Victor Ray

Victor Ray
University of Iowa | UI · Sociology and Criminology and African American Studies

About

36
Publications
9,870
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1,249
Citations
Citations since 2017
27 Research Items
1127 Citations
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Publications

Publications (36)
Article
Full-text available
Since former President Trump’s 2020 Executive Order banning critical race theory, the scholarship has been at the center of an international moral panic. Right-wing American, British, and French commentators invented a conspiracy theory version of critical race scholarship (Marxism! Black supremacy!). Once constructed, conspiracists blamed critical...
Article
Full-text available
In 2021, The American Association of Medical Colleges released a framework addressing structural racism in academic medicine, following the significant, nationwide Movement for Black Lives. The first step of this framework is to "begin self-reflection and educating ourselves." Indeed, ample evidence shows that medical schools have a long history of...
Article
Full-text available
This article develops the concept of racialized burdens as a means of examining the role of race in administrative practice. Racialized burdens are the experience of learning, compliance and psychological costs that serve as inequality reproducing mechanisms. To develop this concept, we examine administrative burdens in the US state from the theore...
Article
Full-text available
The year 2020 saw the largest social movement in response to the police killings of Black people and anti-Black racism in U.S. history. As a result, medical schools and professional societies such as the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges are reckoning with their role in perpetuating racial inequality and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Administrative burdens allow a form of hidden politics to shape people’s experience of the state. But what do those politics hide? In this paper we seek to partly answer this question by developing the concept of racialized burdens. Racialized burdens are the experience of learning, compliance and psychological costs, which serve as tools to reinfo...
Article
Victor Ray on How to be an Antiracist.
Article
Full-text available
We argue that empirical sociology would benefit from a greater engagement with critical race theory (CRT). In this introduction, we outline four steps to the empirical application of CRT in sociology: (1) understanding that social science is not value neutral, (2) using CRT to inform research design and methodology, (3) investigating racism at mult...
Article
Colorism is a stratification system based on skin tone or other phenotypical features associated with nonwhite people generally and black people specifically.
Chapter
This chapter connects colorblind ideology to organizational processes. Despite advances in our thinking about colorblindness as the current dominant racial ideology, scholars are reluctant to tie this ideology to organizational processes creating the impression that colorblindness is an individual attribute rather than a structural phenomenon. Beca...
Article
Critical race theory (CRT) provides a highly generative perspective for studying racial phenomena in social, legal, and political life, but its integration with sociological theories of race has not been systematic. However, a group of sociologists has begun to show the relevance of CRT for driving empirical inquiry. This special issue (our first o...
Article
Organizational theory scholars typically see organizations as race-neutral bureaucratic structures, while race and ethnicity scholars have largely neglected the role of organizations in the social construction of race. The theory developed in this article bridges these subfields, arguing that organizations are racial structures—cognitive schemas co...
Article
We argue that claims of racial progress rest upon untenable teleological assumptions founded in Enlightenment discourse. We examine the theoretical and methodological focus on progress and its historical roots. We argue research should examine the concrete mechanisms that produce racial stability and change, and we offer three alternative framework...
Article
In this response to George Weddington’s critique of their recent article, the authors argue that Weddington rightfully critiques them for not paying enough attention to the role of psychoanalysis (exemplified by Frantz Fanon) in Afro-pessimist theory and for not giving primacy to the political ontology of blackness in Afro-pessimist thought. Howeve...
Chapter
This paper argues that militarism is a “racial project” central to the social construction of race and the perpetuation of unequal race relations. Typical sociological research on race in the military is largely demographic in nature—reifying race as a social fact and often assuming the military decreases overt racial animus. In place of this persp...
Article
Full-text available
Recent high-profile research suggests that social indicators like incarceration influence racial categorization. Yet, this research has largely ignored colorism—intraracial differences in skin tone that matter for stratification outcomes. In two experiments, we address how skin tone interacts with criminal background to produce external racial clas...
Article
This paper is a systematic review of the literature on diversity in police forces. We focus on four main empirical domains that have received the bulk of the attention in the literature 1) recruitment 2) hiring, 3) promotion, 4) organizational contexts. We argue that this literature would be better served by integrating findings into the emerging t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this presentation, we argue that Airbnb is a “racialized organization.” While organizational theorists typically see race as an additional process in otherwise neutral organizations, and scholars of racialization tend to focus on the state or individuals, organizations are themselves racialized. By this, we mean they are imbued with racial meani...
Preprint
Airbnb is a “racialized organization.” While organizational theorists typically see race as an additional process in otherwise neutral organizations, and scholars of racialization tend to focus on the state or individuals, organizations are themselves racialized. By this, we mean they are imbued with racial meanings. Those racial meanings shape org...
Article
Much work in the sociology of race and ethnicity centers on an underlying narrative of racial progress. Progress narratives are typically conceptualized as a linear process of slow, yet inevitable, improvement. Drawing on Critical Race Theory and Afro-Pessimism, theoretical perspectives that emerged outside of the discipline of sociology, this pape...
Article
Recent debates on racial progress in the pages of Ethnic and Racial Studies suffer from an under-theorization of the notion of progress. In this article, we draw on a well-known theory from medical sociology to argue that racism is a 'fundamental cause' of social inequality. The proximate causes of racial inequality have historically changed, but b...
Chapter
This brief survey examines some of the major empirical research on race in the US military. Though the military is considered by many scholars to be a model of positive race relations, the history of race relations in the military is one of conflict and conciliation mirroring changes in the broader society.
Article
This study uses a nationally representative survey to examine the relationship between attitudes about genetics and race. We focus on the ways in which negative out-group behavior can be explained as innate and genetic (Pettigrew’s “ultimate attribution error”), and how this may underlie racial prejudice and racial individualism—the notion that ind...
Chapter
As Obama’s presidency enters its second term, it is more than time to get over the Obama-induced hangover and realize that his real ‘audacity’ has been to carry out a centre-right political agenda while doing absolutely nothing on the race front. In this chapter, I provide a much-needed aspirin to help readers regain their critical faculties, under...
Article
Full-text available
Andre and Kenny hit it off the night they met. They swapped stories for hours, shared dinner together, and even learned they had attended neighboring high schools. Andre wasn't on the patrol the next day when Kenny was killed—but he watched as Kenny's tank was towed back to base with the tarp-covered body inside. hit the landmine… all of the ammuni...
Article
In the millennium's inaugural decade, 2 interrelated trends influenced research on America's families of color: the need for new knowledge about America's growing ethnic/racial minority and immigrant populations and conceptual advances in critical race theories and perspectives on colorism. Three substantive areas reflecting researchers' interests...

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Project (1)
Project
Most debates on race and racism, past and present, are framed on the question of racial progress. In this paper, we argue that claims of racial progress are based on untenable teleological assumptions founded in Enlightenment discourse. We examine the theoretical and methodological focus on progress and demonstrate the political uses of the progress narrative. Next, we place the study of race and ethnicity on firmer footing by replacing debates about relative levels of racial progress with the more tenable (and historically accurate) assumptions that 1) Racial change is not necessarily a linear process; and 2) Research should examine the concrete mechanisms that produce racial stability and racial change. We offer three alternative frameworks for interpreting longitudinal racial data and phenomena. The first sees racism as a "fundamental cause," arguing that race remains a "master category" (Omi and Winant 2015) of social differentiation despite historical changes in mechanisms. The second argues for a notion of racial progress as expanded agency relative to other racial groups. The third takes a systems approach, arguing that race relations should been seen as a mutually constituted system of power relations. We conclude with some suggestions for future directions for research.