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The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  147 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
When first published in 1980, The Declining Significance of Race immediately sparked controversy with its contentious thesis that race was becoming less of a deciding factor in the life chances of black Americans than class.
Paperback, 251 pages
Published December 15th 1980 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1978)
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Walter
Mar 20, 2009 Walter rated it it was amazing
This book started it all in a sense, as it defined the dialogue around urban poverty and pathology, especially of the African-American variety, for much of the decade of the 1980s. And with good reason, it is well documented and argued, though now a number of its conclusions have become articles of faith while others have been proven wrong by time (though less often by other scholars). The intriguing thing about the book is that it fueled the political right, who seized on half of its message th ...more
Eric
Nov 01, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing
I'm changing the rating for this to a "5", based on several conversations I've had. The debate on race and class in America today sometimes focuses on the social and cultural aspects, at the expense of the economic ones. As Wilson's book clearly demonstrates, however, the economic conditions for many African-Americans have actually worsened, even since the civil rights movement. That Wilson's book remains extremely relevant, more than 30 years after it was first published, indicates just how lit ...more
William
Jan 29, 2015 William rated it really liked it
Well-written. While I agree with Wilson in his argument that the forces of class and race intersect to create a black underclass, I push back on his idea that racism is tied to economic motives. Racism is not only tied to structural causes, but also in the psyche and culture.

Excellent book that presents a well-thought out argument.
Heather
May 14, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
Unfortunately named, but nonetheless groundbreaking.
Michelle
Sep 14, 2010 Michelle rated it it was ok
Shelves: school-books
ok book. don't think i will get an A on this paper.
Miguel Angel
Sep 03, 2012 Miguel Angel rated it really liked it
Breathtaking, power of capitalism through one of the most controversial stage of American History, Slavery.
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William Julius Wilson is one of the leading African-American sociologists in the United States, and a pioneer in the field. He received his PhD from Washington State University, and taught at both the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Chicago before moving to Harvard University. He remains there to this day, with the title of University Professor. Much of Wilson's work disc ...more
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