What is Whiteness?

TLDR; Whiteness, within sociology, is defined as a set of characteristics and experiences that are attached to the white race and white skin. In the U.S. and European contexts, whiteness marks ones as normal, belonging, and native, while people in other r
IxionJanuary 9, 2018 11:04pm
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  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    TLDR; Whiteness, within sociology, is defined as a set of characteristics and experiences that are attached to the white race and white skin. In the U.S. and European contexts, whiteness marks ones as normal, belonging, and native, while people in other racial categories are perceived as and treated as unusual, foreign, and exotic. Sociologists believe that what whiteness is and means is directly connected to the construction of people of color as "other" in society.

    Because of this, whiteness comes with a wide variety of privileges.

    So @Supes asked a poignant question why do so many on the site "hate white men"

    It would be easy for me to dismiss the comment out of hand...easy they don't hate white men (a few folks notwithstanding) but they do hate the ramifications of a white man's whiteness AND his maleness.

    No not whiteness like the color of your skin... whiteness like the ideology that has formed to prop up white supremacy...nor maleness like the penis that hangs between most males legs...it is the ideology used to prop up patriarchy.

    Because the statement is evidently loaded with meaning it has to be unpacked to get at its substance:

    When folks are usually saying: "I hate White Men because of xyz" that is a contraction of the full sentiment like instead of saying saying "you all" some has resorted to using "y'all"... for folks who are familiar with the language and the contraction it makes perfect sense to an outsider.....well it might need some explanation....This thread hopes to start a conversation to do that...(Lord give me strength)

    Truth be told its more complicated than someone hating or saying they hate a man who just happens to be white...it is more like they are saying:

    "I hate that this male who happens to be white is oblivious of his racial privilege and I hate his willingness to defend his ideology and racial privilege even though his ideology is directly undermining anyone who is not also white and male and essentially hates my non-white ass"

    What a mouthful...and believe you and me there are thousands of riffs on the above sentence and logic many better -many worse but it all comes down to not hating the person but hating their White Ideology.

    I know, I know what a few will say: "B-b-but there is no such thing as a "White Ideology"

    Well many sociologists, anthropologists, economists, psychologists (and a vast number of other social science practitioners would disagree) and many a person who is not White (which is most of the world) would disagree (some vehemently and loudly and some politely) with you... and without even much effort be able to point to the facets of what makes Whiteness a thing in practice.

    In the literature, 'Whiteness' would be defined as a social construct. And it is the construct of Whiteness that people react to and hate...not the people themselves but the benefits, thought processes and ideological systems which privilege the people who are able to subscribe to Whiteness I know its abstract but bear with me...

    A social construct...wuzzat? At its base its a mechanism or phenomenon...or category created and developed not by nature but by society. Examples of this are perceptions of an individual, group, or an idea that is developed through cultural or social practice...Race for example is a social construct.


    Going beyond the above definition there is the fact that Whiteness is not just a social construct but specifically, it is a "normalized category" as a matter of fact many would argue that it is THE normalized category which makes it difficult to see for those who are privileged by it (White people and those who subscribe to whiteness).

    If it is considered normal to be white then everything else that is not white is considered to be non-standard.

    What do I mean by standard?
    This should come as no surprise but I mean normal...whiteness is considered to be normal in this country... and globally too but in ways that may surprise you.
  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    Now the male issue.... that is based in critiques of feminist theory primarily that patriarchy is an unjust social system that enforces gender roles and is oppressive to both men and women as It often includes and reinforces any social, political, or economic mechanism that evokes male dominance over women unnecessarily and unjustly.
  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    Posted by Supes
    I guess I don’t see it, because I’m white.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not looking at others “privledge” either. I’m 100% happy with what I have. I also don’t care what others have. I don’t have envy in my heart.

    I believe that every single American has a chance (same as whitey) to make it in this world. Idgaf what color you are


    Acknowledging a system isn't the same as being called to be unhappy, happy, or anything in between, and it is not in any way saying hey you be envious. Nor does your individual belief or disbelief matter.

    I am giving you the basis for why folks would be upset at all.

