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BACKSTAGE DISCOURSE AND THE REPRODUCTION OF WHITE MASCULINITIES

Authors


Matthew W. Hughey, Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, P. O. Box C, 207 Bowen Hall, Mississippi State, MS 39762; e-mail: mhughey@soc.msstate.edu

Abstract

This article documents the shared patterns of private white male discourse. Drawing from comparative ethnographic research in a white nationalist and a white antiracist organization, I analyze how white men engage in private discourse to reproduce coherent and valorized understandings of white masculinity. These private speech acts reinforce prevailing narratives about race and gender, reproduce understandings of segregation and paternalism as natural, and rationalize the expression of overt racism. This analysis illustrates how antagonistic forms of “frontstage” white male activism may distract from white male identity management in the “backstage.”

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