Published February 10, 2021
Episode 10 features co-authors Waverly Duck, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, 2020-21, Center for Diversity Innovation, University at Buffalo, and Anne Rawls, Professor of Sociology at Bentley University. They discuss their new book, Tacit Racism (University of Chicago Press, 2020). Their research focuses on understanding how centuries of institutional racism have shaped interactions between white people and Black Americans into patterns of implicit bias and tacit racism.
Keywords: Structural Racism, Cultural Studies, Culture and Society, Black American History, Inequality, Social Justice and Social Change, Sociology.
As part of a recurring, year-long program, UB Distinguished Visiting Scholars program brings a large cohort of highly accomplished scholars and artists whose work elucidates social inequality and advances social justice to the university and Buffalo community. Directed by the Center for Diversity Innovation in the College of Arts and Sciences, the program engages the entire UB community, providing opportunities for new scholarly, artistic, curricular, and pedagogical collaborations and access to scholars’ work through public presentations and exhibits, guest lectures in classes, conferences, and informal gatherings. Each scholar hosts two, year-long mentoring circles to supplement existing academic, personal, and professional support for undergraduate and graduate students.
In Tacit Racism, Anne Warfield Rawls and Waverly Duck illustrate the many ways in which racism is coded into the everyday social expectations of Americans, in what they call Interaction Orders of Race. They argue that these interactions can produce racial inequality, whether the people involved are aware of it or not, and that by overlooking tacit racism in favor of the fiction of a “color-blind” nation, we are harming not only our society’s most disadvantaged—but endangering the society itself.
Ultimately, by exposing this legacy of racism in ordinary social interactions, Rawls and Duck hope to stop us from merely pretending we are a democratic society and show us how we can truly become one.
Waverly Duck is an urban sociologist and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of No Way Out: Precarious Living in the Shadow of Poverty and Drug Dealing (University of Chicago Press, 2015), which was a finalist for the Society for the Study of Social Problem 2016 C. Wright Mills Book Award. His current research involves several projects focusing on gentrification, displacement, and food apartheid. Like his earlier work, his most recent research investigates the challenges faced by socially marginal groups. However, it is more directly concerned with how residents of marginalized communities identify problems and what they think are viable solutions. Learn more.
Anne Rawls’ teaching and research interests focus on social theory Ethnomethodology, communication, information and explore issues related to the organization of modern democratic publics and their relationship to situated practices of communication and work. These issues include the social character of information, the presentation of self, the development of a modern situated character, and studies of the situated character of reason, order and intelligibility. Research interests include focused studies of situated practice and exploration of the increasing importance of Interaction Orders of Race in modern society. A major research focus has been the delineation of an emergent interactional "social contract" and its resistance to inequalities that result from institutional arrangements and individual interests. Learn more.
Azalia Muchransyah is a filmmaker, writer, and scholar from Indonesia. In Spring 2021 she completed her PhD in Media Study. During her time as our podcast producer, she was a PhD Candidate in Media Study at UB. Muchransyah's research investigates the status of activist media, specifically for HIV advocacy in Indonesia. Her short films have been officially selected for screening at international festivals and academic conferences.