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Open Access Mixed couples, mixed feelings

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Abstract

This study aims to explore to what extent the internalised racism based on black inferiority and white supremacy, as described in 1952 by Fanon in his Black Skin, White Masks, is still reproduced in the intimate sphere today, despite increasing diversification in Western societies. I have analysed the narratives of Belgian and Dutch men and women, both white and black, who were at the time involved in intimate black-white relationships. These narratives can inform us about how the binary of internalised racism is played out in such relationships; i.e. how the white partner is dealing with prevalent discourses on whiteness and blackness and how s/he is positioning him- or herself in the relationship. Also, we can learn to understand how the black partner in these relationships perceives whiteness in a white-dominated society that does not acknowledge whiteness as a racialised positioning, and if the same meanings of whiteness are sustained in their relationships. Outcomes of this study can contribute to our understanding of race and whiteness in the specific context of the Netherlands and Belgium and might be particularly interesting in the light of the supposedly global transition from post-colonialism to decolonisation.
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Keywords: Fanon; colonialism; cultural archive; exoticism; internalised racism; interracial relationships; mystification; popular culture; racism; sexuality; whiteness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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