Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Challenging Complicity: The Shaping of White Antiracist Lives Against the Prevailing Wind
by Klumpp, Kate H., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2012, 421; 3537052
Abstract (Summary)

This study was undertaken to explore through qualitative research the transformative process of moving from some level of perhaps unconscious support of a white racist discourse to a transformative white antiracist discourse, which required definition as part of the study. The study had three components. The first tier invited 27 selected people of color to contribute to the definition of antiracist and to nominate potential white antiracist study participants. The second tier consisted of initial interviews of some white nominees to arrive at four individuals for case study who seemed to fill the study definition of challenging complicity, represented a range of social identities, had interesting narratives to tell, and were available for multiple several-hour interviews. The third tier involved the selected four white coresearchers in three to six individual interviews, each of several hours duration, to recount their life stories, focusing on events and ideas they considered at the time or on later reflection to be related to "race."

The first tier was undertaken because of (a) the need for people of color to be the ones determining who and what is and is not racist, and (b) the need for feedback from critically conscious people of color regarding the definition of white antiracist discourse as expressed by the researcher's construct entitled "A Portion of the White Experience Continiuum: Unintentional Racists, from Status Quo to Working to Transform." The Continuum borrowed Ruth Frankenberg's adaptation of Hartsock's work in order to define "whiteness standpoint" and "white antiracist standpoint" as the endpoints. The encompassed range of social consciousness reflects Freire's three levels of conforming, reforming, and transforming consciousness, with the researcher's literature-referenced descriptions of the perspective and action at both endpoints of each of 18 related elements. A specifically transformative, critically conscious, white antiracist standpoint emerged from the study, in the context of standpoint theory.

The four white coresearchers' narratives are presented in their voices, providing a testament to the multiplicity of avenues for traveling toward antiracism, and equally to the variety of ways that transformative white antiracists may and may not be aware of their paths and the antiracist implications.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gray, Chris Hables
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Social psychology, Multicultural Education
Keywords: Antiracism, Racism, Whiteness
Publication Number: 3537052
ISBN: 978-1-267-96121-1
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