ArticleLiterature Review

Interrogating Whiteness in Community Research and Action

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Abstract

Community psychology is expressly concerned with social justice. Such concern necessitates attention to race. Yet, nearly absent from the field’s literature is explicit and critical attention to whiteness. Thus, community psychology’s contribution to promoting social justice remains incomplete. In this article, we examine how a critical construction of whiteness can be useful for community research and action. After a brief history of the construction of whiteness in the United States, and a summary of key insights from critical whiteness studies, we present a scoping review of the nascent body of community psychology literature that addresses whiteness. That work implicates whiteness in the emergence of the field itself, frames whiteness as social location, problematizes whiteness, addresses White supremacy and institutional racism, interrogates White privilege, and employs whiteness as a theoretical standpoint. We conclude with three propositions for scholars to broker the relationship between community psychology and critical whiteness studies: (a) community psychology should become more critically conscious of whiteness, (b) community psychologists should promote critical awareness of the ways that whiteness operates as a complex system, and (c) greater critical awareness of whiteness should be applied to the development of multilevel interventions aimed at dismantling whiteness as a system of domination. Critical evaluation of whiteness is virtually absent from community psychology literature. Other fields provide more comprehensive frameworks for interrogating whiteness. Incorporating whiteness into liberation frameworks would advance the study of social justice.

