It is widely understood that race is a social fact with profound implications for life chances, group identity, collective representation and the social order. ‘Whiteness’, the source of race-based inequality and injustice, is perpetuated through power, violence and an array of complex processes which help protect the status quo.
While there has been much focus on the psychological harm of racism on people of colour, less attention has been paid to the role of psychological functioning of white groups in maintaining unequal social configurations.
In this much-needed book, Guilaine Kinouani, a leading thinker and commentator on race, deftly cuts to the heart of the problem, arguing that whiteness is a historically and socially located psychosocial phenomenon as much as one which evades time and space locations. She examines how the psychological and psychic factors involved in the reproduction of whiteness intersect with macro structures, shedding light on everyday race dynamics, race inequality and racial violence. This book will be of interest to all who seek to understand the impact of ‘whiteness’ so they can be more effective anti-racists.
"A fascinating guide to naming, surviving, refusing and unmaking whiteness in the hope of liberation for all." Sadiah Qureshi, University of Birmingham
"Essential: gripping, challenging, sustaining, potentially transforming reading for those fearful of grappling through the violence of whiteness, but who brave to go there anyway!" Shona Hunter, Co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Critical Studies in Whiteness
"A striking analysis of the white psyche, this is an urgent, powerful call to interrogate whiteness within and without and to transform the world." Stephanie Davis, Nottingham Trent University
"A powerful, clearly written critical work on the mundane or everyday violence and cruelty of white supremacism and the conditions through which its fragility and projections are protected. A must-read for those who are afflicted to know and understand with increased clarity and guidance for constructive action." Lewis R. Gordon, author of Fear of Black Consciousness
"An incisive, forensic unpacking of what whiteness does, how it unravels the willing and unwilling actors in its gaze and, importantly, provides a range of psycho-social critical ideas to process it." Harshad Keval, Edinburgh Napier University
“A nuanced analysis [which] clearly articulates the epistemic and material realities, power relations and psychic harms of white supremacy. With honesty, rigour and consequence, White Minds is a powerful must-read for anybody interested in the continuing violences of white supremacy in all of its insidious guises.” James Trafford, Author of Empire at Home: Internal Colonies and the End of Britain
"An exceptional work that shines a necessary light on Whiteness, making the invisible seen so that we can understand how White supremacy impacts our lives.” Kehinde Andrews, Birmingham City University
“A compelling critique of the psychological dynamics and harms of whiteness – elucidating the interplay of psychic and institutional processes in unjust outcomes.” Joanna Wilde, Consultant Organisational Psychologist
"Both powerfully academic and deeply personal, this painfully phenomenological excavation of the experiences of enduring the oppressive gazes of whiteness is a deserved addition to the field." Dwight Turner, University of Brighton
Guilaine Kinouani is a psychologist and group analyst. She is the director and founder of Race Reflections, which is dedicated to tackling inequality, injustice and oppression.
She previously taught critical psychology and black studies at Syracuse University in London and her long-standing involvement in anti-racism has deeply influenced her scholarship and thinking.
Her award-winning work and writing have been featured in the media and her first book Living While Black (Ebury: Penguin Random House) exposed the impact of lived experiences of racism on black minds and bodies.
Whiteness: time and space
Whiteness and resistance: by way of conclusion