Friday, January 18, 2008, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
“We Must Bring Together a New Coalition”: The Challenge of Working-Class White Ethnics to Color-Blind Conservatism in the 1970s
Dennis Deslippe, Franklin & Marshall College
Commentators: Martha Biondi, Northwestern University, and Jack Metzgar, Roosevelt University
This essay examines working-class white ethnics’ rejection of middle-class suburbanite notions of racial innocence, meritocratic individualism, and idealized equality in post-civil rights America. Most scholarship in white ethnicity does not adequately capture the complex and often contradictory expressions of “ethniclass” identity in a decade characterized by working-class revolt, backlash, and retreat. I focus on progressive white ethnic leaders allied with the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs and their imprint on civic and popular discourse in a period where, despite its powerful effects in the corridors of power, color-blind conservatism failed to capture the views of a majority of white Americans.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Labor History is co-sponsored by the History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University and the Labor and Working Class History Association
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
Family and Community History
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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