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Whiteness=politeness: interest-convergence in Australian history textbooks, 1950–2010

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 16:23 authored by Robyn MooreRobyn Moore
This paper examines discursive change in Australia from 1950 to 2010 through the lens of critical whiteness studies. Using textbooks as records of dominant narratives, I evaluate discourses of whiteness and Aboriginality in Australian history textbooks over this period of substantial social change. I show that overt discourses of white exceptionalism and Aboriginal deficiency are only present in the earliest decades of my sample. However, these discourses persist in later decades in ‘polite’ forms, maintaining the racial status quo while enabling whites to be positioned favourably. I argue that discursive change only becomes embedded in textbooks if it bolsters the status of whites, evidencing Bell’s thesis of interest-convergence.

History

Publication title

Critical Discourse Studies

Volume

17

Pagination

111-129

ISSN

1740-5904

Department/School

Tasmanian School of Medicine

Publisher

Routledge

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding Australia’s past

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