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Criminal Justice and Social Change

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: December 29, 1998
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Exercise 2: Institutional Racism and Intersectionality

Source materials for the following questions will be found in Images of Color, Images of Crime, Roxbury Publishing, 1998, Chapter 1.

Answer by e-mail to
Subject: cjexercise - racism
Be sure to include your name!
Try to answer in 25 words or so. Make each answer integral, so that I can read it without reference to the exercise or the question itself.

  1. In what way does Derrick Bell's statement (that "if black people had not existed, America would have invented" them) relate to Ernest Gaines' story of three black men? (p. vii and Dear Habermas piece on "They ain't us.")

  2. What is the problem with defining "racism" as the prejudiced behavior of another? (p.4)

  3. What is intersectionality? (p.6)

  4. What do social constructionists mean when they say that identities are interdependent?

  5. How does this explanation of interdependence relate to the social construction of reality? See the Koster essay under the Chomsky Celebration at MIT Press, for a conservative critique of this interdependence. jeanne believes Koster is dead wrong. He is exaggerating the position of those who see an active role for the self, and he is doing so in the name of reason, which has very little to do with the formation of the self. For the social constructionist view, go to the Virtual Faculty site.