2nd Edition

The White Racial Frame Centuries of Racial Framing and Counter-Framing

By Joe R. Feagin Copyright 2013
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this book Joe Feagin extends the systemic racism framework in previous Routledge books by developing an innovative concept, the white racial frame. Now four centuries-old, this white racial frame encompasses not only the stereotyping, bigotry, and racist ideology emphasized in other theories of "race," but also the visual images, array of emotions, sounds of accented language, interlinking interpretations and narratives, and inclinations to discriminate that are still central to the frame’s everyday operations. Deeply imbedded in American minds and institutions, this white racial frame has for centuries functioned as a broad worldview, one essential to the routine legitimation, scripting, and maintenance of systemic racism in the United States. Here Feagin examines how and why this white racial frame emerged in North America, how and why it has evolved socially over time, which racial groups are framed within it, how it has operated in the past and in the present for both white Americans and Americans of color, and how the latter have long responded with strategies of resistance that include enduring counter-frames.

    In this new edition, Feagin has included much new interview material and other data from recent research studies on framing issues related to white, black, Latino, and Asian Americans, and on society generally. The book also includes a new discussion of the impact of the white frame on popular culture, including on movies, video games, and television programs as well as a discussion of the white racial frame’s significant impacts on public policymaking, immigration, the environment, health care, and crime and imprisonment issues.

    Chapter 1 The White Racial Frame; Chapter 2 Building the Racist Foundation; Chapter 3 Creating a White Racial Frame; Chapter 4 Extending the White Frame; Chapter 5 The Contemporary White Racial Frame; Chapter 6 The Frame in Everyday Operation; Chapter 7 The Frame in Institutional Operation; Chapter 8 Counter-Framing; Chapter 9 Toward a Truly Multiracial Democracy;


    Joe R. Feagin is Ella C. McFadden Professor at Texas A & M University. Feagin has done much research on racism and sexism issues for forty-nine years and has served as the Scholar-in-Residence at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has written 59 scholarly books and more than 200 scholarly articles in his research areas, and one of his books (Ghetto Revolts) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His recent books include Systemic Racism (Routledge 2006) and White Party, White Government (Routledge 2012). He is the 2006 recipient of a Harvard alumni association’s lifetime achievement award and was the 1999–2000 president of the American Sociological Association.

    "The White Racial Frame is critically important -- it is now a basic text in the field, and a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the reasons for America's racial divide.  In the new edition, Feagin's analysis is illuminating, highly persuasive, and provocative -- and could not be more timely."

    -Elijah Anderson, Sociology, Yale University, and the author of The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life.

    "In this revelatory book, Joe Feagin challenges the dominant "white frame" that is so embedded in the white mind that we are barely conscious of its existence. His great achievement is precisely that—to make us conscious of the bevy of assumptions that have legitimated, rationalized, and shaped racial oppression. Like donning a new pair of glasses, we now see even quotidian manifestations of racism in relation to the vast web of historical and institutional forces that continue to reproduce racial inequalities. We are far from transcending race as a society, but we can liberate the mind, and readers will leave this book with a grasp of elemental truths."

    -Stephen Steinberg, Urban Studies, CUNY: Queens College and Graduate center, and the author of Race Relations: A Critique

    "The White Racial Frame is a much needed analysis for understanding how systemic racism has continued to afflict the lives of millions of Americans of color in the twenty-first century, when supposedly the country approached a post-racial age of equality and fairness. No U.S. scholar has done more to reveal the extensiveness of systemic racism in U.S society than Joe. R. Feagin."

    -Nestor Rodriguez, Sociology, University of Texas at Austin

    "With painstaking research and razor-sharp critical analysis, Feagin offers a stunning examination of how the White racial frame has structured the genesis and trajectory of modern day race relations. In this new edition, the new examples of how the frame is articulated through the global mass media have particular resonance in an age of increasing media dependence.  This book is an important and meaningful contribution to critical race theory and will be required reading for all of my race courses."   

    - Cherise Harris, Sociology, Connecticut College

    "This book is an essential text in the contemporary corpus of sociological theory. Joe Feagin skillfully articulates how an entrenched racial worldview structures not only our cognition, but how we react emotionally, use language, interpret inequality, and interact with others."

    – Matthew W. Hughey, Sociology, Mississippi State University

    "The beauty of the 2nd edition of The White Racial Frame is that Feagin does not broad-brush all Whites, offering a clearer analysis of who is/is not viewing the world, and especially America, from the vantage point of race privilege. Unlike others who tell us what is wrong with the society we live in, here Professor Feagin offers solutions for moving towards a truly multiracial society.

    - Earl Smith, Sociology, Wake Forest University (professor emeritus)

    "Joe Feagin’s concept of the "white racial frame" transcends traditional notions of racial ideology, explicating how white normalizing cognitive processes interact with imagery and emotion, inclination and action. In this second edition, Feagin illuminates this powerful concept with rich new interview data and analyses of popular culture that reveal the depth of white racial framing in dominant American discourse."

    - Wendy Leo Moore, Sociology, Texas A&M University

    "Truthful to his established persona as a rabble-rouser, Joe Feagin has penned a more provocative analysis of racial domination in the American context. This book provides a multidimensional analysis of the tools of racial domination that skillfully ties the ideological together with the emotional, cognitive visual, and sonic dimensions of racial repulsion and homophily. Because of its simple, direct, and dynamic prose, this book will be a useful companion for undergraduate courses."

    - Michéle Lamont, Sociology and African American Studies, Harvard University, and author of The Dignity of Working Men

    "The powerful concept of the White Racial Frame by Joe Feagin brings awareness of how racism is embedded in all areas of our lives. This book is immensely useful to my students in my U.S. Citizenship courses by helping them move beyond notions that we live in a post-racial America."

    - Maria Chavéz-Pringle, Political Science, Pacific Lutheran University