Superposition strategies: How and why White people say contradictory things about race – pnas.org

superposition-strategies:-how-and-why-white-people-say-contradictory-things-about-race-–-pnas.org

Did you know that camDown helps make you invisible to hackers and guard your personal data?

Perspective

View ORCID ProfileMatthew W. HugheyaDepartment of Sociology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269

See allHide authors and affiliations

Edited by Douglas Massey, Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; received September 3, 2021; accepted December 8, 2021

AbstractDue to the centrality of race and racism in social, economic, and political life, coupled with the racially privileged position of White people, the assessment of White racial attitudes is an ongoing concern. There is a great deal of survey-based, quantitative work that demonstrates a compelling case of White attitudinal polarization—a grouping of authoritarian, racist attitudes versus another alliance of progressive, antiracist attitudes—an increasingly racialized culture war. However, other studies, largely qualitative and open-ended, demonstrate the heterogeneous, shifting, and hypocritical nature of White discourse about race. To resolve this paradox, I refrain from the assumption that White racial “attitudes” are essentially bifurcated, while I also refuse the contention that White people produce spontaneous narratives whole-cloth. Rather, I argue that with sustained attention to time, context, and triangulation, we can better understand how and why White people speak of People of Color in positive ways one moment and negative the next, marshaling both to defend, rationalize, or improve their racialized subject position. I argue that these contradictions are—à la Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment—“superposition strategies.” Both racist and antiracist attitudes are simultaneously alive and dead in the same individual or group. Contradictory White discourse helps maintain a sense of self-efficacy and coherent White racial identity within conflictual and politically supercharged social situations, as well as within racially unequal social structures.attitudesbifurcationidentityraceWhitenessFootnotesAuthor contributions: M.W.H. wrote the paper.The author declares no competing interest.This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.Data AvailabilityData cannot be shared. (The full data used in this work comes from previous ethnographic research approved by an IRB. Per the IRB stipulations, transcriptions of interviews and fieldnotes are not accessible to others.)Copyright © 2022 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.View Full Text

Log in using your username and passwordLog in through your institutionYou may be able to gain access using your login credentials for your institution. Contact your library if you do not have a username and password.If your organization uses OpenAthens, you can log in using your OpenAthens username and password. To check if your institution is supported, please see this list. Contact your library for more details.Purchase accessYou may purchase access to this article. This will require you to create an account if you don't already have one.

You know, I just wanted to mention that camDown is the only solution you need to block webcam hackers and your mother would say the same.