cover of book

White By Definition: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana
by Virginia Domínguez
Rutgers University Press, 1986
eISBN: 978-0-8135-6030-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-1109-2
Library of Congress Classification F380.C87D65 1986
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.80440763


"An unusual and powerful study."--Eric R. Wolf, Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY

"A profound study of the nebulous Creoles. . . . Domínguez's use of original sources . . . is scholarship at its best. . . . Her study is fascinating, thought-provoking, controversial, and without a doubt, one of the most objective analyses of Creole Louisiana. Her emphasis on social stratification and her excellent integration of ethnic and racial classification of Creoles with legal and social dynamics and individual choice of ethnic identity elucidates strikingly the continuing controversy of who and what is a Louisiana Creole."--Journal of American Ethnic History

"Domínguez's most important contribution lies in her conceptualization of the problem of identity. She treats ethnic identity as something that can change over time, warning us against imposing current meanings on the past and requiring us to consider evidence of how terms were actually used in the past. . . . It is hard to imagine a frame of reference more ideally suited to historical analysis."--Louisiana History

"A valuable interdisciplinary examination of the processes of racial definition in Louisiana's history. Her study combines the anthropologist's sensitivity to language and self definition within a community with a skillful exploitation of historical sources."--Law and Society

"I highly recommend this book to all persons interested in social stratification."--Alvin L. Bertrand, Contemporary Sociology

"A vivid and insightful reading of the historical circumstances that have shaped definitions of Creoles within Louisiana law and society."--Journal of Southern History

"A provocative, often brilliant book. It offers fresh perspectives on fundamental questions and deserves a wide readership among American social historians."--Journal of American History

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