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Inside organized racism : women in the hate movement /
Kathleen M. Blee.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2002.
272 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0520221745 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2002.
0520221745 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Kathleen M. Blee is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Flap Copy
"An insightful view of organized racism focusing on women in the Movement. Thoroughly researched and well written. An important contribution to our understanding hate in America."--Morris Dees, Founder and President, Southern Poverty Law Center "Combining observations of racist group events, examinations of published and distributed racist documents, and in-depth, unstructured life history interviews of a representative sample of women members of a variety of U.S. racist groups, Blee offers an innovative and superb probe into organized racism. Her findings are both significant and alarming. These women do not fit the common stereotypes. Their backgrounds are more normal than we may want to believe."--William Brustein, author ofThe Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933 "Kathleen Blee has produced a fascinating account of women in extreme racist movements. She analyses the place of women in the racist culture of violence, and in so doing she challenges many preconceptions.Inside Organized Racismis a courageous, thoughtful and important book."--Michael Billig, author ofRock'n'Roll Jews "Chock-full of insights about racist movements and the women drawn to them, this book effectively demonstrates the contradictions and tensions within and among these women. Blee does a wonderful job of showing how these extremist groups not only depart from mainstream assumptions and actions but are also connected to mainstream ideas and organizations. Given the physical danger and personal horror Blee encountered in carrying out this research, her work is admirable in its depth and its attempt to balance understanding with criticism of people she found abhorrent. A chilling account of the banality of organized racism."--Rebecca Klatch, author ofA Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s "This is an extraordinary book. It exposes and illuminates the inner world of organized racism in the U.S. today, exploring not only what racists say, but also how they are formed. Focusing on the often ignored voices of women in the movement, Blee succeeds in giving us the widest, most nuances and current view of the organized racist underground in the U.S. Her analysis of issues of gender, culture and racism are both penetrating and vital for all who care about the present and future direction of American society."--Mark Weitzman, Director of the National Task Force Against Hate, Simon Wiesenthal Center
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2002-01-07:
In this timely account, based on in-depth interviews with 34 women in organized racist and anti-Semitic groups (Christian Identity, neo-Nazi, white power skinheads, Ku Klux Klan) and a study of their publications between 1993 and 1994, Blee, a sociology professor and author of Women of the Klan, takes a penetrating look at how "ordinary women... become wedded to dangerous and bizarre racist agendas." Blee reveals these woman as monstrous, but not monsters distinguished from mainstream society by their virulent racism and anti-Semitism and their general hostility toward the most benign feminism. They come from every region, and are often educated and middle-class, working in professions like education, nursing and engineering. For women, Blee explains, intense racism is often the result of their participation in racist groups, rather than a passion for the cause; they learn within the groups, which they more often stumble into for social reasons than seek out. Blee's disquieting account of how "everyday racism" morphs into "extraordinary racism" is full of surprises among them how different the path is for women than for men: whereas "male racial activists talk about their empowerment by racial knowledge and racial activism... for these women, racism is a politics of despair." Blee, who does not share the views of her subjects, writes of their lives and concerns with uncommon empathy, in spite of some harrowing personal experiences. Most readers will share her subjects' concerns with home and family and with establishing a personal and group identity. It is chilling, though, to read of the advertisements for Aryan cookbooks that appear in white power newsletters. Blee's work is a must-read for its fresh, pertinent scholarship and its riveting prose. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan. 7) Forecast: This scholarly book merits a readership beyond academia and is fully accessible to general readers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-01-01:
