-versed in colorblind racial discourse, millennial students are socialized in a pop-cultural milieu that implies a more integrated, racially egalitarian world than exists in reality and includes claims that U.S. society is now “post-ra...
Article
Full-text available
We explore Halloween as a uniquely constructive space for engaging racial concepts and identities, particularly through ritual costuming. Data were collected using 663 participant observation journals from college students across the U.S. During Halloween, many individuals actively engage the racial other in costuming across racial/ethnic lines. Al...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Elaborate critical pedagogical philosophies and related liberation-oriented practices and tools for engaging learners.
Project
This research line examines cultural affordances – the range of functions and constraints that a cultural artifact, technology, or structured everyday practice provides for, and places upon, structurally situated subjects. Work here examines affordances as the dynamic link between individuals and cultural objects and technologies, demonstrating how cultural affordances participate in reproducing, revising, challenging, and transforming structurally inequitable systems.
Project
Study and elaborate white racial ignorance as a central feature of racialized social systems and core process involved in maintaining white domination over time.