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Rethinking White Supremacy

[journal article]

Gillborn, David

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Abstract The article addresses the nature of power relations that sustain and disguise white racial hegemony in contemporary ‘western’ society. Following the insights offered by critical race theory (CRT), white supremacy is conceived as a comprehensive condition whereby the interests and perceptions of white subjects are continually placed centre stage and assumed as ‘normal’. These processes are analysed through two very different episodes. The first example relates to a period of public crisis, a moment where ‘what really matters’ is thrown into relief by a set of exceptional circumstances, in this case, the London bombings of July 2005. The second example relates to the routine and unexceptional workings of national assessment mechanisms in the education system and raises the question whether assessments merely record educational inequity or actually produce it. These apparently divergent cases are linked by the centrality of white interests and the mobilization of structural and cultural forces to defend white power at the expense of the racialized ‘Other’.
Free Keywords antiracism; assessment; critical race theory; education; England; policy studies; racism; white privilege; white supremacy; whiteness studies;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 318-340
Journal Ethnicities, 6 (2006) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)