Problematising the discourses of the dominant: whiteness and reconciliation
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Education and Arts
International, Cultural and Community Studies
This article investigates how unacknowledged power can affect the political actions of those in the dominant group, in this case white Australians. To do this we identify connections between the discourses used by white Australians involved in Reconciliation, the power and privilege of whiteness in Australia, and participants' understandings and actions towards Reconciliation. Using discourse analysis four discourses were identified from interviews and focus groups with white Australians involved in Reconciliation. These were labelled ‘indigenous project’, ‘institutional change’, ‘challenging racism’, and ‘bringing them together’.We argue that understanding the power relations that underlie the political actions of those in dominant positions is critical to ensuring the goals of anti-racism are achieved. Discourse analysis may allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the power and the potential impacts that may flow from particular positions and how power may be made more visible to the dominant group.