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Layton, L. (1998). Beyond White and Other: Relationality and Narratives of Race in Feminist Discourse: S. S. Friedman. Signs. XXI, 1995. Pp. 1-49. Psychoanal Q., 67(2):348.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Beyond White and Other: Relationality and Narratives of Race in Feminist Discourse: S. S. Friedman. Signs. XXI, 1995. Pp. 1-49

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(2):348

Beyond White and Other: Relationality and Narratives of Race in Feminist Discourse: S. S. Friedman. Signs. XXI, 1995. Pp. 1-49

Lynne Layton

Friedman examines the racial crises that erupted after the acquittal of police in the Rodney King case and argues that we must go beyond the white/black binary if we want to understand race relations in the contemporary world. Feminist theory, she believes has adhered to this binary as exemplified in three different narratives: narratives of denial (white feminists proclaim we are all women; race does not matter); accusation (black feminists accuse whites of ignoring the particularities of black experience); and confession (white feminists take the accusations seriously and confess their racism). All of these narratives maintain whiteness as center, assume a homogeneity of whiteness, obscure other racism beside white, imagine clear boundaries between races, make race the central oppression, obscure contradictory subject positions, and leave no common ground for bonding. Friedman analyzes two films, Mississippi Masala and The Crying Game, and lists a series of news events, all of which exemplify what she calls narratives of relational positionality. Such narratives recognize that individuals can maintain many group identities, and that identity is defined and constructed according to one's situation. Friedman thinks these narratives better capture both the complexity of identities and the possibilities of cross-group bonding.

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Article Citation

Layton, L. (1998). Beyond White and Other: Relationality and Narratives of Race in Feminist Discourse. Psychoanal. Q., 67(2):348

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