White Identity Politics

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Donald Trump has invoked white identity in his political addresses even before he was elected president – his presidency is no different. This book’s objective is to look at the contemporary American political landscape through the lens of white identity. Where previous studies have looked at whiteness as a response to other ethnic groups (out-group hostility), this book explores whites’ attitudes toward their own community (in-group rather than out-group relations). The goal is to understand what drove so many Americans to vote for Trump. The book examines several factors: economic, welfare, economic status (real or imagined), and others.

This book draws from a wealth of research available on white identity and introduces new research as well. The analysis is highly data-driven, citing numerous studies and, in some cases, the footnotes continuing the discussion. The book finds little correlation between traditional factors and election outcomes but finds a “powerful and robust” link between white identity and negative attitudes toward immigration. Many whites do not identify strongly with their racial group, but their political behavior and policy preferences show clear favoritism for political candidates who promote white interests and maintain white numerical supremacy. According to the text, this then is the most probable reason for Trump’s election to the presidency. The text puts it more boldly than a reporter would: “Put bluntly, the politics of white identity is marked by an insidious illusion, one in which whites claim their group experiences discrimination in an effort to reinforce and maintain a system of racial inequality where whites are the dominant group with the lion’s share of power and privileges.”

The narrative leads readers through the complex data analysis and subsequent discussion, making it more appealing for readers who want to become familiar with the underlying data. It clearly explains its methodology, provides coherent arguments during the discussion, and ultimately provides a useful perspective for viewing white identity. For readers willing to follow the research, it will be an excellent read.

Reviewed By:

Author Ashley Jardina
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publish Date 2019-Feb-28
ISBN 9781108468602
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category Current Events & Politics


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