An Intersectional Archaeology of Colonial White Male Privilege?

Author(s): Christina Hodge

Year: 2017


I suggest that it is worth pursuing an archaeology of white male privilege through the contextual study of white privileged males. Among many outcomes, this project can de-naturalize "maleness" and "whiteness" as nomothetic and unmarked—thereby advantaged—social categories and reveal systematized advantage/oppression. Historical gendering was a nuanced process. Masculinity had multiple practiced and experienced forms. They persisted even within a tightly controlled environment, such as colonial Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, enfranchisement was shaped by gender, which was itself realized through age race, ethnicity, spirituality, and status; by physical and intellectual capacity, education, and personality; by consumer and sexual desires; and by the material things and physical settings through which social reproduction took place. A study of intersecting identities may offer special insight into the invention of masculinities and their association with authority in colonial America. Intersectionality is even embedded in the now-familiar phrase "white male privilege," which presumes an essential relationship between race, gender, and power. But the experiences of young, well-connected, educated Englishmen are not a typical subject for an intersectional approach. This paper asks if an archaeology of colonial white male privilege can, or should, benefit from Intersectional Theory and considers possible paths forward.

Cite this Record

An Intersectional Archaeology of Colonial White Male Privilege?. Christina Hodge. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431957)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Northeast

Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15608