• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This volume in the Sage Series on Race and Ethnic Relations seeks to explain the phenomenon of racism throughout history by drawing on and integrating the massive literature on racism coming out of the economic, political, and cultural realms. In so doing, author Carter A. Wilson tackles four major goals: first, to help resolve the major debates surrounding racism; second, to demystify racism; third, to provide understanding of how racism has been sustained in various historical eras; and finally, to discuss how racism takes on different forms in various stages of history. This eye-opening volume sheds new light on racism and will be vital to students and professionals in race and ethnic studies, sociology, political science, economics, history, American studies and anthropology.

Theoretical Reflections
Theoretical reflections

In this chapter, we examine select theories of race relations and racial oppression. Our discussion of the literature is not exhaustive. It focuses on a few authors and trends for the purposes of locating our model in the broader literature and of addressing some of the controversial issues in the literature. We briefly examine the assimilationist, pluralist, market, class conflict, Marxist, postmodernist, and Cress Welsing models.

Assimilationist and Pluralist Theories

Assimilationist and pluralist theories focus on patterns of interaction among racial and ethnic groups. Assimilationists see racial and ethnic differences disappearing and racial conflicts evolving into patterns of racial integration. As pluralists see it, racial and ethnic differences persist, but conflicts are resolved in the political arena.

Assimilationists identify stages or cycles of interracial conflict, ...

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