White Trash: Race and Class in America

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Poor or marginal whites occupy an uncharted space in recent identity studies, particularly because they do not easily fit the model of whiteness-as-power proposed by many multiculturalist or minority discourses. Associated in mainstream culture with "trashy" kitsch or dangerous pathologies rather than with the material realities of economic life, poor whites are treated as degraded caricatures rather than as real people living in conditions of poverty and disempowerment. White Trash situates the study of poor whites within the context of several academic disciplines, public-policy analysis, and popular or mass-media representations. Arguing that white racism is directed not only against people of color but also against certain groups of whites, the contributors to this volume explore the ways in which race and class in America are often talked about and represented in hidden, coded, or half-realized ways. In so doing, they demonstrate why the term white trash itself embodies yet another way in which some whites generate a debased "other" through pejorative naming practices.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Women in Culture and Society
...demonstrate the interdependence of experience and knowledge necessary to understand as false what has to date been assumed as normative in our cultural identity: that "white" is both classless and privileged. White Trash offers a slash-and-burn approach that others will

appreciate, targeting the intersection of race and class in white culture as the invisible site of contradiction that allows whiteness to be understood as raceless and classless

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415916929
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/20/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Sunset Trailer Park 15
Name Calling: Objectifying "Poor Whites" and "White Trash" in Detroit 41
Partners in Crime: African Americans and Non-slaveholding Whites in Antebellum Georgia 57
Bloody Footprints: Reflections on Growing Up Poor White 73
Crackers and Whackers: The White Trashing of Porn 89
White Trash Girl: The Interview 113
White Savagery and Humiliation, or A New Racial Consciousness in the Media 131
Can Whiteness Speak? Institutional Anomies, Ontological Disasters, and Three Hollywood Films 155
Trash-o-nomics 177
White Trash Religion 193
Telling Stories of "Queer White Trash": Race, Class, and Sexuality in the Work of Dorothy Allison 211
Acting Naturally: Cultural Distinction and Critiques of Pure Country 231
The King of White Trash Culture: Elvis Presley and the Aesthetics of Excess 249
Contributors 267
Index 270
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