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White men on race : power, privilege, and the shaping of cultural consciousness /
Joe Feagin and Eileen O'Brien.
Boston : Beacon Press, c2003.
275 p.
0807009806 (alk. paper)
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added author
Boston : Beacon Press, c2003.
0807009806 (alk. paper)
contents note
"Race" in America -- The white bubble: learning about whiteness and the racial others -- Perspectives on whiteness -- Perspectives on African Americans and other Americans of color -- Issues of interracial dating and marriage -- Situations of possible discrimination: action and inaction -- Views on public policy: affirmative action and "reverse discrimination".
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-07-15:
The new field of "whiteness studies"-the exploration of how whites construct their racial identities and their relations with minorities-gets an eye-opening addition with this survey of upper-class white men. Sociologists Feagin and O'Brien interviewed 100 of the movers and shakers in business, academia, government and other professions-opinion makers for the white community-on their personal attitudes toward and interactions with blacks and other minorities and recorded their opinions on topics including affirmative action and interracial marriage. Their research indicates that while overt expressions of racism are rare (although not entirely absent) a pattern of subtle bias and stereotyping has emerged, part of what the authors term a "collective white consciousness." These prominent white men tend to ascribe the social disadvantages of blacks to family breakdowns and cultural pathology, not discrimination and they oppose or have reservations about affirmative action (although they often support mild variants under other names). Members of the white male elite underestimate the effects of segregation and discrimination against blacks, overestimate the harm done to whites by "reverse discrimination," and still feel uneasy at the prospect of their daughters bringing black men home for dinner. The authors ascribe many of these sentiments to distorted media images and to the "white bubble" of segregated suburbs, white-dominated workplaces and social settings, where whites seldom interact with minorities on an equal footing or gain any understanding of their lives. Moreover, there is also a "group ideology" at work, particularly when interviewees interpret a hypothetical vignette about a white salesclerk ignoring black customers as a story about black criminality instead of a story about white discrimination. Full of sharp and nuanced insights, this book offers a revealing glimpse into the heart of whiteness. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2004-02-01:
Sociologists Feagin (Univ. of Florida) and O'Brien (SUNY Brockport) provide a fascinating, complex, and brutally honest look at how a segment of society has the ability to affect, both positively and negatively, policy and treatment of people involving race. Specifically examined are the views of influential white men from the upper- and upper-middle classes, all of whom have varying degrees of power at local, state, and national levels. The authors relay views on the impact of whiteness, interracial dating and marriage, "othering," and discrimination. Particularly outstanding is the chapter on affirmative action. While this book is, by far, one of the best this reviewer has read, two points should be examined. First, more attention could be paid to intersections of race--for example, with gender and sexual orientation--and how these impact the group of white men being examined. Second, a comparative study of white women in similar positions would be interesting to see if the responses mirror those of the white men. This book is highly recommended and should be widely read. Compares favorably to Race Matters, by Cornel West (1993), and The Truly Disadvantaged, by William Julius Wilson (CH, Apr'88). ^BSumming Up: Essential. All libraries. K. M. Jamieson Ashland University
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, July 2003
Booklist, August 2003
Choice, February 2004
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.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
"Race" in Americap. 5
The White Bubble: Learning about Whiteness and the Racial Othersp. 30
Perspectives on Whitenessp. 66
Perspectives on African Americans and Other Americans of Colorp. 96
Issues of Interracial Dating and Marriagep. 131
Situations of Possible Discrimination: Action and Inactionp. 155
Views on Public Policy: Affirmative Action and "Reverse Discrimination"p. 189
The Multiracial Futurep. 226
Notesp. 263
Acknowledgmentsp. 277
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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