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Race and Ethnicity in America examines patterns and trends in racial and ethnic inequality over recent decades. John Iceland shows how color lines have generally softened over time in the United States but deep-seated inequalities remain—generally, blacks, American Indians, and some Hispanics fare less well than others. Among these groups, the underlying causes of the disadvantages vary, ranging from the legacy of racism, current discrimination, differences of human capital, the unfolding process of immigrant incorporation, and cultural responses to structural conditions. Throughout the book, Iceland also demonstrates that the ways Americans define racial and ethnic groups, along with changing patterns of identification in the U.S. population, influence our understanding of patterns and trends in racial and ethnic inequality.
List of Illustrations and Tables
1. Conversations about Race
2. Race and Ethnicity and Causes of Inequality
3. Black-White Inequality
4. Hispanics and Asians
5. American Indians
6. The Multiracial Population
7. International Comparisons and Policy Debates
8. Conclusion: American Color Lines
John Iceland is Head of the Department of Sociology at Penn State University.
“This unique text provides the reader with uncommon rigor and a dispassionate evaluation of both the change and stagnation concerning an area of American life that is fraught with passionately held but conflicting points of view.”—Richard Alba, author of The Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europ
“Many textbooks in this field are superficial. They ignore relevant social scientific research in order to pander to ideological fads that revel in bombastic generalizations. By contrast, Iceland’s Race and Ethnicity in America judiciously analyzes an impressive array of scholarly studies in order to present a more complete and honest appraisal. Anyone seeking to have a truly serious conversation about race in contemporary America needs to start with this book.” —Arthur Sakamoto, Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University
“John Iceland’s Race and Ethnicity in America is a wonderfully thorough and broad examination of both theories about and demographic trends in race and ethnicity in the United States, providing along the way insightful analyses of how immigration, together with shifts in the definition and meaning of concepts of race and ethnicity, has helped both to reduce and to exacerbate racial and ethnic inequalities. This impressive synthesis constitutes must-reading for both beginning students and accomplished scholars alike.”—Frank D. Bean, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Research on International Migration, University of California, Irvine