Tuesday Oct 27, 2020

Episode 51: Racialized Organizations, Politics, (and Sports) with Victor Ray

In this episode, all three hosts have the great pleasure of speaking with organizational and critical race theorist Victor Ray about his crucial work on racialized organizations, and how his intervention helps us think through both the world of sport and the current political moment in the United States. Victor Ray is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa. His incredibly influential work on race and organizations has appeared in scholarly journals such as the American Sociological Review, American Behavioral Scientist, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Contexts, Ethnic and Racial Studies, The Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and Sociological Theory. His public scholarship appears in venues such as Washington Post, Newsweek, and Boston Review .

In the first half of the conversation, Victor walks us through organizational theory and critical race theory, and what it means to bring them together in a theory of racialized organizations. He explains the materiality of race and racism and why we need to understand race as "of" rather than "in" organizations. In the second half of the conversation, we shift to the context of sport, and how sport is saturated with racism, from the language used to describe it to the organizational structures of sporting spaces. Finally, we finish by discussing the current administration's assault on critical race theory and what it augurs for November 3 and beyond.

You can find Victor Ray's article on racialized organizations in American Sociological Review here. You can find a version of that argument written for non-academic audiences in Harvard Business Review here. You can find his recent Washington Post piece on the assault on critical race theory here. Finally, you can find his co-written (with Louise Seamster) critique of the teleological understanding of race for Sociological Theory here.

For a transcription of this episode, please click here. (Credit @punkademic)

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“College Football Feels All Too Normal During the Pandemic” in TIME Magazine

“College Football in a Pandemic Reveals our Capacity for Trumpism” in The Baffler

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian


As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.






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