“Eastern European”, Yes, but How? Autoethnographic Accounts of Differentiated Whiteness

Linda Lapiņa *, Vertelyte Mante

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines how intersecting markers of difference shape differentiated whiteness. In so doing, it contributes to scholarship on whiteness and racialization. The authors draw on autoethnographic vignettes from fieldwork in Copenhagen to analyse the emergence of similar-yet-divergent researcher and migrant positionalities. Both authors are female researchers from Baltic countries living in Denmark and often perceived as Eastern Europeans—as not-quite-white and as “Europe’s ‘internal others’”. Both of us conducted fieldwork in the same district of Copenhagen. Mantė carried out research on friendships among teenagersn a racially diverse public school and in youth activity clubs. Linda explored social inclusion and exclusion in contested urban spaces. However, our researcher positionalities played out differently. We analyse how ambiguous, contested and relational notions of (Eastern) Europeanness, together with intersecting racialized, classed and gendered tropes of Eastern European migration, made themselves manifest in our positionings and movements. Through an intersectional analysis of Eastern European racialized positionalities, our discussion of differentiated whiteness highlights how whiteness is intersectionally constituted, multiple and mouldable. These findings serve to nuance research on hegemonic whiteness in the Nordic setting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Pages (from-to)1-14
ISSN0803-8740
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Intersectionality
  • whiteness
  • racialisation
  • Eastern Europe
  • Autoethnography

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