Sociologists on the Colorblind Question

Sociologists today are increasingly questioning the colorblind ideology and what effects it has on American culture and law. Their interest is due in no small part to the fact that colorblindness is used to support two very different social agendas that are in direct conflict. And there is no arena in which the struggle over the meaning of colorblindness is more consequential than in the nation’s courts, where the fate of affirmative action programs and other racially based initiatives hang in the balance.

online resources

More information on sociologists cited in this article:

Katherine Beckett studies the American criminal justice system and its relationship with inequality. Key Work: “Race, Drugs and Policing: Understanding Disparities in Drug Delivery Arrests,” Criminology, 44:1.

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva studies the changing nature of racism and racial stratification in the United States. Key Work: “‘They should hire the one with the best score’: White sensitivity to qualification differences in affirmative action hiring decisions,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, February 2008.

Charles A. Gallagher studies racial and social inequality and representations of race in the media and popular culture. Key Work: “Color-Blind Privilege: The Social and Political Functions of Erasing the Color Line in Post Race America,” Race, Gender and Class 10:4.

Brian Lowery examines subconscious racial attitudes and individuals’ perception of inequality. Key Work: “Framing Inequity Safely: The Motivated Denial of White Privilege,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33: 1237.

Devah Pager studies the impact of institutions on racial inequality. Key Work: “Walking the Talk? What Employers Say Versus What They Do,” American Sociological Review, 70:3.

Victoria Plaut investigates different approaches to racial diversity and the implication of these approaches for race relations. Key Work: “Cultural models of diversity: The psychology of difference and inclusion.” in Engaging cultural differences: The multicultural challenge in liberal democracies.

John D. Skrentny studies the development of public policy and law and affecting the rights of minorities in the United States. Key Work: The Minority Rights Revolution, Harvard University Press, 2002.