A Nation Divided: The High Cost of Unconscious Racism in Everyday Life.

Every time we interact with another human being, we unconsciously draw on a set of expectations to guide us through the encounter. What many of us in the United States do not recognize is that centuries of institutional racism have inescapably molded those expectations. This leads us to act with implicit biases that can shape everything from how we greet our neighbors to whether we take a second look at a résumé. This is tacit racism, and it is one of the most pernicious threats to our nation. This talk is about Race in the US and how it has become embedded in the taken-for-granted structures of day-to-day interaction, to produce unconscious forms of racism that go on every day –yet remain hidden. This presentation is both theoretical and empirical. Using data derived from fieldwork, as well as audio and video recordings of interactions between participants who self-identify as Black and White; these recordings illustrate underlying differences in expectations about racial interactions. I identify a set of interrelated phenomena called “Interaction Orders of Race”, “Race Pollution”, “Fractured Reflections”, and “Submissive Civility,” that provide novel ways of understanding race in everyday interactions.

Wednesday, February 19 at 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Car Barn, 427
3520 Prospect St., N.W., Washington

Event Type

Special Events




Georgetown College, Sociology


#Sociology Colloquium Series 2019-2020


Waverly Duck, Royden B. Davis, S.J. Visiting Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Open to the public and the press?


Event Contact Name

Elizabeth Demro

Event Contact Email


Accommodations Contact Name

Elizabeth Demro

Accommodations Contact Email


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