Research News

Diamond’s ‘Despite the Best Intentions’ receives outstanding book award

July 27, 2016

A book co-authored by UW-Madison’s John Diamond was recently named the winner of the 2016 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award by the Racial and Ethnic Minorities Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

John Diamond
This award honors the significant theoretical and empirical contributions of Eduardo Bonilla-Silva to the understanding of contemporary race and racism.

The book, “Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools,” is co-authored by Amanda Lewis.

Diamond is UW-Madison’s Hoefs-Bascom Associate Professor of Education and is a faculty member with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Based on five years’ worth of data gathering and interviews with more than 170 people, both in school and around the community, Diamond and Lewis were able to produce an illuminating book that helps explain how the racial achievement gap bedevils American schools.

Much research on this topic to date has centered on the role of poverty, family stability, and other external influences in explaining poor performance at school, especially in inner-city contexts. But Diamond and Lewis, an associate professor in the departments of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, not only closely examined a suburban school, but also studied what factors within the school itself could be causing the racial achievement gap.

In addition, they disputed common explanations of the gap by exploring what race actually means in this situation, and how it matters.

To learn more about the book, check out this School of Education news story about ‘Despite the Best Intentions.”