is an American sociologist
and race theorist
. Professor Winant is most well known for developing the theory of racial formation
along with Michael Omi
. Currently, Winant is Professor of Sociology
at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Winant's research and teachings revolve around race and racism, comparative historical sociology, political sociology, social theory, and human rights.
Education and Career
Winant earned his Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz
. He was a professor of sociology at Temple University
until moving to UC Santa Barbara in 2002
Racial Formation in the United States
Winant's most influential work has been his 1986 collaboration with UC Berkeley Professor Michael Omi, Racial Formation in the United States
. The theory draws upon Gramsci's
conception of hegemony
to describe the social construction of the race
concept in contemporary US society. Omi and Winant argue that race emerged as an organizing factor in society due to political actions they call racial projects
. These racial projects remain ongoing, making race an unstable social category that constantly changing, as evidenced by the changing nature of race relations as the result of political actions such as the Civil Rights Movement
. Still, as Gramsci would predict, the reforms secured during crisis moments like the Civil Rights era serve merely to incorporate resistance. The political project of racial equality remains incomplete. Thus, the fundamental dynamics of race including institutional racism and continued inequality along racialized lines remain in place today, according to Omi and Winant.
Racial formation has solidified as one of the primary paradigms of sociological understandings of race. Omi and Winant identify reductionist theories of race that identify race as epiphenomenal rather than durable as the chief competing theories of racial dynamics in contemporary sociology.
One of Winant's current projects is the New Racial Studies Center
, a multi-disciplinary think tank
focusing on the dynamics of race and racism in the 21st Century.
- The New Politics of Race (2004)
- The World Is a Ghetto: Race and Democracy Since World War II (2001)
- "Race in the New Millennium," Colorlines: Race Culture, Action (2000)
- "Behind Blue Eyes: Contemporary White Racial Politics," New Left Review (1997)
- With Michael Omi, "Racial Formation In The United States," Routeledge (1986); Second Edition (1994).