Exposing whiteness in higher education: white male college students minimizing racism, claiming victimization, and recreating white supremacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research critically examines racial views and experiences of 12 white men in a single higher education institution via semi-structured interviews. Participants tended to utilize individualized definitions of racism and experience high levels of racial segregation in both their pre-college and college environments. This corresponded to participants seeing little evidence of racism, minimizing the power of contemporary racism, and framing whites as the true victims of multiculturalism (i.e. 'reverse racism'). This sense of racial victimization corresponded to the participants blaming racial minorities for racial antagonism (both on campus and society as a whole), which cyclically served to rationalize the persistence of segregated, white campus subenvironments. Within these ethnic enclaves, the participants reported minimal changes in their racial views since entering college with the exception of an enhanced sense of 'reverse racism,' and this cycle of racial privilege begetting racial privilege was especially pronounced within the fraternity system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-55
Number of pages26
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • critical race theory
  • critical whiteness studies
  • higher education
  • racism
  • white privilege
  • white supremacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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