Making whiteness by Grace Elizabeth Hale

Our contemporary society is interested in historical questions now and issues that were mentioned in the book that was chosen for the title of this paper are very important for every well-educated person nowadays. As you understand I would like to tell you about Grace Elizabeth Hale and her famous book “Making Whiteness”. The main goals of my work are to discuss the book “Making Whiteness” and to prove a thesis that this book is deeply important work, which explains, as well as why and how whiteness has arrived to be such a decisive, embattled and distorted component of American identity of the twentieth century. Identity questions are key topic of many research works and answering on them we will make them clear and understandable.

About the book “Making Whiteness”

Elizabeth Hale is a professor of history and US studies in the University of Virginia. She identified the southern version of that search, asserting that “Making whiteness” through the construction of a “culture of segregation” allowed white southerners to identify their national place in a society and to establish a place more and more chaotic Afro-Americans within an area.

In intricately textured details and with the analysis Grace Elizabeth Hale displayed, how, when faced with an active citizenship of their former slaves after the Civil War, white southerners restored the domination through the cultural system based on a violence and physical division.

Besides, in the transformative and audacious analysis of the value of segregation for the nation as a whole, she explained how white southerners’ creation of modern “whiteness” began in 1920s, lifted by other part of the nation as a way to put into practice a new social hierarchy, at the same time creating the illusion of the compatriot, egalitarian and consumerist democracy.

Hale showed a very recent historical “making” from a modern American whiteness and investigated how a culture of segregation in all its terrible contradictions was lived. It made possible to imagine the future outside. Her vision stretched the difficult promise of really democratic American identity which possibilities were not limited and spoilt any more by race.

This book divides approximately into three parts. The first part explains us, how the decline of the Old South as the validity has demanded its increase as a representation and how that representation pushed together white elites with a problem of construction of a new cultural basis for a social order. The second part researches which “cultural work” involved in a manufacture of conversations about whiteness and blackness that has provided a language for new order. And the last one investigates the values and contradictions of that inconsistent hegemony.


To sum up, I want to say that I described the book “Making whiteness” and proved the thesis that this story was really important work nowadays.

“Making Whiteness” is a perfect work that should be read by all people who are interested in justice and community creation. It showed events of white women and men, who worked in order to get a piece of information what it meant to throw down a challenge to concepts of racism and domination of white supremacy in the United States of America.

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