Sociologist Blee (Univ. of Pittsburgh; The Road to Poverty: The Making of Wealth and Hardship in Appalachia) interviewed 34 women members of neo-Nazi groups, the KKK, Christian Identity groups, or white-power skinhead groups for this study of women in hate movements. Based on these interviews and on secondary sources, her book contends that women account for about half of new recruits to these groups, although total membership is very difficult to estimate. Blee explores how women come to adopt racist attitudes, how they learn about whiteness and hatred of nonwhites, their varied experiences within racist groups, racist group practices that foster group loyalty, and, finally, ways to combat organized racism. Some of her observations challenge stereotypes. For instance, most of these women are not poor, uneducated, raised in abusive families, or drawn into racism through a male partner. Racist groups also use mainstream values like love of family and group fellowship to recruit new members. Three appendixes describe individual racist groups, the author's methodology, and antiracist organizations. This scholarly study is most appropriate for academic collections. (Photos and index not seen.) Patricia A. Beaber, Coll. of New Jersey Lib., Ewing (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2002-08-01:
Blee (Univ. of Pittsburgh) is the nation's leading scholar on women activists in white supremacist movements. Her earlier book (Women of the Klan, CH, Jan'92) has become an acclaimed classic. Here she reports on observations of supremacist meetings and interviews with 34 white women in a family of overlapping Klan, neo-Nazi, Christian Identity, and racist-skinhead groups in numerous states. These white women, who constitute nearly half of recruits, do not fit stereotypes--most are educated, few are from poor or abusive families, and many did not enter the movement following men. Striking is Blee's finding that most were not outspoken racists before they joined the movement but learned intensely racist views once inside. These white women see the world as conspiring against them and view loyalty, group secrecy, and terrorism as weapons in a "war" for white supremacy. The book would have been stronger if Blee had made much more use of the growing literature on systemic racism in US society. She deals little with the important ways that some racist views of supremacist activists overlap with the views of many whites who do not join supremacist groups. With three excellent appendixes and detailed notes, this book is recommended for all levels and collections. J. R. Feagin University of Florida
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, January 2002
Publishers Weekly, January 2002
Globe & Mail, April 2002
Choice, August 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text focuses on women, the newest recruiting targets of racist groups and crucial to their campaign for racial supremacy. Through personal interviews, the author dispels many misconceptions of organized racism.
Long Description
Kathleen M. Blee's disturbing and provocative look at the hidden world of organized racism focuses on women, the newest recruiting targets of racist groups and crucial to their campaign for racial supremacy. Through personal interviews with women active in the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups, Christian Identity sects, and white power skinhead gangs across the United States, Blee dispels many misconceptions of organized racism. Women are seldom pushed into the racist movement by any compelling interest, belief, or need, she finds. Most are educated. Only the rare woman grew up poor. Most were not raised in abusive families. Most women did not follow men into the world of organized racism. Inside Organized Racismoffers a fascinating examination of the submerged social relations and the variety of racist identities that lie behind the apparent homogeneity of the movement. Following up her highly praised study of the women in the 1920s Ku Klux Klan, Blee discovers that many of today's racist women combine dangerous racist and anti-Semitic agendas with otherwise mainstream lives. Few of the women she interviews had strong racist or anti-Semitic views before becoming associated with racist groups. Rather, they learned a virulent hatred of racial minorities and anti-Semitic conspiratorial beliefs by being in racist groups. The only national sample of a broad spectrum of racist activists and the only major work on women racists, this well-written and important book also sheds light on how gender relationships shape participation in the movement as a whole.
Main Description
A vivid look at the women in racist hate groups--neo-Nazis, the Klan, skinheads, Christian identity sects. Blee, author of Women in the Klan, investigates why ordinary women join these groups today, and demonstrates how extreme racist hate-mongering is learned. These women don't join because they're racists, they join for social reasons and learn to hate.
Publisher Fact Sheet
Why women join hate groups, how they participate in them, & why they stay.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Crossing a Boundaryp. 1
Becoming a Racist
The Racist Selfp. 25
Whitenessp. 54
Enemiesp. 73
Living As a Racist
The Place of Womenp. 111
A Culture of Violencep. 156
Conclusion: Lessonsp. 187
Racist Groupsp. 193
Methodologyp. 198
Antiracist Organizationsp. 205
Notesp. 207
Bibliographyp. 247
Acknowledgmentsp. 267
Indexp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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