Unformatted text preview: that one of the
"most striking features" of whiteness studies is the "assumption—sometimes asserted and sometimes unspoken—that the racism
they describe is uniquely American and that American whiteness can be understood in isolation ." 22 The most influential
U.S. scholarship, particularly that by labor historians, locates the creation of white identity entirely within historical circumstances quite specific to the United States,
namely black chattel slavery and, later, mass immigration. 23 While this narrow national focus has not emerged as a prominent concern within existing
critiques of the field, we argue that it is in fact of central importance. Much historical work on whiteness is even more narrowly positioned. As John Munro has outlined, it largely represents another in the series of U.S. labor history projects that have sought to answer the question Werner
Sombart posed in 1906, "Why is there no som in the United States?," and is primarily concerned with finding "a usable past upon which an anti-capitalist and
antiracist future can be envisioned." 24 This in part explains why it has largely ignored wider scholarship that does not share the...
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This document was uploaded on 03/26/2014.
- Spring '14