White Race Discourse, By John Foster

1952 Words8 Pages
John Foster 's book, White Race Discourse, scrutinizes and deconstructs the manner in which many American Caucasians go about discussing, or rather, avoid discussing race relations in the United States. Through the means of face-to-face interviews, Foster gets insight into the minds of a sample of college students in a way that cannot be accomplished through a written survey. Recording inflections, pauses, and by guiding the interview, Foster catches many contradictions and discovers patterns seen through every interviewee. Analyzing the interviews, Foster develops a cohesive image of the White Race Discourse, and how it is affecting the country. One fundamental feature of this discourse it that it has become extremely bureaucratized. As if by some unspoken law, there is a feeling that any discussion on race relations is scripted, and that you can expect the conversation to go one way (Foster 660). With many of the interviewees, the conversation followed a path of acknowledging a problem, then saying things need to get better, and then diminishing the true impact of oppression in America. One prominent sociologist, George Ritzer, has called this phenomena 'McDonaldization ' (Foster 668). He equates many young white peoples speech pattern with the predictable nature of a trip to McDonalds. As with a McDonald order, White Race Discourse appears to have been streamlined for efficiency and to please the audience. While McDonalds does this by immediately asking for your order,
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