The uses of whiteness: what sociologists working on Europe can draw from US research on whiteness


Whiteness studies are trans-disciplinary, but here the focus is principally on sociology and social history. Firstly, I identify, elucidate and synthesize the major ways in which whiteness in this literature has hitherto been problematized, to provide a sociological view of the multidisciplinary work so far. Five interpretations are identified; whiteness as absence, as content, as a set of norms, as resources and as a contingent hierarchy. Secondly, I make some proposals regarding the whiteness problematic’s degree of pertinence to European settings, with a brief discussion of the Irish case. Finally, I argue that whiteness is useful if conceptualized in a way that sets it within the parameters of studies of racism.

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Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > Sociology and Policy
Languages & Social Sciences
Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Uncontrolled Keywords: identities,racism,whiteness,racialisation
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PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2006-04
Authors: Garner, Steve J.


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