By Devon W. Carbado, Mitu Gulati

ISBN-10: 0195382587

ISBN-13: 9780195382587

What does it suggest to "act black" or "act white"? Is race purely a question of phenotype, or does it come from the inflection of a person's speech, the garments in her closet, how she chooses to spend her time and with whom she chooses to spend it? What does it suggest to be "really" black, and who will get to make that judgment?

In appearing White?, major students of race and the legislation Devon Carbado and Mitu Gulati argue that, despite many years of racial development and the pervasiveness of multicultural rhetoric, racial judgments are usually dependent not only on pores and skin colour, yet on how somebody conforms to behaviour stereotypically linked to a definite race. in particular, racial minorities are judged on how they "perform" their race. This functionality pervades each element in their everyday life, even if it's the garments they put on, the way in which they variety their hair, the associations with which they associate, their racial politics, the folks they befriend, date or marry, the place they stay, how they communicate, and their outward mannerisms and demeanor. making use of those cues, decision-makers make a decision now not easily no matter if someone is black however the measure to which he or she is so. hoping on various examples from the place of work, better schooling, and police interactions, the authors reveal that, for African american citizens, the prices of "acting black" are excessive, and so are the pressures to "act white." yet, because the authors indicate, "acting white" has charges besides.

Provocative but by no means doctrinaire, performing White? will boldly problem your assumptions and make you consider racial prejudice from a clean vantage element.

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Additional info for Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America

Sample text

To appreciate how this burden might operate, consider a hypothetical black male law professor. 1 captures some examples; the institutional values/employer criteria are to the left; the stereotypes are to the right. With the six pairings from the table in mind,34 assume that the black male is a law professor in his first year of teaching, and that the law school dean has assigned him to teach criminal procedure. The course explores constitutional constraints on police investigation practices. When do police officers need warrants?

13 Alternatively, if the outsider suggests that the caricature is racist and offensive, it increases the likelihood that the white male employee will perceive the outsider negatively— that is, as a person who is humorless, too racially sensitive, and therefore uncomfortable to be around. indd 27 10/22/2012 9:19:41 PM OUP UNCORRECTED PROOF – FIRST-PROOF, 10/22/12, NEWGEN acting white? 28 paradoxically be viewed as someone who is not racially neutral and who thrives on playing the race card. The preceding discussion might lead one to conclude that acting white always produces racial comfort and that acting black always produces racial discomfort.

64 The Costs of Poor Performances Outsiders’ Working Identities also involve two types of extra risks. First, the risk exists that others will identify the performative element of an outsider’s behavior as strategic and manipulative. Suppose, a black employee’s white colleague is attempting a humorous caricature of a fellow employee that the outsider thinks is racist. The black employee might not want to react negatively because to do so would feed his white colleague’s stereotype of outsiders as people who are obsessed with race.

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Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America by Devon W. Carbado, Mitu Gulati


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