UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Scaling proximity to whiteness : Racial boundary-making on São Tomé Island Bouchard, Marie-Eve


In this article, I examine how scales are produced, stabilized, and challenged through communicative practices, and how these scales organize (since colonial times) the racial groups that form Santomean society. I argue that the historical distinctive status of the Forros and the prestigious status of the Portuguese language are influenced by different scaling practices that are intertwined and interrelated. I demonstrate that it is the Forros’ imagined and historical proximity to whiteness that bestow them racial privilege, and that allows them to maintain their position of social and political power in the country. In other words, their power results from proximity to Whiteness.

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