Race and Ethnic Relations in the First Person

Race and Ethnic Relations in the First Person

Race and Ethnic Relations in the First Person

Race and Ethnic Relations in the First Person

Synopsis

This accessible, challenging discussion of race relations looks at how institutions shape individual experience and asks how we can prevent a violent splintering of American society along racial lines in the 21st century. Arguing that the best way to understand race relations is through the personal accounts of individuals as they go through the life cycle, this highly readable book uses real life stories to illuminate how families, peer groups, and workplaces influence views about other racial and ethnic groups. The authors hope to inspire readers to intervene and counteract negative perceptions of racial difference through their open, frank discussion of the racial divide.

Excerpt

The verdict in the O. J. Simpson criminal case brought to the fore the deep racial divide that still plagues America. The trial of the century tested the very fabric of American society. Controversial issues regarding sex, race, White wife and Black husband, White police and Black suspect, fame, justice, and fairness all surfaced in the trial. The case rekindled the perennial race problem that has haunted the United States since the country's foundation. Whites were shocked and angry at the verdict while Blacks rejoiced that one of their members had escaped what they regarded as the unfair judicial system in the country.

This different reaction of the two races to the verdict baffles outside observers: How is it that a wealthy country like the United States, which can send someone to the moon and back to earth, is unable to solve its racial problems? How is it possible for people who reside in the same country to have such differing views about the justice system? How does one explain the different reactions to the verdict by Blacks and Whites? Race and Ethnic Relations in the First Person addresses these questions through the stories of individuals from different socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Through their stories, we are able to discern why the reactions of Blacks and Whites to the O. J. Simpson verdict were so different. The stories also provide us with clues for addressing the fears and obstacles that keep the various races and ethnic groups apart.

Race relations has, since at least the 1920s, been studied by sociologists such as Robert Park, Everett Hughes, and Louis Wirth. Race and Ethnic Relations in the First Person contributes to this body of knowledge through the candid personal accounts of the life stories of people from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. By so doing, the book demonstrates the impact that the socializing agents of family, educational institutions, and the workplace have on the worldview of people.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.