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Sociologist, Author of Racism Without Racists


Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is the James B. Duke Professor of Sociology at Duke University. He gained visibility in the social sciences with his 1997 article “Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation,” where he challenged analysts to study racial matters structurally rather than from the sterile prejudice perspective.

His 2003 book, Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, has become a classic in the field and influenced scholars in education, religious studies, political science, rhetoric, psychology, legal studies and sociology. It won the Choice Award in 2004 and again in 2015.

His four other books are White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era (co-winner of the 2002 Oliver Cox Award given by the American Sociological Association); White Out; White Logic, White Methods (co-winner of the 2009 Oliver Cox Award); and State of White Supremacy.

Bonilla-Silva’s notable achievements include the 2007 Lewis Coser Award from the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association for Theoretical-Agenda Setting, and the 2011 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, given by the American Sociological Association. He also has served as president of the Southern Sociological Society and the American Sociological Association.

Currently, Bonilla-Silva is working on a paper to reorient work on microaggressions, on how to theorize racial formations in the Americas and the Caribbean, and on explaining why people in Latin America do not interpret overtly racist images as racist.

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