John Skrentny, University of California-San Diego

After Civil Rights: Racial Realism in the New American Workplace

Mon, 04/21/2014
Robertson Hall, Room 015
Event Category: 
Public Speaker
Princeton University Community: Faculty, Fellows, Students, Staff

Please join us for the final presentation in the "Thinking about Race on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act:  Looking Backwards, Forwards, and at the Present" lunch series. 

Professor John Skrentny of theUniversity of California-San Diego will present, ""After Civil Rights: Racial Realism in the New American Workplace."

From Professor Skrentny: "What role should racial difference play in the American workplace? As a nation, we rely on civil rights law to address this question, and the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964 seemingly answered it: race must not be a factor in workplace decisions. In After Civil Rights, John Skrentny contends that after decades of mass immigration, many employers, Democratic and Republican political leaders, and advocates have adopted a new strategy to manage race and work. Race is now relevant not only in negative cases of discrimination, but in more positive ways as well. In today's workplace, employers routinely practice "racial realism," where they view race as real--as a job qualification. Many believe employee racial differences, and sometimes immigrant status, correspond to unique abilities or evoke desirable reactions from clients or citizens. They also see racial diversity as a way to increase workplace dynamism. The problem is that when employers see race as useful for organizational effectiveness, they are often in violation of civil rights law."

The series is open to Princeton faculty, fellows, and students.

As lunch is provided, we require reservations.  Please RSVP to

John Skrentny is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California-San Diego.  His books include The Minority Rights Revolution (Harvard 2002) and The Ironies of Affirmative Action: Politics, Culture, and Justice in America (Chicago, 1996). His research has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation, among others, and his writings have appeared in sociology, law, and political science journals, as well as popular media such as, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Le Monde diplomatique.

This event is cosponsored by the Department of Sociology.