ERIC Number: EJ932887
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
Becoming White: Reinterpreting a Family Story by Putting Race Back into the Picture
Sleeter, Christine E.
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v14 n4 p421-433 2011
Many teacher educators attempt to prompt teacher candidates, who are usually majority white, to examine themselves as culturally and historically located beings in order to prepare for multicultural and anti-racist teaching. But with white teacher candidates in colonialist societies, this work is difficult. Family history stories that white teacher candidates tell tend to disassociate individuals from the context of race and class relations in which they lived. Using insights from Critical Race Theory, critical whiteness studies, and post-positivist realist identity theory, I probe below the surface of a "heroic individual" story I grew up hearing about one of my immigrant great-great-grandmothers. This paper reports detailed historical research that situates her life in a social and cultural context, thereby making racism visible. Using a research methodology I am calling "critical family history," I uncover the story's silences related to her claiming of a white identity in the context of racism and competition for economic resources. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for how teacher educators work with family history and racism in order to move from uncovering how racism was constructed and how it works, to how white people today might act differently.
Descriptors: Critical Theory, Race, Whites, Preservice Teachers, Racial Bias, Reflection, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Genealogy, Power Structure, Immigrants, Time Perspective, Cultural Context, Economic Climate, United States History, Ethnicity, Classification, Context Effect, Teacher Educators
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A