Whiteness Fractured

Whiteness Fractured

Ashgate Publishing
November 2013
256 pages
Includes 1 b&w illustration
234 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4094-6357-3

Cynthia Levine-Rasky, Associate Professor of Sociology
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Whiteness Fractured examines the many ways in which whiteness is conceptualized today and how it is understood to operate and to effect social relationships. Exploring the intersections between whiteness, social class, ethnicity and psychosocial phenomena, this book is framed by the question of how whiteness works and what it does. With attention to central concepts and the history of whiteness, it explains the four ways in which whiteness works. In its examination of the outward and inward fractures of whiteness, the book sheds light on both its connections with social class and ethnicity and with the ‘epistemology of ignorance’ and the psychoanalytic.

Representing the long career of whiteness on the one hand and investigating its expansion into new areas on the other, Whiteness Fractured reflects the growing maturity of critical whiteness studies. It undertakes a critical analysis of approaches to whiteness and proposes new directions for future action and enquiry. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in race and ethnicity, intersectionality, colonialism and post-colonialism, and cultural studies.


  • Section I. Introduction: Framing whiteness; Theorizing whiteness; Interpreting whiteness and its correlates; Histories of whiteness.
  • Section II. Four Ways in which Whiteness Works: Normalization and solipsism; Controlling terms of engagement; Ideological commitments; Exclusionary practices.
  • Section III. Outward Fractures: Whiteness and Intersectionality: The rise of intersectionality theory; Intersectionality theory and the analysis of power; Intersections between whiteness and class; Intersections between whiteness and ethnicity; Intersections between whiteness and Jewish ethnicity.
  • Section IV. Inward Fractures: the Psychic Life of Whiteness: The emotionality of whiteness; The epistemology of ignorance; The psychic turn; Construction of the other in popular racism; Psychoanalytic themes in the construction of the racialized other.
  • Section V. Approaches to Studying Whiteness: Critical-relational-contextual revisited; Whiteness in popular culture; The paradox of action.
  • References
  • Index
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