Digging in: white trash, trailer trash, and the (im)mobility of whiteness Chapter (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Dunn, Tasha Rose


  • This book chapter focuses on the discursive strategies used to maintain and destabilize white identity and privilege. I specifically analyze the use of the word “trash” and its connection to the onslaught of mediated depictions of white working-class people who live in mobile homes and who, because of their socioeconomic status, are portrayed in particularly problematic ways. I argue that this connection between “trash” and mediated representations of the white working-class population is a discursive strategy that both reveals and reinforces the (im)mobility of whiteness. My use of parentheses within the word “(im)mobility “signifies and highlights a tension that lies at the crux of this work: the immobility of white working-class people, which is discursively constructed, functions to re-center and mobilize a particular type of whiteness—one that adheres to the class and racial etiquette required of white people to preserve their power and privilege.

publication date

  • 2019


start page

  • 117

end page

  • 132