The declining significance of race
William julius wilson: being black & poor in the inner city
William Julius Wilson is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University, and has been a Fellow of the American Academy since 1988. When Work Disappears: The New Urban Poor (1996), which won the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award; There Goes the Neighborhood: Racial, Ethnic, and Class Tensions in Four Chicago Neighborhoods and Their Meaning for America (with Richard Taub, 2007); and More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (with Richard Taub, 2008). (2009).
Thirty-two years ago, in 1978, I published The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions.
Given the uproar and controversy surrounding the book shortly after its release, I did not expect it to become a classic. Indeed, the book’s effect on the field of race and ethnic relations–its arguments have been debated in nearly 800 empirical research papers, not to mention non-empirical studies–confirms the concept of constructive controversy and George Bernard Shaw’s popular dictum: “It is safer to be criticized and misunderstood than to be ignored.” The aim of this essay is to consider responses to the book that purport to provide an empirical test of my thesis. In the method, I demonstrate how important observations have affected my thought since the publication of the book.
Roland fryer: racial inequality in the 21st century: the
6TDSR not only established William Julius Wilson as a key figure of institutional and intellectual power in his field of sociology and in the wider field of black studies, but it also changed the modalities of identity politics for African Americans working in the field. Indeed, rather than minimizing the value of ethnoracial forms of self-identification among academics, as one would expect from the book’s title, TDSR introduced a new type of symbolic and cultural capital into the habitus of black studies in the 1980s and 1990s: working-class identity. Working-class culture had long been fetishized in milieus dominated by middle-class intellectuals. Beginning in the early 1960s, when the influence of Marxist thinking developed a fascination with the cultural authenticity and revolutionary potential of the black urban lumpenproletariat, this was the case in both black radical intellectual circles and the white New Left student movement. 10 In reality, in the 1970s, such currents joined the ranks of black and white leftists who sought careers in higher education. TDSR, on the other hand, helped to usher in a style of identity politics that was an inversion of the 1960s class identity paradigm.
Pawan dhingra on asian americans and new conceptions of
The Declining Significance of Race caused debate when it was first published in 1980, with its controversial thesis that race was becoming less of a determining factor in the life chances of black Americans than class. In this new edition of the landmark text, William Julius Wilson provides a provocative discussion of race, class, and social policy in addition to commenting on the book’s debate. “The analytical strength of this book lies in his ability to synthesize diverse findings from historical studies, social theory, and analysis on current trends into a nuanced and original synthesis that questions commonly held theories about the causes of black disadvantage and how to fix them.” —New York Times Book Review’s Paul Starr “This book is undoubtedly one of the most erudite and sober analyses of the African-American situation in the United States. Students in race relations, as well as everyone in a position of policymaking, cannot afford to disregard this study.” —Sociology professor Ernest Manheim
Interrogating the declining significance of pushkin’s
On May 21, William Julius Wilson wrapped up his four-month internship at The John W. Kluge Center with a public lecture at the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress on how race and class affect Americans’ chances for success. Wilson revisited the points he made in his 1978 book, The Declining Significance of Race, during his residency as The Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, to see if they still applied today. He mentioned that for black people, economic status is still more important than race in deciding their life outcomes. This fundamental point now seems to extend to all racial and ethnic groups, not only blacks, Wilson added.
Shawn Miller took the picture.
On the final day of #Scholarfest, June 11, 2015, William Julius Wilson, the 2015 Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, speaks on a panel about freedom of speech.
“To claim that race is no longer a factor in American life is naive. In an interview with Carol Castiel of Voice of America, Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University, said, “This discussion about a post-racial world is silly.” “While race and racism remain important aspects of American life, we can not attribute every challenge that people of color face to them. That’s just a symptom of the larger issue.”