Repatriating Race: Exorcising Ethno-exclusion

By Jon Austin and Andrew Hickey.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Race is widely acknowledged as one of humankind’s most pernicious and enduring myths, and its contemporary ideological doppelganger – ethnicity – presents as arguably the single most divisive, oppressive and dangerous axis of identity at work in the world today. Attempts to develop more racially/ethnically harmonious communities have typically looked to education programs, usually conducted through the formal mechanisms of schooling, as a primary vehicle for the development of greater understanding and “naturalizing” of difference. Focusing almost exclusively on the effects of racism and marginalization on the typically located victims of such oppression, these programs have largely ignored the importance of turning the focus of attention on to those positioned as beneficiaries of racism. That such programs have been largely unsuccessful in any broad societal sense has led to the exploration of alternative approaches to developing racial and ethnic awareness.
This paper derives from a long-term project that has been anchored by two key political imperatives: making whiteness visible and effecting conscientization through autoethnographic work. Research on this project with pre-service teachers, most of it funded over several years, and more recently with middle (secondary) school students has provided valuable insights into more effective possibilities for the development of anti-racist pedagogies and for the decentring of the WWW (White Western Ways) that the authors see as crucial to a genuine move towards ethnic harmony.
The first part of this paper exposes and justifies the ideological and procedural underpinnings of the program design and operation, and the second section reports on the outcomes to date. The authors conclude with a set of implications and possibilities for further, future activity.

Keywords: Race, Racism, Anti-racist Education, Ethnicity, Autoethnography, Conscientization, Whiteness, White Ethnicity, White Racial Identity

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 7, pp.223-234. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.248MB).

Jon Austin

Associate Professor, Centre for Research in Transformative Pedagogies, Faculty of Education, University of Southern Queensland, TOOWOOMBA, Queensland, Australia

Jon Austin is an Associate Professor and member of the Centre for Research in Transformative Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education at the University of Southern Queensland. His current academic and research interests reside broadly within the areas of cultural studies and critical pedagogy: identity & difference; postcolonial and decolonial praxis; and transformative pedagogies. He is the editor and co-author of three books (Culture & Identity 2005, Re-Presenting Education 2006, and Educating for Healthy Communities 2007) and is currently working on a book on new ethnographies jointly with Andrew Hickey. His doctoral work was in the area of whiteness and white identity. His side projects include ensuring that the role of Neil Young in contemporary popular (music) culture is not understated or lost.

Dr. Andrew Hickey

Lecturer, Cultural Studies and Social Theory, Faculty of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Andrew Hickey is a member of the Centre for Research in Transformative Pedagogy and Lecturer in Social Theory and Cultural Studies in the Faculty of Education, USQ. He has published in the areas of identity, representation politics, critical pedagogy and qualitative research methodologies and is the author of (Re)Presenting Education (with Jon Austin) published by Pearson in 2006. Andrew is also a musician and plays in a Blues-Rock bands whilst maintaining a collection of Fender Stratocaster guitars. Between playing in bands and keeping his two boys under control, he is completing his Doctoral studies investigating applications and ideas of community in contemporary urban settings. Andrew is expected to complete his PhD in 2008.

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