Using arresting case studies of how ordinary people understand the concepts of race, class, and gender, Celine-Marie Pascale shows that the peculiarity of commonsense is that it imposes obviousness—that which we cannot fail to recognize. As a result, how we negotiate the challenges of inequality in the twenty-first century may depend less on what people consciously think about "difference" and more on what we inadvertently assume. Through an analysis of commonsense knowledge, Pascale expertly provides new insights into familiar topics. In addition, by analyzing local practices in the context of established cultural discourses, Pascale shows how the weight of history bears on the present moment, both enabling and constraining possibilities. Pascale tests the boundaries of sociological knowledge and offers new avenues for conceptualizing social change.
In 2008, Making Sense of Race, Class and Gender was the recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award, of the American Sociological Association Section on Race, Gender, and Class, for "distinguished and significant contribution to the development of the integrative field of race, gender, and class."