The Meaning of White

How important is your racial identity to you? Researchers long thought it wasn't that crucial to whites. But a groundbreaking new study on whiteness and race relations by University of Minnesota sociologists shows that whites in the U.S. are far more conscious of being white--and the privileges it brings--than was believed.

The survey is packed with fascinating findings, some surprising (a stunning proportion of whites--77%--say their race has a distinct culture that should be preserved) and some less so (whites view their role in the social hierarchy more benignly than blacks and Hispanics do). Whites are more likely to say...

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