Dear Reader:

I am pleased that you are considering my new textbook, Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach. Teaching and learning about racism can be a challenging endeavor. However, this endeavor can be immensely rewarding, as the topic allows us to grapple with some of the most important challenges our society faces today. I am honored that you are using this text to guide you in your journey to provide your students with a better understanding of how race and racism operate in our society.

This book is designed to assist scholars who wish to teach race and racism, yet do not want to tiptoe around complex issues. Instead, Race and Racisms offers a wealth of empirical evidence that leaves no trace of doubt that our society is plagued by racism and that this country was founded on a legacy of genocide and slavery. Moreover, Race and Racism offers readers the tools they need to think critically about race.

In Race and Racisms, I develop the notion that race is an ideology and a set of practices. I expand upon this interpretative framework throughout the text by incorporating classical and cutting-edge scholarship on race and racism and marshaling a wide range of evidence that demonstrates how race and racisms operate in our society.

Race and Racisms takes a new approach to teaching students about issues of race and ethnicity. Organized around topics and concepts rather than discrete racial groups, the goals of Race and Racisms are to teach students:

  • How and when the idea of race was created and developed
  • How structural racism has worked historically to reproduce inequality
  • How we have a society rampant with racial inequality, even though most people do not consider themselves to be racist
  • How race, class, and gender work together to create inequality and identities
  • How immigration policy in the United States has been racialized
  • How racial justice could be imagined and realized

This text engages students in these significant questions related to racial dynamics in the U.S. and around the world. Written in accessible, straightforward language, the book discusses and critically analyzes cutting-edge scholarship in the field.


Race and Racisms is divided into four sections, each providing a specific purpose, and each using an intersectional and global framework to guide our understanding of racial dynamics:

  • PART ONE: History of the Idea of Race draws from history, anthropology, and sociology to explain how racial ideologies were created and how they have evolved over time. This section provides a provocative analysis of history that is rarely encountered in sociology texts
  • PART TWO: Racial Ideologies invites in-depth discussion by examining prevailing racial attitudes in the context of recent U.S. history; the media; colorism; and white privilege.
  • PART THREE: Policy and Institutions focuses on theories of racial inequality, educational and labor market inequality, housing and wealth, the criminal justice system, health and the environment, and immigration policy. This section highlights the empirical evidence for racial inequality.
  • PART FOUR: Contesting and Comparing Racial Injustices considers racial justice, human rights, and racial dynamics around the world, helping us to look outward, by looking forward and around the world.


This text also includes three unique features consistently throughout the book that may be useful in the teaching and learning of race and racism.

  • Voices boxes highlight individual stories about race and racism, bringing personal experiences to life.
  • Research Focus boxes describe recent scholarship in the field, showing students that this is an active and vibrant area of interest for researchers.
  • Global View boxes introduce race-related phenomena as they are experienced in other parts of the world, to help students look beyond race and racism in the United States.

Tanya Golash-Boza
Tanya Golash-Boza