Coloring the Terms of Membership: Reinventing the Divided Citizenry in an Era of Neoliberal Paternalism

June 2006

Joe Soss, Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin
Sanford F. Schram, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College

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In the vast literature on racial and ethnic inequalities, most studies focus on how discrete, measurable things get allocated across groups. “Who benefits,” researchers ask as they examine the allocation of goods, “and why do some get more than others?” Such questions rightly lie at the heart of our collective effort to understand how inequalities persist and change. Yet they are not the whole of it. Disparities across social groups must be reckoned with, not just in terms of who gets more or less, but also in terms of how groups are positioned in relation to one another and major societal institutions.

Discrimination, Race and Ethnicity