Out of Frankfurt: A Response to Critics of The Unmasking Style in Social Theory

Research output: Journal PublicationsComment / Debate


This article responds to appraisals of The Unmasking Style in Social Theory (Baehr, 2019). Critics of the book point to missed opportunities, arcane interests, and overstatements of the book’s central thesis. A structural sociology of unmasking is proposed. A cultural pragmatics of unmasking is recommended. The reply offers clarifications of the style, discusses the unmasking technique of elongation, and considers ways to mitigate unmasking in classroom teaching. Topics discussed include the limits of transparency and the hyperbole of “white privilege.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalThe American Sociologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020



  • 18 Transparency
  • Debunking
  • Elongation
  • Exposure
  • Racism
  • Unmasking Style
  • Whiteness

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