The Post-Racial Society is Here
Recognition, Critics and the Nation-State
Routledge – 2013 – 162 pages
In a provocative and controversial analysis, Wilbur C. Rich’s The Post-Racial Society is Here conclusively demonstrates that nation is in midst of a post-racial society. Yet many Americans are skeptical of this fundamental social transformation. The failure of recognition is related to the remnants of the previous race-based society. Recognizing the advent of a post-racial society is not to gainsay recurrent racial incidents or a denial of the socio-economic gap between the races.
Using the findings of historians and social scientists, this book outlines why the construction and deconstruction of the race-based society was such a difficult and daunting enterprise. Starting from the nation’s inception, Rich examines how the nation elites used racial language, separate schools, and the media to divide Americans. After World War II, the nation used U.S. Supreme Court rulings and the Congressional passage of Civil Rights laws to dismantle the institutional support for racial segregation and discrimination. The black Civil Rights Movement facilitated and consolidated the movement toward socio-political inclusion of African Americans. Rich alerts the reader to the unprecedented progress made and why the forces of the new global economy demand that we move faster to make society more inclusive. This thought-provocking book should interest scholars of sociology, Africana Studies, American studies and African American politics.
"This work throws light, as no other has, on the evolution of race in American political and social systems. Wilbur Rich has written a sweeping and probing account of the rise and withering away of our nation’s ‘race-based society.’ Readers will find this book both informative and provocative."
—Marion Orr, Brown University
"Wilbur Rich has constructed an important, remarkably thoughtful and innovate analysis of the post-racial society that is now upon us. His analyses are fresh and discerning, and there is every reason to believe that The Post-Racial Society is Here will quickly be acknowledged as a uniquely discerning and revelatory integration of societal forces. They have never before been addressed as an integrated whole as Rich does by so adeptly weaving together a fascinating fabric: politics and economics, race and class, language and semantics, leadership and coalitions, cultural capital and collective responsibility. His insights are both descriptive and prescriptive. Rich’s work is an especially valuable and substantive guide toward a post-racial discourse—eclipsing the stereotypes, simple solutions and common assumptions that now characterize this dialogue."
—Marc Holzer, Rutgers University
Introduction. 1. Constructing the Race-based Society: American Style 2. Race-based Discourse and Stability 3. Race-based Schools and Consequences 4. Race-based Media: What People Read, Hear and See 5. Race, Economics and the Crisis of the State 6. The Recognition of the Post-Racial Society 7. Post-Racial Society and its Critics. Conclusions
Wilbur C. Rich is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science (emeritus) at Wellesley College. His primary areas of research are urban politics, public policy and school politics. Rich has served as president of the Northeastern Political Science Association (1999-2000); president of the Urban Section, American Political Science Association (2006-2007), president of New England Political Science Association (2008-2009), and is a member of the American Society for Public Administration, Urban Affairs Association, American Educational Research Association, Eastern Educational Research Association, Eastern Communication Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientist.