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Whiteness=politeness: interest-convergence in Australian history textbooks, 1950–2010

Moore, R 2020 , 'Whiteness=politeness: interest-convergence in Australian history textbooks, 1950–2010' , Critical Discourse Studies, vol. 17 , pp. 111-129 , doi:

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This paper examines discursive change in Australia from 1950 to 2010 through the lens of critical whiteness studies. Using textbooks as records of dominant narratives, I evaluate discourses of whiteness and Aboriginality in Australian history textbooks over this period of substantial social change. I show that overt discourses of white exceptionalism and Aboriginal deficiency are only present in the earliest decades of my sample. However, these discourses persist in later decades in ‘polite’ forms, maintaining the racial status quo while enabling whites to be positioned favourably. I argue that discursive change only becomes embedded in textbooks if it bolsters the status of whites, evidencing Bell’s thesis of interest-convergence.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Moore, R
Keywords: Whiteness, Australian history, interest-convergence, Aboriginality, discourse, ignorance
Journal or Publication Title: Critical Discourse Studies
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1740-5904
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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