White American Anti-Racism as a Moral Project

For many contemporary, white anti-racists in the US, racism is ultimately a moral problem. Fighting racism, then, requires individual and collective moral projects. Ethnographic research that compares anti-racist activities across social movement and workplace settings in Los Angeles reveals some shared characteristics of anti-racism as a moral project: White anti-racists abide distinctive language ideologies, cultivate new self-projects and new notions of emotional equity. This kind of anti-racist action can have institutional, political consequences, yet ongoing research is suggesting that it emerges in response to a deeply felt sense of a moral rather than primarily institutional crisis. Larger trends in US political culture in conjunction with a diffusion of professionalized vocabularies have made this moral approach to anti-racism the most recognizable one to many white Americans.

Ort: Institut für Sozialforschung