Thursday, October 20, 2022

Ron Eyerman's "The Making of White American Identity"

Ron Eyerman is Professor of Sociology at Yale University.

He applied the Page 99 Test to his new book, The Making of White American Identity, and reported the following:
Page 99 of The Making of White American Identity is part of a chapter that concerns the role of groups and organizations in the representation and transmission of white identity and white supremacy from one generation to the next. Specifically, the page discusses the rise of neo-Nazism in the United States and how it evolved from a foreign-based pressure group representing German national interests in the American political system to a sub-cultural network connecting right-wing extremists across the country and around the world. This page indeed reflects one of the main themes of the book, namely, how white identity emerged and evolved historically in the United States from the colonial period to the present day. In addition to organizations and groups, like the KKK and the neo-Nazi subculture, white identification and white supremacy are represented and transmitted more subtly through popular culture, in mass media like film and music and in literature and art. The book contains chapters that illustrate this in much detail, especially in music, film and literature. The film “Birth of a Nation” and the film and novel “Gone with the Wind” are two prime examples, as is the country music genre. The point is to show that current manifestations of white ‘grievance’ do not emerge from nowhere, but are rooted in and mobilized through long-standing American traditions.
Learn more about The Making of White American Identity at the Oxford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue