Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America” as Want to Read:
Racism Without Racists...
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Rate this book
Clear rating

Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  838 ratings  ·  57 reviews
In the third edition of his highly acclaimed book, Bonilla-Silva continues to challenge color-blind thinking. He has now extended this challenge with a new chapter on Obama s election addressing the apparent miracle of a black man elected as the 44th President of the nation despite the fact that racial progress has stagnated since the 1980s and, in some areas, even regress ...more
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (first published May 15th 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Racism Without Racists, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Racism Without Racists

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A very interesting book, and one that almost feels as though it's telling you things you already know...and of course it is. It's documenting how many whites understand their reality and justify it, so if you've spent any time awake and alive in the world, much of this will sound very familiar. But I think it's good to bring a critical academic eye to it, though at times I felt it was stating the obvious -- an unfair criticism as I'm sure to many folks, all of this is far from obvious.

He himsel
Oct 31, 2007 Seven rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
some of my best friends are
Tressie Mcphd
People are going to tell you that EBS's argument is tautological. That's not totally without merit but you have to understand that the interviews are with individuals but the argument is about culture. Culture arguments stay being tautological. LOL Hard to get around that. It's an important theoretical response to the social psych super micro analysis of racism that makes it seem as though everyone is a racist so no one is really a racist. Most importantly, EBS is a hoot to read. Third edition, ...more
I have a few qualms with this book. The biggest is that, although Bonilla-Silva claims that pathologizing the internalization of racist beliefs in moral terms is problematic, in areas of the book in which he measures subjects' responses via a standard of "purity," he does just that. Within his analysis, he also allows that the structural has an influence over the cultural but does not grant these concepts a reciprocal relationship. Otherwise quite insightful, however.
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor of Sociology from Duke University, examines the linguistic patterns of whites in an age of "color-blindness" with regard to race. Interestingly this book was written pre-Obama, but reflects much of the "colorblind racism" in public discourse since his election. For Bonilla-Silva, racism is not personal (that is prejudice) but is the result of structural and political practices that isolate whites from people of color in residence, education, and social interactio ...more
Going into this I expected a fairly breezy mass market book, probably just from the presentation (being one of the few books at my school library not shelved as an intimidating blank hardcover helps.) But I was pleasantly surprised to see that this is actually an academic sociology book that's very meticulous about its research and evidence. It's definitely readable for anyone without a lot of that background, but you should know what you're getting into first. Bonilla-Silva gives a detailed des ...more
This is a fairly academic book, which means it goes heavy on the theoretical language at times and would alienate a general audience. Nor would it be a good pick to send to white people who tend to see things through the lens of the "colorblind racism" that's the focus of the book. I'd recommend it to people involved in activist work because the bulk of the book is about analyzing a series (two series, actually) of interviews with a bunch of people about racial issues. Patterns emerged which Bon ...more
I wish I could make this mandatory reading for everyone.
There's a blurb on the back of the book that says everyone reading this title will have a light bulb moment, and I must say I agree. The author lays out his theory nicely, explaining how "color-blind" racism has replaced Jim Crow racism. He then goes on to qualify the subtle nature of color blind racism and how it can, as an ideology, affect both blacks and whites.
It only gets four stars instead of five because there is a LOT of sociology jargon, and the sample sizes are quite small. The author,
Where to begin? This book thoroughly breaks down racism as it currently exists in the U.S. The first few chapters are dedicated to clearly define the various aspects of color blind racism, what it is centered around & how it came to be in the 60's & 70's after the Civil Rights Movement. After all this a given a clear structure, he begins with the language used in our society that gives lip service to being anti-racist but actually helps perpetuate racism itself. It is clearly demonstrate ...more
I agree with every in Bonilla-Silva's book. Many will not and he writes in a highly controversial style. I guess what I am saying is that this is an important and challenging book, but I would not recommend it to a white person who has not considered his/her own racial privilege at all, yet. This is not a good first read. Yet, its central question is so crucial. If there are no racists, why is there so much systemic racism to be found in our political and social systems? This is really the mic d ...more
Written over a decade ago, based on prior (so, older) research, but at least equally relevant today (if not more so). I wasn't thrilled about the methodology of the interviews, but they added a lot as examples of how people talk when they talk about race, and as expressions of Bonilla-Silva's frames.

Very readable with intense chapter notes, adds both to pragmatic understanding and to theory.

