Special section introduction : The matter of race

Meer, Nasar and Nayak, Anoop and Pande, Raksha (2015) Special section introduction : The matter of race. Sociological Research Online, 20 (3). 13. ISSN 1360-7804 (https://doi.org/10.5153/sro.3782)

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When Barack Obama was first appointed as the US Democratic President in 2008, political commentators heralded his election as a watershed moment in American history. For many he was seen as emblematic of America's changing attitudes to race, and much journalistic ink has subsequently been spilled pontificating about the plight of a 'black man' in the Washington White House. While Obama's achievements have been many they have yet to secure a post-race future and give way to a world where race is finally unbuttoned from the social order. The recent murder in Charleston, USA, of nine people attending the African Emmanuel Methodist Episcopal Church by Dylann Roof, a self-proclaimed advocate of segregation who burned the US flag, adopted the Southern American Confederacy in its place, and has described himself as 'the last Rhodesian', serve only as the latest reminder of the thoroughly interconnected world in which we live and the enduring lineage of race. It is this legacy, and the seeming inability of race to be placed fully under erasure, that we seek to examine through close sociological scrutiny. As the collection of papers in this themed section elucidate – when it comes to the matter of race, race matters.