Picture of Michael Omi

Michael Omi, Associate Professor

Ethnic Studies Department, Asian American Studies

Office: 592 Barrows
Email: omi@berkeley.edu
Phone: 643-8744

Howard Winant and I are currently working on a project that critically examines contemporary patterns of racialization in the United States.  One part of our research centers on the emergence of both "colorblind" and "color-conscious" ideologies, strategies, and practices in the post-Civil Rights era -- and the overall impact of these ideologies on the framing of contemporary political and policy debates.  The second project I'm currently researching looks at the "racial positioning" of Asian Americans in the contemporary sociological literature.  Here, I'm interested in how Asian Americans are situated within the dominant black/white paradigm of race in the United States and the theoretical and political consequences that emerge from specific understandings of their location. 


Ph.D. in Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
M.A. in Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
A.B. in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Research interests

Racial theory and politics, racial/ethnic classification and the census, Asians Americans and racial stratification, and racist and anti-racist social movements.


AAS 20A:  Introduction to the History of Asians in the United States
AAS 120:  Comparative History of Asian American Experiences in America
AAS 145:  Politics, Public Policy, and Asian American Communities
AAS 165:  Research Methodologies in Asian American Communities
AAS 190:  Seminar on Advanced Topics in Asian American Studies
AAS H195A-H195B:  Senior Honors Seminar for Asian American Studies Majors
ES 11AC:  Theories and Concepts in Comparative Ethnic Studies
ES 24:  Freshman Seminar
ES 195:  Selected Issues in Comparative Ethnic Studies Research.
ES 203:  Social Structures
ES 250:  Seminars on "Asian Americans and Racial Theory," "Racism and Anti-racism," and "Racial Theory and Politics."

Courses in 2009-2010
Fall:  AAS 20A:  Introduction to the History of Asians in the United States
ES 250:  Asian Americans and Racial Theory.
Spring:  ES 11AC:  Theories and Concepts in Comparative Ethnic Studies
AAS 145:  Politics, Public Policy, and Asian American Communities

Selected publications

Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States:  From the 1960s to the 1990s, Second Edition (New York and London:  Routledge, 1994).

Michael Omi and Howard Winant, "Once More, With Feeling:  Reflections on Racial Formation." Special Topic:  Comparative Racialization.  PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America), Volume 123, Number 5 (October 2008)

"Asian Americans:  The Unbearable Whiteness of Being?," The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2008, B56-58.

"The Changing Meaning of Race," in Neil Smelser, William Julius Wilson, and Faith Mitchell, editors, America Becoming:  Racial Trends and Their Consequences (Washington, D.C.:  National Academy Press, 2001).    

"(E)racism:  Emerging Practices of Antiracist Organizations," in Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Eric Klinenberg, Irene J. Nexica, and Matt Wray, editors, The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness  (Durham:  Duke University Press, 2001).

Michael Omi and Dana Y. Takagi, "Situating Asian Americans in the Political Discourse of Affirmative Action," in Robert Post and Michael Rogin, eds., Race and Representation: Affirmative Action (New York:  Zone Books, 1998).    

"Racial Identity and the State:  The Dilemmas of Classification," Law & Inequality, Volume XV, Number 1 (Winter 1997).

"Shifting the Blame:  Racial Ideology and Politics in the Post-Civil Rights Era," Critical Sociology, Volume 8, Number 3, (Fall 1992)

Honors & Awards

Community Changemakers Award, Asian Health Services, 2008
Inaugural Distinguished Teacher and Mentor Award, the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Asia and Asian America, 2005
Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, Berkeley, 1990


Ethnic Studies Department
506 Barrows Hall #2570
Berkeley, CA 94720-2570
510-642-6456 fax

Office Hours: Mon - Thurs 9-12, 1-4, Fri 9-12