This article argues for the limitations of John Guillory's analysis of canon formation in terms of its treatment of race. The article reads Guillory's 1997 essay “Bourdieu's Refusal” alongside Bourdieu and Loïc Wacquant's 1999 essay “On the Cunning of Imperialist Reason,” pointing in each to a sociological determinism, for which well‐intentioned social actions intended to address racial and gendered inequalities of representation seem only to prop up structures of market domination. In spite of Bourdieu's resistance to American discourses of racial identity, the article argues, the “globalization of race” in fact allows for the emergence of a relatively unmediated political discourse. Cultural studies, in particular, provides an entrance to that project. One limitation of racial politics is that it does not necessarily impact the structure of economic relations, but at the same time, purely class or economic struggles do not necessarily alter noneconomic modes of class domination in the social and cultural sphere, nor the symbolic violence of social hierarchies such as race or gender.

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