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Racial Scaffolding: Conceptual Overview

  • Robbie W. C. Tourse
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the focus of the book—the scaffolding that supports systemic institutional racism. It provides a brief explanation of the paradox presented by the coexistence of a declaration that “all men are created equal” and the persistent inequality between whites and people of color in the United States. The chapter gives a contemporary example of racial oppression, describes types of racism, and provides the authors’ definition of racism. It also introduces concepts used throughout the book to explain institutional racism: social construction, oppression, racial scaffolding, and institutional web, and notes the active and complex nature of these concepts within the American societal infrastructure. In addition, social construction is discussed as it relates to perceptual differences between racial groups and as the basis for racial oppression within the infrastructure of American society. This chapter culminates by presenting concept that constructs racial scaffolding (poles and rungs). The concept of scaffolding is used throughout the book to provide an understanding of the various components of the society that contribute to and promote the continuation of racism in American society.

Keywords

Racial scaffolding Racism Social construction Institutional web Types of racism Oppression Trayvon martin 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robbie W. C. Tourse
    • 1
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
    • 2
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski
    • 3
  1. 1.Boston College School of Social WorkChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Simmons College School of Social WorkBostonUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsBostonUSA

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