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Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness

Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness (Trade Paperback / Paperback)

By Wray, Matt

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'White trash'. The phrase conjures up images of dirty rural folk who are poor, ignorant, violent, and incestuous. But where did this stigmatizing phrase come from? And why do these stereotypes persist? Matt Wray answers these and other questions by delving into the long history b...ehind this term of abuse and others like it. Ranging from the early 1700s to the early 1900s, Not Quite White documents the origins and transformations of the multiple meanings projected on to poor rural whites in the United States. Wray draws on a wide variety of primary sources - literary texts, folklore, diaries and journals, medical and scientific articles, social scientific analysis - to construct a dense archive of changing collective representations of poor whites.Of crucial importance are the ideas about poor whites that circulated through early-twentieth-century public health campaigns, such as hookworm eradication and eugenic reforms.In these crusades, impoverished whites, particularly but not exclusively in the American South, were targeted for interventions by sanitarians who viewed them as 'filthy, lazy crackers' in need of racial uplift and by eugenicists who viewed them as a 'feeble minded menace' to the white race, threats that needed to be confined and involuntarily sterilized. Part historical inquiry and part sociological investigation, Not Quite White demonstrates the power of social categories and boundaries to shape social relationships and institutions, to invent groups where none exist, and to influence policies and legislation that end up harming the very people they aim to help. It illuminates not only the cultural significance and consequences of poor white stereotypes but also how dominant whites exploited and expanded these stereotypes to bolster and defend their own fragile claims to whiteness.
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ISBN 9780822338734
Released NZ 3 Nov 2006
Publisher Inbooks
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Internationally sourced on backorder; allow 4-8 weeks

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780822338734
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced on backorder; allow 4-8 weeks
Publisher Inbooks
Imprint Duke University Press
Released 3 Nov 2006
Publication Country United States United States
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Author(s) By Wray, Matt
Category Anthropology
Biological Anthropology
Number of Pages 232
Dimensions Width: 156mm
Height: 235mm
Spine: 14mm
Dewey Code 305.56908909
Weight 336g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress United States - Social conditions, United States - Race relations, Public opinion - United States, Social classes - United States, Whites - Race identity - United States
NBS Text Social Sciences: Textbooks & Study Guides
ONIX Text Professional and scholarly