Affirming or contesting white innocence? Anti-racism frames in grassroots activists’ accounts

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Although anti-racism is recognized as a heterogeneous phenomenon, there are few studies that provide analytical tools to grasp the differences between anti-racisms in more detail. This study contributes to the analytical discussion on anti-racism through an analysis of grassroots activists' views on their anti-racism. The data, interviews with 46 grassroots anti-racist activists based in Finland, is explored through a frame analysis. This article argues that meaning-making on racism and anti-racism is tied to conceptions of racial space. The argument is presented through an empirical typology of three anti-racist frames: defence, recognition and redistribution. Distinguishing between the defence, recognition, and redistribution frames enables an understanding of how anti-racisms assume a supposedly "race-neutral" space of white innocence and contest distinct dimensions of racial divides.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)789-808
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • Anti-racism
  • whiteness
  • racism
  • migration
  • activism
  • frame analysis

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