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The Humanities Conference 2003

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"Whiteness" as Historical, Social and Political Artefact: Two Case Studies

Nado Aveling.

In foregrounding the social production of whiteness I do not intend to reinscribe white hegemony by merely interrogating its subjectivity and particularism; I want, rather to open up spaces for understanding and, more importantly, open up spaces for racial justice. Given that 'whiteness' is historically, socially, politically, and culturally produced, this paper explores the question of 'being white' with a small group of young, well-educated Australian women and compares the responses of these women with a similar group of young women in Germany. While similarities in responses were evident the interviews also produced interesting differences along social, historical and political lines. These similarities and differences are taken up in terms of what they might mean for praxis.


Nado Aveling  (Australia)
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Murdoch University

Dr Nado Aveling's research and publications are grounded within a postcolonial, critical pedagogy and while broadly focusing on anti-discriminatory education, her most recent research focuses more specifically on the use of autobiographical narratives to deconstruct the normativity of 'whiteness' and the social construction of gendered and racialised subjectivities.

  • Whiteness
  • Identity construction
  • Race

(30 min Conference Paper, English)