Comments on "Discourses of Whiteness":
These articles give us a fine glimpse at how grand theories behave in daily life because they observe the dictum of good science and good artthey show us instead of just telling us. Together and singly, they illuminate two theoretical strands in current studies of whiteness (Allen 1994; Brodkin 1998; Crenshaw and Morrison 1992; Frankenberg 1993; Ignatiev 1995; Jacobson 1998; Morrison 1990; Roediger 1991). The first is the notion that whiteness is less a freestanding category than the powerful pole of a social relationship created by invidious contrast. Consequently the meaning of whiteness, its variability, and its fluidity all derive from its position of power and privilege vis-á-vis particular nonwhite others. And the second strand, somewhat less developed in the literature, is the notion that whiteness as a performed or lived role in a relationship has its internal contradictions. That is, the relationship of white folks to their whiteness, defined by the putative nonwhiteness of particular others, is often a relationship of ambivalence about the costs and benefits of what they embrace and what they devalue in order to be white.
Access to this content is restricted.
- If you are a AAA member please login to obtain full-text access.
- If you are not a AAA member you can find out more information and join here https://avectra.aaanet.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?webcode=verify.
- If you are a library patron of an academic institution, and are experiencing an access issue please contact your library administrator for assistance.
- If you would like to purchase online access to this single article please locate the article on Wiley Online Library or contact a Wiley-Blackwell customer service representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.