An Unexamined Life: White Male Racial Ignorance and the Agony of Education for Students of Color1

Nolan L Cabrera, Chris Corces-Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article critically analyzes the narratives of 62 White male undergraduates at a single institution about their views on race and experiences with racism. It is framed by Mills' (1997) conception of Whiteness that is founded upon an inverted epistemology or an epistemology of ignorance. Therefore, this analysis centers the ways in which White male undergraduates concurrently downplay the contemporary significance of White privilege while examining the role college experiences have at reinforcing this structured ignorance. The themes from their interviews included: (1) White ignorance and White identity as meaningless; (2) Evasive White racial ignorance; and (3) Racial arrested development and racial regression. These findings emphasize the need to creatively challenge White males to develop their racial selves, especially because their ignorance fuels the linguistic and physical violence Students of Color regularly experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-315
Number of pages16
JournalEquity and Excellence in Education
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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