By Peter Ratcliffe (eds.)
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The report's findings of institutionalized racism in New York and the role of economic institutions in maintaining blacks in perpetual dependency was too controversial for Fiorello La Guardia, Major of New York, to release. Myrdal's An American Dilemma, consisting of 45 chapters spanning over 1300 pages, was written in the same period. Raised to the pantheon of classic `race relations' texts, it was authored by a foreign-born white liberal Swedish economist. The Carnegie Corporation, which sponsored it, was not only racially exclusive but strongly supported white supremacy in apartheid societies (Stansfield, 1985).
How is their work and presence within academic life, and its impact outside, 18 Dipannita Basu 19 tolerated or contingent upon the current political climate on issues of `race', interwined as it is by internal class divisions, gender and sexuality? Walls of exclusion and silence: Du Bois and Mydral Like it or not, and know it or not, sociologists will organize their research in terms of their prior assumptions; the character of sociology will depend upon and will change when they change. (Gouldner, 1970, p.
The freeing of Nelson Mandela and the `unbanning' of the ANC in South Africa materially affected the ground rules for future struggles towards the ultimate elimination of apartheid (cf Chapter 4). Set against these momentous historical events, it may appear that academics and others concerned with serious social commentary, have a relatively insignificant role to play as prime movers and catalysts for change. But this may well be to seriously underestimate the potential of this group. The term `the state' is another which has been subject to much sloganeering and sloppy thinking, even in the social science literature.