1st Edition

Geographies of Privilege

Edited By France Winddance Twine, Bradley Gardener Copyright 2013
    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    380 Pages
    by Routledge

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    How are social inequalities experienced, reproduced and challenged in local, global and transnational spaces? What role does the control of space play in distribution of crucial resources and forms of capital (housing, education, pleasure, leisure, social relationships)?

    The case studies in Geographies of Privilege demonstrate how power operates and is activated within local, national, and global networks. Twine and Gardener have put together a collection that analyzes how the centrality of spaces (domestic, institutional, leisure, educational) are central to the production, maintenance and transformation of inequalities. The collected readings show how power--in the form of economic, social, symbolic, and cultural capital--is employed and experienced.

    The volume’s contributors take the reader to diverse sites, including brothels, blues clubs, dance clubs, elite schools, detention centers, advocacy organizations, and public sidewalks in Canada, Italy, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Mozambique, South Africa, and the United States.  Geographies of Privilege is the perfect teaching tool for courses on social problems, race, class and gender in Geography, Sociology and Anthropology.







    Foreword Donald Martin Carter and Heather Merrill

    Introduction France Winddance Twine and Bradley Gardener

    PART I: Pleasure and Leisure Spaces: Sex, Music and Privileged Bodies

    1 Pardis Mahdavi

    The Geography of Sex Work in the United Arab Emirates

    The sex industry in Dubai includes migrant women from Africa (sub-Saharan), East Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East (North Africa). This chapter examines the hierarchy of desire, that is the demand for the ‘whiter’ and lighter skinned women. This ethnic hierarchy is structured by the locations within the city where they perform their labor privileges women who are perceived as more desirable and allows them to perform their labor in more luxurious and comfortable locations in the city. Anti-trafficking discourses also produce a form of privilege for Euro-Americans who can ‘rescue’ sex workers who are classified as either villians or victims depending upon their national origin and how they are racialized.

    2 Kevin Durrheim, Clinton Rautenbach, Tamaryn Nicholson and John Dixon

    Dis-Placing place identity: introducing an analytics of participation

    This chapter draws on field research in a bar and dance club in Pietmaritzburg, South Africa, to outline a critical approach to place-identity that moves beyond the rhetoric of inclusion-exclusion. This chapter offers an analysis of gender privilege by examining the emotional or ‘affective’ realm of privilege in a middle-upper middle class heterosexual dance club where women are privileged as customers in order to provide subjects for male consumption.

    3 David Wilson

    Chicago’s Southside Bluescapes: Creeping Commodification and Complex Human Responses

    This chapter provides an analysis of a Black-owned Blues Club on Chicago’s Southside that is currently undergoing a transformation? How are elite patterns of consumption shaping the decisions of Black blues clubs owner? Located in a 2 mile area that is in the core of Southside’s Black "ghetto, Blues clubs are under pressure to "upscale" – to transform their clubs into a more marketable commodity that provides pleasurable experiences for elites. How do the owners of these clubs decide what kind of social milieu that they will cultivate as they seek to "produce pleasure and identity-nourishment for themselves and others in the club"? Will they transform their club into "a new playground for reverie and spectatorship’ for white elites?

    PART II: Race, Space and Privileged Migrants: Africans, Europeans and Post-Apartheid

    4 Pauline Leonard

    Landscaping Privilege: Being British in South Africa

    This chapter asks draws upon field research in Johannesburg to ask the question "What does the transition from apartheid tell us about privilege?" During the apartheid era (1948-1994) the state consolidated white racial privilege through the management and production of racially exclusive spaces of work, residence and leisure. The urban environment was used as a resource to construct and maintain white racial privilege. During the two decades since apartheid ended , space continues to be a key resource by which privilege is constructed and maintained.

    5 Max Andrucki

    The Visa Whiteness Machine: Transnational Mobility in post-apartheid South Africa

    This chapter provides an analysis of elite transnational mobility among whites South Africans with colonial ancestries. The ‘visa whiteness machine’ refers to a set of visa and passport arrangements available to white South Africans that constitutes a machine that attracts and repels bodies, and thus produces white privileged bodies. The ability of bodies to move in particular transnational spatial circuits, is linked to earlier colonial migrations of white Europeans. Drawing upon semi-structured interviews with white residents of Durban, an industrial city of 3 million in South Africa, and the only region in South Africa where English-speaking whites constitute the majority, the author analyzes whiteness as a ‘passport of privilege’ that enables South Africans to migrate to the U.K. Racially privileged bodies have the capacity to move with ease between the U.K. and South Africa. Many South Africans have the right to visas to live and work in the U.K. due to their ancestor’s colonial migration histories during the apartheid, and segregationist era.

    6 Heather Merrill

    Who Gets to Be Italian?: Black Life worlds and White Imaginaries

    Bringing the crucial geography literature on place and identity into dialogue with critical race scholarship focused on the African diaspora, this chapter examines the spatial contours of privilege and belonging in Turin, Italy through the vantage point of first generation African-Italos and the transcolonial interweavings of Europe and Africa.

    7 Henk Van Houtum

    Human Blacklisting: the global apartheid of the EU external border regime

    Which bodies can move freely within the EU and across its borders? At the borders of the EU, a powerful and security-obsessed distinction between travellers is increasingly being constructed between the travellers who `belong to' the EU and those who do not, based on their national origins. This chapter examines how the creation of a so-called `white and black' Schengen list in the EU, recently relabeled a `positive and negative' list, is used as a criterion for visa applications. A significantly high number of Muslim and developing states are listed on the ‘negative’ list. This chapter provides an analysis of the European Unions ‘war on migrants’ and how it has produced a border industry’ that has changed the landscape into barbed wire surveillance and detention camps. A form of global apartheid has been produced through EU policies that define ‘security’ in terms of keeping the worlds’ poorest out of European Zone.

