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The Everyday Language of White Racism

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8454-0
240 pages
November 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
The Everyday Language of White Racism (140518454X) cover image
In The Everyday Language of White Racism, Jane H. Hill provides an incisive analysis of everyday language to reveal the underlying racist stereotypes that continue to circulate in American culture.
  • provides a detailed background on the theory of race and racism
  • reveals how racializing discourse—talk and text that produces and reproduces ideas about races and assigns people to them—facilitates a victim-blaming logic
  • integrates a broad and interdisciplinary range of literature from sociology, social psychology, justice studies, critical legal studies, philosophy, literature, and other disciplines that have studied racism, as well as material from anthropology and sociolinguistics
  • Part of the Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture Series
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Preface and Acknowledgments vi

1 The Persistence of White Racism 1

2 Language in White Racism: An Overview 31

3 The Social Life of Slurs 49

4 Gaffes: Racist Talk without Racists 88

5 Covert Racist Discourse: Metaphors, Mocking, and the Racialization of Historically Spanish-Speaking Populations in the United States 119

6 Linguistic Appropriation: The History of White Racism is Embedded in American English 158

7 Everyday Language, White Racist Culture, Respect, and Civility 175

Notes 183

References 197

Index 217

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Jane H. Hill is Regents' Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Arizona. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has served as President of the American Anthropological Association, and was awarded the Viking Fund Medal in Anthropology in 2005.
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  • provides a detailed background on the theory of race and racism
  • reveals how racializing discourse—talk and text that produces and reproduces ideas about races and assigns people to them—facilitates a victim-blaming logic
  • integrates a broad and interdisciplinary range of literature from sociology, social psychology, justice studies, critical legal studies, philosophy, literature, and other disciplines that have studied racism, as well as material from anthropology and sociolinguistics
See More
"Recommended [to] Most levels/libraries." (CHOICE, November 2009)

"This book makes an important contribution to the body of critical race scholarship in deconstructing how language is used to perpetuate racism and in doing so validates the author’s challenge to the common assumption that 'white racism has gone underground.'" (People with Voices, April 2009)

"Resonating far beyond its focus on the US, this is a lucid, compelling, committed and highly original account of the fundamental aspects of routine language that help racism thrive amidst its everyday denial."
Professor Ben Rampton, King's College London

"The Everyday Language of White Racism is an extremely important book. Jane Hill raises readers' awareness for the potential danger which confronts all of us; i.e. that 'race' and racially based practices which are frequently expressed in indirect and covert ways would become part of common sense and thus essentialized. This is also a very timely book because it points us to the many instances in everyday life where discrimination still occurs and proposes ways how to challenge social exclusion."
Ruth Wodak, Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies, Lancaster University

"Hill's academic credentials give her the authority to write this disquieting book. The care she uses to make her case will compel even skeptics to reconsider the way they speak about other people."
Otto Santa Ana, University of California, Los Angeles

"For the many Americans who believe that racism is on the decline in the contemporary United States, The Everyday Language of White Racism will be both eye-opening and thought-provoking. Challenging the commonsense belief that racism is rooted in individual, intentional feelings of hatred or prejudice, Jane Hill shows that racism is produced through language in which racist stereotypes circulate, whether deliberately, unwittingly, or somewhere in between. Hill’s magisterial command of a wide range of scholarship provides rich theoretical and political context for her acute analyses of racist language in the media, public discourse, and private talk. The result is an engaging and important discussion of the enduring yet often invisible presence of racism in American daily life."
Mary Bucholtz, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara

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