Covert Racism

Theories, Institutions, and Experiences


Covert racism, subtle in application, often appears hidden by norms of association, affiliation, group membership and/or identity. As such, covert racism is often excused or confused with mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion, ritual and ceremony, acceptance and rejection. Covert racism operates as a boundary keeping mechanism whose primary purpose is to maintain social distance between racial majorities and racial minorities. Such boundary mechanisms work best when they are assumed natural, legitimate, and normal. These boundary mechanisms are typically taught subconsciously or even unconsciously within social institutions and groups. This volume deals with the theories, institutions and experiences associated with covert racism.
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Biographical Note

Rodney D. Coates, Ph.D. (1987) in Sociology, University of Chicago, is Professor of Sociology at Miami University. He has published extensively in the areas of critical race and ethnic relations including his edited text Race and Ethnic Relations: Across Time, Space and Discipline (Brill 2004).

Review Quote

This elaborate volume which pulls together the work of leading scholars examining racial inequality explicates the insidious depth and breadth of racism in contemporary U.S. (and global) social structure. […] I thought about the usefulness of this book for my own scholarship and teaching. The different levels of analysis (…) as well as the varied methodologies (…) would appeal to young students. Additionally, the book’s breadth of substantive information about race and racism, […] provides a wealth of important resources for scholars of race at all levels from student to professor. Wendy Leo Moore, Contemporary Sociology 42, 4 "This is a useful one-stop guide devoted to explaining how, to borrow from Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, "racism without racists" works. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries." Choice, February 2012

Table of contents

Covert Racism – An Introduction, Rodney D. Coates I. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON COVERT RACISM The Impact of Racial and Nonracial Structural Forces on Poor Urban Blacks, William Julius Wilson The New Racism: The Racial Regime of Post-Civil Rights America, David Dietrich and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Race Versus Racism as Cause, Tukufu Zuberi Color Blind White Dominance, Ian Haney Lopez When Good People Do Bad Things: The Nature of Contemporary Racism, John F. Dovidio and Samuel L. Gaertner Covert Racism: Theory, Types and Examples, Rodney D. Coates II. COVERT RACISM AND INSTITUTIONS Protecting White Power in a Corporate Hierarchy, Sharon M. Collins and Georgiann Davis If You’re White, You’re All Right: The Reproduction of Racial Hierarchies in Bollywood Film, Angie Beeman and Anjana Narayan Race, Culture, and the Pursuit of Employment, Monique Morris and Sirithon Thanasombat Challenging Our Textbooks and our Teachings: Examining the Reproduction of Racism in the Sociology Classroom, Sarah Chivers and Jolene D. Smyth Challenging Racial Battle Fatigue on Historically White Campuses: A Critical Race Examination of Race-Related Stress, William A. Smith, Tara J. Yosso, Daniel G. Solórzano Covert Racism in the U.S. and Globally, Rodney D. Coates III: COVERT RACISM AND THE INDIVIDUAL The Ineffable Strangeness of Race, Patricia J. Williams The Social Situation of the Black Executive, Elijah Anderson Now You Don’t See It, Now You Don’t: White Lives as Covert Racism, David L. Brunsma Aren’t They All Dead? Passive Racism Against Native Americans, Claudia Fox Tree Silent Racism, Barbara Trepagnier One Step From Suicide, Leslie Houts Picca, Joe R. Feagin, and Tracy L. Johns Lifestyles of the Rich and Racist, Corey Dolgon Journey to Awareness: Recognizing the Invisibility of Race Issues, Janet Morrison IV: EPILOGUE Epilogue: Post-Racial Myths: Disrupting Covert Racism and the Racial Matrix, Rodney D. Coates List of Contributors Index


All those interested in race and ethnic relations, the history of race in America, the rearticulation of race, and the means of understanding how to transform the racial matrix.