Social justice activists in the United States face an increasingly difficult task: how do they fight policies based on damaging images of race, class and gender identities in an era of colorblind racism? Through the voices of women activists in the welfare rights movement across the United States, The Price of Progressive Politics exposes the contemporary reality of welfare rights politics, revealing how the language of colorblind racism undermines this multiracial movement. Rose Ernst argues that although many activists are well-meaning and truly committed, they nonetheless find themselves reproducing many of the same racial and gender biases that they are trying to fight against. Through forty-nine in-depth interviews with activists in eight organizations across the United States, Ernst presents an intersectional analysis of how these activists understand the complexities of race, class and gender and how such understandings have affected their approach to their grassroots work.The vibrant stories of these welfare rights activists from around the country reveal the volatile issues of race and class that underlie the deep complexities and contradictions of grassroots organizing, and the tensions which are often heightened by the language of color-blind racism. Engaging and accessible, The Price of Progressive Politics offers a refreshing examination of how those working for change grapple with shifting racial dynamics in the United States, arguing that organizations that fail to develop a consciousness that reflects the reality of multiple marginalized identities ultimately reproduce the societal dynamics they seek to change.
Subjects: Political Science
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