    PART III: Unstable Privileges: Race, Class, and Advocacy Organizations

    8 Catrin Lundström

    Downward Mobility and Swedish Whiteness in Southern Spain

    Why do some migrant bodies feel more comfortable in certain spaces because they perceive themselves as already belonging there? Lifestyle migrants from the Nordic countries and from the U.K. are very attracted to southern Spain as a destination for expatriate living. In this chapter, Lundström draws on interviews with Swedish women living in southern Spain, to argue that "the institutionalization of whiteness’ in southern Spain recruits subjects who feel that they part of an "international community" and thus they belong but resulting in divisions between migrants from northern Europe, and non-European migrants and locals from Spain. Class inequality also structures the experience of Swedish migration with the lower-income migrants experiencing downward mobility in southern Spain while middle class Swedes were able to retain their class privileges. There is a post-colonial identification with-Anglo-Saxon countries and dis-identification with (former colonial powers in) Southern Europe.

    9 Melissa MacDonald and France Winddance Twine

    Welfare-Dependent Women and the Market Value of Whiteness in Boston

    How do welfare-dependent white mothers negotiate the stigma of poverty while trying to secure housing in middle and upper-middle class residential neighborhoods? Drawing upon interviews with 25 welfare-dependent white women raising families in the Greater Boston area, this article uses Erving Goffman and Pierre Bourdieu to argue that whiteness is a resource that facilitates movement into higher income, racially segregated neighborhoods for poor families. We identify six benefits that welfare-dependent women gain by concealing their welfare status including access to better neighborhoods, social resources, symbolic capital and educational resources.


    10 David Morton

    From Racial Discrimination to Class Segregation in Maputo, Mozambique

    White flight was not a phenomenon unique to American cities in the 1960s and 1970s. It also happened in some African cities after colonial rule ended. This chapter asks "What happens to racial privilege when there is no longer a privileged race?" Maputo, Mozambique was a sizeable African city that was developed for the exclusive use of white European settlers during Portuguese colonial rule. After independence from Portugal in 1975, there was rapid white flight from Maputo. The rapid abandonment of this city left no time for a transition. However, Maputu remained a zone of privilege and provided a nascent African middle-class with opportunities to become privileged urban dwellers for the first time.


    11 Andrea Smith

    Unsettling the Privilege of Self-Reflexivity

    This chapter argues that within anti-racist workshops as well as the academy, white privilege is reinforced, rather than challenged by practices such as ‘confessing’ that one possesses privilege. This article details and describes ideological obstacles to meaningful social and political change by examining how Native Americans are constituted as ‘subjects’.

    Part IV: Gendered Spaces

    12 Erik Love

    Islamophobia, Gendered Vulnerabilities and Muslim American Civil Rights Advocacy

    The political, social and legal application of civil rights is dependent upon the organization and conceptualization of physical spaces by Muslim civil rights advocates. This chapter provides a comparative analysis of two Muslim American civil rights organizations: Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. Karahmah focusing on issues such as domestic violence and sexual harassment that are neglected by CAIR, which uses a masculine understanding of the social world which privileges public spaces over private spaces.

    13 Brett Stoudt

    Masculine Privilege: The Culture of Bullying at an Elite Private School

    How do upper middle class adolescents males experience bullying as it intersects with masculinity and privilege in an elite boarding school? What do they learn about privilege in these elite spaces? This chapter analyzes the culture of bullying as it is practiced in sports locker rooms, classrooms and student clubs. Drawing upon research interviews with 10 faculty (administrators, teachers) and 96 classmates in 9th thru 12th grade, the author shows how particular performances of masculinity are privileged and learned.

    14 Nancy Hansen and Hazel McFarlane

    Bodies of Privilege and Zones of Exclusion

    How are the bodies of young girls who are classified as outside ‘normative’ standards for physical appearance. In other words, what do girls whose bodies are classified as ‘dis-abled’ learn about ‘privileged’ bodies versus ‘dis-abled’ bodies? This chapter examines the expectations and experiences of Canadian girls and young women who encounter a number of obstacles to sexual agency, marriage, and motherhood. They are taught that their bodies are not ‘normal’ and therefore they are not expected (and are not socially trained) to desire an active sexual life or to become mothers

    About the Contributors


    France Winddance Twine is Professor of Sociology at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is an ethnographer, a critical race theorist and a documentary filmmaker who earned her degree at the University of California- Berkeley. She has published more than 60 books, journal articles, book reviews and essays. She is the author and an editor of 8 books including Geographies of Privilege (forthcoming, 2013) A White Side of Black Britain: interracial intimacy and racial literary (2010), Outsourcing the Womb: race, class and gestational surrogacy in a global market (Routledge, 2011a), Retheorizing Race and Whiteness in the 21st Century (with Charles Gallagher, 2011b) and Feminism and Antiracism: international struggles for justice (New York University Press, 2000). She has served as Deputy Editor of American Sociological Review: the official journal of the American Sociological Association. Twine currently serves on the international editorial boards of the journals Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociology: the official journal of the British Sociological Association and Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.

    Bradley Gardener earned his Ph.D. in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He has taught at several CUNY schools and has been employed as writing fellow at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. His research focuses on the intersections between race, migration, place, and identity.