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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