CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


All Things to All People or Nothing for Some: Justice, Diversity, and Democracy in Sociological Societies


This presidential address first explores the increasingly popular position known as racial realism, which argues that the problem of racism has largely been solved, and places blame for any tenacious remnants of racism on a small group of intransigent white extremists and on people of color themselves. The racial realist perspective is not difficult for sociologists to dispute, using the extant research on institutional racism and its effects on people of color. However, the address then examines how white privilege is ingrained not only in the society at large, but also in the discipline of sociology itself and, more particularly, in sociological professional societies, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), both historically and contemporaneously. The address concludes with suggestions for improving the culture and practices of SSSP with regard to issues of privilege, race, and ethnicity.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Social Problems, v. 54, no. 2, p. 161-169.

This article is a revised version of the author’s Presidential Address, delivered August 11, 2006, at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Montreal, Canada.

Dr. Claire Renzetti had not been a faculty member of the University of Kentucky at the time of publication.

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