ERIC Number: EJ980322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
The Color of Supremacy: Beyond the Discourse of "White Privilege"
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v36 n2 p137-152 Apr 2004
In the last decade, the study of white privilege has reached currency in the educational and social science literature. Concerned with the circuits and meanings of whiteness in everyday life, scholars have exposed the codes of white culture, worldview of the white imaginary, and assumptions of the invisible marker that depends on the racial other for its own identity. In particular, authors like Peggy McIntosh have helped educators understand the taken for granted, daily aspects of white privilege: from the convenience of matching one's skin color with bandages, to opening up a textbook to discover one's racial identity affirmed in history, literature, and civilization in general. In all, the study of white privilege has pushed critical pedagogy into directions that account for the experiences of the "oppressor" identity. This essay takes a different approach toward the study of whiteness. It argues that a critical look at white privilege, or the analysis of white racial hegemony, must be complemented by an equally rigorous examination of white supremacy, or the analysis of white racial domination. This is a necessary departure because, although the two processes are related, the conditions of white supremacy make white privilege possible. In order for white racial hegemony to saturate everyday life, it has to be secured by a process of domination, or those acts, decisions, and policies that white subjects perpetrate on people of color. As such, a critical pedagogy of white racial supremacy revolves less around the issue of unearned advantages, or the "state" of being dominant, and more around direct processes that secure domination and the privileges associated with it.
Descriptors: Racial Identification, Whites, Social Sciences, Critical Theory, Advantaged, Teaching Methods, Criticism, Minority Groups, Power Structure, Correlation, Race
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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