Anything but racism: How sociologists limit the significance of racism


Journal Article

The academic declining significance of race did not begin with William Julius Wilson's work in the late 1970s. In this paper, we take a broad look at the methods mainstream sociologists have used to validate Whites' racial common sense about racial matters in the post-civil rights era. Our general goal is to succinctly examine the major tactics sociologists have used to minimize the significance of racism in explaining minorities' plight. Specifically, we survey how (1) most work on racial attitudes creates a mythical view on Whites' racial attitudes, (2) the various demographic indices used to asses post-civil rights' racial matters miss how race affects minorities today, (3) perspectives on the culture of minorities are based on ethnocentric perspectives that tend to hide the centrality of racially based networks, and (4) the way most sociologists report their results distorts the significance of racial stratification. We conclude by suggesting that work on racial matters will need to be revamped if it is going to have any practical use for those at the "bottom of the well." © 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bonilla-Silva, E; Baiocchi, G

Published Date

  • January 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 117 - 131

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1090-9524

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S1090-9524(03)00004-4

Citation Source

  • Scopus