Racing for Innocence

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-09-05
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr
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How is it that recipients of white privilege have come to deny the role they play in reproducing racial inequality? Racing for Innocenceaddresses this question by examining the backlash against affirmative action, focusing on cultural and personal forms of memory in the late 1980s and early 1990s--just as courts, universities, and other institutions began to end affirmative action programs in the United States. The book recounts the stories of elite legal professionals at a large Bay Area corporation with a federally mandated affirmative action program, as well as the cultural narratives about race, gender, and power in the news media and Hollywood films. Though most white men denied accountability for any racism in the workplace, they recounted ways in which they resisted--whether wittingly or not-- incorporating people of color or white women into their workplace lives. Bringing fiction into the conversation, Pierce closes the volume with a short story to provide a layered approach to understanding how issues of race and gender are both internalized and expressed. Drawing on three different approaches--ethnography, narrative analysis, and fiction--to conceptualize the complexities and ambiguities of race and gender in contemporary America, this book makes an innovative pedagogical tool.

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