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The Racial Glass CeilingSubordination in American Law and Culture$
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Roy L. Brooks

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300223309

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300223309.001.0001

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Cultural Subordination Through Cultural Diversity

Cultural Subordination Through Cultural Diversity

(p.97) Four Cultural Subordination Through Cultural Diversity
The Racial Glass Ceiling

Roy L. Brooks

Yale University Press

Cultural subordination is defined here as the suppression of important black values or folk ways—questions and concerns of keen importance to blacks—in the American mainstream culture. Like juridical subordination, cultural subordination is animated by post-Jim Crow norms that perform important rhetorical and regulatory functions in civil rights discourse—racial omission (traditionalism), racial integration (reformism), racial solidarity (limited separation), and social transformation (critical race theory). After defending the belief that blacks do have a distinct set of values that transcend class stratification, and after discussing the legitimacy of cultural diversity in American society, this chapter crafts four models of cultural diversity defined by these post-Jim Crow norms—cultural assimilation (traditionalism), biculturalism (reformism), cultural pluralism (limited separation), and transculturalism (critical race theory). It then proceeds to explain how most of these visions of cultural diversity subordinate legitimate black values. Deploying these models to purposefully enhance our racial democracy, which lies at the root of cultural diversity, can reduce (but not entirely eliminate) racial subordination in the American mainstream culture.

Keywords:   American mainstream culture, Black middle class, Black working class, Cultural identity, Middle-class culture, Middle-class racial differences, White middle class, White working class, Working-class culture, Working-class racial differences

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