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Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit Paperback – October 4, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0691028859 ISBN-10: 0691028850

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691028850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691028859
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Hartigan is a good storyteller . . . and a clear analyst of how local residents, black and white, make sense of race as it affects their lives and their sometimes desperate attempts to make do in this impoverished bit of the city. . . . By asking us to see race and class in different ways, this book helps us to imagine a world where such categories might be meaningless or superseded, even as it immerses us in the intractable, dangerous and hurtful relationships these fields of inequality perpetuate around us."--Marc Christensen, Metro Times Detroit

"A sobering examination of the tangled web of race, class, and struggles over space."--Choice

"This inventive, impressive [book] . . . contributes to the reorientation of studies of white identity . . . [It will] reward historians who venture into this ambitious anthropological account."--David Roediger, Journal of American Ethnic History

"This is an excellent book that ought to be widely read . . . Substantively important, theoretically sophisticated, and full of unforgettable characters."--Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Contemporary Sociology

From the Inside Flap

"Racial Situations is an innovative and theoretically sophisticated study of the process of racial formation among white residents of urban Detroit. Hartigan's ethnographic material is vivid and compelling and yields an uncompromisingly complex view of how whiteness is lived in American society. This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the dynamic interplay of race, class, and culture in the everyday lives of urban residents."--Steven Gregory, Columbia University

"John Hartigan's distinctive ethnography will propel white readers across boundaries that they might prefer not to acknowledge. He effects a crucial move, long hoped for in 'whiteness studies'-a critical examination of liberal notions of race through a confrontation with whites' own despised 'others.'"--George Marcus, Rice University

"John Hartigan is a terrific listener and an insightful thinker, and this book shows why both are important. In an era of seemingly inescapable racial thinking in this country, Hartigan asks us to notice how and when 'race' matters, and to be open to the possibility that some situations will surprise us. Richly nuanced and wonderfully peopled, this book is also courageous. It conveys compassion and understanding even when we might just expect criticism. Compelling, at times even gripping, this is a book I am very glad to have read."--Virginia Domnguez, University of Iowa

"Drawing on rich comparative ethnography and subtle theorizing, Racial Situations is a timely reflection on major changes in the contemporary United States. The book makes an important contribution to theoretical and conceptual work on race and class in the various disciplines that converge around cultural studies and also provides this vital and contested field with further evidence of the value to be gained from innovative ethnographic research."--Roger Rouse, University of California, Davis

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a white person who grew up in Detroit in the 1980s, this book caught my eye. Hartigan explores the ways in which whites are viewed in Detroit, in ways that can either emphasize or de-emphasize their whiteness. He explores whites in three different neighborhoods, where they are variously constructed as hillbillies, gentrifiers and racists, by interviewing and observing residents. He also brings into play the history of Detroit - the differences between the riots of the 40s and 60s - and examines the implications of racial tensions. Hartigan makes his topic vivid and interesting through his incorporation of personal narratives and his own experiences. This book is good not only for the anthropologist interested in American ethnography but also for the reader interested in race and history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Wallisch on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very indepth, and is an excellent sociological source pertaining to race relations, different american cultures, or the city of Detroit
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