Ugly White People (Kobo eBook)

Ugly White People By Stephanie Li Cover Image
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Whiteness revealed: an analysis of the destructive complacency of white self-consciousness

White Americans are confronting their whiteness more than ever before, with political and social shifts ushering in a newfound racial awareness. And with white people increasingly seeing themselves as distinctly racialized (not simply as American or human), white writers are exposing a self-awareness of white racialized behavior—from staunch antiracism to virulent forms of xenophobic nationalism. Ugly White People explores representations of whiteness from twenty-first-century white American authors, revealing white recognition of the ugly forms whiteness can take.

Stephanie Li argues that much of the twenty-first century has been defined by this rising consciousness of whiteness because of the imminent shift to a “majority minority” population and the growing diversification of America’s political, social, and cultural institutions. The result is literature that more directly grapples with whiteness as its own construct rather than a wrongly assumed norm. Li contextualizes a series of literary novels as collectively influenced by changes in racial and political attitudes. Turning to works by Dave Eggers, Sarah Smarsh, J. D. Vance, Claire Messud, Ben Lerner, and others, she traces the responses to white consciousness that breed shared manifestations of ugliness. The tension between acknowledging whiteness as an identity built on domination and the failure to remedy inequalities that have proliferated from this founding injustice is often the source of the ugly whiteness portrayed through these narratives.

The questions posed in Ugly White People about the nature and future of whiteness are vital to understanding contemporary race relations in America. From the election of Trump and the rise of white nationalism to Karen memes and the war against critical race theory to the pervasive pattern of behavior among largely liberal-leaning whites, Li elucidates truths about whiteness that challenge any hope of national unity and, most devastatingly, the basic humanity of others.

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Product Details
ISBN-13: 9781452969909
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: October 10th, 2023
Language: