Whiteness Studies: How Well do you Know America?

Do you know what America is all about? Do you understand its culture? Do you have any idea what civilizational force actually drives the country? Well, most people – especially Indians – who claim to know the country and swear to have become fully embedded in its social landscape have no idea what they are talking about.

This is because their understanding of America is skin-deep and only derived from its pop culture (movies, sports, fiction novels). Such people are essentially barking up the wrong tree. To truly gain insights into America and its people, you have to understand the dynamics of its white culture, which lies just below the surface but is all-pervasive and all-powerful. White culture and its core of white privilege is what America is all about.

But what is white culture and how does it work and manifest itself? To answer this question, a brand new discipline called Whiteness Studies has emerged in the last 10 years in America and is already taught in dozens of US colleges. It studies Western culture much as the West has been studying Eastern cultures for about 500 years now. Many Westerners consider Whiteness Studies as derogatory. They cannot countenance the fact that they have now become an object of study and scrutiny, much as they have been studying India or tribes of Africa for centuries. Well, if the Westerners can have “Indologists,” other races sure can have “Whiteologists.”

Rajiv Malhotra (www.rajivmalhotra.com/) the Indian American intellectual and philanthropist, has been researching white culture for a while now and has written a couple of brilliant articles about it. Here they are:

Dialog on Whiteness Studies
http://rajivmalhotra.sulekha.com/blog/post/2004/09/dialog-on-whiteness-studies.htm

Whiteness Studies and Implications for Indian-American Identity
http://rajivmalhotra.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/04/whiteness-studies-and-implications-for-indian-american.htm

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