Whiteness: Theorizing Race, Eliding Ethnicity
Arnesen too quickly dismisses recent whiteness scholarship without first taking stock of the ways in which this work has transformed the research agenda in labor history and beyond. Whiteness scholars have made three important contributions: theorizing class as identification, historicizing race, and centering the nation. After briefly elaborating on each of these contributions, I argue that this body of new research has been limited both by its inattention to the specificity of ethnic identification and by its acceptance of the standard assimilation narratives of American immigration history. Addressing these limitations points the way to some fruitful lines of new research.