Colloquium: A Nation Divided: The High Cost of Tacit Racism in Everyday Life

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Date: December 15, 2020
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Location: ZOOM
Category: Seminar

The Institute of Geronotology (IOG) fall 2020 Research Colloquia & Professional Development Series is pleased to present: 

A Nation Divided: The High Cost of Tacit Racism in Everyday Life
Waverly Duck, PhD
Associate Professor Department of Sociology University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

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 derive 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.

Waverly Duck is an urban sociologist and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of No Way: Precarious Living in the Shadow of Poverty and Drug Dealing (University of Chicago Press, 2015), which was a finalist for the Society for the Study of Social Problem 2016 C. Wright Mills Book Award.  His new book on unconscious racism, Tacit Racism, co-authored with Anne Rawls, was released on June 30, 2020 with the University of Chicago Press.

His current research involves several projects focusing on gentrification, displacement, and food apartheid. Like his earlier work, his current research investigates the challenges faced by socially marginal groups. However, it is more directly concerned with how residents of marginalized communities identify problems and what they think are viable solutions to those problems.  



Meeting ID: 882 9707 8920 Passcode: 551917

IOG Colloquia are Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30 am (unless otherwise noted). 
VIEW Complete 2020 Fall Schedule

FREE and open to all!
For more information contact: Gail Summers at or 248 802-1647
IOG, Director of Training and Professor of Economics

IOG Colloquia are presented courtesy of the Mary Thompson Foundation

December 2020