American Journal of Sociology Reviews RSF Books

April 17, 2017

The latest issue of the American Journal of Sociology includes reviews of RSF books The American Non-Dilemma (2013) by Nancy DiTomaso and Spheres of Influence: The Social Ecology of Racial and Class Inequality (2014) by Douglas Massey and Stefanie Broddman.

In her review of The American Non-Dilemma, Deidre Royster (New York University) calls the book “crucial reading” for those “concerned about the ever-higher standards of evidence courts require for proving discrimination.” The American Non-Dilemma draws from interviews with working, middle, and upper-class whites to show that while the vast majority of whites profess strong support for civil rights and equal opportunity regardless of race, they continue to pursue their own group-based advantage, especially in the labor market where whites tend to favor other whites in securing jobs protected from market competition. DiTomaso argues that this "opportunity hoarding" leads to substantially improved life outcomes for whites due to their greater access to social resources from family, schools, churches, and other institutions with which they are engaged. Read more about The American Non-Dilemma or purchase a copy of the book.

Spheres of Influence reviewer Jeffrey M. Timberlake (University of Cincinnati) calls the book “an impressive achievement.” In the book, Massey and Broddman trace how the civil rights movement, the increase in immigration from Asia and Latin America, and the restructuring of the economy in favor of the rich over the last several decades have begun to alter the contours of inequality in the U.S. They show that rather than operating in isolation, race and class are increasingly interacting in complex ways in order to produce and reproduce disadvantage for certain groups. Timberlake writes, “[Spheres of Influence] deserves to be read carefully and thoroughly, both for the findings themselves and for the lessons it teaches about how difficult it is to tackle one of the really big questions in the discipline: How much stratification is there and how does it develop over the early life course?” Read more about Spheres of Influence or purchase a copy of the book.



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