Cover of Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy by Moon-Kie Jung
Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy
Denaturalizing U.S. Racisms Past and Present
Moon-Kie Jung

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May 2015
264 pages.
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Cloth ISBN: 9780804789387
Paper ISBN: 9780804795197

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Winner of the 2016 Outstanding Academic Title Award, sponsored by Choice.

Racism has never been simple. It wasn't more obvious in the past, and it isn't less potent now. From the birth of the United States to the contemporary police shooting death of an unarmed Black youth, Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy investigates ingrained practices of racism, as well as unquestioned assumptions in the study of racism, to upend and deepen our understanding.

In Moon-Kie Jung's unsettling book, Dred Scott v. Sandford, the notorious 1857 Supreme Court case, casts a shadow over current immigration debates and the "war on terror." The story of a 1924 massacre of Filipino sugar workers in Hawai'i pairs with statistical relentlessness of Black economic suffering to shed light on hidden dimensions of mass ignorance and indifference. The histories of Asians, Blacks, Latina/os, and Natives relate in knotty ways. State violence and colonialism come to the fore in taking measure of the United States, past and present, while the undue importance of assimilation and colorblindness recedes. Ultimately, Jung challenges the dominant racial common sense and develops new concepts and theory for radically rethinking and resisting racisms.

About the author

Moon-Kie Jung teaches sociology at the University of Massachusetts. He is the author of Reworking Race: The Making of Hawaii's Interracial Labor Movement (2006) and co-editor of State of White Supremacy: Racism, Governance, and the United States (Stanford, 2011).

"Jung delivers a tour de force on the origins and consequences of US racism. This work of rigorous historical and sociological thought built on empirical data dives into the sundry and varied ways in which white supremacy has been established in the US, particularly as forces of racial domination played out along the black-white color line and amid Latino, Asian, and Native populations . . . Essential."

—M.W. Hughey, CHOICE

"Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy provides a much-needed rebuttal to those who believe we have arrived at a post-racial destination in America. Smart, bold, and illuminating, this book offers an innovative way to understand the mechanisms that maintain racialized hierarchy. Moon-Kie Jung's path-breaking work reminds us all of our collective responsibility for altering racial inequality."

—Tyrone A. Forman, University of Illinois at Chicago

"This brilliant book is certain to become a landmark work in critical race theory, ethnic studies, and the sociology of knowledge. Through its generative explanations, unexpected connections, and previously unknown genealogies, it presents a new theory about the nature of racism that reveals the significance of ideological denial and epistemological suppression in legitimating white supremacy."

—George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place

"Moon-Kie Jung's new book is a major empirical and theoretical contribution. It reconceptualizes how we understand and study racism, particularly in the United States. Jung is at once historian and social theorist, reader of evidence and interpreter of its significance. Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy is critical sociology at its very best."

—Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study