Chapter Key concepts 18 African-American 18 Race 19 Intersection of race and racism 20 White supremacy 20 Chapter Theoretical framework 21

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Index 1

Abstract 3

Acknowledgements 5

I would hereby like to take the opportunity to thank some people important to me in the process of writing this thesis. First of all, I would like to thank Kamel, for always assuring me to believe in my work and to always stand by me. Secondly, I would like to thank my mother in specific for correcting my thesis on English language, and my mum and dad in always supporting my ambitions in furthering my education and believing in my capabilities. I would furthermore like to thank my brother Joost, for being someone to look up to, in terms of educational achievement and successfully starting a professional career. Lastly, I would like to thank my supervisor professor Mammo Muchie, for the supervision of this thesis. 5

Chapter 1. Introduction and research problem 6

Chapter 2. Methods and Methodology 10

2.1. Motivation for the relevance and importance of the thesis 10

2.2. Motivation for African-American focus, instead of minority groups in the US 10

2.3. Type of research 11

2.3.1. Qualitative research 11

2.3.2. Quantitative facts to strengthen its validity 12

2.3.3. Internal validity 12

2.4. Structure of the work 13

2.5. Timeframe 14

2.6. Choice of a case study: the US in specific 14

2.7. External validity 15

2.8. Theory 16

2.9. Delimitations 17

Chapter 3. Key concepts 18

3.1. African-American 18

3.2. Race 19

3.3. Intersection of race and racism 20

3.4. White supremacy 20

Chapter 4. Theoretical framework 21

4.1. Foucault 21

4.1.1. Historical overview of Foucault and his main works 21

4.1.2. Foucault specific ideas on Power 22

4.1.3. Criticisms of Foucault 26

4.2. Critical race theory 27

4.2.1. Historical overview of the thought and its major writers 27

4.2.2. Ideas and thoughts of critical race theory 29

4.2.3. Criticisms of Critical Race Theory 32

Chapter 5. Empirical overview and discussion 34

5.1. Historical overview 34

5.2. Political discussion 38

5.2.1. General political implications for African-Americans 38

5.2.2. Specific implications of the Bush and Clinton rulings 38

5.2.3. African-American politics and representation 41

5.3. Social discussion 42

5.3.1. General social implications for African-Americans in the US 42

5.3.2. Specific social spheres affecting African-Americans 44

5.4. Economic discussion 46

Chapter 6. Analysis 51

6.1. Analysis of political issues and circumstances influencing the marginalization of African-Americans 51

6.1.1. General political implications for African-Americans 51

6.1.2. Specific implications of the Bush and Clinton’s rulings 53

6.1.3. African-American politics and representation 56

6.2.Analysis of social indicators and issues concerning the marginalization of African-Americans 58

6.2.1. General social implications for African-Americans in the US 58

6.2.2. Specific social spheres affecting African-Americans and its implications 62

6.3.Analysis of economic issues influencing the marginalization of African-Americans 66

Chapter 7. Obama 71

Chapter 8. Conclusion 73

Bibliography 75


This abstract will shortly summarize the main discussions and conclusions from this thesis. This abstract is meant to give readers a short overview and understanding of the thesis and its outcomes. The thesis deals with the marginalization of African-Americans in US society, because of the particularities of the oppression of this specific racial group in terms of a more extreme situation for this than any other racial group in US society.

Major achievements such as within the civil rights era are indicating significant advancements. However, the situation has after this era unfortunately stagnated. A total bottom position of an entire race can not only be maintained by individual and political actions, and has therefore been integrated in the design of institutions such as the criminal justice system and housing and educational segregation. Those institutions have been created to push African-Americans to the bottom of society, and ensure the bottom position of African-Americans today, as negative images surrounding African-Americans are maintained and upward mobility for significant proportions of African-Americans is highly impaired and reversed by those institutional implications. This system of segregation and the design of specific institutions such as the criminal justice system are consciously and unconsciously having a high toll on African-Americans. Those systems are thereby serving multiple reasons, of maintaining an entire race as scapegoats in terms of negative trends and in times of recession and maintain privileges to a much larger extend enjoyed by White Americans.
African-American economic, social and political position continues to benefit mainstream society in all areas. Therefore, mainstream society is not striving and fighting as hard for a totally just and equal society, as this would mean sacrifices on their own behalf. However, society is benefiting from African-Americans as well, such as in the performance of menial labour and positioning within vulnerable jobs. Therefore, certain rights have to be given to African-Americans over time, as to maintain stability and relative satisfaction amongst the African-American population within the society. However, those rights are always positioned within certain boundaries that will not thwart a system designed to mostly benefit and privilege Whites.
When examining this thesis, the reader would become aware that the situation of African-Americans within all aspects of US society might be direr than one might have expected. Although society is in certain aspects maintaining negative images surrounding African-Americans, it is on the other hand portraying the situation of some certain African-Americans to be rosier than it actually is. Consider the African-American middle class that has been highly applauded in recent years, because of its explosive growth. However, wrong indicators to measure well being, such as income instead of wealth are used to make the situation to appear more positive than it in reality is. Furthermore, other variables, such as discrimination against African-Americans in all spheres and a poorer situation for African-Americans when earning the same income as whites, due to greater distances from shops and overpricing for certain services, are completely ignored.
The ever deteriorating and stagnating position of African-Americans in recent years is a result of a further allowance of segregation, such as educational segregation. Further cut backs in benefits for achieving higher upward mobility and a better position for African-Americans in society, such as cuts in welfare benefits, affirmative action, job training in inner cities and more such tools, have been used to continue to push African-Americans to a bottom societal position.
Politically engaged African-Americans striving for the development of African-American communities are unfortunately neither heard nor appreciated within a whitely dominated political environment. Although, if elected, Obama might be able to challenge some of the overt injustices, US society has a long way to go for its African-American citizens to be completely equal to its White citizens.

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