Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: From campaign to president : the racial controversies Barack Obama faced in a 'postracial' America
Author: Stalniceanu, Madalina
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 9226
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Barack Obama’s victory in November 2008 was a historic moment when the themes of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ he had promoted during the campaign came to fruition. His election as the first black US President fitted the conservative narrative of a postracial US society in which race no longer had a significant influence. This thesis argues that Obama’s presidency punctures the illusion of a postracial society by examining a series of real and political controversies around race that occurred during the 2008 presidential campaign and his first term. The controversies selected display various levels of seriousness, reflecting the variety and the nature of racial attacks launched against Obama. The first controversy illustrates how ‘race’ was there from the start as an opportunity for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and her husband, former US President Bill Clinton, while the following four controversies are more personalised, having been provoked by Republicans and conservatives around Obama’s relationships with his pastor of twenty years Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his friend Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., his wife Michelle Obama and his father Barack Obama Sr. Close examination of these five attempts to damage Obama politically reveals the extent to which racially- inflected issues and stereotypes prevail in contemporary US society, including pernicious stereotypes which portray African American pastors as radical and divisive, African American men as criminals, African American women as angry, and that harness racial nativism to do so. The analysis of the controversies highlighted here uncovers how Obama’s stance on US race relations developed, and identifies the shifts from his campaign to his presidency and, indeed, to the second term when he made substantial efforts to accelerate overdue reforms in policing and mass incarceration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available