Analyzing race in terms of capital is essential—it operates in society via valuation
Leong 13 (Nancy, Assistant Professor of Civil Rights ,Constitutional Law, and Criminal Procedure at the University of Denver, “Racial Capitalism”, Harvard Law Review 126:8, June 2013, Infotrac)//AS
More importantly, however, the characteristics associated with both traditional and contemporary understandings of property do not capture some of the implications of the way that nonwhiteness is currently assigned value. Therefore, a more useful lens for understanding the value assigned to nonwhiteness is that of capital. (108) Capital has been theorized in many forms. One of the most influentialtheories is Karl Marx's critique, rooted in political economy, of the relationship between private property, accumulated wealth, and exploitative social relations. (109) Subsequent theorists have posited other kinds of capital. Theodore Schultz introduced the notion of human capital -- the value added to a laborer when the laborer acquires education, skills, training, knowledge, or other attributes that improve her usefulness in the process of producing and exchanging goods. (110) Pierre Bourdieu later distinguished among several forms of capital, including economic capital, cultural capital, social capital, and symbolic capital. (111) Catherine Hakim has developed the idea of erotic capital as a mechanism for furthering both social and economic interests through sexual attractiveness. (112) In many contexts, then, scholars have found the lens of capital a useful way of examining particular phenomena. In the analysis I develop in this Article, existing theories of capital serve as heuristics for understanding the way that race is valued and the way that racial value is exchanged. There are undeniable differences between economic and racial markets, and so I do not claim that the analogy to any given theory of capital is a perfect explanation for the dynamics of racial value. But as a means to understand how race is valued -- and in particular how nonwhiteness is valued -- the various theories of capital provide useful frameworks for thinking about both that process of valuation and about how racial identity consequently functions in markets, economic and otherwise. Theories of capital thus clarify several aspects of the valuation of nonwhiteness. For example, conceptions of social capital further illustrate the reasons thatnonwhiteness has value to white people and predominantly white institutions. Relatedly, social capital provides an understanding of the way that racial value is transferred through interaction and affiliation. These ideas then provide the basis for understanding the process of exploitation and profit that Marxian theories of capital illuminate. That is, the question is not simply who "possesses" racial identity, but also who reaps value from it, and conceiving of nonwhiteness as capital helps to illustrate this process of exploitation and profit. The Marxian capital framework likewise highlights the dynamism of the value assigned to racial identity -- that is, how the value of racial identity fluctuates depending on the situation. The Marxian capital framework also allows for a more transparent examination of who, precisely, derives value from nonwhiteness. And perhaps most importantly, the framework exposes the imbalance in power that frames the valuation of nonwhiteness.
The alternative is to embrace a critical reflexive Marxist theory—key to resisting systems of global oppression—the aff’s postmodernism is dangerous and ineffective
McLaren and Farahmandpur 00 (Peter and Ramin, Professor in the Division of Urban Schooling, the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles and Professor of Education at Portland State University, “Reconsidering Marx in Post-Marxist Times: A Requiem for Postmodernism?”, Educational Researcher 29:3, April 2000, JSTOR)//AS
Our purpose here has not been to establish, evidentially, instance by in- stance, or in toto, the dilemmas, pit- falls, and shortcomings of postmodern theory, but rather to sound a rather basic caution with respect to its poten- tial for mounting an effective counter- hegemonic project against global capi- talism and its discontents. In doing so we raise the following questions echoed by the epigones of the mod- ernist project: Does returning to Marx reveal the ultimate sources of the pa- triarchal and colonizing venture of the West's master narratives? Will re- embracing Marxism somehow summon a new coherent identity for the patriar- chal West? Is Marxism a quixotically romantic quest for liberation that can only serve as a stimulant for the pas- sion of the Western master narrative? Can Marxist writings today be any- thing more than a dirge on the death of the communist dream? The position we take on the issues raised by these questions is unambigu- ous. We believe that Marxist analysis should serve as an axiomatic tool for contesting current social relations linked to the globalization of capital and the neoliberal education policies that follow in its wake. Educational re- searchers ignore Marxist analyses of globalization and the quotidian poetics of the everyday at their peril. At the same time, we admit that Marxist the- ory constitutes a social system of analy- sis that inscribes subjects and is seeped in the dross of everyday life. As such, it must continually be examined for its underlying assumptions. We believe that a critical reflexive Marxist theory-- undergirded by the categorical impera- tive of striving to overthrow all social conditions in which human beings are exploited and oppressed-can prove foundational in the development of current educational research traditions as well as pedagogies of liberation.