Cover of Moving from the Margins by Edited by Margaret L. Andersen and Maxine Baca Zinn
Moving from the Margins
Life Histories on Transforming the Study of Racism
Edited by Margaret L. Andersen and Maxine Baca Zinn


January 2024
224 pages.
from $26.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503633490
Paperback ISBN: 9781503637429
Ebook ISBN: 9781503637436

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At a time when movements for racial justice are front and center in U.S. national politics, this book provides essential new understanding to the study of race, its influence on people's lives, and what we can do to address the persistent and foundational American problem of systemic racism. Knowledge about race and racism changes as social and historical conditions evolve, as different generations of scholars experience unique societal conditions, and as new voices from those who have previously been kept at the margins have challenged us to reconceive our thinking about race and ethnicity. In this collection of essays by prominent sociologists whose work has transformed the understanding of race and ethnicity, each reflects on their career and how their personal experiences have shaped their contribution to understanding racism, both in scholarly and public debate.

Merging biography, memoir, and sociohistorical analysis, these essays provide vital insight into the influence of race on people's perspectives and opportunities both inside and outside of academia, and how racial inequality is felt, experienced, and confronted.

About the authors

Margaret L. Andersen is the Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Delaware.

Maxine Baca Zinn is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Michigan State University.

"In this must-read volume,distinguished and trailblazing sociologists reflect on their encounters with sociology and academic institutions. Pushing the boundaries of our understanding of interlocking systems of oppression, these essays reveal the often unspoken and unwritten winding career paths of marginalized faculty and the critical moments in their lives that shaped the contours of their research and their commitments for the future of the discipline. This volume is a necessary intervention, balm and reminder that those of us on the margins are not alone and that our work matters."

—Victoria Reyes, Author of Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope

"Prepare to be captivated by the gripping and courageous life stories woven within these pages! This groundbreaking anthology brings together a distinguished group of senior sociologists, predominantly scholars of color, who have drawn on their lifetime experiences to redefine and expand the study of racism and sexism in the United States. Engaging, thought-provoking, and richly informative, Moving from the Margins is a must-read for anyone seeking a fresh and dynamic exploration of persisting social justice issues in America and beyond."

—Joe Feagin, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University, and Past-President of the American Sociological Association

"This insightful, deeply personal book gives a unique window into how some of the leading sociologists of race draw from their own experiences and backgrounds to develop exceptional, ground breaking scholarship. It's a must-read with a fresh take on how the personal informs the political—and the sociological!"

—Adia Wingfield, Washington University in St. Louis, President-elect of the American Sociological Association

"It is difficult to overstate the structural and systemic forces of inequality that persist in the United States, let alone the current rise in regressive laws and policies rooted in interlocking systems of white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy. And yet, reading this powerful collection of essays penned by eminent, pathbreaking scholars of race and racism, helps to make sense of it all—where we came from, where we are now, and crucially, where we might go. The generosity of these activist-scholars whose shoulders we stand on, and the vulnerability revealed in their personal and intellectual meditations, is a gift to early career scholars who will see themselves reflected in these narratives."

—Zulema Valdez, University of California, Merced