In Just Who Loses? Samuel Roundfield Lucas continues his penetrating and comprehensive assessment of sex and race discrimination in the United States that he began in Theorizing Discrimination in an Era of Contested Prejudice.
This new volume demonstrates that the idea of discrimination being a zero-sum game is a fallacy. If discrimination costs women, men do not necessarily reap the gains. Likewise, if discrimination costs blacks, non-blacks do not reap the gains. Lucas examines the legal adjudication of discrimination, as well as wider public debates about policy on the issue, to prove how discrimination actually operates.
He uses analytic methods to show that across the socioeconomic lifecycle—including special education placement, unemployment, occupational attainment, earnings, poverty, and even mortality—both targets and non-targets of discrimination “lose.”
In Just Who Loses? Lucas proposes the construction of a broad-based coalition to combat the pervasive discrimination that affects social relations and law in the United States.
Despite several decades of attention, there is still no consensus on the effects of racial or sexual discrimination in the United States. In this landmark work, the well-known sociologist Samuel Lucas shows how discrimination is not simply an action that one person performs in relation to another individual, but something far more insidious: a pervasive dynamic that permeates the environment in which we live and work.
Challenging existing literature on the subject, Lucas makes a clear distinction between prejudice and discrimination. He maintains that when an era of “condoned exploitation” ended, the era of “contested prejudice,” as he terms it, began. He argues that the great strides made in the 1950s and 1960s repudiated prejudice, but not discrimination. Drawing on critical race theory, feminist theory, and a critique of dominant perspectives in the social sciences and law, Lucas offers a new understanding of racial and sexual discrimination that can guide our actions and laws into a more just future.
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