Race and ethnicity
- Loren Kajikawa
According to today’s social scientists, cultural theorists, and scholars in ethnic studies and related fields, race and ethnicity are best understood as distinct yet related social categories involved in the demarcation of human difference. In common parlance, the terms are often grouped together as in the heading of this entry, or with “ethnicity” serving as a euphemism for “race.” Like gender, class, or sexuality, the operations of race and ethnicity affect every aspect of music, including composition, performance, distribution, reception, theory, and the popular and analytic discourses around music. Attention to issues of race and ethnicity has therefore emerged as a fundamental component to both the history and the critical examination of music in the United States and beyond.
As an ideology of difference with roots in scientific discourse, definitions of race typically appeal to differences in skin color, body types, or other traits assumed to be biologically inborn. Omi and Winant (...