Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America

Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America

by Richard Alba
     
 

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Richard Alba argues that the social cleavages that separate Americans into distinct, unequal ethno-racial groups could narrow dramatically in the coming decades. In Blurring the Color Line, Alba explores a future in which socially mobile minorities could blur stark boundaries and gain much more control over the social expression of racial differences.See more details below

Overview

Richard Alba argues that the social cleavages that separate Americans into distinct, unequal ethno-racial groups could narrow dramatically in the coming decades. In Blurring the Color Line, Alba explores a future in which socially mobile minorities could blur stark boundaries and gain much more control over the social expression of racial differences.

Editorial Reviews

Douglas S. Massey
Blurring the Color Line offers a primer on how to make assimilation happen in the 21st century.
Mary C. Waters
Blurring the Color Line has the potential to be an instant classic. It demonstrates through a rigorous analysis of demographic, economic, and social data that the successful integration of American minority groups is very possible in the coming decades.
Teachers College Record - Natasha Kumar Warikoo
When it comes to understanding racial change and integration in the United States, Richard Alba is a groundbreaker...Alba's detailed narrative shows how public education can make the difference between significant, rapid social change with respect to race, and slow, more piecemeal blurring. One might read this book as another argument for why public education needs to be ramped up, especially in urban areas, but the implications, I believe, go further...Blurring the Color Line presents an impressive amount of evidence to support Alba's sophisticated arguments, and he presents all sides of the complex arguments of the book. Impressive in its lucidity, in addition to quantitative analysis the book is rich with details about complex sociological research related to the topics of the book...A theory as overarching as Alba's is impressive in its detail, its reach, and its ability to explain the past and hypothesize about the future.
Society - William Helmreich
Blurring the Color Line is a groundbreaking, original, and important work which greatly advances and broadens the debate on the future makeup of American society. In doing so, it also marshals a great deal of demographic and statistical evidence to back up the incisive arguments made by the author...Blurring the Color Line is a brilliant and lucid analysis with very important implications that need to be carefully thought through. As such, it is mandatory reading for all those interested in policy analysis, and especially for leaders responsible for shaping and implementing it.
Population and Development Review - Charles Hirschman
This is a gutsy book, one that few scholars would have dared to write and one that even fewer are sufficiently knowledgeable to undertake. Although critics can nitpick, Blurring the Color Line is essential reading for scholars, students, activists, and pundits in the field of race and ethnicity, and anyone interested in the promise of social science to inform the policy agenda.
Publishers Weekly
According to Alba (coauthor of Remaking the American Mainstream), present-day America has arrived at a rare moment in its history, when disadvantaged minorities could “alter the ethnoracial boundaries of American society through increasing diversity at its middle and upper levels.” He argues that the U.S. reached similar moments as southern and eastern European, Irish and Jewish immigrants were gradually amalgamated into the mainstream and considered white. His arguments on why conditions could be ripe for a similar shift in the early 21st century are logical and well-supported. One unfortunate blind spot, however, is Alba's insistence on lumping together disadvantaged Hispanic and black minorities and failing to acknowledge that the African-American presence in the U.S. is wholly unique—for all the labor statistics he presents, he neglects to weigh the consequences of a 400-year legacy of slavery and segregation. Alba's conclusion is strongly stated and well reasoned, and but he hides in an ivory tower, neglecting to satisfyingly examine the hurdles to the education and affirmative-action reforms he so vigorously recommends. (Sept.)
Teachers College Record
When it comes to understanding racial change and integration in the United States, Richard Alba is a groundbreaker...Alba's detailed narrative shows how public education can make the difference between significant, rapid social change with respect to race, and slow, more piecemeal blurring. One might read this book as another argument for why public education needs to be ramped up, especially in urban areas, but the implications, I believe, go further...Blurring the Color Line presents an impressive amount of evidence to support Alba's sophisticated arguments, and he presents all sides of the complex arguments of the book. Impressive in its lucidity, in addition to quantitative analysis the book is rich with details about complex sociological research related to the topics of the book...A theory as overarching as Alba's is impressive in its detail, its reach, and its ability to explain the past and hypothesize about the future.
— Natasha Kumar Warikoo
Society
Blurring the Color Line is a groundbreaking, original, and important work which greatly advances and broadens the debate on the future makeup of American society. In doing so, it also marshals a great deal of demographic and statistical evidence to back up the incisive arguments made by the author...Blurring the Color Line is a brilliant and lucid analysis with very important implications that need to be carefully thought through. As such, it is mandatory reading for all those interested in policy analysis, and especially for leaders responsible for shaping and implementing it.
— William Helmreich
Population and Development Review
This is a gutsy book, one that few scholars would have dared to write and one that even fewer are sufficiently knowledgeable to undertake. Although critics can nitpick, Blurring the Color Line is essential reading for scholars, students, activists, and pundits in the field of race and ethnicity, and anyone interested in the promise of social science to inform the policy agenda.
— Charles Hirschman

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674064706
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
03/05/2012
Series:
The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures, #3
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Blurring the Color Line has the potential to be an instant classic. It demonstrates through a rigorous analysis of demographic, economic, and social data that the successful integration of American minority groups is very possible in the coming decades.
Mary C. Waters
Blurring the Color Line has the potential to be an instant classic. It demonstrates through a rigorous analysis of demographic, economic, and social data that the successful integration of American minority groups is very possible in the coming decades.
Mary C. Waters, Harvard University, co-author of Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age(Harvard)
Douglas S. Massey
Blurring the Color Line offers a primer on how to make assimilation happen in the 21st century.
Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University, editor of New Faces in New Places: The New Geography of American Immigration

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