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Race in Society

The Enduring American Dilemma

Margaret L. Andersen

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The second edition of Race in Society analyzes the social dynamics of systemic racism and the persistence of racial inequality in US institutions. The book is informed by contemporary social science research and includes the most recent studies on racial disparities during the COVID pandemic and current racial protests.

Race in Society is intended for courses in the sociology of race and ethnicity and can be used in other social science and interdisciplinary courses. Its accessible writing style, student friendly approach, and brevity make it attractive to instructors who want to pair it with other monographs or anthologies.

Four themes guide the organization of the book:

  1. the social construction of race and ethnicity, as they evolve within systems of power and privilege;
  2. the social dynamics of prejudice, bias, and racism;
  3. the systemic character of racial inequality in US social institutions; and,
  4. strategies for social change, especially as the United States becomes increasingly racially and ethnically diverse. A new feature in the second edition, “Taking Action against Racism,” will appeal to students who want to know what they can do to challenge racism.

New to this edition:

  • New preface and introduction
  • Chapter 2 has been updated to include new research on the significance of racial resentment, as well as discussion of racial backlash and white rage
  • Chapter 3 includes current data on the inclusion of people of color in media organization and media usage by diverse groups
  • New material in Chapter 4 on multiracial identities and multiracial relationships
  • Chapter 5 includes current attitudinal data on immigration, all of which reflects evolving US politics about immigration, the border wall, and national borders.
  • Chapter 6 features a section on colonialism and postcolonial theory, as well as an extended discussion of intersectional theory
  • Chapter 7 has been updated throughout to reflect both the ongoing economic and work disparities based on race, but also to note the disparate impact of economic change brought by the pandemic on people of color in low wage service jobs
  • Chapter 9 includes updated information on residential and educational segregation. There is also new material on the racial achievement gap and how that is likely to be affected by school closures during the pandemic
  • Chapter 10 opens with evidence of the huge racial disparities that have been sadly, but vividly, unveiled by the COVID pandemic
  • Chapter 11 has been updated to reflect current national discussions and policing and police violence
  • “Taking Action against Racism” is included at the end of each chapter to suggest how people can make a difference through action against racial injustice
  • Updated charts, graphs, and new data are featured throughout

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Margaret L. Andersen