ERIC Number: EJ884900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Cultivating Racial Literacy in White, Segregated Settings: Emotions as Site of Ethical Engagement and Inquiry
Winans, Amy E.
Curriculum Inquiry, v40 n3 p475-491 Jun 2010
Drawing on writing from a first-year composition class, this article explores how White students approach racial literacy in a segregated, rural college setting in the United States. I argue for the importance of understanding how emotions inform and propel students' responses to what I believe needs to be understood as the ethical challenge of racial literacy. White students who defended a color-blind stance of ethical judgment seemed to accept the emotional schooling, the accompanying beliefs, and innocent identities linked to their home communities. In contrast, other White students, adopting a stance of ethical awareness, engaged critically with their emotions so that emotions functioned as a site of ethical inquiry. Rather than defending a stable innocent identity, they began to interrogate an implicated, unstable, racialized identity within the context of their relationships with other Whites. In contrast to research that understands White students' emotions primarily as a manifestation of resistance, my approach uses critical emotion studies to consider how emotions might function as a site of engagement and possibility. I conclude that we should develop a critical vocabulary for analyzing emotions in our classrooms and that we need to develop new strategies for addressing the embodied nature of emotion and belief.
Descriptors: Writing (Composition), Ethics, White Students, School Segregation, Racial Segregation, Rural Schools, Literacy, Emotional Response, Inquiry, Identification (Psychology), College Students, Social Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States