consuming race

about the book

From the rise of Nordic noir to a taste for street food, from practices of natural gardening to the aesthetics of children's TV, contemporary culture is saturated with racial meanings. By consuming race we make sense of other groups and cultures, communicate our own identities, express our needs and desires, and discover new ways of thinking and being.

This book explores how the meanings of race are made and remade in acts of creative consumption. Ranging across the terrain of popular culture, and finding race in some unusual and unexpected places, it offers fresh and innovative ways of thinking about the centrality of race to our lives.


There are thoughtful reviews by Guno Jones for the journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity here and Thomas Teekens for the journal Cultural Sociology here. You can read more reviews by Paul Bowman, Kent Ono and Yuya Kiuchi here.


I discuss Consuming Race on the BBC Radio 4 show Thinking Allowed with Lola Young and Laurie Taylor.

I talk about the racial politics of Nordic noir on the ABC Radio National Show The List with Cassie McCullagh.


Not long after the publication of Consuming Race, the deliberate misconstrual of a passing comment I made in a BBC interview filled the pages of tabloid and broadsheet newspapers and burgeoning alt-right digital media in the UK and beyond.

There was nothing particularly productive about all this, besides the way it rather confirmed the book's argument that it is quite difficult to open up a conversation about the importance of race in shaping contemporary culture. I wrote a bit about this cultivated controversy in this article for The Guardian.