Redoing and abolishing whiteness in leadership

Helena Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


White supremacy is systemic and operates in and through everyday racism to maintain a normalised orientation to ‘white superiority, virtue, moral goodness and action’. The leadership studies remained oblivious to the growing field of critical race theory, which sought to interrogate white supremacy in our culture. Critical race theory in contrast attends to the discourses, structures and cultures constituting dominant notions of leadership. There are at least two approaches to dismantling the imperialist, white supremacist ideologies that shaped our social relations: redoing whiteness and abolishing whiteness. Redoing whiteness requires us to reflexively interrogate the practices of whiteness and reinvent ways of doing whiteness differently. Redoing expansiveness means practising contraction: being smaller, softer and quieter. Abolishing whiteness circumvents the tendency to venerate white saviours as good white anti-racists and instead calls for white people to become traitors to the white race.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAfter Leadership
EditorsCarroll Brigid, Firth Josh, Wilson Suze
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351615341
ISBN (Print)9781138087811
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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