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.
Celine-Marie Pascale is Assistant Professor of Sociology at American University and an associate of the Center for Social Media. She is Co-President of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 25, Language, and Society.