Colorblind Racism
Colorblind Racism
How can colorblindness – the idea that race does not matter – be racist? This illuminating book introduces the paradox of colorblind racism: how dismissing or downplaying the realities of race and racism can perpetuate inequality and violence.

Drawing on a range of theoretical approaches and real-life examples, Meghan Burke reveals colorblind racism to be an insidious presence in many areas of institutional and everyday life in the United States. She explains what is meant by colorblind racism, uncovers its role in the history of racial discrimination, and explores its effects on how we talk about and treat race today. The book also engages with recent critiques of colorblind racism to show the limitations of this framework and how a deeper, more careful study of colorblindness is needed to understand the persistence of racism and how it may be challenged.

This accessible book will be an invaluable overview of a key phenomenon for students across the social sciences, and its far-reaching insights will appeal to all interested in the social life of race and racism.
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  • December 2018
  • 200 pages
  • 140 x 214 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509524419
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509524426
  • Open eBook $18.99
  • 9781509524457
Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Definition and Core Features
  • Early Studies of the “New” Racism
  • Bonilla-Silva’s “Racism Without Racists”
  • Methods of Study
  • The Rise and Fall of “Post-racial” Politics: Race and Contemporary Politics
  • The Urgency of New Frontiers
  • Chapter 2: Colorblindness in Historical Context
  • The Evolution of US Racism
  • Study of Racism in the Social Sciences
  • Colorblindness and Growing Racial Inequality
  • Chapter 3: Colorblindness in Divergent Contexts
  • Colorblindness in Institutions
  • Colorblindness in Law and Policy
  • Colorblindness in Culture
  • Taking Stock of What We Know
  • Chapter 4: Contested Colorblindness
  • Variations Around and Across the Color Line
  • Variations in Social Contexts
  • Backstage Racism, Racial Codes, and Overt Expressions
  • New Questions about the New Racism
  • Chapter 5: New Directions
  • Colorblind Variations, Identities, and Continuums
  • The White Elephant in the Room
  • Challenging Contemporary Racism
About the Author
Meghan Burke is Associate Professor of Sociology at Illinois Wesleyan University.
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“Perfectly timed for our national post-post-racial moment, this book provides an exceptionally clear synopsis of how the ideology of colorblind racism supports racial inequality. Burke convincingly argues that we must adjust our understandings of racial ideologies as they – and the societies in which they work – adapt and change. With Colorblind Racism, Burke presents us with an updated toolkit to understand and effectively confront racism today.”
Kathleen Odell Korgen, William Paterson University

"Burke's book takes us on a tour of the origins of colorblind racism, its most distinctive components and contributions, and the new research and thinking it is producing. If you study racism in this supposed ‘post-racial’ era, you will probably want and need to get this book."
Douglas Hartmann, University of Minnesota
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