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After Civil Rights:
Racial Realism in the New American Workplace
John D. Skrentny

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"[An] important and thought-provoking book."--Anthony S. Chen, Social Service Review

"Skrentny has authored a fascinating book that is filled with law, information about how employers operate notwithstanding the law, and empirical evidence that supports and, at times, contradicts some employers' beliefs about the usefulness of employing race as a qualifier for jobs. This empirical research should be useful to lawyers who litigate these cases using Title VII. And Skrentny comes up with a cross-disciplinary approach to solving problems. Not all of his solutions are politically or constitutionally possible, but the legislative solutions he suggests are interesting and innovative, and, perhaps in the future, may be effective."--Ann C. McGinley, Tulsa Law Review

"After Civil Rights not only contributes valuably to our understanding of how race figures into employment practices at the contemporary American workplace, it also succeeds in making the case for renewing the debate about where law and public policy should go from here."--Anthony S. Chen, Social Service Review

"Sociologist John D. Skrentny has written an important and original book examining the fundamental role played by race in hiring and other personnel decisions in the modern American workplace. The originality of his premise calls attention to a phenomenon that everyone knows about but rarely discusses as he investigates the ways in which racial considerations are taken into account by employers for a wide range of reasons, even though in principle this practice was prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and justly celebrated as a landmark statute of historic importance. Skrentny obtains remarkable mileage by exploring this simple yet apparently paradoxical state of affairs in depth and by avoiding judgmental impulses that frequently arise."--Gavin Wright, Journal of American Studies


"John Skrentny's After Civil Rights will change the way we think and talk about the racial dynamics of the American workplace. It is a singular achievement, revealing in insightful ways the main strategies for managing race in employment over the past several decades. Skrentny maintains that these strategies, what he calls 'racial realism,' make American civil rights laws seem disturbingly outdated. Racial differences can be constructively managed with a focus that goes beyond the protection of rights. He addresses this disconnect head-on with compelling arguments on how the practices of racial realism can be harmonized with the American goals of justice and equal opportunity. This well-written and thoroughly researched book is a must-read."--William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

"John Skrentny's new realism about job discrimination makes a fundamental contribution to conventional understandings of the problem. The book will be a key resource for a new generation as it engages in an ongoing reassessment of the living legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."--Bruce Ackerman, Yale University

"This profoundly important book, from one of our most sophisticated and influential scholars of race, paints a rich and variegated picture of contemporary American racial and ethnic relations at work. Skrentny shows that bias remains pervasive at the bottom of the occupational pyramid, even as it has moderated at the top. He makes innovative and provocative suggestions for reform that offer a ray of hope."--Frank Dobbin, author of Inventing Equal Opportunity

"After Civil Rights is a terrific book. Employers are increasingly using race-consciousness to improve their own bottom line, and they are doing so in ways that neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has expressly condoned. There is no one better suited to tell this story than Skrentny."--Deborah Malamud, New York University School of Law

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File created: 9/19/2017

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