eCite Digital Repository

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


Moore, R, Whiteness=politeness: interest-convergence in Australian history textbooks, 1950-2010, Critical Discourse Studies, 17 pp. 111-129. ISSN 1740-5904 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/17405904.2019.1637760


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Whiteness, Australian history, interest-convergence, Aboriginality, discourse, ignorance
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Moore, R (Dr Robyn Moore)
ID Code:140071
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-07-23
Last Modified:2021-01-27

Repository Staff Only: item control page