whiteness studies

* Recommended

Breaking the Code of Good Intentions: Everyday Forms of Whiteness
Melanie E Bush, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004
ISBN: 0742528642
Breaking the Code of Good Intentions places the current-day white experience within a political, economic and social context by exploring the perceptions of students about identity, privilege, democracy, inter-group relations. This book documents how the everyday thinking of ordinary people contributes to the perpetuation of systemic racialized inequality and identifies opportunities to challenge these patterns, with particular recommendations for the educational system of the twenty-first century.

Impacts of Racism on White Americans
Benjamin Bowser, SAGE Publications, 1996
ISBN: 0803949944
A revised edition of the ground breaking 1981 volume reflects current research and theories while maintaining its initial focus: How is racism part of the fabric of white Americans’ lives? The 12 essays focus on what constitutes white racial identity and racism, and how that identity is played out in the government, in foreign policy, and in corporate America. By focusing on both the individual and public levels, these discussions promote a complexity of views which refocus racism, not as an African-American problem but one which privileges whites in America and also disadvantages them on social and personal levels.

Lifting the White Veil: An Exploration of White American Culture in a Multiracial Context
Jeff Hitchcock, Crandall Dostie & Douglass Books, 2003
ISBN: 0971901708
Jeff Hitchcock has performed an invaluable service with this volume, for persons at all levels of anti-racist experience. By presenting the often difficult-to-discuss issues of racism and racial identity in clear, concise language, he has provided newcomers to these subjects with a critical starting point; and for those more versed in the dialogue of race; he has reminded us why these matters are so important.

Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940
Grace Elizabeth Hale, Vintage Books, 1999
ISBN: 0679776206
Confronted with losing the distinction between free and slave, rebel Southerners created a common whiteness to solve their post-Civil War-era problems, argues Hale (history, Univ. of Virginia). They built a nationalism of denial, a world of white and black, of power and fear. In literature, the marketplace, and public spectacle, they crafted a collectivity based on segregation as a culture, making whiteness a racial identity and the American norm even while asserting that it was natural and not the product of human choice. And as Hale shows in this absorbing cultural history of racial construction, it wasn’t just white Southerners who embraced the individual and collective identity of superiority but Northerners as well. Her thesis on the evolution of racial identity in this country is not entirely new but is greatly enhanced by her fine literary and cultural detail.

Systemic Racism
Joe R Feagin, Routledge, 2006
ISBN: 0415952786
Feagin examines how major institutions have been thoroughly pervaded by racial stereotypes, ideas, images, emotions, and practices. This system of racial oppression was not an accident of history, but was created intentionally by white Americans. White Americans labored hard to bring it forth in the 17th century and have worked diligently to perpetuate that system ever since. While significant changes have occurred in this racist system over the centuries, key and fundamentally elements have been reproduced over nearly four centuries, and U.S. institutions today imbed the racialized hierarchy created in the 17th century.

White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race *
Ian F Haney Lopez, New York University Press, 1998
ISBN: 0814751377
Words carry social connotations. Some, like “lily white,” have positive connotations. With this sense of “whiteness” as his thesis, Lopez (law, Univ. of Wisconsin) writes of the law’s recognition of a white racial identity. He focuses on a series of cases, from 1878 to 1944, known as the “racial prerequisite cases.” In those cases, state and federal courts sought to define characteristics of “whiteness” necessary to qualify an immigrant for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. Lopez concludes that the basis of today’s racial inequality is to be found in the privileged status accorded to white Americans because of this legally sanctioned white racial identity.

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son *
Tim J Wise, Soft Skull Press, 2005
ISBN: 1932360689
Tim Wise offers a highly personal examination of the ways in which racial privilege shapes the lives of most white Americans, overtly racist or not, to the detriment of people of color, themselves, and society. The book shows the breadth and depth of the phenomenon within institutions such as education, employment, housing, criminal justice, and healthcare. By critically assessing the magnitude of racial privilege and its enormous costs, Wise provides a rich memoir that will inspire activists, educators, or anyone interested in understanding the way that race continues to shape the experiences of people in the U.S. Using stories instead of stale statistics, Wise weaves a narrative that is at once readable and scholarly, analytical and accessible.

White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism
Ashley W Doane, Routledge, 2003
ISBN: 0415935830
What does it mean to be white? This remains the question at large in the continued effort to examine how white racial identity is constructed and how systems of white privilege operate in everyday life. White Out brings together the original work of leading scholars across the disciplines of sociology, philosophy, history and anthropology to give readers an important and cutting-edge study of “whiteness”.

White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism *
Paula S Rothenberg, Worth Publishers, 2004
ISBN: 0716787334
Rothenberg has compiled and reduced some very important and complex discussions on whiteness from a variety of social contexts. In White Privilege, whiteness is traced from it’s multiple origins and entry points giving a basic understanding on how whiteness developed as a social construct, what whiteness has meant to numerous people, how various Others have become white, and how whiteness is navigated and construed by people of color. This book is highly recommended for those seeking a deeper understanding of what whiteness is, what it means, and to some degree what it costs.

Whiteness: A Critical Reader
Mike Hill, New York University Press, 1997
ISBN: 0814735452
For centuries, Whiteness has been the invisible norm in the West, a transparent, yet ubiquitous frame of reference so pervasive that most Whites consider themselves absolved from race matters. In recent years activists, scholars, and writers have been challenging this cultural and political monolith by investigating Whiteness in its many manifestations. Yet, once it is rendered visible, Whiteness proves to be perilous and paradoxical: we single out Whiteness to expose its status as an unexamined center, yet the more we single it out, the more attention we invariably draw to it, once again at the expense of marginalized cultures. Organized into sections on white politics, white culture, white bodies, and white theory, this anthology collects much of the most important work on Whiteness to date. Such writers as David Roediger, Eric Lott, E. Ann Kaplan, Fred Pfeil, Amitava Kumar, and Henry A. Giroux serve up what is, in essence, a second generation of writing on Whiteness, moving past acknowledgment of its heretofore invisible nature, to in-depth analysis of its resilience and alleged disintegration. Taking on film, literature, music, militias, even Rush Limbaugh, Whiteness: A Critical Reader is a crucial contribution to discussions of race, politics, and culture in the U.S. today.

White Racism: the Basics
Joe R Feagin, Hernan Vera, Pinar Batur, Routledge, 2000
ISBN: 0415924618
Taking issue with those who claim the significance of races is declining, this edition probes the dynamic of white-on-black racism in contemporary American society. Focusing on a series of notorious racial incidents, including the Rodney King beating, the authors reveal this “dirty little secret of American life” as a fundamental social practice embedded in cherished cultural and political institutions. This second edition will include new material that examines the Texaco corporate discrimination case as well as the recent charges of racism against the Denny’s restaurant chain.

Working Toward Whiteness: How america’s Immigrants Became White
David R Roediger, Basic Books, 2006
ISBN: 0465070744

Recounts how American ethnic groups considered white today including Jewish-, Italian- and Polish-Americans once occupied a confused racial status in their new country… From ethnic slurs to racially restrictive covenants… Roediger explores the murky realities of race in twentieth-century America… Roediger charts the strange transformation of these new immigrants into the “white ethnics” of America today.


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