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Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1880-1940 (07 Edition)

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Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1880-1940 (07 Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

In this groundbreaking study, Julian Carter demonstrates that between 1880 and 1940, cultural discourses of whiteness and heterosexuality fused to form a new concept of the andldquo;normalandrdquo; American. Gilded Age elites defined white civilization as the triumphant achievement of exceptional people hewing to a relational ethic of strict self-discipline for the common good. During the early twentieth century, that racial and relational ideal was reconceived in more inclusive terms as andldquo;normality,andrdquo; something toward which everyone should strive. The appearance of inclusiveness helped make andldquo;normalityandrdquo; appear consistent with the self-image of a racially diverse republic; nonetheless, andldquo;normalityandrdquo; was gauged largely in terms of adherence to erotic and emotional conventions that gained cultural significance through their association with arguments for the legitimacy of white political and social dominance. At the same time, the affectionate, reproductive heterosexuality of andldquo;normalandrdquo; married couples became increasingly central to legitimate membership in the nation.

Carter builds her intricate argument from detailed readings of an array of popular texts, focusing on how sex education for children and marital advice for adults provided significant venues for the dissemination of the new ideal of normality. She concludes that because its overt concerns were love, marriage, and babies, normality discourse facilitated white evasiveness about racial inequality. The ostensible focus of andldquo;normalityandrdquo; on matters of sexuality provided a superficially race-neutral conceptual structure that whites could and did use to evade engagement with the unequal relations of power that continue to shape American life today.

Synopsis:

A study of the racialized construction of heterosexual normality based on the analysis of medical pamphlets, marriage manuals, and sex-instructional literature.

About the Author

Julian Carter is Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction. The Search for Norma 1

1. Barbarians Are Not Nervous 42

2. The Marriage Crisis 75

3. Birds, Bees, and the Future of the Race: Making Whiteness Normal 118

Epilogue. Regarding Racial/Erotic Politics 153

Notes 161

Bibliography 195

Index 211

Product Details

ISBN:
9780822339489
Author:
Carter, Julian B.
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - General
Subject:
Marriage
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States Social conditions 1918-1932.
Subject:
United States Social conditions 1933-1945.
Subject:
Ethnic Studies
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 photo, 1 table
Pages:
232
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General

Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1880-1940 (07 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 232 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822339489 Reviews:
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A study of the racialized construction of heterosexual normality based on the analysis of medical pamphlets, marriage manuals, and sex-instructional literature.
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