    Beyond that...why do you think that every single measure of success and health is lower for other groups relative to whites? Are Whites just somehow superior in your eyes? Why are males doing much better economically than women? Is it because Men just perform better?

    To believe what you said you would have to make some wild generalizations or not think about it at all.
  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    Posted by Librasetting
    You're treetrunking retarded!!!!


    If you can't actually manage to explain why... I 'gest you just get out of the thread now yeen seen nothing yet lol.
  • TheRabbit
    Asshat Sun, Asshat Moon, Cardboard Rising
    I generally agree.
  • BoomShakalakaBoom
    "Archaeologist "
    male from The Netherlands, Europe
    How would rich/sucessful/top of the ladder black males and females fit into the white privilege assumption/theory?

    It's not fair, I'm jealous of their black privilege!

  • TheRabbit
    Asshat Sun, Asshat Moon, Cardboard Rising
    I have a legit question. I'm trying not to make it sound loaded, but it's something I hear often, but what's your thoughts on the claim some folks use their "non-white-maleness" as a crutch or an excuse to not do better?
  • BoomShakalakaBoom
    "Archaeologist "
    male from The Netherlands, Europe
    It's thanks to imbeciles believing in garbage sociological/gender studies like this one that Trump could get such sudden and massive support. People like you made Trump President.

    At some point everyone is gonna get tired of being called sexist/racist/homophobe simply for having a different opinion.

    Enter Trumpism.
  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    Posted by TheRabbit
    I have a legit question. I'm trying not to make it sound loaded, but it's something I hear often, but what's your thoughts on the claim some folks use their "non-white-maleness" as a crutch or an excuse to not do better?


    It isn't a loaded question but a reality. Think of it as a symptom of being in a disenfranchised position.

    There are some folks in person of color communities who elect not to struggle against the obstructions created by the social dynamics of living in a white centered society...they are those folks who will attach things that definitely do not have to deal with whiteness as being caused by white supremacy.

    Aka the gent who doesn't have a job because he never applied for jobs but will say well why bother because it is several times more unlikely that I will not get a call back because I am black.

    To be clear this is a vanishingly small part of the black community.

    To be even clearer its not that his claim is baseless but he is overstating the bleakness of the reality...it would be harder for him to find work...regardless of education or class compared to a generic white counterpart but not impossible.
  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    Posted by HearttofTopaz
    You gave it ur all


    Not at all these are the vapors of my reserves.
  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    Posted by BoomShakalakaBoom
    It's thanks to imbeciles believing in garbage sociological/gender studies like this one that Trump could get such sudden and massive support. People like you made Trump President.

    At some point everyone is gonna get tired of being called sexist/racist/homophobe simply for having a different opinion.

    Enter Trumpism.


    Your reading comprehension is sh^t lol+
  • TheRabbit
    Asshat Sun, Asshat Moon, Cardboard Rising
    Thanks.

    I know I will never know what it's like to be a minority in the US but I least I can try to listen.

    Now I'll just hang back and watch the fireworks.
  • Ixion
    Possessor of low-cunning and great dance moves.
    Posted by BoomShakalakaBoom
    How would rich/sucessful/top of the ladder black males and females fit into the white privilege assumption/theory?

    It's not fair, I'm jealous of their black privilege!



    Now my sadly miseducated Dutchman...what shall I call you?...Daan I shall call you dan.

    Existence of wealthy blacks does in no way prove the non-existence of the system and ideology described.

    You are conflating the existence of an outlier to be the norm...which it overwhelmingly is not.
  • Posted by BoomShakalakaBoom
    It's thanks to imbeciles believing in garbage sociological/gender studies like this one that Trump could get such sudden and massive support. People like you made Trump President.

    At some point everyone is gonna get tired of being called sexist/racist/homophobe simply for having a different opinion.

    Enter Trumpism.


    That's the sad reality of it.

    The only real way to stop it is to stop talking about it. Stop acting like it's a big deal and just let the topic die already. And with that all the social problems will die along with it.

    The people keeping this subject alive are doing just that, keeping the social issues alive and kicking.
  • justagirl
    Crime fighting on rooftops by night.
    I just came in to say TL; DR

    Laughing

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