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Colormute [electronic resource] : race talk dilemmas in an American school /
Mica Pollock.
imprint
Princeton, NJ ; Woodstock : Princeton University Press, 2004.
description
xi, 268 p.
ISBN
9780691123950
format(s)
Book
More Details
added author
imprint
Princeton, NJ ; Woodstock : Princeton University Press, 2004.
isbn
9780691123950
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8838812
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"The scholarship is provocative, the text well written, and the argument clear and compelling. Pollock is a truly gifted writer."--Michelle Fine, City University of New York"Professor Pollock attacks a vitally important topic with vitality and an engaging and very readable style. Displaying a keen ear, she has artfully picked up the nuances of 'race talk' from students she has taught and observed. Pollock presents a troubling, but significant finding: Talking in racial terms can make race matter; but so too, can not speaking in racial terms."--Hugh Mehan, University of California San Diego
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-09-01:
As an anthropologist and a teacher, Pollock (Harvard Graduate Sch. of Education) has studied adult and young people's everyday struggles over fundamental questions of inequality and difference. This book, the product of three years of ethnographic research in California, explores one of the most confounding questions of U.S. racial practice: when to speak about people in racial terms. It discusses the role race plays in everyday and policy talk about such familiar topics as discipline, achievement, curriculum reform, and educational inequality. Pollock explores the boundaries and dilemmas of racial dialog in the classroom and argues that both clumsy race talk and an insistence on avoiding race labels in schools have actually fueled racial disparities in educational opportunity and attainment. Pollock attacks the topic with strength, providing a clear, compelling, and well-written argument. She helps readers cultivate greater understanding of the pitfalls and possibilities of daily race talk. A necessary and important work in fostering ongoing conversations about dismantling racial inequality in the United States; recommended for academic libraries. Samuel T. Huang, Univ. of Arizona Lib., Tucson (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2005-10-01:
Colormute is an insightful exploration of the dilemmas of "race talk." Pollock spent three years as an insider in a low-performing northern California school during its reconstitution, which included removal of teachers and administrators. She had access to conversations about race that rarely surface in public. An anthropologist and educator, Pollock describes the paradox of talking about race and not talking about race, and the costs of prescribing to one choice over the other. She successfully deconstructs the complexity of talking about race in education. Each chapter describes the basic premise of a particular theme that emerged from Pollock's research; e.g., "race doesn't matter, but it does." Here she presents the consequences of deleting race labels in everyday talk of educational equity. The reader is easily drawn into dialogues that include encounters between students, teachers, and administrators. Pollock examines her own position as a white woman and includes reflections of the ways that her "positionality" is evident in the race labels she herself uses. This readable, scholarly volume is engaging and suitable for a wide range of audiences. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers and lower-and upper-division undergraduate collections. C. Getz University of San Diego
Reviews
Review Quotes
Pollock attacks the topic with strength, providing a clear, compelling, and well-written argument. She helps readers cultivate greater understanding of the pitfalls and possibilities of daily race talk. A necessary and important work in fostering ongoing conversations about dismantling racial inequality in the United States.
"Pollock attacks the topic with strength, providing a clear, compelling, and well-written argument. She helps readers cultivate greater understanding of the pitfalls and possibilities of daily race talk. A necessary and important work in fostering ongoing conversations about dismantling racial inequality in the United States."-- Library Journal
Pollock attacks the topic with strength, providing a clear, compelling, and well-written argument. She helps readers cultivate greater understanding of the pitfalls and possibilities of daily race talk. A necessary and important work in fostering ongoing conversations about dismantling racial inequality in the United States. -- Library Journal
The dilemma at the heart of this book is the same dilemma at the heart of US society: practically no available form of public discourse about racial topics or issues actually engages with what race i. . . . This book's ethnographic setting, detailed observations, and transcripts provide a close-up look at a vexing everyday issue, demonstrating an important performative dimension in the generation of racialization.
"The dilemma at the heart of this book is the same dilemma at the heart of US society: practically no available form of public discourse about racial topics or issues actually engages with what race i. . . . This book's ethnographic setting, detailed observations, and transcripts provide a close-up look at a vexing everyday issue, demonstrating an important performative dimension in the generation of racialization."-- Bonnie Urciuoli, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
The dilemma at the heart of this book is the same dilemma at the heart of US society: practically no available form of public discourse about racial topics or issues actually engages with what race i. . . . This book's ethnographic setting, detailed observations, and transcripts provide a close-up look at a vexing everyday issue, demonstrating an important performative dimension in the generation of racialization. -- Bonnie Urciuoli,"Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
The dilemma at the heart of this book is the same dilemma at the heart of US society: practically no available form of public discourse about racial topics or issues actually engages with what race i. . . . This book's ethnographic setting, detailed observations, and transcripts provide a close-up look at a vexing everyday issue, demonstrating an important performative dimension in the generation of racialization. -- nie Urciuoli,"Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Winner of the 2005 Outstanding Book Award, American Educational Research Association Winner of the 2005 Critics' Choice Award, American Educational Studies Association
Pollock's profound insights about the dilemmas of race talk and silence will change the way Americans think about language, social categories, and the responsibilities we must face if we are ever to make headway against racial inequality.
Professor Pollock attacks a vitally important topic with vitality and an engaging and very readable style. Displaying a keen ear, she has artfully picked up the nuances of 'race talk' from students she has taught and observed. Pollock presents a troubling, but significant finding: Talking in racial terms can make race matter; but so too, can not speaking in racial terms.
The scholarship is provocative, the text well written, and the argument clear and compelling. Pollock is a truly gifted writer.
