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Impact Factor:0.517 | Ranking:Ethnic Studies 11 out of 15
Source:2013 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

Rethinking White Supremacy

Who Counts in ‘WhiteWorld’

  1. David Gillborn
    1. The Institute of Education, University of London, UK


The article addresses the nature of power relations that sustain and disguise white racial hegemony in contemporary ‘western’ society. Following the insights offered by critical race theory (CRT), white supremacy is conceived as a comprehensive condition whereby the interests and perceptions of white subjects are continually placed centre stage and assumed as ‘normal’. These processes are analysed through two very different episodes. The first example relates to a period of public crisis, a moment where ‘what really matters’ is thrown into relief by a set of exceptional circumstances, in this case, the London bombings of July 2005. The second example relates to the routine and unexceptional workings of national assessment mechanisms in the education system and raises the question whether assessments merely record educational inequity or actually produce it. These apparently divergent cases are linked by the centrality of white interests and the mobilization of structural and cultural forces to defend white power at the expense of the racialized ‘Other’.

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