To be Dutch is to be White: A qualitative research about how white and young Dutch people see their own Dutchness and who they consider to be included within this Dutchness
Within Dutch society, ‘immigrants’ are perceived as a threat to Dutch identity, norms and values, and the debate about Dutchness became intensified and heated. Therefore, this qualitative research inquired how white and young Dutch people see their own Dutchness and who they consider to be included in this Dutchness. This study is conducted among white people, to shift the gaze from the racialised ‘Other’ to those who remain racially invisible and unnamed. The first finding is that Dutchness of white people is seen as an implicit ‘norm’. Second, this study shows that an implicit distinction between ‘real’ and ‘not quite’ Dutchness is made, based on ancestry and whiteness. In the third finding it is argued that young and white participants have the idea that racism and excluding people from Dutchness, is not something ‘they’ as young people do but is a problem of the ‘older’ generation, the PVV-voters, or chavs (‘tokkies’). These findings show that the Netherlands indeed is a colourblind nation, in which whiteness is made invisible and it is often denied that race is an important building block of the structural, symbolic, and interpersonal order of the Netherlands (Wekker, 2018). The Dutch self-image as ‘free’ and ‘open’ plays a role in this as well. One important limitation of this research is my own whiteness since it was sometimes hard to get free of the colourblind ideology in which I grew up.
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|Bonnie French, Willem Schinkel
|Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Vermeer, R. (2022, June 19). To be Dutch is to be White: A qualitative research about how white and young Dutch people see their own Dutchness and who they consider to be included within this Dutchness. Sociology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/66003