Making Sense of Race, Class, and Gender: Commonsense, Power, and Privilege in the U.S.

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Racism is still with us, and an accurate means for measuring its hold on our society is still vital Where does the government derive the power to compel her to make a self-definitional choice that is completely false to her? Barnette and more recently in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale and Hurley v. Of Boston. Compelling a person to identify with a race in a way that is false to conscience or belief is far more of a speech imposition than asking the organizers of the St.

When government draws lines among citizens that are not rooted in empirical knowledge and reason but superstition and fear, such policies fail minimal Equal Protection rational basis scrutiny. Thus, the Court invalidated such irrational anti-gay legislation in Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas , striking down laws that targeted groups of citizens for adverse treatment without any reasoned basis. They approach the issue not from the standpoint of the individual who wants to escape the single-race census boxes but from the standpoint of large masses of people who have suffered under racial dogma and oppression in American history.

Those who were — and are — victims of racism in the real world and their descendants should not be abandoned now simply because we discovered that the ideology that oppressed them was based on superstition.

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Rather than search for new solutions to old problems, these leaders still prefer to compel people to adhere to a scientifically debunked racial ideology. But the original proponents of the change, many of them people in interracial marriages and their children and grandchildren, suddenly saw themselves being linked rhetorically to Justices Scalia and Thomas and others who would close their eyes and turn their backs to the racial injuries permeating American history.

They were now being accused of heresy from a faith that they thought they embodied in their personal lives. Similarly, the civil rights leadership was suddenly thrown on the defensive for perpetuating the pseudoscientific, irrational and essentialist claims about race that the Civil Rights movement has always challenged, with the suggestion often thrown in that this unenlightened response reflected their determination to maintain their own power. Assume that race does not exist as a biological or scientific fact.

By what right then does the government continue to propound race categories on the census? Thus, the government would need to demonstrate, first, that it has a compelling interest in the project of racial categorization and classification on the census and, second, that these racial means are necessary to vindicate its interest.


Race is needed to identify and then rectify the damage visited on the victims of race. About this point, they surely must be right. Discrimination, disenfranchisement and educational apartheid are such powerful forces in our history that undoing them constitutes a social interest of the highest order. And if we really do need to in some cases, are there no less restrictive alternatives that will get the job done?

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Nor do these arguments ever explore whether, in cases where racial census data is in fact used, other alternatives are available that may be equally or even more effective for fighting racism. Davis 37 , it is well-established that litigants alleging Equal Protection violations must demonstrate that an allegedly discriminatory government policy was motivated by a racially discriminatory purpose.

Thus, it is never enough for a constitutional claim simply to show that there is a racially discriminatory impact on the population. As established in cases like Arlington Heights and McCleskey v. Kemp , plaintiffs must show that it was the purpose behind an enactment or policy to discriminate.


The diagnosis also highlights which misunderstandings and strategic political processes about race must be clarified and addressed during the training of business students and their formation as leaders. Prasad et al. She affirms that, in Brazilian history, the racial minorities were confined to the favelas, where the hygiene and health conditions are precarious and public polices are not there to protect, but to repress and frighten, benefiting the system with the maintenance of these conditions by the conservation of cheap workforce to be used. The conservation of races. The statistics indicate that a troubled life correlates much more closely with no-father-at-home than to race.

This is because the individual need not refer to any general racial demographics in making out his or her complaint but simply allege, in order to establish a prima facie case, that he or she is a member of a protected group who was qualified for the job or promotion but was passed over At that point, the burden shifts to the employer to articulate a status-neutral explanation for its employment action, and the contest of reasons begins.

Census race data is not used. Thus, white employers who fire a white employee because they think he is black are still guilty of practicing race discrimination.

Making Sense of Race, Class, and Gender: Commonsense, Power, and Privilege in the United States

But some are disparate impact claims. Unable to show evidence of intentional discrimination, plaintiffs bringing these claims try to mobilize statistical evidence to demonstrate that seemingly neutral employment policies have racially discriminatory effects. In Griggs v. Duke Power Co. It would have been far better to treat the conscious reproduction of racially loaded seniority systems as a form of intentional , rather than accidental, discrimination since employers could legitimately be charged with knowledge of the likely consequences of their actions.

Given that it was most effective at confronting the perpetuation of practices from the days of segregation, the disparate impact theory has had decreasing appeal and utility over time. Yet, even if we are to maintain this category, is census data necessary for a plaintiff to make such an initial prima facie showing of a racially discriminatory effect of an employment policy?

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It is very unlikely. Plaintiffs and defendants need to conduct their own fine-tuned research relating to the specific institutions and markets relevant in the case. The census is a broad brush that might help but is hardly sufficient. An African-American or Hispanic-American who is actually being denied the right to vote by a jurisdiction need only allege under Section 2 that he or she is a member of a minority group being disenfranchised by a state policy or practice for that reason.

Census data never comes into play. The extent to which members of a protected class have been elected to office in the State or political subdivision is one circumstance which may be considered This mechanism implicates the use of racial data when it comes to the task of redrawing congressional and state legislative district lines. The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously.

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About this product Product Information Using arresting case studies of how ordinary people understand the concepts of race, class, and gender, Celine-Marie Pascale shows that the peculiarity of commonsense is that it imposes obviousness-that which we cannot fail to recognize. As a result, how we negotiate the challenges of inequality in the twenty-first century may depend less on what people consciously think about "difference" and more on what we inadvertently assume.

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Through an analysis of commonsense knowledge, Pascale expertly provides new insights into familiar topics. In addition, by analyzing local practices in the context of established cultural discourses, Pascale shows how the weight of history bears on the present moment, both enabling and constraining possibilities. Pascale tests the boundaries of sociological knowledge and offers new avenues for conceptualizing social change. In , Making Sense of Race, Class and Gender was the recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award, of the American Sociological Association Section on Race, Gender, and Class, for "distinguished and significant contribution to the development of the integrative field of race, gender, and class.

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