ABSTRACT

We have seen how whiteness works in terms of its processes of normalization and white solipsism, and how it controls the terms of engagement with otherness. Whiteness is also sustained and rationalized through the ideological commitment to colour-blindness consistent with the radical individualism of political liberalism. Whiteness is not a current event; it enjoys social stability across contexts and conditions. There are complex networks of ideas that sustain forms of exclusion/ inclusion and maintain the structural advantages accorded to whiteness. This is the function of ideology. Not a repertoire of neutral ideas, ideology is better understood as an unconscious system of beliefs representing the interests of a particular group, edging out alternative systems. Social structures, language, common sense ideas, even interpersonal relationships, are framed ideologically. Ideology operates through dominant practices such as consumption and choice, and through social values linked to religiosity or meritocracy, or for that matter, to the hegemony of whiteness.