Stigma and Culture: Global Migrations and the Crisis of Identity in Black America
The dialectical construction of "cultural" identities among Caribbean immigrants, African immigrants, Louisiana Creoles of color,Native Americans of African descent, Gullah-Geechees, and soi-disant "middle-class" African Americans in and around Howard University is a locus classicus for the hypothesis that stigma is a driving force behind ethnogenesis worldwide. As a world of the stigmatized and ambitious, the university is an important site of the articulation of "cultural" identities whereby discreditable populations endeavor to distinguish themselves from the main "constituent other"–in this case, ostensibly normative African Americans–in the social field that they share. I coin the term "ethnological Schadenfreude" to explain the a priori and logically concomitant representation of the constituent other as culturally inferior. Author's Comments:The book has been revised following anonymous review and is scheduled for publication in 2014.