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Week 7- Nation and Whiteness.docx

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1502
Amar Wahab

Week 7: Nation and Whiteness (23/10) Readings: • Frankenberg, Points of Origin, Points of Departure (CK) • McKintosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (CK) • hooks, Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination (CK) • Jordan, In the Land of White Supremacy (CK) Moodle Video link: Tim Wise on White Privilege Assignment #1 due at the beginning of lecture (for Tutorials 1-4 & 7-10). Distribution of Assignment #2 (On Whiteness) during lecture. Lecture: • state is authority • nation is identities • state only selects certain identities from the nation and produces those nations as a legitimate identity • state promising invisibilities to certain identities • state doesn't recognize people on all terms • imposes its authority on some identities, but does not impose full force of authority on other identities on the margins • state becomes an apparatus of discipline and punishment • state regulates both spheres - marriage laws (private) and intimacy in the bedroom are governed by state • identity isn't voluntary, it is shaped and conditioned • extended families aren't recognized • marginal vs entitled citizens • ideal vs real • state only overlaps part of nation, not all identities Thinking About Whiteness • Frankenberg: Gender and whiteness – how the lives of white women are raced (prompted by feminist/radical women on colour). - self reflectivity • Hooks: whiteness as terror (critical view from the margins) - life is regulated in the way u see me/constructed to see me. dominant group that makes sense of the other. relations of looking • McIntosh: the everyday racism cultural practices and norms of whiteness that are invisible to those who are white. The“Invisible Knapsack” as a series of privilege rights & entitlements that are NOT earned but conferred and naturalized. power we have inherited bc of bodies we live in • Jordan: rethinking the meaning of “white supremacy” i.e. not only about isolated extremist racism but systemic and everyday effects of whiteness Critiquing Whiteness (Frankenberg) • Why does ‘race’ signify the (non-white) other? • How race is lived: “white people and people of colour live racially structured lives” (Frankenberg, 1) • Race as a “system of differentiation shapes those on whom it bestows privilege as well as those it oppresses.” (Frankenberg, 1). Frankenberg seeks to “assign everyone a place in the relations of racism” (Frankenberg, 6) • no one escapes whiteness as no one escapes race • Whiteness as normative – sets the standards for constructing, judging and ordering difference; • Whiteness as a position of structural advantage (i.e. race privilege); (not universal, comes from history of western Europe and its imprint on the globe—culture, ideology and powers to oppress non white people) [ power relations where one is of advantage] • Whiteness as standpoint – a particular (i.e. not universal) gaze on the white Self and non-white Other ; [ what we see is by history of what we see here….only offers one way of seeing the world/dominant] • What u cant see doesn't mean its invisible • Whiteness as a set of cultural practices that are unmarked/invisible (e.g. what are the stories we (have to) tell ourselves?). A Critical Imagination: Whiteness as Terror (Hooks) • The (White/Normative) Gaze (“looking relations”): Otherness (e.g. blackness) often constructed in the white gaze as terrorist threat (i.e. hypervisibility of ‘difference’) – recall Lorde’s “misrecognition”; - theres a black imagination • In return the invisibility of the white gaze keeps it safe from critical scrutiny (i.e. it remains unnamed); • Making whiteness visible (looking back): Returning the Gaze to situate and name ‘whiteness’ as a particular standpoint i.e. the ‘fact of blackness’ in dominant discourse is a product of the ways in which whiteness constructs difference. • A different standpoint of knowledge: The view from the margins allows the Other to see/know oppression/the oppressor. • is this really a fact or a production from the dominate state • what they recognize to be facts of blackness i actually an illusion that has been restated so many times that we believe it—socially produced and constructed by those of dominance • the panopticon: teacher ta/ is in control and have surveillance. must self police • oppressed experiences and history are another perspective • Whiteness in the black gaze is terrorizing: not a simple reversal of stereotypes but based on the history of experiences of racism, trauma, pain, racialized regulation, inequality. • Counter-memory: hooks compares the ease or difficulty of crossing boundaries: e.g. the official white men who came across the tracks (in the name of civilizing black people) versus hooks’ experiences visiting her grandparents and being profiled at airports as a different knowledge about travel (i.e. “terrorizing force of white supremacy”) • Whiteness as discipline i.e. regulating us into knowing our place (and non-place) in society and therefore the limits of imagining and knowing ourselves. • black perspective is a view never looked at • crossing tracks is about the binary - dominate group reserves power to be dominant and cross tracks and move to privilege without any othering • black as terror is created by white • want to produce innocence and neutrality of white Critiquing Whiteness (Frankenberg) • Liberal discourse of racelessness/colour-blindness: – Whiteness as the universal norm: “White people are just people” (the universal norm), “no culture,” “no colour”; – Myth of Sameness: Masks the dominance of white patriarchy and white masculinity in determining the status quo. – Myth of Individuality: liberal logic of individual merit eclipses race merit. • Responses to critiquing/naming whiteness: anger, disbelief, denial, guilt, recuperation, and terror; • Implications for thinking critically about Canadian multiculturalism? Tutorial Questions: There will be a quiz on October 23 . (Note the remaining two quizzes for this term wiland November 13 .) One of the following three questions will be selected for tquiz:tober 23 1. Drawing on the explanation
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