Recognizing Race and Ethnicity

Power, Privilege, and Inequality

Kathleen J. Fitzgerald

Second Edition • February 21, 2017 • 552 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813350561 • $75.00 USD$97.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813350615 • $50.99 USD$66.99 CAN

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Despite promising changes over the last century, race remains a central organizing principle in US society, a key arena of inequality, power, and privilege, and the subject of ongoing conflict and debate. In this second edition of Recognizing Race and Ethnicity, Kathleen J. Fitzgerald continues to examine the sociology of race and encourages students to think differently by challenging the notion that we are, or should even aspire to be, color-blind.

Fitzgerald considers how race manifests in both significant and obscure ways by looking across all racial/ethnic groups within the socio-historical context of institutions and arenas, rather than discussing each group by group. Incorporating recent research and contemporary theoretical perspectives, she guides students to examine racial ideologies and identities as well as structural racism; at the same time, she covers topics like popular culture, sports, and interracial relationships.

This latest edition includes an expanded look at global perspectives on racial inequality, including international migration and Islamophobia; updated examples of contemporary issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement; more emphasis on intersectionality, specifically the ways sexuality and race intersect; and an extended discussion on why the sociology of race and the sociological imagination matter. Recognizing Race and Ethnicity continues to reflect the latest sociological research on race/ethnicity and provides unparalleled coverage of white privilege while remaining careful not to treat “white” as the norm against which all other groups are defined.

Kathleen J. Fitzgerald is a Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at Tulane University. Her teaching and research focuses on social inequalities; specifically race, racism, and privilege, gender and sexualities, and food justice. She is the author of Beyond White Ethnicity and coauthor of Sociology of Sexualities and she has published in The Sociological Quarterly, Humanity and Society, and Sociological Focus.


Part 1: Thinking About Race
1 Taking Account of Race and Privilege
2 White Privilege: The Other Side of Racism
3 Science and the Sociology of Race

Part 2: A Sociological History of US Race Relations
4 Emergence of the US Racial Hierarchy
5 Race Relations in the 19th and 20th Centuries
6 Race Relations in Flux: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter

Part 3: Institutional Inequalities
7 Education
8 Economic Inequality and the Role of the State
9 Crime and Criminal Justice
10 Race in the Cultural Imagination

Part 4: Contemporary Issues in Race/Ethnicity
11 Arenas of Racial Integration: Interracial Relationships, Multiracial Families, Biracial/Multiracial Identities, Sports, and the Military
12 A Postracial Society?


“Fitzgerald invites the reader to think differently about popular, taken-for-granted ideas, and this book is a top choice for use in a course rooted in the study of race from the perspective of power, privilege, and inequality.” —Margaret Hagerman, Mississippi State University

“Extremely well researched and quite comprehensive. Each chapter is highly organized and direct . . . Combined with succinct yet approachable writing, this text is truly a gem.” —Kyle Anne Nelson, University of Northern Colorado

“Fitzgerald’s textbook is a must read for students and non-students interested in the whole story about race and ethnicity.” —Bobby Potters, University of Indianapolis

Praise for the Previous Edition
“Readable and accessible without being unnecessarily watered down … I particularly appreciate the use of specific examples that add context to each chapter while helping students understand the effects of structural race on their lives; the emphasis on white privilege across the book; and the inclusion of a section on self-reflexivity in every chapter.” –David G. Embrick, Loyola University-Chicago

“An important part of any sociologist’s library, Fitzgerald’s text does not merely describe the racial order, but invites the reader to understand the salience of race and racism in our daily lives.” –Matthew W. Hughey, University of Connecticut

“This book takes a bold new approach to the teaching of race and ethnicity that focuses on ideologies and institutions rather than individual groups. Kathleen Fitzgerald does an excellent job of incorporating recent theories and events. Accessible and engaging—a wonderful resource for teaching about race in the US!” –Ashley (“Woody”) Doane, University of Hartford

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