restricted access Synopses of Other Important Works
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Synopses of Other Important Works Contesting Privilege: David Roediger In The Wages of Whiteness (Verso, 1991), the University of Minnesota historian David Roediger amplifies the interaction of race, social construction, and class explored elsewhere in this volume. In the fifth chapter of his book ("Class, Coons, and Crowds in Antebellum America"), Roediger shows how the emerging morality of capitalism -including punctuality, abstention from alcohol except on weekends, and separation of work from pleasure and the rest of life-created guilt, anxiety, and a degree of longing on the part of an American working class called upon to give up its former ways. These repressed longings found ready outlet in minstrel shows and other cultural images depicting-directly through various aesthetic genres and physical stereotypes and indirectly through the psychological mechanism of projection-blacks as possessing all the qualities (leisure, music, sexuality, etc.) that white blue-collar workers were forced to give up. From the Editors: Issues and Comments Are white people privileged? Un-privileged? Privileged in some respects and not in others? Is it an aspect of white privilege not to have to think about one's privilege , or to be able blandly to deny it? Do clerks follow you around when you go in a store? Do police officers hassle you? When you take a car trip through certain parts of the country , do you take extraordinary precautions so that your car does not break down or you are stranded? Do you carefully make telephone reservations in advance for every place you plan to spend the night? Would you feel comfortable living in a middle-class neighborhood where ten percent of your neighbors were black if you are white, and vice versa? Fifty percent ? Ninety percent? If blacks or Chicanos prefer to date light-skinned members of their own groups, are they racist? The United States Census currently has no category for biracial people-sons or daughters of, for example, a black mother and a white father. If such a person checks a box (say, white), does that mean he or she is rejecting the heritage of the other parent? Is the u.s. Census, then, racist? Copyrighted Material ...


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