Contingency, History, and Ontology: On Abolishing Whiteness

Michael J. Monahan

in The Creolizing Subject

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234493
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240715 | DOI:

Series: Just Ideas

Contingency, History, and Ontology: On Abolishing Whiteness

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One of the truths that emerge rather quickly when one is attempting to theorize race and racism is that ontological questions about the reality of race, or lack thereof, lead quickly to more ethical and political questions about the nature of racism as a social phenomenon and vice versa. This chapter deals with the question of racial ontology, biology and human variation, as well as the history, political and social relations of power, the nature of individual and social identity, and the constitution of meaning within a social world. This chapter also discusses the question of whiteness and how particular immigrant groups in the United States came to have white status, the connection between racial ontology and a corresponding view of racism and racial liberation, the views of Matthew Frye Jacobson and Theodore Allen, the basic argument for the new abolitionism, whiteness and white supremacy, culture, racial essentialism, history, and contingency.

Keywords: United States; race; racism; social identity; contingency; racial ontology; whiteness; abolitionism; white supremacy; racial essentialism

Chapter.  13687 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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