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Race in the Schools: Perpetuating White Dominance?

Judith R. Blau
Race in the Schools: Perpetuating White Dominance?
ISBN: 978-1-58826-229-5
ISBN: 978-1-58826-333-9
2003/237 pages/LC: 2003046718
A related title: Reverse Discrimination: Dismantling the Myth by Fred L. Pincus. 

"Blau's groundbreaking study offers new insights into how white cultural dominance in America's schools and neighborhoods operates to undermine pluralism and perpetuate white advantage.... a must-read for scholars of racism and social inequality in schooling."—Yvonne D. Newsome, Contemporary Sociology

"When educational reformers are coming up with ways to better our public education system, Race in the Schools should provide the core of their reform efforts."—Anthony Edwards, Multicultural Review

"An important contribution and a must-read for anyone interested in the dynamics of race and schooling.... Highly recommended."—Choice

"A tour de force. Blau's innovative study will generate controversy and invite further inquiry with its disturbing vision of failed pluralism in American schools."—Edward B. Reeves, Morehead State University


Winner of the ASA Oliver Cromwell Cox Award

Judith Blau's disturbing study presents strong evidence that our schools, assumed by many to be an equalizing force in U.S. society, are in fact racialized settings that reproduce white advantage—to the detriment of all students.

Drawing on rich, longitudinal databases, Blau explores the values, activities, and educational experiences of a sample of young people born a decade or so after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed into law. She focuses on topics that are both important in students' lives and central in schooling: attitudes toward integrity and cheating, "getting into trouble," interracial relations, learning, and going to college. Her remarkable findings challenge many assumptions long held by researchers and policymakers.

Race in the Schools, combining an accessible style, sophisticated methodology, and clear policy relevance, is a seminal study of the pervasive consequences of race in the U.S. education system.


Judith R. Blau is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Among her many publications are The Shape of Culture: A Study of Contemporary Cultural Patterns in the United States, Social Contracts and Economic Markets, The Blackwell Companion to Sociology, and Architects and Firms.


  • The Study: Theory and Methods.
  • Economic Inequalities and Moral Fences.
  • Locating Difference.
  • Encountering Character.
  • Getting into Trouble.
  • Tracking and Curricula.
  • Social Learning.
  • Going to College.
  • Conclusion.