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Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness Paperback – November 3, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0822338734 ISBN-10: 0822338734

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Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness + White Trash: Race and Class in America + The Redneck Manifesto: How Hillbillies, Hicks, and White Trash Became America's Scapegoats
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (November 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822338734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822338734
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Matt Wray’s Not Quite White is a richly textured social history of how and why the nation has come to conceive, categorize, and routinely vilify that part of its population known as ‘white trash.’ Because this subject has rarely been the focus of systematic scholarly inquiry, that alone would be a notable achievement. Yet the book aims for more—to propose a boundary theory of why ‘white trash’ has had so many uses—from literature to politics to social science. By any measure, this book is a major contribution.”—Troy Duster, New York University


“White trash? What did you just call me? Not Quite White provides the best social history of America’s most quizzical moniker in the racial-class system. From its colonial origins to the era of eugenics to the public health campaign to eradicate hookworm in the South, Matt Wray’s careful analysis documents the roots of this label, showing what its apparently oxymoronic nature tells us about the larger system of symbolic stratification in the United States.”—Dalton Conley, author of Honky

About the Author

Matt Wray is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a 2006–2008 Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Harvard University. He is a coeditor of The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness; Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life; and White Trash: Race and Class in America.


More About the Author

Matt Wray is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Temple University, where he is the chair of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Health Track. Prior to Temple, Wray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at Harvard University. Wray earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an MA and PhD from University of California, Berkeley. He has also been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Wray is the author of Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness (Duke, 2006); and the editor of Cultural Sociology: An Introductory Reader (WW Norton 2013); The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness (Duke, 2001); Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life (New York University Press, 1998); and White Trash: Race and Class in America (Routledge, 1997).

Wray is currently at work on a book length study of the causes and consequences of high rates of suicide in the American West, entitled Death in Vegas.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ryan A. Brown on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Matt Wray has put together an extremely powerful treatise on the cultural construction of poor whites in the U.S. With wonderful historical detail and depth, he has shown how poor whites have come to be perceived over three centuries, and in various regions of the United States. Wray's book is theoretically sophisticated in a direct, eloquent, and very "alive" way. As a result, it should appeal to a wide variety of academic and non-academic audiences.

For students of race and class in America, this really should be required reading. More than an historical text, this book is also deeply anthropological, psychological, and sociological. Extremely well empirically substantiated, it also sits right on the cutting edge of social theory.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a black man and after living in the United States of America for over 50 years I never understood how one ends up poor and WHITE in the USA. I used to think that if you were poor and white in the USA you had to work extra hard at destroying all your chances. Not even a criminal record can prevent you being hired if you are white I figured. I used to think poor white people were those poor by choice like "Hobos, or other men of the open road!"

I used to say the only reason a white man can be unemployed is because; he does not want to work. Reading Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness was an eye opening experience. I grew up in cities and went to better schools so I only met white folk that were among the better educated. If I saw a poor white guy he was usually the stereotypical tall thin gaunt white guy, with lizard like features, rotted teeth, modelled patchy skin from years of drug and alcohol abuse.

Yes I hear white guys lose awesome jobs and have to downsize but that's a far cry from being truly poor and homeless. Usually if I see a homeless white guy that is not a dope fiend he is usually stock raving bonkers. I hear about poor white trash living in trailer parks but, I always figured such people are just folk Hollywood made up to sell movies and TV shows. I used to think poor white folk were just Another Weird Urban Myth. I still can't build a satisfactory logical construct that allows for the realistic existance of truly dirt poor white people in the USA however, Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness lays an effective theroretical foundation for their supposed existance. This is a good book, it just embraces a subject that these days is more fiction than fact. I'm not saying true poor white people exist, I'm just saying I've never seen any outside of mentally ill homeless people, hopeless drunks \ dope fiends and exconvicts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JL on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly researched and illuminating. This book is both engaging and academically sound. Matt Wray draws from history, sociology, and his own life experience to describe the American relationship with the "other" kind of white people.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anthony B. Bradley on March 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amazingly helpful book to learn the history of low-class white. Breathtaking and eye-opening. The book totally reoriented how I think race in America.
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