Cover image for Accent on privilege : English identities and anglophilia in the U.S.
Accent on privilege : English identities and anglophilia in the U.S.
Jones, Katharine W., 1967-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia, Pa. : Temple University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xii, 284 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E184.B7 J66 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This work asks how race and class are constructed through the eyes of native and immigrant. It covers how British immigrants live in the US, and how their status as foreigners is created by both American Anglophilia and the ways they perform their identities as proper Britons in their host country. It looks at the cultural aspects of this performance: how Brits play up to their accents, British reserve, sense of humour and fashion, even the way they drink beer. Given the affinity between Great Britain and the USA, many British people living in the country do not even consider themselves immigrants. This relationship between the USA and its immigrants offers an important understanding of the paradoxes of how class, identity, and race are formed in the USA.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Herself an English immigrant, Jones (sociology, Philadelphia Univ.) analyzes the experiences of 34 other white upper- or middle-class English immigrants to the United States. She reveals the variety of methods these immigrants used to enhance or minimize their English identities in daily interactions with Americans (e.g., manipulation of their accents, their fashions, even how they drink beer). She also explores how America's love affair with all things English creates both advantages and restrictions for the immigrants and how they manipulate this Anglophilia to their advantage. A revision of her Ph.D. dissertation, this work suffers from the deficiencies common to that medium. The small number of subjects and the homogeneity of the sample make the study manageable but also render its conclusions statistically insignificant. Even so, the work is useful in exploring the techniques used by some immigrants in their encounters with Americans and the relationship of those techniques to perceived personal and national identities. Recommended for academic libraries with collections in sociology and ethnic/immigrant studies.-Christopher Brennan, SUNY at Brockport Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In this intelligent and entertaining book, Jones (Philadelphia Univ.) shares remarkable details from interviews with English women and men living in the US. Her central inquiry addresses the acquisition, negotiation, and maintenance of identity, adding significantly to our grasp of how thoroughly we are socially constructed selves. Attention to identities grounded in social privilege contrasts instructively with the more usual studies of subordinated groups and their struggles for self-esteem. As Jones analyzes her 34 affluent and white interviewees' tendencies to attribute advantages not to their own advancement strategies, but rather to others' treatment of them (spotlighting Americans' anglophilia), she exposes patterns likely to fit an assortment of privileged groups. Her explanations for how these favored immigrants (or expatriates, depending on one's identity) resolve such tensions by decrying false nostalgia and gaudy nationalism while expressing a sense of England's superior beauty and culture clarify the underlying work required to hold identity intact. What she observes about how the "natural and immutable" can indeed be the product of continuing interpersonal reproduction is presented with the wit that enlivens English ways and the care that defines the best of qualitative sociology. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. Zingraff Meredith College