Education and the colonial construction of whiteness

Coté, Joost 2009, Education and the colonial construction of whiteness, Australian critical race and whiteness studies association journal, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-14.

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Title Education and the colonial construction of whiteness
Author(s) Coté, Joost
Journal name Australian critical race and whiteness studies association journal
Volume number 5
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 14
Publisher Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association
Place of publication Adelaide, S. Aust.
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1832-3898
Summary European imperialism spawned settlements of invasive white communities throughout Asia and Africa. Stoler and Cooper (1997: 27) argue these evolving colonial societies became subject to what amounts to an extended bourgeois project such that "we can not understand the construction of whiteness without exploring its class dimensions". If in terms of that project, nineteenth-century metropolitan society was deemed vulnerable to the ravages of a brutish and unruly working class, these white colonial outposts, whether constituted as settler colonies or colonies of exploitation, were even more vulnerable to the more insidious danger of miscegenation. Racial intermingling became simultaneously an issue of class and race. Imperialism therefore added a further dimension to the on-going detinition of "bourgeois-ness": the discourse of whiteness transforming a national discourse into a discourse on civilisation.

In focusing on education as the colonial authorities' response to what they perceived of as the danger of mixed parentage, this article develops a comparative framework that links coloniai settlements in Asia and Australia. It examines the discourse surrounding miscegenation, education and the "rising generation" in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the Dutch East Indies British India, French Indo China and (British) Australia. In so doing, I demonstrate the universality of a linked discourse of whiteness and class across Imperial Asia.
Language eng
Field of Research 210302 Asian History
Socio Economic Objective 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30021284

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of History, Heritage and Society
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