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Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  17 reviews
This book is designed to change the way we think about racial inequality. Long after the passage of civil rights laws and now the inauguration of our first black president, blacks and Latinos possess barely a nickel of wealth for every dollar that whites have. Why have we made so little progress?

Legal scholar Daria Roithmayr provocatively argues that racial inequality live
Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Published January 20th 2014 by NYU Press
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Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
I've yet to find a critical review of this book and though I don't know enough history or case law to be of any use, apparently I will have to write the first one.

This book succeeds as a narrow view on history and case law. Issues discussed in particular include: steering, redlining, and labor that contributed to the peril of Black Americans. The author is well versed in these issues and their corresponding case law, but beyond that scope, the book is effectively worthless. For its historical va
Billie Pritchett
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: race
Jim Crow laws, which enforced "separate but equal" policies for African Americans, have been gone since 1965, and since that time the American public has become less racist. But racism still persists, especially in forms of institutional racism.

Institutional racism is sometimes underestimated. But notice the simple ways we can see it at work. It turns out, for example, that when job candidates with typically white names added better credentials to their resumes that they're callback rate improve
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This book did a nice job explaining why our historical context has created enduring patterns of systemic racism that are alive and well today. A nice primer!
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
The lock-in theory is a more compelling variant on the theories of persistent racism that you hear in the mainstream media, but ultimately it's unpersuasive. The main sins were of omission: failure to explain the rise in blacks from the 1860s to the 1940s (pre-civil rights, and during a period in US history with far more racism than exists today), and failure to account for non-black minority groups that were discriminated against yet have achieved remarkable success (of which there are numerous ...more
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I wish I had bought this book, because I think I could do a better job of reviewing it. I’d have loads of sections highlighted, and could go back to my favorite parts. Alas, I checked this out of the library and have to return it tomorrow, so here is my best go at explaining this.

The author’s central thesis is that white people in the US continue to have advantages today not because of over racism (although that may – and obviously does – still play a part), but because of what happened long in
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Using concepts from economics such as cartel and lock-in, Roithmayr shows on policies and practices lock-in white supremacy in the law, institutions, and government practice. This is perhaps the clearest explanation I have come across that explains how institutional racism comes to be. He explains the concept and then shows in several spheres such as wealth, education, housing and criminal justice the was the system continues to reproduce racism long after culture and attitudes have changed. The ...more
Kim Nemeth
I struggled with this book. Which is, I suppose, what Roithmayr intended. Make one uncomfortable enough to think about things that just seem to exist.

Roithmayr uses economic theory to show how history has locked in white advantage. Using examples of cartels, homeowner's associations and college applications have formed a self reinforcing feedback loop to lock in white advantage and support racial inequality. While her arguments sound convincing I found them to be very narrow and not substantiate
Melissa Benbow
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very intriguing book that redefines structural racism in terms of 'white' cartels' anti competitive practices during Jim Crow and the lock-in theory. She explains how practices like redlining, housing discrimination, college application practices, and disenfranchisement have created the conditions we have today. In doing so, she explains how race and class are so intrinsically linked. I do wish she spent more time discussing possible solutions (she does so for the last chapter). After reading, m ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I resonate with the implicit questions that drive Roithmayr's book. And I found her examples and case studies insightful and troubling. However, as Tim Collins' Goodreads review of this book points out, Roithmayr's conclusions may not be as tightly connected to data or as effective at addressing inequality concerns as she may wish. Still, this book is an important contribution to race and class issues.
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice quick overview of the racial discrimination/inequality feed-back loops in America, focusing on how initial racism has become locked in even when in the absence of intentional discrimination. Near the end the author also provides ideas on how to address these issues and the viability of each plan.
Daniel D
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it
The book preaches to the choir and does not test its hypotheses effectively. Although, corroborative evidence of the author's thesis is present, the book does not evaluate contrary evidence that might upend the thesis (Thesis = inequalities between blacks and whites are caused by historical discrimination that has been "locked in" through everyday Channels like referral networks).
Aug 17, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I felt this was a compelling explanation of how advantage gets "locked in", though I didn't necessarily feel the author "proved" it with some of the data and mathematical models she described - more that her explanation was clear and convincing. Ultimately - as always when this issue comes up! - I felt the solutions were lacking.
Draws on economic theory to explain the persistence of white supremacy even in the absence of what most whites would recognize as intentional racism. Probably very useful for teaching at the undergraduate level. Not so much in terms of research.
Edward ott
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant explanation on how pass racism continued to help whites today and hinder minorities. Also reminds us that the racist laws of the past are not in our ancient past
Victoria Gaile
Jun 21, 2015 marked it as maybe
Interesting discussion of the book and its use in formal & informal education:
Lucy Frick
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
easy read, clearly written (no abstruse theory), excellent explanation of historical legacy and white privilege.
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Jordan Schmolka
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Edward W. Rogosky
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