Nothing Sells like Whiteness: Race, Ontology, and American Advertising

Shalini Shankar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this article, I examine how white supremacy is reproduced and circulated through advertising. I explore the shift from the racial and ethnic specificities of “multiculturalism” to the more open-ended concept of “diversity,” which indexes difference in unspecific and nonthreatening ways. How diversity is represented in general-market advertising and how it differs from multicultural advertising offers a window into white supremacy and the role of advertising in furthering its agenda. Advertising has long acted as a vehicle for white supremacy, and by analyzing diversity, there is something to be learned about the current work done by this medium. [race/ethnicity, advertising, media, diversity, white supremacy].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Nothing Sells like Whiteness: Race, Ontology, and American Advertising'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this