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ERIC Number: EJ918484
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0011-0000
The Challenge of White Dialectics: Making the "Invisible" Visible
Sue, Derald Wing
Counseling Psychologist, v39 n3 p415-422 Apr 2011
In this article, the author comments on the substance of Todd and Abrams's study on "White Dialectics: A New Framework for Theory, Research, and Practice With White Students" (2011). The study is a major contribution to the importance of raising awareness of how Whiteness, White privilege, and one's own complicity in the perpetuation of racism are cloaked in invisibility and secrecy. Although it would be unfair to attribute deliberate and intentional efforts by all White people to avoid or conceal an honest examination of race and racism, the six White dialectics identified by the authors are consistent with the internal Herculean struggle to make the "invisible" visible (Sue, 2004). Although Todd and Abrams propose a number of White dialectics, the author believes that there exists a superordinate dialectical challenge that resides in the social conditioning of Whites that is responsible for the tensions and struggles identified by the authors. Here, the author discusses four White fears that resist dialectical change: (1) fear of appearing racist; (2) fear of realizing one's racism; (3) fear of confronting White privilege; and (4) fear of taking responsibility to end racism. She believes that these four fears are at the heart of the White dialectical struggles identified by Todd and Abrams. It might prove beneficial to explore their applicability to the conceptual framework they propose. By identifying the forces that contribute to the dialectical struggle, everyone is in a better position to devise specific strategies aimed at overcoming the dialectical fears and tensions experienced by trainees. The author agrees with Todd and Abrams that "mindfulness" is an important condition to foster among students and trainees. Making the "invisible" visible is the first step in the dialectical struggle toward positive change.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A