Book Review: The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality without Racism

51pmw4BPGfL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The weather is getting cooler and it’s the perfect time to cozy up with a good book.

Nancy DiTomaso : The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality without Racism. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2013. 432 pp. $42.50, paper.

You can read Standford University Professor Brian Lowery’s review from Administrative Science Quarterly‘s OnlineFirst section:

When I was in college, an organization of primarily young white men would periodically hold a bake sale. The point of these sales wasn’t to raise funds but to call attention to what the group saw as discrimination against whites on college campuses. The prices for their baked goods were meant to reflect this racial inequality. While I don’t remember the exact prices, here is an ASQ_v59n3_Sept2014_cover.inddapproximation: whites = $1.00, Asians = $.50, blacks and Latinos = free. I doubt they sold many cookies, but they did express their belief that whites were unfairly treated on college campuses. While most of their dismay was directed toward affirmative action policies, in my short conversations with members of this group, their concerns were not limited to affirmative action. They thought ethnic minorities were getting special treatment while whites were getting the short end of the stick. By just about any objective measure, whites were better off than most ethnic minorities. But not only did these racial inequalities not cause these particular whites moral angst, they also felt that whites were aggrieved.

DiTomaso’s book suggests that the lack of concern about ethnic minorities’ disadvantages, which allows for events like the bake sale, is commonplace. Whites are surprisingly unconcerned about racial inequality, at least when understood as minority disadvantage. She suggests that whites are not bothered by racial inequality because they do not believe they contribute to its existence. The vast majority of whites believe that racism is wrong—that people shouldn’t be mistreated simply because of their ethnic backgrounds. Unless they see themselves as racist, this belief allows whites to see themselves as blameless. DiTomaso does not share this perspective. She proposes that even if no whites are racist, it would be an error to conclude that whites do not contribute to racial inequality.

Click here to read the rest of the review from Administrative Science Quarterly. Like what you read? Sign up from e-alerts for all the latest news and research from Administrative Science Quarterly!

This entry was posted in Book Review, Crisis Management, Cultural Research, Environmental and Social Issues, Ethics, Relationships, Research and Publishing, Social Impact, Social Issues and tagged , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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