chapter  1
Introduction
WithCeline-Marie Pascale
Pages 22

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book argues that the schism between studies of talk and theories of language prevents a full analysis of knowledge, power, and agency. It analyzes how the presence of race, rooted to commonsense knowledge, exists as a routine part of our social landscapes, while the meanings of race remain conflicted and seemingly unrestrained by the demands of logic, proof, or coherence. The book explores the coercive force behind the apparent naturalness of gender. It examines how people and media engage in practices that actively and systematically disorganize the presence of social and economic capital. The book provides theoretical and analytical point of departure. It suggests that the power of gender comes through constitutive practices that not only produce people as “naturally” women and men, but which also produce heterosexuality, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, and class discrimination.