Racial Categories (Sociology)

“Critics of racial labels argue that if racial and ethnic boundaries are loosening, we should abandon the use of racial categories in the census altogether and learn to get along without them in our policy making.  They argue that if racial labels could be eliminated, racial discrimination itself would be eliminated.”  (Lee and Bean, “Beyond Black and White: Remaking Race in America,” 32-33)

Explain, evaluate and critique this proposal, grounding your analysis in evidence (quotes) and concepts from at least two of the following three areas: employment (Pager, Western & Bonikowski; Williams; Zhou); the criminal justice system (Alexander; Foreman; Pager);  media as a source of “knowledge about race” (Gilens; Zhou; Gallagher), as well as in Lee & Bean’s own analysis of the issue.

Having considered the evidence for and against, articulate the position you’ve reached on this issue.

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