ERIC Number: EJ1121432
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Understanding and Challenging White Privilege in Higher Education as a Means of Combatting and Neutralizing Racism
Rainer, Jackson P.
Multicultural Learning and Teaching, v10 n2 p149-161 Sep 2015
Efforts in the classroom have most often addressed racism from the perspective of the groups affected by discriminatory policies and practice. While diversity education of this sort has demonstrated positive impact on educational outcomes for college students (Gurin, Dey, Hurtado, & Gurin, 2002), this approach places primary attention on the disempowerment of the non-dominant group. One of the essential premises of multicultural education is that it solicits dialogue focusing on the perception of the person in environment, including interactions with diverse sets of peers from the non-dominant cultural and social group. There is a strong empirical base of evidence (Smith et al., 1997) informing the pedagogical logic with this approach to teaching in experiential education. As noted in this approach, the problems of racism have generally focused on those affected by discriminatory policies and practices. Contemporary approaches to multicultural education flip this idea of discrimination on its head and instead suggest focusing on those who benefit from it and the complex issues involved in the maintenance of identity, power, and privilege. Discussion of the motivations of white privilege and the benefits derived from it serves as the focus of this paper, followed by the challenges inherent in neutralizing white privilege in adult education. A personal narrative from the author's history will serve to illustrate the "lessons learned" from this approach.
Descriptors: Racial Bias, Whites, Social Justice, Social Bias, Multicultural Education, Racial Relations, Peer Relationship, Experiential Learning, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A