The Possessive Investment in Whiteness

The Possessive Investment in Whiteness

How White People Profit From Identity Politics

Paperback - 1998
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Attacking the common view that whiteness is a meaningless category of identity, Lipsitz shows that public policy and private prejudice insure that whites wind up on top of the social hierarchy. Passionately and clearly written, this wide-ranging book probes into the social and material rewards that accrue to "the possessive investment in whiteness." Lipsitz sums up the ways that public policy has virtually excluded communities of color from everything that American society defines as desirable: first-rate education, decent housing, asset accumulation, political power, social status, satisfying work, and even the power it shape and narrate their own history. White supremacy is no thing of the past, no fringe movement. It is a pervasive and pernicious system that restricts the political and cultural agency of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos every day. Unearned and unacknowledged, race-based advantages, not greater merit or a superior work ethic, account for white privilege.

Lipsitz's ultimate point is not to condemn all white people as racists but to challenge everyone to begin a principled examination of personal actions and political commitments. Exposing the system of unfairness is not enough. People of all groups -- but especially white people because they benefit from that system -- have to work toward eradicating the rewards of whiteness.
Publisher: Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1998.
ISBN: 9781566396356
Branch Call Number: 305.800973
Characteristics: xx, 274 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 29, 2015

I cannot disagree with anything overall the author states, but the essential framing of racism as a thing, as opposed to a component of evil. If all racism were to disappear, would the same psychopaths still be in control? Most assuredly! When the Black Congressional Caucus legislated to remove DoD-related sensitive jobs from the cannot-be-offshored federal list, they claimed they were doing it to aid // diversity \\ by shipping those jobs to Asia, when it was hurting American workers in general, and Black-American workers in particular, who were just then making headway into that sector. Did they do it for racist reasons, or because they were cajoled into doing so by their financial donors [as in paid off]?


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

SLPL owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

To Top