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Main page » Dictionaries and Encyclopedias » Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society

Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society


This substantial set covers the complex topics of its title and is mainly focused on the U.S. Its nearly 600 entries are contributed by close to 400 scholars from all over the world. The alphabetically arranged entries cover a plethora of topics from a multidisciplinary perspective and may be concerned with economics, politics, law, religion, social welfare, media, entertainment, or sports. There are also biographical and conceptual entries—for example, Frantz Fanon, Abraham Lincoln, Ethnocentrism, Gerrymandering, Ghetto, and Stereotypes are all treated. Notable court cases merit their own entries, as do selected ethnic groups and countries. Issues of gender, class, age, and sexual orientation are also included. Entries are well written and incisive, making them accessible to a wide audience. Because of the wide scope of topics covered, individual entries do not go into too much depth. The aforementioned Fanon merits a page, while Lincoln gets 2. Most of the conceptual entries are a few pages long. Each entry is followed by a helpful list of further reading, usually 5–10 sources, and most entries contain 5 or more see also references. Some other notable features of the encyclopedia are the maps (nearly 100 of them), tables, charts, and appendixes. Graphics may cover racial- or ethnic-group distribution or foreign-born percentages of U.S. population by decade, for example. The first appendix (almost 50 pages) provides a great data mine for the statistical researcher, with tables like “Petitions for Naturalization Filed, Persons Naturalized, and Petitions for Naturalization Denied: 1907–2006.” The second appendix is a list of Web resources. A useful introduction attempts to clarify the sometimes complex and nebulous terminology that is often used when discussing race and ethnicity. The “Reader’s Guide” organizes entry headings by broad topic. Finally, there are period photographs interspersed throughout the encyclopedia, showing, for example, Malcolm X dining in Harlem, a young Harry Belafonte crooning, and members of the American Indian Movement occupying Alcatraz in 1969. Overall, this set is a good starting point for researchers at the college or even graduate level, as well as for general readers, to begin investigating what can be very difficult topics and concepts to understand.

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Tags: topics, entries, biographical, conceptual, entriesmdashfor, Encyclopedia, topics, Ethnicity, concerned