In analysing efforts to pass as white, this article examines the ways racialized difference materializes on the bodies construed as “Eastern European”. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among Russian-speaking migrants in Helsinki, it examines their attempts to inhabit whiteness through tactics of passing, such as changing their surnames, working on their accents, and adjusting how they dress. I argue that these efforts to pass as not “Russian” should be understood through the postcolonial formation of Europeanness, with its internal racialized division between (proper) Western Europeanness and (incomplete) Eastern Europeanness. The labour of approximating whiteness through passing draws attention to sites of racialized differentiation such as accent, audibility, language, surnames, and clothing. These efforts of attempting to pass for someone Russian speakers are not recognized as point to the structural racist hierarchies that refuse to attach value to their bodies.
- 5141 Sosiologia