Read this at a time when social media was blowing up with people calling one another out on the misalign
Sep 27, 2007 Tamika rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
this book is definitely a must read. bonilla-silva has an incredible analysis of racism in the u.s. and where it's heading. i definitely encourage everyone, especially white folks, to read this book and be open to examining how we approach race in our daily lives.
Another class assignment. Dense and academic. Definitely will challenge your perspective as a White person, though.
For anyone that thinks racism no longer exists in America, especially in places other than small rural towns.
Gabriel Oak
Bonilla-Silva gives a fine analysis of what he calls "color-blind racism," but I found his analyses of interview responses problematic in many cases. He claims to believe that racism is a structural problem, rather than a problem of internalized belief, but the analyses undermine that claim in many cases. Perhaps more troubling is the lack of any analysis of the structure of the interviews and the role that the interviewers played in soliciting certain responses (and his own role in interpreting ...more
Fantastic qualitative analysis of race in the United States.
this is the best book I've read in a LONG, LONG time.
This book looks at two different interview studies (one at three colleges that was conducted by the author, one of adults in Detroit that was not) centered on white people's attitudes toward black people, racism, and policies such as affirmative action. There is also one chapter that examines black people's views on the same. Bonilla-Silva's analysis is incisive and targets the underlying ideologies of color-blind racism, namely abstract liberalism ("everyone should be free to choose, therefore ...more
The book is definitely eye opening. I believe this book is attempting to redefine Racism so that most people would fall into the category of "Racist" and not even know it. I feel like he uses educated language to make his arguments sounds factual and truthful. His book is about the "racist" arguments themselves and not about the existence and frequency of racist acts. I would like to have seen more solid evidence for racism, so one could solve illegal problems when and where they occur. I believ ...more
This is a must read for anyone trying to grasp the ways in which racism is subtly expressed in US society, especially as we swim in a discourse of "post-raciality." I picked this up in order to understand the racism in effect in two institutions of higher learning in which I have worked in the last five years. It was very instructive and true to reality. The only area in which Bonilla-Silva fails in this study are in his attempts to draw parallels with cultures outside of the US (namely, the Car ...more
Bill Adkins
So, I read this for a class I took recently (Sociology course) and I was surprised at how much of the material seemed to be centered around how wrong white men were/are. The strange thing, looking at the information in an objective way, you can't help but to agree with most of what the author has to say. What was most disappointing, for me, was that the author spent so much time laying the groundwork, educating the reader on the history and current issues, then he never offered a solution. It wa ...more
He made some good points however I found his book difficult to slog through. I didn't expect light reading given it is a textbook however I found him verbose and most his prose was predominantly run-on sentences.

The typography didn't help. The font was small, the leading was tight and the paragraph indents were narrow.
منى كريم
In general, I think sociologists are annoying writers (less annoying than political scientists though). The first half of the book had an important contribution to offer regarding the rhetoric of color-blindness as depicted in the logic and speech of whites. Starting from his chapter on the color-blindness of black people, the book goes in decline with many generalizations and problematic approaches. The absence of gender in his analysis is really intolerable.
I think his claim that color-blindne
The book picked up in the last three chapters and redeemed itself. I found several of the earlier chapters to be boring. This was so not necessarily because of the subject matter but because after highlighting what the data said, I felt that the author didn't really make much of an argument in explanation of his reasoning for why he interpreted the data as he did.
Kim Staley
I've been reading a lot of books about color-blind racism lately, and the aspect of this book I most appreciated was that Bonilla-Silva laid out the four frames that are used by people--mostly white people--who are caught within the normalized perspective of color-blind racism: abstract liberalism, naturalization, cultural racism, minimization of racism. The way he describes each of the frames helped me to face the ways that I had been buying into certain aspects of them, myself.

Yes, the sample
Umkc Mswso
Just finished reading "Racism without Racists," by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. He begins the book with a quote, "There is a strange kind of enigma associated with the problem of racism. No one, or almost no one, wishes to see themselves as racist; still racism persists, real and tenacious" (Albert Memmi, Racism). His main thesis is that color-blind racism is the powerful ideology through which racism is perpetuated in the United States. He then unpacks the effects of the framework, stories, and argum ...more
A good and challenging book. The analysis is based on interviews conducted in the late 1990s, so a bit dated but I don't think the basic facts have changed much. An update using similar methodology would be interesting; it seems likely that Fox News and similar outlets have had some impact on what Bonilla-Silva refers to as the "frames of color-blindness."
mis fit
Taken for what it is, this is a really cool book. Of course it's not perfect and you can poke holes in the methods, but it does reveal a lot about how whites use color-blind frames in the way they talk about race. I especially liked his discussion of the implications of white isolation, and the way he calls out this 'white habitus'.
Calley A.
Bonilla-Silva explains the complexities of color-blind racism in a witty and colloquial way that can appeal to any reader.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What were your thoughts on this book? 1 1 Feb 19, 2015 10:20AM  
  • The Possessive Investment In Whiteness
  • American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass
  • Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s
  • The Racial Contract
  • When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America
  • Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
  • The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege
  • The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class
  • Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race
  • White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism
  • Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
  • How the Irish Became White
  • killing rage: Ending Racism
  • How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society (Updated Edition)
  • The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
  • At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America
White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era Anything But Racism: How Social Scientists Limit the Significance of Racism White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology State of White Supremacy: Racism, Governance, and the United States White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism

Share This Book