Wages of Whiteness by David R. Roediger Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1029 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Race

¶ … Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class by David R. Roediger. Specifically it will contain an analysis of the book, including central issues and thesis of the author. Roediger's book is basically a history of racism in the United States, beginning with colonial racism and working its way up to the present. The author's thesis that racism of a "sense of whiteness" developed "hand in hand" with the development of the working class in the country (Roediger 8). However, the author attempts to place race in a larger perspective than just class, but rather to the larger issues of race, class, and racism in society, and how society manages those issues. Thus, the author explores the conceptual categories of race, racism, the working class, and society in the United States.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Wages of Whiteness by David R. Roediger Assignment

The author's theoretical perspective includes a study of the Marxist attempts to place class over race. He attempts to show that this perspective is one-sided, and does not explain the larger issues of race, class and racism and how it is portrayed in our country. He also uses psychoanalysis, labor, and economic theories to explore and explain his perspectives. The author uses clear examples of his theories throughout this unique book, and he makes his points both with his own theories and perspectives, but with the writings and perspectives of many other experts in his chose themes. For example, when discussing the wage disparity between blacks and whites that has been continual in this country, we writes that this very wage disparity helped found the roots of racism in American workers, making the whites feel better about themselves and superior to the blacks because of their additional pay. He cites works by W.E.B. Du Bois in his arguments, writing, "Du Bois regards the decision of workers to define themselves by their whiteness as understandable in terms of short-term advantages" (Roediger 12). Du Bois does not defend the whites' decision, but understands it is an intrinsic part of human nature, and the author continually uses other perspectives like these to get his point across and bring the reader a clear understanding of his theories and perspectives.

Of course, the central issue of the book is American racism and how it developed, but because the author uses so many perspectives to arrive at his conclusion, there are several other sub-areas of the book, such as psychoanalysis, labor, philosophy, and even socialism that the book takes on may different issues in attempting to fully understand one. This is more engaging to the reader because it brings in extra layers that are both explanatory and very interesting to follow to their conclusions.

The central argument of the author comes early in the book and gives the book its' title. The "wages of whiteness" included the wages they earned that were higher than their black counterparts, but they also included the benefits that came with those wages, including power, prestige, and control both socially and personally. Thus, the wages of whiteness were extremely costly to the blacks, and not only because of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Wages of Whiteness by David R. Roediger.  (2008, February 28).  Retrieved July 28, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wages-whiteness-david-r-roediger/474983

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"Wages of Whiteness by David R. Roediger."  Essaytown.com.  February 28, 2008.  Accessed July 28, 2021.