This welcome book invites us to become more critically conscious of 'race talk' and thus more aware of how even our silences can reproduce racial hierarchies.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"The scholarship is provocative, the text well written, and the argument clear and compelling. Pollock is a truly gifted writer."--Michelle Fine, City University of New York"Professor Pollock attacks a vitally important topic with vitality and an engaging and very readable style. Displaying a keen ear, she has artfully picked up the nuances of 'race talk' from students she has taught and observed. Pollock presents a troubling, but significant finding: Talking in racial terms can make race matter; but so too, can not speaking in racial terms."--Hugh Mehan, University of California San Diego"This welcome book invites us to become more critically conscious of 'race talk' and thus more aware of how even our silences can reproduce racial hierarchies."--Charles Payne, Duke University"Pollock's profound insights about the dilemmas of race talk and silence will change the way Americans think about language, social categories, and the responsibilities we must face if we are ever to make headway against racial inequality."--Katherine S. Newman, Princeton University
Back Cover Copy
"The scholarship is provocative, the text well written, and the argument clear and compelling. Pollock is a truly gifted writer."-- Michelle Fine, City University of New York "Professor Pollock attacks a vitally important topic with vitality and an engaging and very readable style. Displaying a keen ear, she has artfully picked up the nuances of 'race talk' from students she has taught and observed. Pollock presents a troubling, but significant finding: Talking in racial terms can make race matter; but so too, can not speaking in racial terms."-- Hugh Mehan, University of California San Diego "This welcome book invites us to become more critically conscious of 'race talk' and thus more aware of how even our silences can reproduce racial hierarchies."-- Charles Payne, Duke University "Pollock's profound insights about the dilemmas of race talk and silence will change the way Americans think about language, social categories, and the responsibilities we must face if we are ever to make headway against racial inequality."-- Katherine S. Newman, Princeton University
Back Cover Copy
"The scholarship is provocative, the text well written, and the argument clear and compelling. Pollock is a truly gifted writer."--Michelle Fine, City University of New York "Professor Pollock attacks a vitally important topic with vitality and an engaging and very readable style. Displaying a keen ear, she has artfully picked up the nuances of 'race talk' from students she has taught and observed. Pollock presents a troubling, but significant finding: Talking in racial terms can make race matter; but so too, can not speaking in racial terms."--Hugh Mehan, University of California San Diego "This welcome book invites us to become more critically conscious of 'race talk' and thus more aware of how even our silences can reproduce racial hierarchies."--Charles Payne, Duke University "Pollock's profound insights about the dilemmas of race talk and silence will change the way Americans think about language, social categories, and the responsibilities we must face if we are ever to make headway against racial inequality."--Katherine S. Newman, Princeton University
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Colormute' explores one of the most confounding questions of US racial practice: when to speak about people in racial terms. Framing schools as key locations for such American 'race talk dilemmas', the text traces six central dilemmas of American race talk.
Main Description
This book considers in unprecedented detail one of the most confounding questions in American racial practice: when to speak about people in racial terms. Viewing "race talk" through the lens of a California high school and district,Colormutedraws on three years of ethnographic research on everyday race labeling in education. Based on the author's experiences as a teacher as well as an anthropologist, it discusses the role race plays in everyday and policy talk about such familiar topics as discipline, achievement, curriculum reform, and educational inequality. Pollock illustrates the wide variations in the way speakers use race labels. Sometimes people use them without thinking twice; at other moments they avoid them at all costs or use them only in the description of particular situations. While a major concern of everyday race talk in schools is that racial descriptions will be inaccurate or inappropriate, Pollock demonstrates that anxiously suppressing race words (being what she terms "colormute") can also cause educators to reproduce the very racial inequities they abhor. The book assists readers in cultivating a greater understanding of the pitfalls and possibilities of everyday race talk and clarifies previously murky discussions of "colorblindness." By bridging the gap between theory and practice,Colormutewill be enormously helpful in fostering ongoing conversations about dismantling racial inequality in America.
Main Description
This book considers in unprecedented detail one of the most confounding questions in American racial practice: when to speak about people in racial terms. Viewing "race talk" through the lens of a California high school and district, Colormute draws on three years of ethnographic research on everyday race labeling in education. Based on the author's experiences as a teacher as well as an anthropologist, it discusses the role race plays in everyday and policy talk about such familiar topics as discipline, achievement, curriculum reform, and educational inequality. Pollock illustrates the wide variations in the way speakers use race labels. Sometimes people use them without thinking twice; at other moments they avoid them at all costs or use them only in the description of particular situations. While a major concern of everyday race talk in schools is that racial descriptions will be inaccurate or inappropriate, Pollock demonstrates that anxiously suppressing race words (being what she terms "colormute") can also cause educators to reproduce the very racial inequities they abhor. The book assists readers in cultivating a greater understanding of the pitfalls and possibilities of everyday race talk and clarifies previously murky discussions of "colorblindness." By bridging the gap between theory and practice, Colormute will be enormously helpful in fostering ongoing conversations about dismantling racial inequality in America.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
WeDon't Belong to Simple Race Groups, but We Dop. 18
Race Doesn't Matter, but It Doesp. 44
TheDe-Raced Words We Use When Discussing Plans for Racial Equality Can Actually Keep Us from Discussing Ways to Make Opportunities Racially Equalp. 74
The More Complex Inequality Seems to Get, the More Simplistic Inequality Analysis Seems to Becomep. 109
TheQuestions We Ask Most about RaceAretheVery Questions We Most Suppressp. 147
Although Talking in Racial Terms Can Make Race Matter, Not Talking in Racial Terms Can Make Race Matter Toop. 172
Moving Forwardp. 210
Practically Speaking: Words for Educators in Particularp. 220
Notep. 227
Bibliographyp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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