Date of Award

5-9-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrew Altman

Second Advisor

Andrew Cohen

Third Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Socioeconomic disparities between whites and blacks are pervasive in American society. Structuring of the discussion of these disproportions is the liberal race relations paradigm. According to Racial Liberalism, racial inequalities are an impermanent feature of American society because they are due primarily to race prejudice and discriminatory practices, which are continuously diminishing among whites. Challenging this view is Racial Realism. Racial Realism attributes the persistence of racial inequality to institutional privileges whites retain and refuse to relinquish whether or not they are conscious of them. I argue that Racial Realism, with some qualification, is the better explanation for the persistence of racial inequality. Racial inequalities will persist, because American society and its entrenched institutions continue to affirm, white supremacy.

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