• Charles A. Gallagher
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


In everyday vernacular the racial category white is understood as a group of people who share a common set of phenotypes (skin color, hair texture, facial features) and trace their genealogical roots to Europe. This account where Caucasian, European ancestry and “fair” skin color are synonymous with whiteness is problematic for a number of reasons, most notably the ahistorical and homogenizing treatment of whiteness and the omission of how white as a social identity is inextricably linked to power, privilege and dominance.


Whiteness Racial identity Racial categorization 


  1. Allen, T. W. (1994). The invention of the white race: Racial oppression and social control. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Baldwin, J. (1984). On being “white” … and other lies. In D. Roediger (Ed.), Black on white: Black writers on what it means to be white. New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
  3. Baum, B. (2006). The rise and fall of the Caucasian Race: A political history of racial identity. New York: New University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2001). White supremacy and racism in the post-civil rights era. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Doane, A. W., & Bonilla-Silva, E. (2003). White out: The continuing significance of Racism. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Dyer, R. (1997). White. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Fanon, F. (1968). The wretched of the earth. New York: Grove Press Inc.Google Scholar
  8. Frankenberg, R. (2001). The mirage of an unmarked whiteness. In B. B. Rasmussen, E. Klinenberg, I. Nexica, & M. Wray (Eds.), The making and unmaking of whiteness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Fuller, T. (2006). International Herald Tribune, 31 May.Google Scholar
  10. Gabriel, J. (1998). Whitewash: Racialized politics and the media. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Gallagher, C. A. (1997). White racial formation in the twenty-first century. In R. Delgado & J. Stefancic (Eds.), Critical white studies: Looking behind the mirror. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gallagher, C. A. (2003a). Color-blind privilege: The social and political functions of erasing the color-line in post-race America. Race, Gender Class, 10(4), 22–37.Google Scholar
  13. Gallagher, C. A. (2003b). Racial redistricting: Expanding the boundaries of whiteness. In H. Dalmage (Ed.), The politics of multiracialism: Challenging racial thinking. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  14. Gans, H. (1999). The possibility of a new racial hierarchy in the twenty-first century United States. In C. A. Gallagher (Ed.) Rethinking the color line: Readings in race and ethnicity. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishers, Third Edition, 2007.Google Scholar
  15. Harris, C. (1993). Whiteness as property. Harvard Law Review, 106, 1710–1795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hartigan, J., Jr. (1999). Racial situations: Class predicaments of whiteness in Detroit. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hartigan, J., Jr. (2005). Odd tribes: Towards a cultural analysis of white people. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jacobson, M. F. (1998). Whiteness of a different: European Immigrants and the alchemy of race. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Knowles, C. (2003). Race and social analysis. London: Sage Press.Google Scholar
  20. Lipsitz, G. (1998). The possessive investment in whiteness: How white people profit from identity politics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Lopez, I. F. (1996). White by law: The legal construction of race. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Marx, A. (1998). Making race and nation: A comparison of South Africa, The United States and Brazil. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Omi, M., & Winant, H. (1994). Racial formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Perry, P. (2004). Shades of white: White kids and racial identities in high school. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Rodriguez, C., & Cordero Guzman, H. (1992). Placing Race in Context. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 14, 1.Google Scholar
  26. Roediger, D. R. (1991). The wages of whiteness: Race and the making of the American working class. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  27. Roediger, D. R. (2005). Working towards whiteness: How America’s Immigrants became white: The strange journey from Ellis Island to the suburbs. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  28. Steyn, M. (2001). “Whiteness just isn’t what it used to be”: White identity in a changing South Africa. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  29. Twine, F. W. (1998). Racism in a racial democracy: The maintenance of white supremacy in Brazil. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyLa Salle UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations