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Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System

Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System Inequalities–235 of this population. The book should also be in the psychology of social classification, useful in a variety of undergraduate and goes awry when he suggests that humans are graduate courses related to race/ethnicity, essentially hardwired to see “racial” and “eth- nic” differences (pp. 10–11). The logical con- Mexican Americans, and Latina/os. I have al- clusion to draw from this, then, is that “racial” ready used the book in one of my under- and “ethnic” hierarchies are natural and in- graduate courses and students found it very evitable. But how can this be if “race” and useful. “ethnicity” are social constructions whose categories and meanings vary significantly across space and time and whose signifi- Categorically Unequal: The American cance as an organizing principle that deter- Stratification System, by Douglas S. Massey. mines individuals’ life chances is a relatively New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, modern phenomenon? Unfortunately, how- 2007. 319pp. $32.50 cloth. ISBN: ever, Massey does not address such ques- tions or clarify the relationship between these SANDRA SUSAN SMITH important psychological and social process- University of California, Berkeley es, and as a result, even as he acknowledges sandra_smith@berkeley.edu the socially constructed nature of “race” and “ethnicity” throughout http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews SAGE

Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2008 American Sociological Association
ISSN
0094-3061
eISSN
1939-8638
DOI
10.1177/009430610803700317
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Inequalities–235 of this population. The book should also be in the psychology of social classification, useful in a variety of undergraduate and goes awry when he suggests that humans are graduate courses related to race/ethnicity, essentially hardwired to see “racial” and “eth- nic” differences (pp. 10–11). The logical con- Mexican Americans, and Latina/os. I have al- clusion to draw from this, then, is that “racial” ready used the book in one of my under- and “ethnic” hierarchies are natural and in- graduate courses and students found it very evitable. But how can this be if “race” and useful. “ethnicity” are social constructions whose categories and meanings vary significantly across space and time and whose signifi- Categorically Unequal: The American cance as an organizing principle that deter- Stratification System, by Douglas S. Massey. mines individuals’ life chances is a relatively New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, modern phenomenon? Unfortunately, how- 2007. 319pp. $32.50 cloth. ISBN: ever, Massey does not address such ques- tions or clarify the relationship between these SANDRA SUSAN SMITH important psychological and social process- University of California, Berkeley es, and as a result, even as he acknowledges sandra_smith@berkeley.edu the socially constructed nature of “race” and “ethnicity” throughout

Journal

Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of ReviewsSAGE

Published: May 1, 2008

There are no references for this article.