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Whiteness studies

From Academic Kids

Whiteness studies is a controversial branch of academic scholarship which began appearing as early as 1983 (see the works of Marilyn Frye). As of 2004, according to The Washington Post, at least 30 institutions including Princeton University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and University of Massachusetts Amherst currently offer courses in whiteness studies.

The central tenet of whiteness studies is a reading of history in which the very concept of race is said to have been created by a white power structure in order to justify discrimination against nonwhites. Advocates of whiteness studies argue that whites do not see their own whiteness racially, but regard race as something that "others" have; by emphasizing "whiteness," they seek to change white Americans' view of their own racial identity.

Critics deride the field as a fad, as divisive and antithetical to the traditional left-wing emphasis on the working class (including the white working class), or as a fašade for racism against whites.

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