Systemic Racism: A Theory of Oppression

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Taylor & Francis, 2006 - Social Science - 365 pages
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In this book, Feagin develops a theory of systemic racism to interpret the highly racialized character and development of this society. Exploring the distinctive social worlds that have been created by racial oppression over nearly four centuries and what this has meant for the people of the United States, focusing his analysis on white-on-black oppression.

Drawing on the commentaries of black and white Americans in three historical eras; the slavery era, the legal segregation era, and then those of white Americans. Feagin examines how major institutions have been thoroughly pervaded by racial stereotypes, ideas, images, emotions, and practices. He theorizes that this system of racial oppression was not an accident of history, but was created intentionally by white Americans. While significant changes have occurred in this racist system over the centuries, key and fundamentally elements have been reproduced over nearly four centuries, and US institutions today imbed the racialized hierarchy created in the 17th century.

Today, as in the past, racial oppression is not just a surface-level feature of society, but rather it pervades, permeates, and interconnects all major social groups, networks, and institutions across society.

  

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I found Mr. Feagin's work fantastically refreshing and insightful. I will continue to read, and reread this work. He has provided a systematic analysis of a social system that has been long overdue. I'm sure he will be subject to criticisms of brevity and oversight, but nonetheless, his assessment has to be respected.
My critical assessment focuses on his not mentioning the the larger system of social relationships that spawned white dominance, i.e., the early colonists learned their models of social domination in the kilns of Europe among other whites. The English established noteworthy techniques of oppression by their forcible subjugation of the Irish,Scots, and Welsh. All of American whites techniques of oppression can be traced back, and through, the various European ethnic struggles since the Dark Ages, when they threw off the tutelage of the Moors.
Emery Graham
 

Contents

PREFACE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
CHAPTER 1 SYSTEMIC RACISM
THROUGH THE EYES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS
THROUGH THE EYES OF WHITE AMERICANS
THROUGHT THE EYES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS
THROUGH THE EYES OF WHITE AMERICANS
THROUGH THE EYES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS
THROUGH THE EYES OF WHITE AMERICANS
THE REALITY AND IMPACT OF SYSTEMIC RACISM
REDUCING AND ELIMINATING SYSTEMIC RACISM
NOTES
INDEX
Back cover
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Joe Feagin is Ella McFadeen professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M and is author of nearly a dozen books including several with Routledge including: Racist America, White Racism, and Black in Blue.

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