1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (Hart–Cellar Act): Legislation that put an end to the racially biased quotas set forth in the 1924 Oriental Exclusion Act and the Immigration Act of 1924. It set a universal quota of 20,000 immigrants for every country in the world.


1984 Crime Control Act: An act that established mandatory minimum sentences and eliminated federal parole.


1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA): A series of immigration provisions that (1) offered a legalization option for undocumented workers living in the United States and (2) imposed sanctions on employers who hired undocumented workers.


abstract liberalism: The first of Bonilla-Silva’s “frames” of color-blind racism. It involves using liberal ideas such as equality of opportunity or freedom of choice to explain or justify racial inequality.


acculturation: A process by which immigrants adopt the behaviors and preferences of the host society.


achievement gap: A process by which immigrants adopt the behaviors and preferences of the host society.


acting white: A term used to refer to nonwhites who are perceived as behaving in ways associated with white people.


adultify: When a teacher or other authority figure interprets children’s behavior as if they were adults.


affirmative action: Policies and procedures designed to combat ongoing discrimination in schools and the workplace.


Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986: Legislation that imposed even more mandatory minimum sentences. Most significantly, it set a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for offenses involving 100 grams of heroin, 500 grams of cocaine, or 5 grams of crack cocaine.


Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988: Act that included a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine, with no evidence of intent to sell.


Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA): 1996 legislation that, among other provisions, eliminated judicial review of some deportation orders and required mandatory detention for many noncitizens.


asset-based social policy: Proactive policy, at either the individual or structural level, designed to help narrow the wealth gap.


assets: Cash in the bank and the value of all property, not only land but also houses, cars, stocks and bonds, and retirement savings.


assimilation: A process whereby immigrants lose their ethnic distinctiveness and become part of the mainstream.


beauty queue: A concept explaining how sexism and racism interact to create a queue of women ranging from the lightest to the darkest, in which the lightest get the most resources.


biological racism: The idea that whites are genetically superior to nonwhites.


bracero program: A U.S. government program that brought in temporary workers from Mexico between 1942 and 1964.


Butterfly: A stereotype of an Asian woman who is a demure, devoted, and submissive wife.


Cantina Girl: A stereotype of a Latina as an available sexual object.


Chinese Exclusion Act: The first major piece of immigration legislation; it was overtly racist in that it specifically prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the United States.


colonialism: The practice of acquiring political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.


color-blind racism: An ideology in which race is not explicitly acknowledged, but individual prejudices, acts of racial discrimination, and structures of inequality work to benefit whites.


colorism: The idea that, within races, lighter is better.


controlling images: Raced, gendered, and classed depictions in the media that shape people’s ideas of what African Americans are and are not.


craniometry: The measurement of cranial capacity, used in the 19th century to supposedly provide "scientific" proof of white superiority.


cultural capital: Cultural resources that offer social and other benefits.


cultural racism: A way of thinking that attributes disadvantaged racial groups’ lack of prosperity to their behavior and culture rather than to structural factors.


cumulative disadvantage perspective: A framework used to explain the increasing divergence between black and white health outcomes that focuses on how disadvantages accumulate over the life course.


deindustrialization: The process of decline in industrial activity in a region or economy that involves a shift from a manufacturing to a service economy.


diaspora: A dispersion of people from their original homeland.


discrimination: The practice of treating people differently.


dissimilarity index: Measure that describes the extent to which two groups—such as blacks and whites—are found in equal proportions in all neighborhoods.


Dragon Lady: A stereotype of an Asian woman as a sinister, crafty, and destructive seductress.


earnings gap: Differences in annual earnings among groups.


embedded market: A market economy embedded within interlocking systems of oppression and privilege.


enlightened racism: The idea that the United States is a land of opportunity and that African Americans could do better if they only tried harder.


environmental justice: Efforts to ensure the right to live in nontoxic neighborhoods, regardless of race.


environmental racism: Institutional policies and practices that differentially affect the health outcomes or living conditions of people and communities based on race or color.


erotic capital: A concept linking the attractiveness and sensuality of a woman to her skin color.


ethnic enclave economy: Clusters of small businesses that primarily serve people of the same ethnicity and work to facilitate the success of co-ethnics.


ethnicity: Group identity based on notions of similar and shared history, culture, and kinship.


eugenics: The practice of controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable characteristics in a population.


Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Government agency established in 1934 with the purpose of bolstering the economy and, in particular, the construction industry.


genocide: The mass killing of a group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic or racial group.


