White Race Discourse

White Race Discourse : Preserving Racial Privilege in a Post-Racial Society

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The election of Barack Obama as president led some to suggest that not only has US society made significant strides toward racial equality, but it has moved beyond race or become "post-racial." In fact, studies have exposed numerous contradictions between the ways white Americans answer questions on surveys and how they respond to similar questions during in-depth interviews. How do we make sense of these contradictions? In White Race Discourse: Preserving Racial Privilege in a Post-Racial Society, John D. Foster examines the numerous contradictions sixty-one white college students exhibit as they discuss a variety of race matters. Foster demonstrates that the whites interviewed possess a sophisticated method of communication to come across as ambivalent, tolerant, and innocent, while simultaneously expressing their intolerance, fear, and suspicion of nonwhite Americans. Whether intended or not, this ambivalence assists in efforts to preserve social inequities while failing to address racial injustices. While many scholars have written about the "racetalk" of whites, few have succeeded in bridging both the theoretical and methodological gaps between whiteness scholars and discourse analysts. White Race Discourse presents evidence that these white Americans are "bureaucrats of whiteness" in that they defend the racial status quo through their discourse. It will be a valuable addition to the library of students and scholars of race studies and linguistics who research US race relations and discourse analysis.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 218 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 24mm | 379.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073917598X
  • 9780739175989

About John Foster

John D. Foster is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.show more

Table of contents

Tables Transcription Symbols Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1: Introduction: How Does Racism Continue in Exist in U.S. Society? Chapter 2: Bureaucrats of Whiteness Chapter 3: Rationalizing Segregation Chapter 4: Products of the Retrogression Chapter 5: Defending White Supremacy Chapter 6: Antiracism in Progress Chapter 7: Conclusion: Toward a New Race Discourse Appendix Selected Bibliography Index About the Authorshow more

Review quote

Foster (Univ. of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) offers a rigorous analysis of white racial discourse today, producing a study that is noteworthy for both its theoretical sophistication and its clarity and approachability. In a series of well-crafted chapters, the author unpacks the fundamental features of race talk, shining a bright light on those elements that explain away, justify, and otherwise facilitate the reproduction of racial inequality. More than just another study of whiteness, this is a penetrating account of dominant uses and understandings of race and power... The study offers a nice complement to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's widely influential Racism without Racists (CH, Jan'04, 41-3121; 4th ed., CH, Jan'14, 51-2955). Summing Up: Highly Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above. CHOICEshow more