Reviewing whiteness: theory, research and possibilities

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Green, Meredith J, Sonn, Christopher and Matsebula, Jabulane (2007) Reviewing whiteness: theory, research and possibilities. South African Journal of Psychology, 37 (3). pp. 389-419. ISSN 0081-2463


This article is a review of the concept of whiteness and how the power and privilege of whiteness is reproduced within societies such as Australia and South Africa. As well as providing a broad overview of whiteness, our aim is to highlight and establish dialogue about how research on whiteness may contribute to decolonisation and work towards social justice. The review begins by outlining the meanings and complexity of whiteness. having established some parameters for understanding whiteness the second part of the article focuses on how whiteness produces itself. Three different, but related, practices or mechanisms through which whiteness is reproduced have been identified in the literature. These have been labelled: knowledge and history construction; national identity and belonging; and anti-racism practice. In conclusion, we briefly discuss how we are investigating whiteness further in relation to pedagogy and applied research. While this article is not aimed at providing a complete review of whiteness, it does provide a background against which we can start thinking differently about racism, race relations, and anti-racism. These different ways of thinking include interrogating power and privilege in the analysis of racism, which in turn may lead to more effective and critical action addressing racism.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 220000 Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts-General
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID22708. whiteness, racism, anti-racism, race relations, reconciliation, social change
Citations in Scopus 84 - View on Scopus
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