Volume 99, Issue 3 p. 495-505
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Establishing the Fact of Whiteness

Assistant Professor John Hartigan Jr.

Assistant Professor John Hartigan Jr.

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Knox College. Galesburg, IL 61401.

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First published: September 1997
Citations: 166


Surveying public discourses on race, one suspects that anthropologists and academics are struggling to keep pace with the innovations and obsessions this subject generates in popular culture. But academic discussions of whiteness and the way it operates may provide a means of altering the terms of racial debates. As an analytical object, whiteness is being established as a powerful means of critiquing the reproduction and maintenance of systems of racial inequality. Studies of whiteness are demonstrating that whites benefit from a host of social arrangements and institutional operations that seem, to whites, to have no racial basis.