ERIC Number: EJ681549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct
Reference Count: 54
The Faces of Whiteness: Pitfalls and the Critical Democrat
Warren, John; Hytten, Kathy
Communication Education, v53 n4 p321-339 Oct 2004
This essay stems from previously reported critical ethnographic data regarding educators participating in graduate-level classes on whiteness. The metaphor of "faces of whiteness" is adopted here to signify that individuals occupy particular stances toward White privilege and its consequences in a dynamic and nonlinear fashion. The Torpified face represents individuals who are stunned by new realizations and rising guilt regarding race. The Missionary face seeks to intervene in others' racial consciousness without adequate reflection and self-knowledge. The Cynic face regards racial barriers as too intransigent to warrant action. The Intellectualizer face articulates knowledge about whiteness but uses expert status to distance active engagement. The Critical Democrat face, in contrast to the other four, abides and thrives on the tensions between reflection and action, speaking out and listening, guilt and agency. Notwithstanding critiques of White Western conceptions of democracy, the Critical Democrat face of whiteness is well suited as a stepping stone toward multicultural understanding.
Descriptors: Anxiety, Racial Attitudes, Democracy, Whites, Multicultural Education, Racial Factors, Higher Education, Democratic Values, Graduate Study, Teacher Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A