“Eurowhite” Conceit, “Dirty White” Ressentment:“Race” in Europe

Böröcz, József ORCID: (2021) “Eurowhite” Conceit, “Dirty White” Ressentment:“Race” in Europe. Sociological Forum . DOI

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This paper offers tools to rethink global critical insights on “race” in the contemporary structural transforma-tion of European identity politics from the perspectives of postcolonial global historical sociologies. “Race”regimes rest on the following background assumptions: (1) The claim that humankind consists of a finite num-ber of disjunct (non-overlapping) “groups,” “populations” or, in the extreme, “races”; (2) The presumptionthat it is valid to arrange those “groups,” “populations” or “races” in a system of moral super- andsubordination; (3) The contention that the resulting moral hierarchy forms a single constant, irrespective ofsocio-historical contexts, criteria, or purposes of comparison; (4) Insistence that single, ahistorical/decontex-tualized hierarchy can be mapped on to body shape, skin pigmentation or other epiphenomenal “features” of“groups,” “populations,” or “races,” such that (5) “Whiteness” is always already at the top, “Blackness” isalways already at the bottom of that hierarchy. This paper focuses on the workings of “Whiteness” as amoral-geopolitical superiority claim, whose defining element is an ahistorical/decontextualized claim, indeeddemand, for unconditional global privilege. “Whiteness” is an unfounded, un-found-able—hence eminentlyunstable and contested—identity category. It is a relational category whose core is fixed as a constant, inaugu-rating the “White” subject’s relations (“superiority”) to its constitutive outside. I introduce two conceptualinnovations: “eurowhiteness”—result of an internal structuring of the category of “Whiteness” whose purposeis separating an even more exalted, even more superior “cultural” —“racial” distinction within the universe of“Whiteness” and “dirty whiteness”—to capture the epistemic position of quantitative undervalued, positionswithin the moral quasi-community of “White” claims for global privilege, especially in their east Europeanvariants.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:blackness, dirty whiteness, European identity politics, eurowhiteness, global privilege, “race"
ID Code:6990
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:27 Oct 2021 09:48
Last Modified:27 Oct 2021 09:48

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