The William Julius Wilson effect: Wilson's personal and professional influence on a young African American scholar's sociological investigation of race

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines ways in which William Julius Wilson's research agenda has influenced my approach to the study of African Americans and their everyday lives. I pay particular attention to Wilson's explication of structural factors - such as economic conditions, residential patterns, and discrimination - that influence African Americans' life chances. In this context I consider the interpretive processes; i.e., meaning making through conversation, that African Americans themselves use to understand their position in America's racial, economic and class hierarchy. Throughout the article I illustrate how both my personal and professional relationship with Bill Wilson helped me to articulate my research agenda. I conclude by discussing how Wilson provided his students with opportunities to challenge his work and a forum for developing their own ideas that move beyond his own methodological and substantive concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1095
Number of pages8
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Class
  • Discrimination
  • Race
  • Racial identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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