Race Experts: How Racial Etiquette, Sensitivity Training, and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights Revolution

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 - Political Science - 267 pages
Race Experts uncovers the hidden trajectory and terms of our thinking about race relations since the 1960s. Since segregation's dismantling, intense anxiety has surrounded interracial encounters, and a movement has arisen to engineer social relations through the specification of elaborate codes of conduct. Diversity training in business, multicultural education in schools, and cross-cultural psychotherapy have created a world of prescriptions. Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn carefully analyzes the teachings of these self-appointed "experts" and offers a bold and searching analysis of the origins of their ideas in the human potential movement and the radical milieu of the 1960s. Casting race primarily as an issue of etiquette or therapy, rather than of justice or equality, has had dire consequences for American life, diverting attention from the deeper problems of poverty, violence, and continued inequality and discrimination. In this sobering analysis, Race Experts illuminates how far away we are from the issues that deserve our attention.
 

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RACE EXPERTS: How Racial Etiquette, Sensitivity Training, and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights Revolution

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Lasch-Quinn (History/Syracuse Univ.) contends that the civil-rights movement has been hurt by its advocacy of diversity training, multicultural education, and other therapeutic programs that have ... Read full review

Contents

The New Racial Etiquette The Ritual of Racial Reprimand
1
Radical Chic and the Rise of a Politics of Therapy
40
The Encounter Group A New Interracial Mode for Integration
63
Racial Identity Theory Groundwork for a Renewal of Suspicion
110
Revolt against Repression New Age Therapy from the Fringe to the Mainstream
134
A World of Endless Slights Diversity Training and Its Illogical Consequences
161
In Perpetual Recovery The Problem with Multicultural Education for SelfEsteem
194
Epilogue
229
Notes
233
Credits
255
Index
257
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About the author (2001)

Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn is the author of Black Neighbors (winner of the Berkshire Prize), professor of history at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and a frequent contributor to The New Republic.

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