Performing whiteness: racism, skin colour, and identity in Western Switzerland

Author(s) : Viviane Cretton

Source :


This paper explores the process through which a white nation commonly considered as “raceless” is producing race and racism. Whiteness is a relevant concept to analyse the process of incorporating non-white minorities across everyday social interactions. It explores socio-cultural expressions of white normativity and possible interpretations of the notion of whiteness as an identity in Switzerland and beyond. The paper considers how non-white citizens with migration backgrounds incorporate themselves by adopting the dominant discourse that denies the presence of races and racism in the country. The Anthropological data and analysis illuminate how the participants make their settlement possible via presentations of self-alignment with Swissness/whiteness and misalignment with other immigrants. The paper discusses the process of reinforcing white national identity via the prevailing assumptions in Europe. It is designed from the reflexive viewpoint of a white anthropologist who collected subject narratives during fieldwork.



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