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Part I How Whites See Themselves Ifany theme is characteristic of contemporary thought in the social sciences and in cultural studies, it is "perspectivalism"-the idea that one's viewpoint matters. Indeed, every chapter in this book can be seen as an effort to analyze, defend, criticize, celebrate, or examine one perspective or another about race and whiteness. Some even question, not how, but do whites see themselves? Upon looking into and beyond the mirror, whites have found their whiteness both opaque and transparent. Most whites have not thought much about their race. Few, upon being asked to identify themselves by attributes , would name whiteness among their primary characteristics. Part I offers a variety of ways whites, and some nonwhites, see the white race, ranging from biological and social-construction theory, to economic determinism and advantage and disadvantage, to innocence (feigned or real). Later parts deal with how whites see other races (Part II), how earlier periods saw whites and whiteness (Part III), the role of language and color imagery (Part V), and white consciousness and white power (Part X). As the reader will soon notice, these sections overlap thematically to some extent . The reason is simple: Race seems to be, to a large extent, relational. Whiteness, acknowledged or not, has been a norm against which other races are judged. One cannot get clear about whiteness without also gaining a sense of what it means to be nonwhite-and vice versa. The examinations of whiteness presented in this book may open a way for whites to talk about race and racial problems acceptably and nondefensively. Copyrighted Material Copyrighted Material ...


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