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The Civil Sphere$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162509.001.0001

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Race and Civil Repair (1)

Race and Civil Repair (1)

Duality and the Creation of a Black Civil Society

(p.265) Chapter 11 Race and Civil Repair (1)
The Civil Sphere

Jeffrey C. Alexander

Oxford University Press

Since their first institutionalization in the seventeenth century, the promises made by the civil spheres of democratic nation-states have been mocked by gross exclusions and inequalities. These destructive intrusions have entered into the very construction of civil spheres, distorting their discourse, institutions, and interaction. Yet insofar as the civil sphere has retained any autonomy at all, and it often has, it has held out the continual possibility for civic repair. Those whom civil society has repressed in the name of a restricted and particularistic conception of civil competence, it also can save. More precisely, it can offer resources so that they can save themselves. This chapter discusses racial domination and duality in the construction of American civil society; duality and counterpublics; duality and the construction of black civil society; and duality toward the civil rights movement.

Keywords:   civil repair, civil sphere, social movement, gender, race, racial domination, American civil society

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