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ERIC Number: ED513121
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 345
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-3935-5
Invisible Racism: Male, Hegemonic Whiteness in Higher Education
Cabrera, Nolan L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Within the study of higher education, the issue of racial diversity tends to focus on either the universalistic impacts of enacting diverse learning environments or the social marginalization of students of color within these institutions. Generally absent from these discussions is how White students experience multicultural campus environments as well as how they view issues of racial inequality. Using Antonio Gramsci's theory of hegemony and Paulo Friere's conception of liberatory praxis, this research examines how White male college students' racial ideologies both reinforce and challenge the existing racial paradigm. A semi-structured interview protocol was administered to 43 undergraduates at two public institutions of higher education specifically asking how they explain racial inequality and, by inference, what their racial ideologies were. The participants were also asked which college experiences they felt help shape their racial worldview. They tended to be in two distinct groups: those who normalized Whiteness, reinforcing the existing racial hierarchy, and those who were interrogating their White privilege. The central tenets of the participants' racial ideologies very closely resembled those of Bonilla-Silva's (2003) "Color Blind Ideology," however they also demonstrated that affective responses to multiculturalism concurrently affected racial ideology formation. For those participants who tended to normalize Whiteness, they were either angry or apathetic regarding issues of race. Conversely, those who were working through Whiteness tended to demonstrate empathy and compassion regarding racial inequality. While ideology has been theorized as a key component of social stratification, this affective component has not. This implies that teaching about oppression alone is insufficient to alleviate racial inequality if the pedagogical style does not concurrently meet students where they are emotionally. Additionally, intentionally diverse living environments should help promote cross-racial friendship, humanizing racial minorities for White students, and further addressing the affective component of racial stratification. Also, multicultural education needs to include a humanizing classroom pedagogy (i.e., one that not only talks about racial inequality, but how this affects real people). Finally, this focus on the affective highlights the importance of structured intergroup dialogues opportunities where students can talk across difference in relatively emotionally-safe places. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A