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More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States Paperback – February 28, 2011
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"Imani Perry has done it again. With an uncanny ability to merge art, law, social science, and cultural studies, she weaves a powerful analysis of race in contemporary America." -- Patricia Hill Collins,author of Another Kind of Public Education
"[Perry] offers provocative essays exploring various aspects of the societal contradictions between continuing racial inequalities and public professions of equality...Perry provides probing and original analyses of racial narratives such as the 'acting white' narrative that numerous prominent Americans, white and black, have periodically emphasized.", Contemporary Sociology
About the Author
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Paperback : 263 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0814767370
- ISBN-13 : 978-0814767375
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.66 x 9 inches
- Publisher : New York University Press; 1st Edition (February 28, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #363,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Just one example of Perry's ability to create eye-opening explanations of what is going on is her paradigm of how race fits differently between the four quadrants created by plotting high/low status with insider/outsider status.
. . . . . . .... . . . . INSIDERS . . .. . . . .. OUTSIDERS
HIGH STATUS ..professional whites. . .professional Asian Americans
LOW STATUS ...inner-city blacks . . .. "illegal Mexicans"
* So called "illegal immigrants"--Latino and Latina undocumented residents and anyone perceived to be such--get slotted in the "low status/high outsider" quadrant, making them noncitizens who are seen as a drain on society.
* Urban blacks without a college degree are pigeonholed as insiders (therefore citizens) but low status, which paints them as problem citizens who are also a drain on society.
* High-status outsiders--such as the educated Asian American--are perceived as contributors to society rather than "scabs" on society but are also judged to be members of the outgroup--"perpetual foreigners"--no matter the generations in America.
* Perry notes that, relative to nonprofessional urban blacks who are seen as citizens but problem citizens, high status outsiders have more in common with high-status insiders (such as educated whites) even though they are perceived as non-citizens (regardless of whether they are or not).
I wish every college student in America would read this before graduating.
Perry's writing is both engaging and lyrical,poetic, pointed and pertinent. She makes the case that most Americans fail to appreciate the contraints that racial inequality (often maintained by force) places on individuals, families and whole communities to the detriment of all of us. Her examples are illuminating and instructive (for example the leadership "glass ceiling" Asian Americans face or the role of police brutality on African-American community life.)
Perry's solutions are more elusive than her powerful explication of race in American society. But "More Beautiful and More Terrible" does us all a service by stating the case for the lasting and deadly consequences of racial inequality and urging rectification at the individual and community levels. This should become a must read for all those interested in the "why" of American life.