Prejudice, Politics, and the American Dilemma

Front Cover
Stanford University Press, 1993 - Social Science - 339 pages
It has been half a century since the publication of An American Dilemma, Gunnar Myrdal's seminal work on race in America. The cleavage between the politics of race a half century ago and now is that race has become a greater dilemma than ever before. The choice is no longer between right and wrong, between the values of the American creed and a variety of irrational and self-serving beliefs. The choice now must be made among competing values, including compassion, the freedom to achieve, tolerance, the right to be judged on one's individual merits, the reach of the state, and the autonomy of the family - in a word, between the very values that have made up the American creed. This book is an attempt to contribute to a fresh understanding of prejudice, politics, and the American dilemma. It presents new lines of questions by deliberately interweaving two perspectives, the first taking up issues of race focusing on whites, the second on blacks. But viewed from either perspective, the objective is to view anew the issues of race as they are now, not as they were a generation or so ago. The contributors are drawn from several disciplines in the social sciences, and include sociologists, psychometricians, social and personality psychologists, demographers, and political scientists of several persuasions. The range of subjects covered in the book is similarly wide, including the use of group stereotypes by college students, the behavioral assessment of tolerance, cohort trends in stereotypes of blacks, the use by blacks of stereotypes, explanations of inequality, the constraints on the reactions of blacks to middle-class American values, and the bases of American thinking about racialpolicies.
 

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Contents

An Introduction
1
Personal Attributes of People Described by Others
60
A BlackWhite Comparison
104
Dimensions of Whites Beliefs About the BlackWhite
127
Middleclass Blacks and the Ambiguities of Success
148
The Inevitability of Oppression and the Dynamics
173
Issue Pluralism
212
Assessing the Presidential Candidacies of Jesse Jackson
256
Bibliography
307
Index
333
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