1. Between 1947 and 1975 anthropologists and sociologists produced a body of
community studies that addressed immigration, assimilation, and race re-
lations. Yet neither white women nor the social processes by which white
parents attempt to counter racial hierarchies were the focus of these studies.
For examples of earlier studies of black community formation, see Banton
1955; Little 1948; Glass 1961; Collins 1957; Patterson 1963. These studies were
framed around an analysis of assimilation rather than antiracism.
2. I employ the term white as an elastic and economical way to describe people
of diverse European heritage who may or may not embrace white as their
primary identity. The white women and men who participated in this study
self-identify as British, Irish, Eng lish, Scottish, and a combination of the
above, as well as white. Although I employ the term throughout this book,
I recognize that the people I refer to do not belong to a culturally homoge-
neous group, and their economic situations, social experiences, and pheno-
types varied greatly.
3. In eight families I was able to directly compare the interpretations and dis-
courses of sisters, brothers, and sisters-in-law.
4. See the research of Benson, 1981; Dalmage 2000; Ali 2003; Chito Childs
2005; Hildebrandt 2002.
5. Although Bourdieu was not concerned specifically with racism or racial
hierarchies, he nevertheless provided theoretical tools that can be deployed
in analyses of interracial intimacy and the cultural reproduction of intraeth-
nic hierarchies in second- and third-generation black European communi-
6. For an exceptional analysis of a white grandmother parenting children of
African descent in Detroit, see Hartigan 1997.
Previous Page Next Page