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Racism Without Racists...
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
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Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,623 Ratings  ·  92 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)
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Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discourse, race
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
some of my best friends are
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“One reason why, in general terms, whites and people of color cannot agree on racial matters is because they conceive terms such as ‘racism’ very differently,” writes Eduardo Bonilla-Silva writes in the excellent first chapter of his excellent book Racism without Racists. He continues, “Whereas for most whites racism is prejudice, for most people of color racism is systemic or institutionalized.” This is really the crux of his argument: in the post-Jim Crow racial order, prejudice is frowned upo ...more
Tressie Mcphd
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I am p unfamiliar with sociological methods and such so I don't know if I can rate this on the Robustness of his Research but I do think this is a pretty comprehensive survey analysis of Word Tricks White People Use ("I don't see color!")
I also appreciate that he got Straight To The Point about eg it was almost like the New Jim Crow but more roaringly upset (NJC was like sad-can-you-believe-this and Bonilla-Silva is like SAD CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS!!)

I also think an analogous and slightly differen
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could make this mandatory reading for everyone.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic
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.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
sad to say i thought this book relied entirely too much on other people's work/writing... not that there is anything wrong with extensive footnotes/bibliographical notes, i found the constant referencing of other work to be incredibly distracting and dissonant... in a much longer tome this level of quoting, etc. would be fine, but this book rolls in at under 400 pages, and that just didn't work for me... maybe i expected more originality, or maybe i need the same facts told in ways that ar
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: race
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
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Racism without Racists is a sociological study of why exactly it is that despite a sizeable portion of white people in America claiming that race doesn't even enter their thinking, or that they "don't see color," or that racism is in the past and things are better now, or some combination or variant of those arguments, any study of culture will reveal that there is still a huge gap between white and black people on household wealth, educational attainment, criminal conviction rate, rate of gradu ...more
Ella McCrystle
Moving old notes from book discussions here. Originally posted elsewhere on September 19, 2013

This book, along with a few other recent ones on the subject, have really touched the depths of the systemic and personal racial bias and inequality in today's America. You don't have to look far these days to witness a "racial incident." I won't name them all here, but suffice it to say that the research and information in this book is hard to refute if you are even slightly open to the idea that one c
Good for information but not for a general audience. In light of recent events this seemed like a good recommendation from the media. Author Bonilla-Silva takes the reader though how racism has changed in the post-Civil Rights era and how "color blindness" is actually not that at all. From the language to people use to the beliefs they hold he examines how racism still exists and how it continues to be perpetuated despite the perhaps optimistic views that these view will somehow fade away or die ...more
Sep 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classism, anti-racism
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
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
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,
Mona Kareem
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
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to discuss this book! Who else wants to read it?
Jul 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic qualitative analysis of race in the United States.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another class assignment. Dense and academic. Definitely will challenge your perspective as a White person, though.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone that thinks racism no longer exists in America, especially in places other than small rural towns.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the best book I've read in a LONG, LONG time.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
It is difficult to describe my thoughts on this book. Perhaps the most suitable descriptor, ironically, would be that it is "problematic." The book's premise is an interesting one; that racism is still prevalent, having evolved beyond, for the most part, the overt Jim Crow-style racism and into a new color-blind racism that makes no reference to race while maintaining many injustices and inequalities, and how that color-blind avoidance of discussing race can exacerbate this. This thesis is not w ...more
Liz Murray
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An essential read for educators and anyone in today's society seeking analysis of racial injustice in the US. This is a classic and has been updated on numerous occasions. Bonilla-Silva uses interviews with college students and a group of older people (don't have book on hand for specifics) and analyzes how they talk, or don't talk, about race and racism. Language is one of the most powerful conduits supporting racism and racist thoughts and while the words and phrases may have changed, underlyi ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every "not racist" person needs to read this book so we can all once and for all get rid of the colorblind myth. The collection of interviews on race was so well done and it was so disheartening to hear that so many people harbor such lazy thinking on race. The one thing that rubbed me the wrong way was his analysis of Obama. I get the criticism, but I think part of the left's disappointment with Obama is that they thought he was someone he wasn't. I wish we could have taken him at his word. He ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although very academic in tone, I really enjoyed this book. Bonilla-Silva explores the semantic gymnastics of color-blind racism with studies and actual interviews with whites. It's on its fifth edition, which is pretty telling, and is updated to include analyses of the Obama era and our current Trump era. I especially enjoyed the final two chapters, as Bonilla-Silva offers more of his own commentary. The other chapters are much more objective. I hope that he intersperses more of his opinions af ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bonilla-Silva really puts things into a different perspective when elaborating on institutional racism. This book single-handedly changed the way I have come to perceive race and its manifestation in America. The argument he constructs is unquestionably logical and well-respected even among the most staunch oppositionists. Not only has he far-bypassed the sociological standard of bringing a social issue to the fore, his conclusion does a remarkable job in exciting the social activists that lie b ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books to date. It’s easy to read and well-written, but also informational. Essentially, this is the book I would suggest to someone who really needed to learn about the history and effects of racism, but whom I want to actually listen. It has similar themes to The New Jim Crow, but is written in a different style.
Academic approach; the data is somewhat dated (1990s) with additional sections for Obama's administration. But interesting interviews with white people exploring their colorblind reactions to controversial race issues.
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What were your thoughts on this book? 1 5 Feb 19, 2015 10:20AM  
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Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is a professor of sociology at Duke University.

He is trained in class analysis, political sociology, and the sociology of development (globalization). However, his work in the last 20 years has been in the area of race. He has published on racial theory, race and methodology, color-blind racism, the idea that race stratification in the USA is becoming Latin America-like, rac
More about Eduardo Bonilla-Silva...

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“Whereas for most whites racism is prejudice, for most people of color racism is systemic or institutionalized.” 1 likes
“If race disappears as a category of official division, as it has in most of the world, this will facilitate the emergence of a plural racial order where the groups exist in practice but are not official recognized - and anyone trying to address racial division is likely to be chided for racializing the population.” 0 likes
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