1st Edition

Institutional Racism and Restorative Justice Oppression and Privilege in America

By Diane Emling Copyright 2020
    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    158 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Invisible, intractable and deadly—such is the nature of institutional racism. But are there mitigating actions that society could take against them? Diane Carpenter Emling explores this question in Institutional Racism and Restorative Justice: Oppression and Privilege in America. Moving beyond the immediate sources and consequences of prejudice, racism and inequality, to thoroughly assess approaches to restorative justice, Emling details America’s complex history of racism, demonstrating how it becomes embedded in society through land ownership, housing, education, health care, employment, public services and criminal justice. For each of these issues, she suggests actions to restore justice. But societies don’t operate institution by institution, and extraordinary changes will be necessary to address systemic racism. Directed at college undergraduate students, Emling’s book offers a valued contribution for teaching courses in African American studies, sociology, economics, politics and American history. Written in a comprehensive and accessible style, this book offers a much-needed perspective in the literature on institutional racism.

    Foreword: Setting the Context, by Professor Larry Reynolds; Preface: Why this book?; Part 1: Concepts and Context; Introduction: What is "Race"?; 1. Acculturation and Assimilation; 2. Migration & the American Dream; Part 2: The Social Institutions at Work; 3. Land; 4. Housing; 5. Education; 6. Health; 7. Social Welfare Policies and Employment; 8. The Criminal Justice System; Part 3: So What Can We Do?; Conclusion - Necessary but Not Sufficient; Appendix A: Alternative Scholastic Attitude Test – SAT; Appendix B: Who Would You Admit to College?; Appendix C: Sociological Theories; Appendix D: Timeline of Key Events; About the Author; Bibliography


    Diane Carpenter Emling holds a PhD in sociology, emphasizing political economy, from Michigan State University. She is retired from a 30-year career teaching sociology at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan, as well as from adjunct teaching appointments at Michigan State University’s James Madison College and School of Social Work, Ferris State University, and Grand Valley State University. Her activist work in Michigan involves her in many organizations.

    America has a history of extreme racism, which reforms in the twentieth century have alleviated but not eradicated. Diane Emling lists ways in which racism in America has existed and still exists, ranging from the almost accidental way in which ‘[s]eemingly neutral policies … administered by whites who have no racist intent continue to benefit whites’ (36) to the discrimination formerly enshrined in law and organised violence and lynchings…. This book would serve as a useful teaching tool for American students, but also [this] reviewer learned from it and found much to reflect on in his own country. It would be helpful if each country produced a comparable book on the treatment of racial minorities (or even in some cases an ethnically different majority), with recommendations – and included it in the syllabus for history and sociology.

    ̶ Martin Wright in The International Journal of Restorative Justice 4/3 (2021): 504, 506.