A Visual Sociology of White Woman: Investigating and Creating Affective Performances of Anti-Racist White Femininities

Halász, Katalin. 2019. A Visual Sociology of White Woman: Investigating and Creating Affective Performances of Anti-Racist White Femininities. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

White affect is a new sociological concept which I develop for studying whiteness. The
approach I take in this thesis insists that the affective experiences of bodies are central in
the making of whiteness. I deconstruct existing conceptualizations that frame whiteness
as an unmarked norm. To better understand whiteness as a racial category, I shift the
lens to analyze whiteness as a product of intercorporeal and intersubjective affective
performances of 'race' and gender. By investigating the affects that entangle the white
female body, we can begin to understand the embodied meaning-making processes of
anti-racist white femininities which, in turn, allow us to also comprehend the very
production of the figure of 'white woman'.

This thesis investigates white femininities in two anti-racist contexts, and is based on a
combination of semi-structured interviewing with artistic research methods. I explore
the production of anti-racist white femininities in the life histories of eleven women
who have been active in anti-racist and feminist movements in Europe, and in four antiracist
performances that I created and staged: I Love Black Men (UK, 2011), Cruising
Black Women (Germany, 2013), The Blush Machine (Bolivia, 2013) and The Chamber of
White (Denmark, 2014). By combining the interviews with the creation of performative
situations I am able to study the affects of the visually and viscerally present white
female body. The performance of an artful live sociology, which is at the centre of this
thesis, expands the field of Visual Sociology.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026403

Additional Information:

This is an edited version of the thesis, with third-party copyright material removed.

Keywords:

Affect, performance, anti-racism, whiteness, gender, visual sociology, arts-based methods, embodiment, bodies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Date:

31 May 2019

Item ID:

26403

Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2019 15:37

Last Modified:

06 Jun 2019 18:29

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26403

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