American Dilemma Revisited, An: Race Relations in a Changing World

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"This book must be regarded as a greatly important contribution to race relations literature. It is invaluable for the manner in which authors combine the lessons of history with insightful analyses of empirical data to demonstrate patterns of change over the past fifty years in the status of African Americans... Provocative and stimulating reading." —James E. Blackwell, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"Presents a wide-ranging reanalysis of the seminal work done by Gunnar Myrdal in 1944, examining virtually ...

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Overview

"This book must be regarded as a greatly important contribution to race relations literature. It is invaluable for the manner in which authors combine the lessons of history with insightful analyses of empirical data to demonstrate patterns of change over the past fifty years in the status of African Americans... Provocative and stimulating reading." —James E. Blackwell, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"Presents a wide-ranging reanalysis of the seminal work done by Gunnar Myrdal in 1944, examining virtually every issue that Myrdal noted as relevant to the American race question. In so doing, Clayton and his contributors have brought the matter up to date and shown how the American dilemma continues into the twenty-first century." —Stanford M. Lyman, Florida Atlantic University

Fifty years after the publication of An American Dilemma, Gunnar Myrdal's epochal study of racism and black disadvantage, An American Dilemma Revisited again confronts the pivotal issue of race in American society and explores how the status of African Americans has changed over the past half century. African Americans have made critical strides since Myrdal's time. Yet despite significant advances, strong economic and social barriers persist, and in many ways the plight of African Americans remains as acute now as it was then. Using Myrdal as a benchmark, each essay analyzes historical developments, examines current conditions, and investigates strategies for positive change within the core arenas of modern society—political, economic, educational, and judicial.

The central question posed by this volume is whether the presence of a disproportionately African American underclass has become a permanent American phenomenon. Several contributors tie the unevenness of black economic mobility to educational limitations, social isolation, and changing workplace demands. The evolution of a more suburban, service-dominated economy that places a premium on advanced academic training has severely constrained the employment prospects of many urban African Americans with limited education. An American Dilemma Revisited argues that there is hope to be found both in black educational institutions, which account for the largest proportion of advanced educational degrees among African Americans, and in the promotion of black community enterprises.

An American Dilemma Revisited asks why the election of many African American leaders has failed to translate into genuine political power or effective policy support for black issues. The rise in membership in Pentecostal and Islamic denonimations suggests that many blacks, frustrated with the political detachment of more traditional churches, continue to pursue more socially concerned activism at a local level. Three essays trace social disaffection among blacks to a legacy of police and judicial discrimination. Mistrust of the police persists, particularly in cities, and black offenders continue to experience harsher treatment at all stages of the trial process.

As Myrdal's book did fifty years ago, An American Dilemma Revisited offers an insightful look at the continuing effects of racial inequality and discrimination in American society and examines different means for removing the specter of racism in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

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A study examining research and development projects and capital improvements, and changes in productivity and profitability in selected American manufacturing industries and companies from 1980 to 1989. Special attention is given to the effects of substantial investment increases on productivity and profitability changes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871541567
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 3/7/1996
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

OBIE CLAYTON, JR. is director of the Morehouse Research Institute and associate professor of sociology at Morehouse College.

CONTRIBUTORS: Walter R. Allen, Timothy Bledsoe, Sissela Bok, John Sibley Butler, Obie Clayton, Jr., Michael W. Combs, William Darity, Jr., Robert A. Dentler, Reynolds Farley, Ronald F. Ferguson, Stephen Graubard, Joseph O. Jewell, Antonio McDaniel, Lee Sigelman, Cassia C. Spohn, Samuel Walker, Wilbur Watson, Susan Welch, and Doris Wilkinson

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Preface and Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction
1 An American Dilemma Revisited 1
2 The Political Situation and Power Prospects of African Americans in Gunnar Myrdal's Era and Today 25
3 Black-White Residential Segregation: The Views of Myrdal in the 1940s and Trends of the 1980s 45
4 Shifting Challenges: Fifty Years of Economic Change Toward Black-White Earnings Equality 76
5 The Undesirables, America's Underclass in the Managerial Age: Beyond the Myrdal Theory of Racial Inequality 112
6 Myrdal Revisited: The Negro in Business, the Professions, Public Service, and Other White Collar Occupations 138
7 The Miseducation of Black America: Black Education Since An American Dilemma 169
8 The Church and Social Change: Accommodation, Moderation, or Protest 191
9 Justice for All: Still an American Dilemma 209
10 "A Strange Atmosphere of Consistent Illegality": Myrdal on "The Police and Other Public Contacts" 226
11 Courts, Sentences, and Prisons 247
12 The Dynamic Racial Composition of the United States 269
13 Gender and Social Inequality: The Prevailing Significance of Race 288
References 301
Index 314
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