"Accent on Privilege" looks at the complexities of immigration, asking how native and immigrant construct race, gender, class and national identity. Katharine Jones investigates how white English immigrants live in the United States and how they use their status as privileged foreigners to gain the upper hand with Americans. Their privilege, she finds, is created by both American Anglophilia and the ways they perform their identities as "proper" English women and men in their host country. Jones looks at the cultural aspects of this performance: how English people play up their accents, "stiff upper lip," sense of humor and fashion even the way they drink beer.The political and cultural ties between England and the US act as a backdrop for the identity negotiations of these English people, many of whom do not even consider themselves to be immigrants. This unique exploration of the workings of white privilege offers an important new understanding of the paradoxes of how class, gender, and race are formed in the US and, by implication, in the UK. Katharine W. Jones is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Philadelphia University.
Acknowledgments 1. "I Want to Be Able to Be English When I Want to Be": Identities as Sites of Contestation 2. Avoiding Extremes: Negotiating Nationalism and Nostalgia 3. Responding to Privilege: Class, Race, Nation, and Anglophilia 4. "Gee, I Love Your Accent": English People and Americans Interact 5. White Mischief? Doing Conceptual Work with Empire, Race, and Gender 6. "The English Are ... Not Racist, but ... Just English": Imagining a White Nation 7. To Be English or Not? Constructing Identities in the U.S. Appendix: Descriptions of Interviewees Notes References Index