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2016-2017 PLACE Theme: Race and Ethnicity: Racism Without Racists

Resource Guide for PLACE

About the Book

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. This provocative book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society.

The fourth edition adds a chapter on what Bonilla-Silva calls "the new racism," which provides the essential foundation to explore issues of race and ethnicity in more depth. This edition also updates Bonilla-Silva’s assessment of race in America after President Barack Obama’s re-election. Obama’s presidency, Bonilla-Silva argues, does not represent a sea change in race relations, but rather embodies disturbing racial trends of the past.

 Racism without Racists will continue to challenge readers and stimulate discussion about the state of race in America today.

Editorial Reviews

As the 'color-blind,' 'post-racial' consensus hardens, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva remains one of the few voices courageous enough to tell the unpalatable truth: that a black man in the White House does not make the United States any less a house divided. Updated to include a discussion of the significance of Obama’s first term and 2012 reelection, this fourth edition of Bonilla-Silva’s now-classic Racism without Racists documents in remorseless (and often hilarious) detail the white evasions that enable white denial of the reality of ongoing illicit structural racial advantage. (Charles W. Mills, Professor, CUNY Graduate Center)

We expect racists to be closely associated with gun racks in pickups, shirts cut off at the shoulder, and scowls, but in fact many whites in contemporary society have learned to mask their prejudice by responding to racially-charged questions and situations in veiled language. Bonilla-Silva updates this fourth edition with more examples and further exploration of what passes as normal. He examines what he calls 'the strange enigma of race in contemporary America,' and looks at the reasons why several generations of racists have prospered. He looks into the racial structure in the United States since the 1960s, central frames of color-blind racism, how people make disparaging remarks about race without sounding racist, the subtleties of racial stories, the significance of white segregation, white racial progressiveness, black color-blindness, the future of racial stratification, the enchantment of color blindness since President Obama's election, and exposes the irrevocable certainty of white color-blindness. (Book News, Inc.)

Each edition of Bonilla-Silva's now classic Racism without Racists has brought with it updates that underline its contemporary relevance. This fourth edition is no different: it takes a sharply critical look at Obama's reelection, and is updated wherever possible with new statistics. However, what makes this edition especially useful is an additional chapter, 'The New Racism: The U.S. Racial Structure since the 1960s.' The preface notes that this is because Racism without Racists sometimes functions as the only book on race in many college classrooms. In this new chapter, Bonilla-Silva (Texas A&M) traces the legacy of the US past into the present, exploring institutions that have helped perpetuate racial inequality and segregation in housing, education, political life, the prison system, and other areas. The author also provides a survey of various forms of contemporary economic inequality, social segmentation, and control. While no single book is likely to include enough relevant material about race, Bonilla-Silva's attempt comes very close. Displaying the author's trademark sense of humor and unflinching critique of the ideology and discourse that continue to fuel racial inequality today, this edition will be satisfying to newcomers as well to those who have already used this book for years. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. (CHOICE)

Racism without Racists is a provocative challenge to color-blind thinking in America. The fourth edition of Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed book adds a chapter on what he calls "the new racism" to provide students with the essential foundation to explore race in more depth. This edition also updates Bonilla-Silva’s assessment on race in America after President Barack Obama’s re-election.

  Racism without Racists will make many readers uncomfortable, as it should. With care and a wicked sense of humor, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva explores the kind of subtle, everyday racism that some of 'our best friends' unconsciously perpetuate. (Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination)

In the new chapter Bonilla-Silva provides a stinging critique of Obama and the very notion that the election of a black man has a positive impact on the state of racial inequality in America. This is a powerful chapter for a very powerful book. (Hayward Derrick Horton, SUNY - Albany)



The American Sociological Association’s  2011 recipient of the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award.   

About the Author

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology, earned his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Bonilla-Silva held posts at the University of Michigan and at Texas A&M University before joining the faculty of Duke's Department of Sociology in 2006. His research areas include racial stratification, social theory, critical race methods, political sociology, and Latin American and the Caribbean, and Epistemology. One of Dr. Bonilla-Silva's current projects is titled "We are All Americans! The Latin Americanization of Race Relations in the USA," and explores the changing dynamics of racial stratification in the United States.

 Bonilla-Silva lectures on racial and ethnic matters all over the United States and increasingly internationally. His most recent presentations have been on the connections between the discourses of citizenship, democracy, and human rights; the Latin Americanization of racial stratification in the United States; and the meaning and significance of the political ascendancy of Barack Obama. This year, he will also lecture on his work on racial grammar as well as the diversity challenge for historically White colleges and universities.

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Photo