Whiteout: The Whitening of Death in the United States


The history of death, the death industry, and bereavement customs in the United States are culturally rich and diverse. Yet an overwhelming majority of death studies scholarship assumes a primarily White and Protestant perspective. WhiteOut challenges traditional (and primarily white assumptions), asserting that we cannot fully embrace the cultural variety in dying and death across ethnicity and culture until we can first challenge a history and study of death that is monolithic and exclusive. Death and studies about death have been presented from a primarily white viewpoint, whitewashing the American color line in death and dying politics, the death industry and the ways in which death is examined, portrayed and studied. Whiteout explores the cultural diversity of death in North American society and the ways in which bereavement customs preserve cultural and ethnic identity in the United States.