Race Reflections AT WORK

01-04-2024 • 19 mins

In today's episode Guilaine reflects on consent, in relation to her research on whiteness, her lived experience, and the implications of this issue within the workplace

She begins with a basic definition of consent, then she details some experiences related to going out dancing that she recently experienced, and links them to the wider issues that her research explores. Part of the theme that has come up again and again in her data is patients talking about experience of whiteness in the clinic where therapists appear to be breaching boundaries, oversharing, dismissing experiences of racism, using gaslighting tactics, and engaging in the politics of denialism. She links all this to her concept of epistemic homeless and names these behaviours as acts of occupying the epistemic space of the other.

She considers how trauma is generally centered on some kind breach of boundary and how whiteness can be seen as colonial violence performed through spacial embodiment, that breaches of consent are the colonial enactment of whiteness, and that white supremacy is founded on breaching the boundaries, borders, and sovereignty of the other - bodily, territorial, psychic - and so in the everyday quotidian enactment of white violence we are going to see some repetition and reproduction of those wider politics

She then concludes by thinking about the workplace and how the coloniality of interpersonal relationships, especially cross racial interpersonal relationships, is enacted in relation to the consent of employees of colour.

Some links:

Epistemic homelessness:

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