ERIC Number: EJ1066964
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
A Rebuttal to Jack Niemonen's "Whither the White Working Class?"
Khanna, Nikki; Harris, Cherise A.
Teaching Sociology, v43 n3 p242-245 Jul 2015
Prof. Niemonen claims that the concept of white privilege is "anti-sociological" and "mask[s] complex race-class interactions." He highlights the importance of including social class in discussions of white privilege but focuses exclusively on the white working class, neglecting how race and social class also intersect for people of color. Further, while different social identities mediate how whites experience race privilege, race remains a key factor in shaping life chances and opportunities. We agree that racial groups cannot be treated as homogenous, but we argue for the importance of teaching students about disparities between races before showing them heterogeneity within races; doing so in reverse minimizes the very real ways that race shapes people's lives. Nonetheless, taking into account Niemonen's points, we offer an addendum to our original exercise that stresses the importance of intersectionality; this can be offered as a second step once students have an understanding of white privilege.
Descriptors: Whites, Working Class, Social Class, Race, Correlation, Minority Groups, Advantaged, Teaching Methods, Sociology, Mass Media, Television, Racial Differences, College Faculty, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A