Part 8: What is white privilege and how can we dismantle it?

In part eight, University Lecturer and Doctor of Social Sciences Anne-Mari Souto discusses whiteness and white privilege in Finland.

Whiteness is a standard and idea against which racial segregation is founded. Normative whiteness is a part of the Finnish culture and national identity. Whiteness is related to a social power structure that awards benefits to those that can be identified as white. Whiteness is a status that involves historical, yet undeserved, privileges and power.

Racialised people often find their experience of being a Finn questioned. Souto provides advice for identifying one’s own white privilege and tips for dismantling this ideology. Souto shares a personal experience and explains what to do if you have accidentally repeated a racist pattern. 

Materials supporting learning

See Anne-Mari Souto’s slideshow (pdf 1,2 MB)

Key concepts:

  • whiteness
  • white privilege
  • white normativity
  • segregation
  • white fragility
  • racialisation
  • anti-racist pedagogy

Read more about the key concepts.

Reflect on the following questions: 

  • How is whiteness defined?
  • What is normative whiteness?
  • Why is whiteness so self-evident and ordinary in our society that we pay no attention to it?
  • What is white privilege and how can you identify it in your own life?
  • How can we break down white privilege?