The Imperative of Integration

The Imperative of Integration

ELIZABETH ANDERSON
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 264
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7t225
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  • Book Info
    The Imperative of Integration
    Book Description:

    More than forty years have passed since Congress, in response to the Civil Rights Movement, enacted sweeping antidiscrimination laws in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a signal achievement of that legacy, in 2008, Americans elected their first African American president. Some would argue that we have finally arrived at a postracial America, butThe Imperative of Integrationindicates otherwise. Elizabeth Anderson demonstrates that, despite progress toward racial equality, African Americans remain disadvantaged on virtually all measures of well-being. Segregation remains a key cause of these problems, and Anderson skillfully shows why racial integration is needed to address these issues. Weaving together extensive social science findings--in economics, sociology, and psychology--with political theory, this book provides a compelling argument for reviving the ideal of racial integration to overcome injustice and inequality, and to build a better democracy.

    Considering the effects of segregation and integration across multiple social arenas, Anderson exposes the deficiencies of racial views on both the right and the left. She reveals the limitations of conservative explanations for black disadvantage in terms of cultural pathology within the black community and explains why color blindness is morally misguided. Multicultural celebrations of group differences are also not enough to solve our racial problems. Anderson provides a distinctive rationale for affirmative action as a tool for promoting integration, and explores how integration can be practiced beyond affirmative action.

    Offering an expansive model for practicing political philosophy in close collaboration with the social sciences, this book is a trenchant examination of how racial integration can lead to a more robust and responsive democracy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3682-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. ONE SEGREGATION AND SOCIAL INEQUALITY
    (pp. 1-22)

    This book aims to resurrect the ideal of integration from the grave of the Civil Rights Movement. This may seem a long lost cause. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, white Americans, while claiming to agree in principle with its goals, in practice vigorously resisted policies that would achieve more than token integration of their neighborhoods and schools.¹ They got their wish. After little more than a decade of energetic federal enforcement ofBrown v. Board of Education, overwhelming white opposition forced the courts to back down. Since the 1980s courts have largely suspended enforcement ofBrown, while...

  5. TWO RACIAL SEGREGATION AND MATERIAL INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES
    (pp. 23-43)

    In the last chapter I outlined a theory of how segregation is tied to group inequality. Let us now test it for the case of black-white inequality. We begin by considering some important dimensions of black-white inequality in the United States and then consider how black-white segregation causes these inequalities.

    African Americans are worse off than the average American, and worse off than whites, on virtually all major objective measures of well-being. These inequalities are large and enduring and have grown in some cases. Life expectancy for blacks has always been lower than average. For black children born today, it...

  6. THREE SEGREGATION, RACIAL STIGMA, AND DISCRIMINATION
    (pp. 44-66)

    Segregation causes patterns of racial inequality that influence the ways racial groups represent one another. These representations, in turn, reinforce practices of segregation and reproduce categorical inequality. This pattern of explanation, from segregation to categorical inequality to categorical cognitions, follows Tilly’s. This chapter explains the psychological mechanisms underwriting it. It also shows how the representations caused by segregation inflict an expressive injury by stigmatizing the disadvantaged.

    We have seen in chapter 2 that segregation causes blacks to suffer higher rates of poverty and unemployment and undermines blacks’ ability to accumulate financial assets and become entrepreneurs. It causes a divergence between...

  7. FOUR RACIAL SEGREGATION TODAY: A NORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
    (pp. 67-88)

    In §1.5 I presented a relational account of the injustice of systematic group inequality. In this account, the bare fact that the distribution of material and symbolic goods across social groups is unequal does not constitute an adequate basis for judging whether that distribution manifests a group injustice. No fundamental principle of justice requires the proportional allocation of goods to social groups as such. Individuals, not social groups, are the fundamental claimants to distributive justice. Nevertheless, individual members of a group may complain that they are victims of a group-based injustice if they suffer disadvantages causally connected to unjust intergroup...

  8. FIVE DEMOCRATIC IDEALS AND SEGREGATION
    (pp. 89-111)

    Throughout this book, I have been alluding to an ideal of democracy as a basis for evaluating racial segregation. This ideal needs deeper articulation. Democracy is a way of life that can be understood on three levels: as a membership organization, a mode of government, and a culture. As a membership organization, democracy involves universal and equal citizenship of all the permanent members of a society who live under a state’s jurisdiction. As a mode of government, democracy is government by the people, carried out by discussion among equals. As a culture, democracy consists in the free, cooperative interaction of...

  9. SIX THE IMPERATIVE OF INTEGRATION
    (pp. 112-134)

    The previous chapters have documented the myriad injustices of racial segregation. It is caused by unjust race relations (§4.1). It expresses racially stigmatizing ideas (§3.3, §4.4, §5.1). It unjustly deprives blacks of access to jobs, public goods, consumer goods and services, and financial, social, cultural, and human capital (§§2.2–2.4). It causes stigmatizing racial stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination (§3.1, §3.5). It undermines democracy by embodying race-based status inequality, fostering divisive politics and punitive policies toward the disadvantaged, undermining intergroup communication and cooperation, blocking fair access to opportunities, and promoting an insular, unaccountable elite that lacks the competence and disposition to...

  10. SEVEN UNDERSTANDING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
    (pp. 135-154)

    Since the demise of court-ordered busing for school integration, affirmative action has been the most controversial race-conscious policy in the United States. By “affirmative action,” I refer to any policy that aims to increase the participation of a disadvantaged social group in mainstream institutions, either through “outreach” (targeting the group for publicity and invitations to participate) or “preference” (using group membership as criteria for selecting participants). In the United States, affirmative action is practiced in three domains: employment, education, and government contracting.

    This chapter compares four models of race-based affirmative action in the United States: compensatory, diversity, discrimination-blocking, and integrative....

  11. EIGHT THE FOLLY AND INCOHERENCE OF COLOR BLINDNESS
    (pp. 155-179)

    The preceding defense of race-based affirmative action policies does not address what many critics have thought to be a decisive objection: that they offend the moral requirement of color blindness. This chapter finds this supposed moral requirement to be conceptually confused, empirically misguided, and lacking a morally coherent rationale.

    Color blindness can be understood as a moral ideal or a policy. As an ideal, color blindness extols a world in which no one draws racial distinctions. In such a world, race would no longer serve as a basis for social inequality, segregation, or stigmatization. It would also no longer serve...

  12. NINE THE ORDEAL AND PROMISE OF INTEGRATION
    (pp. 180-192)

    I have argued that integration is an indispensable goal in a society characterized by categorical inequality. It is necessary to block and dismantle the mechanisms that perpetuate unjust social inequality, and to realize the promise of a democratic state that is equally responsive and accountable to citizens of all identities. Yet integration does not proceed without cost. The experience of integration is often stressful and causes the loss or alteration of cherished racially homogeneous institutions. These costs have led both conservatives and various advocates on the left—multiculturalists and black nationalists—to reject integration as a goal of social policy....

  13. NOTES
    (pp. 193-238)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 239-246)