Race and Ethnicity in Society

Title: Race and Ethnicity in Society, 3rd Edition
Author: Edited by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
Genre: Nonfiction / sociology

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Goodreads | Powell’s


This book as assigned for my race & ethnic relations class. There were a few sections that we didn’t have to read for class, but after the class ended I went ahead and read them all before selling my book back. Overall this is a good reader; much better than that other one I reviewed a couple months ago. Some sections are better than others; the unit on race and the media was the section that was the weakest. It probably actually has less essays that are real stand-outs for me–fewer of the essays blew me away individually–but the whole collection is just a lot more even. It accomplishes the goal of filling the audience in on a breadth of information and gives a clear assessment of the state of race and ethnicity in society. I know I’ve said it before but Tumblr can teach anyone this stuff just as well, for free, in a really accessible way. And, though a lot of Trudy‘s essays are academic, most of Tumblr isn’t particularly so, and it is always good to have academic sources. There are lots of studies, empirical research, and statistical analyses in this book and the articles are all useful to understanding the underpinnings of the racial situation in the United States.

The following essays/articles/excerpts were my personal favorites from this volume (although almost every piece contributes something important):
“Planting the Seed: The Invention of Race” by Abby L. Ferber
“How Did Jews Become White Folks?” by Karen Brodkin
“American Racism in the Twenty-First Century” by Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer
“‘Playing Indian’: Why Native American Mascots Must End” by Charles Fruehling Springwood and C. Richard King”The First Americans: American Indians” by C. Matthew Snipp
“Impossible Subjects” by Mac M. Ngai
“Toward a New Vision” by Patricia Hill Collins
“Race and the Invisible Hand” by Deirdre A. Royster
“The Family and Community Costs of Racism” by Joe R. Feagin and Karyn D. Mckinney
“Child Welfare as a Racial Justice Issue” by Dorothy Roberts
“Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe” by Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro
“Poisoning the Planet: The Struggle for Environmental Justice” by David Naguib Pellow and Robert J. Brulle
“Race, Place, and the Environment in Post-Katrina New Orleans” by Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright
“The Mark of a Criminal Record” by Devah Pager
“Post-Racism?: Putting President Obama’s Victory in Perspective” by Thomas F. Pettigrew


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