Racial Inequality in a Post-Racist Era
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Title Page, Copyright
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Tables and Figures
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Fredrick C. Harris is professor of political science and director for Research
in African-American Studies at Columbia University.
Robert C. Lieberman is professor of political science and provost at The Johns Hopkins University.
Anthony S. Chen is associate professor of sociology and political science at Northwestern University, where he is also faculty fellow at the Institute...
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This book began life as a series of intense conversations during and after the 2008 presidential election. Barack Obama’s stirring campaign and dramatic election seemed to signal at once the maturation of a new pattern of American politics, in which a serious racial barrier to achievement had been shattered, and a new attentiveness to questions of race and inequality...
Introduction. Beyond Discrimination: Racial Inequality in the Age of Obama
Fredrick C. Harris, Robert C. Lieberman
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Contemporary racial inequality in the United States poses a dual challenge for social scientists and policy analysts. It is, first, a serious policy problem. Nearly half a century after the peak of the civil rights movement, racial identity remains a significant predictor of class status and life chances. Across a wide range of social and economic domains—income...
Part I. The Political Development of Racial Inequality
Chapter 1. The End of “Race” as We Know It? Assessing the “Postracial America” Thesis in the Obama Era
Rodney E. Hero, Morris E. Levy, Benjamin Radcliff
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In his highly influential analysis of democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville ( 1966, 475–76) contended that “democratic . . . peoples’ passion for equality is ardent, insatiable, eternal and invincible.” On the other hand, he also recognized the profound importance of and problems posed by race in American society. Tocqueville emphasized America’s liberal...
Chapter 2. The American State as an Agent of Race Equity: The Systemic Limits of Shock and Awe in Domestic Policy
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The historical infirmity of the American state in ameliorating the nation’s searing racial inequalities is notable. It is even more striking when set against the same state’s gargantuan military, fiscal, cultural, ideological, and political capacities, which have enabled the United States to dominate modern affairs since the Second World War and to maintain legitimacy...
Chapter 3. Racial Inequality and Race-Conscious Affirmative Action in College Admissions: A Historical Perspective on Contemporary Prospects and Future Possibilities
Anthony S. Chen, Lisa M. Stulberg
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The racial composition of undergraduates attending American colleges and universities has experienced a far-reaching transformation over the past sixty years. At the midpoint of the twentieth century, most institutions of higher education were racially exclusive, whether by policy or custom. The overwhelming majority of students going to college were...
Chapter 4. Racial Inequality in Employment in Postracial America
Dorian T. Warren
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How do we understand persistent racial inequality in employment in an era of increased African American and Latino political and social inclusion? This question is one of the most significant and enduring challenges in our current post–civil rights, postindustrial, and so-called postracial era: the issue of increasing economic inequality in communities of color. The...
Part II. Attitudes and Individual Behavior
Chapter 5. A Measure of Justice: What Policing Racial Bias Research Reveals
Phillip Atiba Goff
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How does one explain persistent racial inequality in the face of declining racial prejudice? This riddle, which I call the “attitude-inequality mismatch” question (or the AIM question, for short), is the fundamental problem facing contemporary scholars of race in the United States (as well as the rationale for this volume). A related and equally provocative question...
Chapter 6. The Social Psychology of Symbolic Firsts: Effects of Barack Obama’s Presidency on Student Achievement and Perceptions of Racial Progress in America
Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, Richard P. Eibach
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As Frederick Douglass noted when he observed some of the first political achievements of emancipated black Americans, the human imagination is captivated by pioneers. Indeed, popular history is often a chronicle of pioneers: the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe, the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, the first man to...
Part III. Politics and the State
Chapter 7. Unhappy Harmony: Accounting for Black Mass Incarceration in a “Postracial” America
Vesla M. Weaver
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As Americans altered history in sending the first black man to the White House, another less celebrated record was charted: one-third of young black men witnessed Barack Obama’s milestone under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. In addition, 13 percent of black men could not cast a vote, as they were disenfranchised owing to a past or current criminal...
Chapter 8. The “Stickiness” of Race in an Era of Mass Incarceration
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In the summer of 2009, the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was unceremoniously arrested at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when police mistook him for a burglar. The flurry of media attention, culminating with a “beer summit” hosted by President Obama, revived long-standing debates about the prevalence of racial profiling and the degree to...
Part IV. Economics and Markets
Chapter 9. The Ghetto Tax: Auto Insurance, Postal Code Profiling, and the Hidden History of Wealth Transfer
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In the recent health care debate, President Obama and his conservative critics such as George Will found rare common ground by appropriating auto insurance as the model for health insurance, whose reform the president called “key to turning around the economy” (Associated Press 2009). For African American and Latino consumers, however, holding up auto...
Chapter 10. Racial Segregation and the Marketing of Health Inequality
Naa Oyo A. Kwate
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The dismantling of state-sanctioned discrimination substantiates in the American imagination the notion of a postracial world, particularly with the election of President Barack Obama. But anyone walking through a black neighborhood knows that the United States is not “postracial.” The persistence of de facto segregation in most U.S. cities reminds us that we...
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Page Count: 376
Publication Year: 2013