ARC: White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society by Kalwant Bhopal – Review

I would like to thank Policy Press and Kalwant Bhopal for sending me this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

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Publication 15th February 2018 by Policy Press

 

One of the major features of politics in the past few years has been a renewed attention to race as a driving factor in both politics and everyday life. How, after decades of civil rights activism, do people from black and minority ethnic communities continue to be marginalized? In White Privilege, Kalwant Bhopal draws on social science research and political and economic analysis to show how people from black and minority backgrounds are continually positioned as outsiders in public discourse and interpersonal interaction. Neoliberal policies only increase that tendency, as their effects exacerbate long-standing patterns of minority disadvantage. Bhopal’s book is rooted in dispassionate analysis, but its message is unmistakable—the structural advantages of whiteness are widespread, and dismantling them will require both honesty about their power and determination to change them.

 

Recently I have learned that it is important to read books that are out of my comfort zone. I have been dipping my toes into the world of non-fiction and have found it both enjoyable and rewarding. However this time I decided to step out further, select a book that would probably not be enjoyable but I would learn a great deal from it.

Before going into this book I knew that it would be heavy going. I expected this not just from the content but due to the way the author writes. My heart sank ever so slightly when I realized it was academic work. I personally have never been particularly good at reading (or writing) academic work.  There were times which I struggled to understand a word or a sentence (bless the dictionary) which sometimes made it feel as the book dragged on.

However, the topic did not bore me. In the last few years, I have been awakening to my own privilege yet it was clear there were things that I was still unaware of.

Kalwant goes into deep discussion talking about racism in schools, universities and the workplace and using data to back up arguments. It especially was interesting to see data from the UK and the US. Reading this book provided me with an insight into countless different ways that we can dismantle White Privilege and Supremacy.

I didn’t “enjoy” reading this book because I don’t believe that you are meant to. There were numerous times which I struggled to read the work and I wouldn’t suggest trying to read this in one sitting. I was able to walk away afterward with my eyes having been opened widen.

3/5

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