Obama's Election: Symbolic or Substantive?

October 8, 2009 | Newsmakers, Queens College

Queens College sociologist Stephen Steinberg believes that it’s important to look beyond the historic election of the nation’s first African-American president and hope that his eloquent rhetoric will be turned into concrete results. “The bigger question is whether Obama’s election is merely a symbolic event or whether it will translate into policies that will advance the unfinished civil rights agenda,” said Prof. Steinberg, who was recently appointed Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies by Queens College, where he has taught since 1977. The author of several groundbreaking books, including “The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity and Class in America,” and his latest work, “Race Relations: A Critique,” Prof. Steinberg’s studies on urban cultures and the role race plays in society have earned him the respect of colleagues worldwide.
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