Gini coefficient: A measure of inequality, with 0 representing perfect equality and 100 representing perfect inequality.


global color hierarchy: A worldwide system in which white (or light) skin is privileged and people—especially women—strive to become lighter.


hegemony: When racial ideologies become so widely accepted that they become common sense.


hidden curriculum: Underlying curriculum designed to reflect and promote the interests of the dominant class.


Hispanic Paradox: The observation that even though Latinxs have, on average, a lower socioeconomic status than whites, they have comparable health outcomes to whites.


human capital: Educational attainment, skills, and job experience.


hypersegregation: Instances of notably high levels of segregation.


hypodescent: The idea that having any amount of black ancestry makes you black.


ideology: A set of principles and ideas that benefit the dominant group.


Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA): 1996 legislation under which legal permanent residents face mandatory deportation if they are convicted of “aggravated felonies.”


Immigration Act of 1917: Legislation expanding the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and denying entry to the United States for anyone coming from the “Asiatic Barred Zone,” which included India, Burma, the Malay States, Arabia, and Afghanistan.


Immigration Act of 1924 (Johnson-Reed Act): Legislation that greatly reduced U.S. immigration from southern and eastern Europe by introducing quotas, or limits on the number of people from these countries who were allowed entry.


implicit bias: Unreasoned judgmental inclinations that operate without our conscious awareness.


Indian Removal Act of 1830: Act that enabled the administration of U.S. president Andrew Jackson to use military power to displace at least 70,000 Native Americans, killing tens of thousands in the process.


individual racism: When one person discriminates against another on the basis of race or ethnicity.


institutional agent: A person who occupies a position of power and is able to access or negotiate resources for others.


institutional racism: A person who occupies a position of power and is able to access or negotiate resources for others.


intelligence testing: The attempt to quantify intellectual ability using scientific measures.


intersectionality: The attempt to quantify intellectual ability using scientific measures.


Islamophobia: The systematic marginalization of Muslims.


isolation index: Measure that compares a neighborhood’s demographics against citywide demographics.


Jezebel: A name with biblical origins that has come to signify a stereotypically oversexed or hypersexual black woman.


Jim Crow laws: A system of laws passed in the late 1800s denying nonwhites equality.


legal permanent resident: A foreign national who is granted the right to remain in the United States and who will be eligible for naturalization after a period of three to five years.


life-course perspective: A framework used to explain how health outcomes change over the life course.


Mammy: A stereotypical image of a black maid.


McCarran Internal Security Act: A 1950 U.S. law designed to combat Communism. It required members of the Communist Party in the United States to register with the federal government, and it allowed for the deportation of foreign nationals who were members of the Communist Party.


meme: An idea, image, video, or phrase that spreads in a culture.


mestizo: A Latin American classification of people of European and indigenous ancestry.


“model minority” myth: The stereotype that Asians are the racial minority group that has “made it” in the United States.


mulatto: The progeny of blacks and whites; a class of mixed-race people who are darker than whites but lighter than blacks.


nativism: The presumed superiority of native-born citizens, favoring the allocation of resources to them over immigrants and promoting a fear of foreign cultures.


naturalization (Bonilla-Silva): The second “frame” of color-blind racism, which permits people to explain racial phenomena as if they were natural.


naturalization: The process whereby people become citizens of a country where they do not have birthright citizenship.


Naturalization Act of 1790: The first piece of U.S. legislation relating to the foreign-born, stating that only free white persons who had lived in the United States for at least two years were eligible for citizenship.


neoliberalism: The ideology that open markets, liberalized trade, and privatization are the keys to economic success.


new racism: An ideology in which it is not acceptable to make overtly racist statements, yet racial inequality persists.


Nuremberg Code: Policy adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1953 under which research subjects have to be informed that participation is voluntary and be provided with information about the nature, duration, and purpose of the research.


Operation Wetback: Massive roundups of Mexicans by the U.S. Border Patrol from 1950 to 1954.


oppositional culture: Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu’s (1986) thesis that black children receive signals from both the white and black communities that lead them to reject schooling as a route to success.


outsourcing: The practice of moving jobs once held by Americans overseas, where cheaper labor can be found.


pardo: A Brazilian census category meaning “brown.”


patriarchy: A system of oppression that ensures male dominance in terms of power and property.


Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA): 1996 legislation that denied government services and benefits to legally present migrants.


pigmentocracy: A society in which blacks, Asians, and Latinxs have different social statuses according to their skin color.


predatory lender: A pawnshop, payday lender, or check cashing service that charges very high fees and interest rates.


prejudice: Preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.


prison-industrial complex (PIC): The vast network of prisons, jails, courts, police officers, and other elements that purport to reduce the amount of criminal activity in our society.


racial enclave economy: An economy in which a business’s success is both shaped and limited by the racial group membership of the business owner.


racial formation: As defined by Michael Omi and Howard Winant (1994), “the sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed.”


racial ideology: A set of principles and ideas that (1) divides people into racial groups and (2) serves the interests of one group.


racial microaggression: Daily, commonplace insults and racial slights that cumulatively affect the psychological well-being of people of color.


racial profiling: The use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspicion.


racial project: As defined by Michael Omi and Howard Winant (1994), a way of giving meaning to racial categories through cultural representations and social structures.


racialized social systems: "Societies in which economic, political, social, and ideological levels are partially structured by the placement of actors in racial categories” (Bonilla-Silva)


racially restrictive covenants: Contractual agreements that prevent the sale or lease of property within an area to nonwhites.


racism: (1) The belief that races are populations of people whose physical differences are linked to significant cultural and social differences and that these innate hierarchical differences can be measured and judged. (2) The practice of subordinating races believed to be inferior.


Reaganomics: The economic policies of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan, involving heavy cuts to a wide variety of social programs across the country.


residential segregation: The separation of different groups of people into distinct neighborhoods.


rhetorical strategies: Ways of expressing racist ideas without being labeled as racist.


Sapphire: One of the main characters on the television show Amos ‘n’ Andy; the caricature of an angry black woman.


school-to-prison pipeline: A set of practices that lead to children being funneled from public schools into the juvenile and criminal justice system.


scientific racism: The use of science or pseudoscience to reproduce and/or justify racial inequalities.


segregation index: Measure that describes the percentage of 88 percent nonwhites who would have to move in order for the city to be fully residentially integrated.


skills mismatch hypothesis: The hypothesis that African American men in particular often do not have the skills required to secure work in the current economy.


skin-color privilege: The privilege of being considered more beautiful, intelligent, or otherwise superior as a result of having lighter skin.


skin-color stratification: A system in which resources such as income and status are distributed unequally according to skin color.


slave codes: Laws enacted in the 1660s that clearly spelled out the differences between African slaves and European indentured servants.


social capital: Relationships and networks that offer social and other benefits.


social construction: An idea or way of viewing people based not on biological differences but on social perceptions.


sociological theory of racism: Sociological explanation for how racial inequality is created and reproduced.


spatial mismatch hypothesis: Hypothesis that African American families have been excluded from buying homes in the suburbs where much of the job growth has occurred, thereby creating a disconnect between where African Americans live and where the jobs are concentrated.


split labor market: A difference in the price of labor for two or more groups of laborers.


steering: A practice by which real estate agents show homes in white neighborhoods only to whites and homes in black neighborhoods only to blacks.


stereotype: A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a type of person or thing.


sterilization racism: Racist health care policies and practices that attempt to control the reproductive capacities of women of color.


structural racism: Interinstitutional interactions across time and space that reproduce racial inequality.


subprime loan: High-interest loan to someone at high risk of defaulting.


Suffering Señorita: A stereotype of a Latina who suffers physical harm while protecting her Anglo love interest.


symbolic violence: As described by Pierre Bourdieu (1984), the power of a socially dominant group to make its preferences, tastes, and norms appear to be superior to those of the nondominant group.


systemic racism: As defined by Joe Feagin (2001), a diverse assortment of racist practices, encompassing daily microaggressions, deep-seated inequalities, historical inequalities, and antiblack ideologies.


Trails of Tears: The forced displacement of the Cherokee of Georgia, the Apalachicola of Florida, the Peoria of Illinois, the Shawnee of Ohio, and a host of other tribes.


Tuskegee syphilis experiment: A study of the effects of syphilis, begun in 1932 by the Public Health Service and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, that withheld diagnosis from the poor black male participants. Instead of treating the men, the doctors used the study to determine what untreated syphilis would do to the body. The study lasted until 1972 and involed 624 participants.


underemployment: A category including jobless workers actively seeking work, people who are working part time yet are available to work full time, and those who have looked for work in the past year and yet are not actively seeking employment.


Vamp: A stereotype of a Latina who uses devious and cunning stratagems to get what she wants.


wage gap: Differences in hourly earnings (wages) among racial groups.


wage of whiteness: As defined by W. E. B. DuBois in 1936, psychological benefits that white workers received by aligning with the dominant group, their white bosses, as opposed to developing working-class solidarity with recently freed black slaves.


wealth: The sum total of a person’s assets minus debt. Wealth is built up over a lifetime and passed on to the next generation through inheritances.


weathering hypothesis: A framework used to explain the increasing divergence between black and white health outcomes that focuses on how constant exposure to stress accelerates health decline for blacks.


white privilege: The advantages inherent in being categorized as white.