- Series: The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures (Book 4)
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; 49967th edition (September 30, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674012429
- ISBN-13: 978-0674012424
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Anatomy of Racial Inequality (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) 49967th Edition
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Coolly, clearly, and relentlessly, Glenn Loury traces the devastating effects of racial stigmatization on relations between blacks and whites in America. He uses the analytic tools of economics deftly without for a moment falling into pomp or mystification. No one has better stated the case against presuming that liberal states and free markets will of themselves dissolve unjust inequalities. (Charles Tilly, Professor of Sociology and Political Science, Columbia University)
According to Glenn Loury, the problem of racial inequality should no longer be seen as one of racial discrimination. The fundamental problem is one of racial stigma, which contributes to the second-class citizenship of African-Americans. This fact-filled, impossible-to-pigeonhole, impressively interdisciplinary book should inaugurate a new and better discussion of racial equality in America--and with any luck, new and better policies as well. (Cass Sunstein, Professor of Law, University of Chicago)
In these lectures, the distinguished economist Glenn Loury has reoriented the public discussion on black-white inequality. He has drawn on economic and sociological analyses to emphasize the historical roots essential to understanding the social stigma which underlies the more overt forms of discrimination and inhibits the development of black capabilities. His analysis implies a critique of liberal individually-based political philosophy, while at the same time recognizing its virtues. (Kenneth J. Arrow, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Stanford University)
This is social criticism at its best. Glenn Loury provides an original and highly persuasive account of how the American racial hierarchy is sustained and reproduced over time. And he then demands that we begin the deep structural reforms that will be necessary to stop its continued reproduction. (Michael Walzer, Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton)
This strikingly original book will likely emerge as one of the most important analyses in recent times of America's unyielding problem of "race". In four tight, intensely argued chapters, Loury compellingly elucidates the often tragic "rationality" of discriminatory behavior that results, less from raw racist antipathy than from the logic of self-confirming stereotypes, as well as the role of social stigma, collective dishonor and exclusion, in explaining persisting racial inequalities. In a clear, crisp style, he dissects the simplicities of conservative cultural determinism, the moral and logical limitations of "color-blind" liberal individualism, and the intellectual complacency of the conventional left who would explain all with the dated cry of attitudinal racism. Loury demonstrates once again how the best insights of economics can be integrated with those of sociology and policy studies to untangle the tortuous "cycles of cumulative causation" beneath the nation's most vexing social problem. Powerfully argued, relentlessly honest, and morally engaged, it lifts and transforms the discourse on "race" and racial justice to an entirely new level and may just be the breakthrough text we have long been waiting for. (Orlando Patterson)
This is a brilliant book. With an original conceptual framework, Glenn Loury breaks new ground in the study of racial inequality in the United States. His insightful analysis of why "racial stigma" is a more important concept than "racial discrimination" in explaining African American disadvantages and in determining the kinds of reforms needed to address them is bound to generate an important debate among scholars in the field. (William Julius Wilson)
A fresh, challenging analysis of the racial inequality endured by African-Americans. Loury first presented these arguments as the W. E. B. DuBois Lectures at Harvard in April 2000. One of his principal observations is that those who consider racial issues should replace the concept of racial discrimination with thatof "racial stigma." People are stigmatized, he says, when they are viewed by others not as individuals but as members of a race. He believes that American blacks have
patently suffered the most from stigmatization and identifies slavery as the chief cause...There's no question that this is a significant, even crucial text gravid with vital ideas. (Kirkus Reviews 2001-11-01)
In this highly persuasive analysis of race stigma in U.S. society, Loury...argues that it is not simply racial discrimination (which is "about how people are treated") that keeps African-Americans from achieving their goals, but rather the more complex reality of "racial stigma"--"which is about who, at the deepest cognitive level, they are understood to be"...[Loury] grapples eloquently and vigorously with such concrete examples as affirmative action, arguments about racial IQ differences and racial profiling...Loury's arguments are provocative and productive. (Publishers Weekly 2001-11-12)
In [The Anatomy of Racial Inequality] Loury makes a striking departure from the self-help themes of his earlier work, defending affirmative action and denouncing "colorblindedness" as a euphemism for indifference to the fate of black Americans. [The book] offers a bracing philosophical defense of his new views. Returning to an argument he first presented in his dissertation, Loury argues that blacks are no longer held back by "discrimination in contract"--discrimination in the job market--but rather by "discrimination in contact," informal and entirely legal patterns of socializing and networking that tend to exclude blacks and thereby perpetuate racial inequality. At the root of this unofficial discrimination, he says is "stigma," a subtle yet pervasive form of antiblack bias. (Adam Shatz New York Times Magazine 2002-01-20)
In this fascinating and original book, Loury is both a renowned economist and the director of the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University. In this fascinating and original book, he combines those two qualifications to examine why, a century and a half after the abolition of slavery and 50 years past the beginning of the U.S. civil rights movement, there are still such inequalities between whites and African Americans. The result is a thoughtful, interdisciplinary book that argues that it isn't racial discrimination but racial stigma ("which is about who, at the deepest level, they are understood to be") that sustains the inequality. (Globe and Mail 2002-02-16)
About the Author
Glenn C. Loury is Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Economics at Brown University. A distinguished economic theorist, Loury’s many scholarly articles include contributions to the fields of welfare economics, game theory, industrial organization, natural resource economics, and the economics of income distribution. He is also a prominent social critic and public intellectual.
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Loury closes by imploring the reader to reflect upon how we quarantine the problems of those race-marked as black as problems inherent to them from "America", yet widespread problems that affect whites are a matter of national crisis which must be met with compassion. He argues that in a just America we ask the question "What manner of people are WE who accept such degradation in our midst" as opposed to "What manner of people are THEY who languish in that way".
Much of the muddled discussion that happens between Americans when conversing about race could be made clear if we all read this book, though I realize its dense prose and analytic rigor may be prohibitive for some. Still, for the serious seeker, it's an indispensable text.