The American Housing Question: Racism, Urban Citizenship, and the Privilege of Mobility (Lexington Press, 2022)

Available from Rowman & Littlefield, Amazon

Description: The American Housing Question reframes the question of affordable housing through the concepts of urban citizenship and racism. Randolph Hohle argues that when we consider who benefits from affordable housing, we end up with a complex story of inclusion and exclusion and of privilege and mobility centered around race and social class. Historically, affordable housing’s underlying logic was to create the conditions for white people to exercise the privilege of mobility. Affordable housing policy was first and foremost about granting white people the ability to live in racially-segregated neighborhoods within and across urban areas. When the beneficiaries of affordable housing policy were predominately white, the state proceeded with a comprehensive and multifaceted plan to supply housing, including public housing, subsidizing the construction of market rate housing, rental vouchers, and rent control. The white response to the Civil Rights era – the precursor to neoliberal urban policy – privatized public housing, switched the responsibility to provide affordable housing to the market, and created the conditions for the financialization of housing in the twenty-first century that have made housing unaffordable for everyone. As the author aptly demonstrates, solving America’s housing question means addressing both racism and revaluing the notion of the public.

The New Urban Sociology, 6th Edition (Routledge, 2019)

With Mark Gottdiener and Colby King.

Available from Routledge, Amazon

Widely recognized as a groundbreaking text, The New Urban Sociology is a broad and expert introduction to urban sociology that is both relevant and accessible to students. Organized around an integrated paradigm, the sociospatial perspective, this text examines the role played by social factors such as race, class, gender, lifestyle, economics, and culture on the development of metropolitan areas, and integrates social, ecological, and political economy perspectives and research into this study. With its unique perspective, concise history of urban life, clear summary of urban social theory, and attention to the impact of culture on urban development, this book gives students a cohesive conceptual framework for understanding cities and urban life.

The sixth edition of The New Urban Sociology is a major overhaul and expansion of the previous editions. This edition is packed with new material including an expansion of the sociospatial approach to include the primary importance of racism in the formation of the urban landscape, the spatial aspects of urban social problems, including the issues surrounding urban public health and affordable housing, and a brand new chapter on urban social movements. There is also new material on the importance of space for social groups, including immigrants and the LGBTQ community, as well as the gendered meanings embedded in social space.

Racism in the Neoliberal Era: A Meta History of Elite White Power (Routledge, 2018)

Available from Routledge, Amazon

Description: Racism in the Neoliberal Era explains how simple racial binaries like black/white are no longer sufficient to explain the persistence of racism, capitalism, and elite white power. The neoliberal era features the largest black middle class in US history and extreme racial marginalization. Hohle focuses on how the origins and expansion of neoliberalism depended on language or semiotic assemblage of white-private and black-public. The language of neoliberalism explains how the white racial frame operates like a web of racial meanings that connect social groups with economic policy, geography, and police brutality. When America was racially segregated, elites consented to political pressure to develop and fund white-public institutions. The black civil rights movement eliminated legal barriers that prevented racial integration. In response to black civic inclusion, elite whites used a language of white-private/black-public to deregulate the Voting Rights Act and banking. They privatized neighborhoods, schools, and social welfare, creating markets around poverty. They oversaw the mass incarceration and systemic police brutality against people of color. Citizenship was recast as a privilege instead of a right. Neoliberalism is the result of the latest elite white strategy to maintain political and economic power.

Race and the Origins of American Neoliberalism (Routledge, 2015)

Available at Routledge, Amazon

Description: Why did the United States forsake its support for public works projects, public schools, public spaces, and high corporate taxes for the neoliberal project that uses the state to benefit businesses at the expense of citizens? The short answer to this question is race. This book argues that the white response to the black civil rights movement in the 1950s, ’60s, and early ’70s inadvertently created the conditions for emergence of American neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is the result of an unlikely alliance of an elite liberal business class and local segregationists that sought to preserve white privilege in the civil rights era. The white response drew from a language of neoliberalism, as they turned inward to redefine what it meant to be a good white citizen. The language of neoliberalism depoliticized class tensions by getting whites to identify as white first, and as part of a social class second. This book explores the four pillars of neoliberal policy, austerity, privatization, deregulation, and tax cuts, and explains how race created the pretext for the activation of neoliberal policy. Neoliberalism is not about free markets. It is about controlling the state to protect elite white economic privileges.


‘Race and the Origins of American Neoliberalism offers a critically in-depth and race-based rebuttal to popular class theories of Neoliberalism. Hohle provides a fascinating analysis of the language of neoliberalism and the synergy of race, austerity, privatization, deregulation, and tax cuts. His work deconstructs how neoliberalism was and continues to function as a racial project and how any academic critiques or movements against neoliberalism require us to “rethink what constitutes white privilege in the neoliberal era”.’

—Carol Ann Jackson & Matthew W. Hughey (2017) ‘Race and the origins of American Neoliberalism’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40:3, 548-550

Race and the Origins of American Neoliberalism ultimately raises important questions about what truly defines the era of neoliberalism. If neoliberalism is a bundle of economic and social policies, then Hohle’s analysis forces us to recognize that the pretext of contemporary neoliberal-ism emerged rather haphazardly and far earlier than originally assumed. More importantly, the book demonstrates the ways that neoliberal policies were designed and employed to purposefully lock African Americans out of processes of economic development and growth, thus protecting white economic privilege.”

– Debra Thompson, Northwestern University, Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics

“The book represents a synthesis of how racial dynamics shaped the modern development of America’s eco-nomic foundations and political institutions, and it suggests a growing convergence among fiscal regimes of the South and else-where… Making unexpected connections and tracing an understudied genealogy, Hohle adds layers of theoretical complexity and empirical richness to what we think we know about race and neoliberalism within the American context. Agree or disagree, the provocative argument demands serious engagement and will certainly generate debate as well as inform new directions of research.”

– Kasey Henricks, University of Illinois-Chicago, Contemporary Sociology 46, 3

Black Citizenship and Authenticity in the Civil Rights Movement (2013, Routledge)

Available at Routledge, Amazon

Description: This book explains the emergence of two competing forms of black political representation that transformed the objectives and meanings of local action, created boundaries between national and local struggles for racial equality, and prompted a white response to the civil rights movement that set the stage for the neoliberal turn in US policy. Randolph Hohle questions some of the most basic assumptions about the civil rights movement, including the importance of non-violence, and the movement’s legacy on contemporary black politics. Non-violence was the effect of the movement’s emphasis on racially non-threatening good black citizens that, when contrasted to bad white responses of southern whites, severed the relationship between whiteness and good citizenship. Although the civil rights movement secured new legislative gains and influenced all subsequent social movements, pressure to be good black citizens and the subsequent marginalization of black authenticity have internally polarized and paralyzed contemporary black struggles. This book is the first systematic analysis of the civil rights movement that considers the importance of authenticity, the body, and ethics in political struggles. It bridges the gap between the study of race, politics, and social movement studies.


‘I savored working my way through Hohle’s account of the emergence and evolution of the mid-twentiethcentury fight for racial freedom and justice…  I can’t wait to see how this promising and passionate young scholar develops and applies his ideas to new research on social movements, culture, and racial change in the years to come.’ Douglas Hartmann, Contemporary Sociology

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