ABOUT THIS BOOK
Scandinavian immigrants encountered a strange paradox in 1890s Chicago. Though undoubtedly foreign, these newcomers were seen as Nordics--the "race" proclaimed by the scientific racism of the era as the very embodiment of white superiority. As such, Scandinavians from the beginning enjoyed racial privilege and the success it brought without the prejudice, nativism, and stereotyping endured by other immigrant groups. Erika K. Jackson examines how native-born Chicagoans used ideological and gendered concepts of Nordic whiteness and Scandinavian ethnicity to construct social hegemony. Placing the Scandinavian-American experience within the context of historical whiteness, Jackson delves into the processes that created the Nordic ideal. She also details how the city's Scandinavian immigrants repeated and mirrored the racial and ethnic perceptions disseminated by American media. An insightful look at the immigrant experience in reverse, Scandinavians in Chicago bridges a gap in our understanding of how whites constructed racial identity in America.