By Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks
Needing Whiteness offers a compelling new interpretation of the way we comprehend race. Race is frequently visible to be a social building. however, we proceed to installation race considering in our lifestyle as a fashion of telling humans aside visually. How do matters turn into raced? Is it good judgment to learn our bodies as racially marked? applying Lacan's theories of the topic and sexual distinction, Seshadri-Crooks explores how the discourse of race parallels that of sexual distinction in making racial identification a basic element of our pondering. via shut readings of literary and movie texts, Seshardi-Crooks additionally investigates even if race is a process of distinction both decided by way of Whiteness. She argues that it really is with regards to Whiteness that platforms of racial category are prepared, endowing it with an influence to form human distinction.
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Additional resources for Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race (Opening Out)
It is speech, the symbolic relation, which determines the 34 Desiring Whiteness greater or lesser degree of perfection, of completeness, of approximation, of the imaginary. This representation allows us to draw the distinction between the Idealich and the Ichideal, between the ideal ego and the egoideal. The ego-ideal governs the interplay of relations on which all relations with others depend. (I: 141, emphasis added) The interplay of relations with others is governed by desire—a desire that is always of the Other.
In other words, when the place of the absent phallus is taken up by “something,” anxiety ensues. Everything starts from…imaginary castration, that there is no… image of lack. When something appears there, it is because…the lack is lacking. I would just like to point out to you that many things can appear which are anomalous, that is not what makes us anxious. But if all of a sudden all norms are lacking, namely what constitutes the lack -because the norm is correlative to the idea of lack—if all of a sudden it is not lacking—and believe me try to apply that to a lot of things—it is at that moment that anxiety begins.
Anxiety, contra Freud, has an object, but it is no identifiable entity. Rather this object of anxiety is uncanny; it is a phobic object which ultimately sustains the body image. My point is that the racial body is produced in just such a process. When the signifier of race, Whiteness, positions itself in the place of the minus phi as the object of desire, that is when its historicity is most apparent and 38 Desiring Whiteness productive of anxiety. This is because Whiteness, by attempting to signify that which is excluded in subject constitution, the more-than-symbolic aspect of the subject—the fact that he/she is not entirely determined by the symbolic or the imaginary—produces anxiety.
Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race (Opening Out) by Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks