Reed College

“White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race”

Matthew W. Hughey, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut

Discussions of race are inevitably fraught with tension, both in opinion and positioning. Too frequently, debates are framed as clear points of opposition—us versus them. And when considering white racial identity, a split between progressive movements and a neoconservative backlash is all too frequently assumed. Taken at face value, it would seem that whites are splintering into antagonistic groups, with differing worldviews, values, and ideological stances.

White Bound investigates these dividing lines, questioning the very notion of a fracturing whiteness, and in so doing offers a unique view of white racial identity. Dr. Hughey spent over a year attending the meetings, reading the literature, and interviewing members of two white organizations—a white nationalist group and a white antiracist group. Though he found immediate political differences, he observed surprising similarities related to how both groups make meaning of race and whiteness. His talk will examine these similarities to illuminate not just the many ways of being white, but how these actors make meaning of whiteness in ways that collectively reproduce both white identity and, ultimately, white supremacy.

Dr. Hughey’s research concentrates on white racial identity,  racialized organizations, and mass media. He has published over sixty scholarly articles and seven books, some of which include The White Savior Film: Content, Critics, and Consumption (Temple University Press, 2014), which received the 2016 Outstanding Publication Award from the Southwest Sociological Association, and White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race (Stanford University Press, 2012), which was co-winner of the Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems in 2014. He has been honored with the 2014 Distinguished Early Career Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the 2016 Mentoring Excellence Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. In September of 2016 he was named a visiting professor in the post-graduate school at the University of the Free State (South Africa), and over 2016-2017 he serves as a visiting scholar with the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University.

Sponsored by the sociology department and the Office for Institutional Diversity.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Psychology, Psy auditorium (Psy 105)
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

Event Type



Faculty & Staff, Students, General Public


Sociology, Institutional Diversity

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