1st Edition

Revealing Britain’s Systemic Racism The Case of Meghan Markle and the Royal Family

By Kimberley Ducey, Joe Feagin Copyright 2021
    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    Revealing Britain’s Systemic Racism applies an existing scholarly paradigm (systemic racism and the white racial frame) to assess the implications of Markle’s entry and place in the British royal family, including an analysis that bears on visual and material culture. The white racial frame, as it manifests in the UK, represents an important lens through which to map and examine contemporary racism and related inequities. By questioning the long-held, but largely anecdotal, beliefs about racial progressiveness in the UK, the authors provide an original counter-narrative about how Markle’s experiences as a biracial member of the royal family can help illumine contemporary forms of racism in Britain. Revealing Britain’s Systemic Racism identifies and documents the plethora of ways systemic racism continues to shape ecological spaces in the UK. Kimberley Ducey and Joe R. Feagin challenge romanticized notions of racial inclusivity by applying Feagin’s long-established work, aiming to make a unique and significant contribution to literature in sociology and in various other disciplines.

    1. Systemic Racism: Britain Now and Then
    2. Straight Out of the White Racial Frame
    3. Post-Racial Duchess or Trophy Wife of Diversity?
    4. White Men Ruling and the Problem with Meghan Markle 
    5. Feminist Counter-Framer and Anti-Racist Counter-Framer: Disrupter of Elite White Dominance
    6. “Where Is This Racism You Keep Talking About?”: Sincere Fictions of the Virtuous White Self
    7. Concluding Thoughts: The Royals, British Racism, and the Coronavirus Pandemic


    Kimberley Ducey, PhD, is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. She is a public sociologist, whose work has appeared in such journals as Canadian Ethnic Studies, Critical Criminology, and Genocide Studies and Prevention. Her work also appears in Animal Oppression, the Routledge Handbook of Public Criminologies, The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology, the Handbook of the Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Relations, the Routledge International Handbook of Public Sociology, and Educating for Critical Consciousness. Her other books with Joe R. Feagin include Racist America (4th edn, Routledge, 2019), Elite White Men Ruling (Routledge, 2017), and Liberation Sociology (also with Hernán Vera; 3rd edn, 2014). Dr Ducey has edited two books, George Yancy: A Critical Reader (2021, with Clevis Headley and Joe R. Feagin) and Systemic Racism Theory: Making Liberty, Justice, and Democracy Real (2017, with Ruth Thompson-Miller).


    Joe R. Feagin, PhD, is Distinguished Professor and Ella C. McFadden Professor in Sociology at Texas A&M University. He has done much internationally recognized research on US racism, sexism, and political economy issues. He has written or co-written 74 scholarly books and 200-plus scholarly articles in his social science areas. His books include Systemic Racism (Routledge, 2006), White Party, White Government (Routledge, 2012), Latinos Facing Racism (Routledge, 2014, with Jose A. Cobas), How Blacks Built America (Routledge, 2015), Elite White Men Ruling (Routledge, 2017, with Kimberley Ducey), Racist America (4th edn, Routledge, 2019, with Kimberley Ducey), Rethinking Diversity Frameworks in Higher Education (Routledge, 2020, with Edna B. Chun), and The White Racial Frame (3rd edn, Routledge, 2020). He is the recipient of a 2012 Soka Gakkai International-USA Social Justice Award, the 2013 American Association for Affirmative Action’s Arthur Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award, and three major American Sociological Association awards: W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award (for research in the African American scholarly tradition), and the Public Understanding of Sociology Award. He was the 1999-2000 president of the American Sociological Association.

    "Meghan Markle must have been reminded of Du Bois’ famous question ‘How does it feel to be a problem?’ when she married into the royal family. However, Ducey and Feagin turn their acute vision to the real problem: that precious jewel of British society, the monarchy. The authors deftly cut through the myths and mystique of whiteness that uphold tradition, justify hereditary power, and entrench racism. Through a theoretically informed, historically grounded, and timely intervention they analyze why a Black duchess can simultaneously be celebrated as proof of a colour-blind Britain while also interpreted as an imminent threat to the aristocracy. This work invites no less than a revisioning of the very structures that underpin British society."

    Nalini Mohabir, Concordia University

    "At last a book that brings much needed academic rigour to the case of Meghan Markle, revealing why the ‘political is always personal’ for women of colour in the limelight. Whether you’re friend, foe or indifferent to the royal family, I promise this book’s forensic exposé of the elite racism at the heart of the British establishment will leave you in no doubt about the seismic symbolism her young, brown female skin represents to an old White male Imperial institution. A gripping modern day Grimm’s fairy-tale of race, gender and class – frightening but impossible to put down!"

    Heidi Safia Mirza, author of Young, Female and Black and Black British Feminism, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London

    "Its interdisciplinary theoretical framing of a current media phenomenon make this a relevant read for scholars in history, politics, sociology and media and communication studies. Overall, the book offers a comprehensive overview of the ways in which Markle’s arrival in the UK highlighted the country’s structural racism in near-hypervisible ways, and hopefully serves as a comprehensive bit of evidence to those who doubt the racism directed at her."

    Nathalie Weidhase, Ethnic and Racial Studies

    "I was expecting to be challenged in my way of thinking, and I really was. This book forces you to look away from our safe white racial frame and see the other side for a change. I found this book very interesting, and I would recommend it for anyone willing to have their mind challenged."

    Moniek Bloks, History of Royal Women