The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, Revised and Expanded Edition (Google eBook)

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Temple University Press, Aug 21, 2009 - History - 312 pages
26 Reviews
In this unflinching look at white supremacy, George Lipsitz argues that racism is a matter of interests as well as attitudes, a problem of property as well as pigment. Above and beyond personal prejudice, whiteness is a structured advantage that produces unfair gains and unearned rewards for whites while imposing impediments to asset accumulation, employment, housing, and health care for minorities. Reaching beyond the black/white binary, Lipsitz shows how whiteness works in respect to Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans.Lipsitz delineates the weaknesses embedded in civil rights laws, the racial dimensions of economic restructuring and deindustrialization, and the effects of environmental racism, job discrimination and school segregation. He also analyzes the centrality of whiteness to U.S. culture, and perhaps most importantly, he identifies the sustained and perceptive critique of white privilege embedded in the radical black tradition. This revised and expanded edition also includes an essay about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on working class Blacks in New Orleans, whose perpetual struggle for dignity and self determination has been obscured by the city's image as a tourist party town.

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Review: The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, Revised and Expanded Edition

User Review  - JP - Goodreads

This book is all about how the US protects whiteness & elevates it above all else. It is a demonstration that racism is more than lynching & calling someone a nigger. It shows how subtle, abstract ... Read full review

Review: The Possessive Investment In Whiteness

User Review  - Jennifer - Goodreads

Interesting analysis of the ways that white people benefit from their whiteness and work hard to protect it. So many challenge affirmative action as unfair but do not bat an eye at legacy admissions and property and tax policies that benefit whites. Very important book. Read full review


1 The Possessive Investment in Whiteness
Civil Rights Laws and White Privilege
3 Immigrant Labor and Identity Politics
4 Whiteness and War
Inheritance Wealth and Health
Remembering Robert Johnson
Beyond Identity Politics
Antiblack Racism and White Identity
Beyond the BlackWhite Binary
The Mississippi of the 1990s
Learning from New Orleans

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Page 1 - As the unmarked category against which difference is constructed, whiteness never has to speak its name, never has to acknowledge its role as an organizing principle in social and cultural relations.4 To identify, analyze, and oppose the destructive consequences of whiteness, we need what Walter Benjamin called "presence of mind.

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About the author (2009)

George Lipsitz is Professor of Black Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of A Life in the Struggle: Ivory Perry and the Culture of Opposition (Temple), Rainbow at Midnight: Labor and Culture in the 1940s, Dangerous Crossroads, and Time Passages.

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