The state of race relations research is probably best described by W. Curtis Banks, a psychologist. "I think we have worn out simple notions of attitudes, stereotypes, and scapegoating long ago," he states, "in attempting to both explain and predict interracial behavior." Further, he talks about "the exhaustion of old approaches and the absence of provocative new ones."
The focus on race, power, and social change in this book is not so much a new approach as it is a new emphasis. The attitudes and beliefs of people are influenced greatly by the groups and institutions in which they participate. The successful containment of racial prejudice and discrimination in society will result not only from change in the biased attitudes of individuals but also from change in the racist regulations of institutions. This book emphasizes the institutional source and support of racism and prejudice, and suggests ways of modifying social systems. Particular attention is called to the need to use a flexible methodology that can change in accordance with the requirements of each situation.
The authors also deal with definitions of the problem of race relations in the 1970s in the United States and with strategies for institutional change. Seven chapters are original and are published for the first time in this collection. They are chapters by: Jewelle Taylor Gibbs; David Owens; Curtis Banks, Janet Hubbard, and Joseph