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... White epistemologies of ignorance have been addressed from various disciplinary perspectives, including social and cultural psychology, education, and philosophy (Applebaum, 2013;Bonam et al., 2018;Coleman et al., 2020;Mills, 2007;Nelson et al., 2013). These perspectives concur that White people in the US' racialized understandings of the world are "shaped by historical processes, contemporary policies, and sociocultural norms that make White people largely ignorant of and complicit in racial inequity" (Coleman et al., 2020, p. 5). ...
... In some cases, their writing reflected a fairly sophis- (Valencia & Solórzano, 1997), rather than intentional acts by institutions over time. (Applebaum, 2013(Applebaum, , 2016hooks, 1998;Mills, 1998 Developing an antiracist stance involves both progression and regression, as well as domain-specific awareness and ignorance (Coleman et al., 2020). As such, learners should be expected to present gaps in their understanding that educators and students alike will have to contend with (Flynn, 2015). ...
... Rather it is the result of cultural practices and ideologies that are deeply embedded in social structures and institutions (Alderfer, 1994;Coleman et al., 2020). Thus, interventions that aim to promote antiracism should facilitate White learners' capacities to critically reflect on their socialized ignorance of racism as a product of social and historical processes and respond to the cognitive and emotional challenges inherent to such critical reflection (Flynn, 2015 understanding of the role of historical and contemporary social processes in sustaining systemic racism but they can also promote critical self-reflection that produces a desire to act in antiracist ways. ...
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Sharply in focus in the United States right now is the disproportionate COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality rates of Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Pacific Islanders living in the United States in contrast to White people. These COVID-19 disparities are but one example of how systemic racism filters into health outcomes for many Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC). With these issues front and center, more attention is being given to the ways that White medical professionals contribute to these disparities, including their socialization to ignore or deny inequities. As such, the present study sought to understand how educating White health-care pre-professionals about systemic racism might influence their understanding of and responsibility for disrupting White supremacy. Data were drawn from 49 White-identified nursing students who participated in a mapping project that uncovered instantiations of systemic racism in the United States. Participant written reflections were analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings revealed that mapping projects can develop White people's knowledge and understanding of systemic racism. We introduce the construct, transformative dissonant encounters, to describe how this project precipitated shifts in world view necessary for White people to confront systemic racism. Implications for nursing educators, psychological researchers, and antiracist activists are discussed.
... In predominantly White school districts like the subject of this study, the discourse around EDI in education tends to emphasize racial or cultural difference rather than structural/systemic racism (Brayboy et al., 2007;Kohli et al., 2017;Patel, 2015). That emphasis may be more palatable than centering analyses of racialized power dynamics because reminders of racial privilege afforded by social structures and systems can be threatening to White individuals' self-identities and White comfort (Bonam et al., 2018;Coleman et al., 2019Coleman et al., , 2021Knowles et al., 2014;Unzueta & Lowery, 2008). The appreciation of difference may be less threatening to White people because such appreciation does not necessarily involve critical evaluation of dominant ideologies that perpetuate institutional racism even when the individuals involved are not overly racist themselves. ...
... The appreciation of difference may be less threatening to White people because such appreciation does not necessarily involve critical evaluation of dominant ideologies that perpetuate institutional racism even when the individuals involved are not overly racist themselves. For decades, critical scholars have shown how such ideologies as colorblindness, deficit thinking about students and communities of color, and meritocracy sustain racial disparities in education, even while the proponents of such ideologies maintain a non-racist position (Au, 2013(Au, , 2016Bonilla-Silva, 2006;Coleman et al., 2021;Harris, 1993;Kohli et al., 2017;Valencia & Sol orzano 1997). ...
... In addition, White Americans are unlikely to have been thoroughly educated on the history of racism in the U.S., including the myriad of ways in which racism is built into the system and structures that make up the society and afford White people unearned social privilege and power. Combined, the motivation to appear non-racist and the lack of historical knowledge of systemic/structural racism can lead White individuals to ignore, deny, downplay, or distance themselves from the reality of systemic/structural racism (Bonam et al., 2018;Coleman et al., 2019Coleman et al., , 2021Knowles et al., 2014). Such blind spots may contribute to the ways in which White-led institutions may actively work to suppress education about systemic racism, such as banning critical interpretations of racism from school curricula. ...
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This study examined the impact of the racial justice movement that emerged in the United States after the murder of George Floyd and during the first year of the covid-19 pandemic on the discussion around equity and diversity initiatives in a predominantly White school district. We conducted thematic analyses of public communications of school district officials and community members and applied an epistemologies of ignorance framework that explains White denials of structural racism. Floyd’s murder and the pandemic appeared to shift the discussion toward greater acknowledgment of structural racism, yet White ignorance and denial persisted. We conclude that equity and diversity initiatives should include critical focus on White people’s experiences and stronger emphasis on the historical antecedents of present-day racial inequity.
... Critical race theorists and critical Whiteness theorists have examined how White racial socialization is shaped by Whiteness as it manifests across the ecological system (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017). When we refer to Whiteness, we refer to the outcome of legal, political, cultural, and ideological processes that construct a White race (Coleman et al., 2020;Sue, 2006). Put differently, Whiteness refers to the collective and individual experience of being White, where that experience is shaped by the White supremacy and racism that is embedded in U.S. institutions (Sue, 2006). ...
... White supremacy and racism also shape communities, relationships, and individual psychological experiences, and the construct of Whiteness refers to the ways in which these contextual, relational, and personal processes are experienced and understood by White people, who have been socialized to maintain the systems of White supremacy and racism and who experience White privilege. Whiteness leads White people to view themselves as and to be treated as racially and culturally neutral, ahistorical, and naturally superior to people of color (Coleman et al., 2020). At the same time, Whiteness confers social, economic, and political benefits to White people and offers the myth of meritocracy as an explanation for these benefits (Feagin, 2013;Kendi, 2019). ...
... For example, social inequities are often explained away as natural and even desirable outcomes of a meritocratic society (Feagin, 2013;Kendi, 2019). Whiteness permeates all levels of the ecological system and blocks White people from comprehending the impact of racism or acting to resist it; White supremacy supports the camouflaging of Whiteness by sustaining a culture of implicit racism and color-evasiveness in the U.S. (Coleman et al., 2020;Kendi, 2019). Whiteness supports a simplistic view of racism as a personal flaw manifested through interpersonal acts, thus facilitating ignorance of the full spectrum of racism, which includes extreme state racism (e.g., genocide), state racism (e.g., racist laws), institutional racism (e.g., educational racism), group racism (e.g., social exclusion), interpersonal racism (e.g., microaggressions), and intrapersonal racism (e.g., prejudice) (Miller & Garran, 2017). ...
Article
Whiteness, rooted in White supremacy, gives White people access to power while shielding them from seeing racism and its impacts or from acting to resist racism. Anti-racist allyship occurs when White people act to dismantle racist systems, and it therefore can reduce the socialization into values and epistemologies of Whiteness that uphold White supremacy. In the current study, we examined aspirations and engagement in anti-racist allyship among 19 White parents of young White children. All parents in the study identified themselves as engaged in anti-racism; all but one parent in the sample identified as a woman and most were highly educated and middle class. Using in-depth interviews and analytic methods associated with grounded theory, we find that—even among this self-selected group identified on the basis of their anti-racist intentions—racism, White supremacy, and Whiteness heavily shape their parenting choices and expectations for their children and interfere with their allyship. At the same time, increased knowledge of racism and the desire for authentic connection across difference push parents toward a more genuine anti-racist allyship and cause internal conflict for parents as they attempt to resolve the discrepancy between their goals and their parenting. Our discussion highlights the application of these findings to intervention with White parents to foster anti-racist allyship.
... In contrast to the previous research on young people with marginalized identities (Asakura, 2017;Hope et al., 2019), research suggests that having a privileged identity influences how emerging adults engage in social justice efforts (Howard, 2011). In regards to White emerging adults, the strength of their White racial identity can influence how and whether they choose to engage in action (Coleman, Collins, & Bonam, 2020). For instance, prior to engaging in social action to combat racism, White emerging adults must become aware of their racial privilege and how their beliefs about other racial and ethnic groups may be rooted in White supremacy (Coleman et al., 2020). ...
... In regards to White emerging adults, the strength of their White racial identity can influence how and whether they choose to engage in action (Coleman, Collins, & Bonam, 2020). For instance, prior to engaging in social action to combat racism, White emerging adults must become aware of their racial privilege and how their beliefs about other racial and ethnic groups may be rooted in White supremacy (Coleman et al., 2020). However, such awareness may elicit a wide range of emotional responses (DiAngelo, 2018;Spanierman, Beard, & Todd, 2012) that may prevent or motivate their engagement. ...
... In a qualitative study with White college students, participants described various ways in which feelings of guilt about racial and economic privilege contributed to their sense of responsibility and motivation for social justice engagement (Howard, 2011). Conversely, fearful guilt may lead to less contact with individuals of a different race/ethnicity and less empathy for individuals affected by racism (Coleman et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2003). Ultimately, White emerging adults who can connect their emotional reactions to their privilege and develop a sense of accountability for oppressive conditions and empathy for those impacted by racial oppression are more likely to engage in action than those who do not develop an understanding of their privilege, do not address their White fear and fragility, and do not develop a sense of responsibility in dismantling racial oppression (Coleman et al., 2020;DiAngelo, 2018). ...
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... The valuing of "Whiteness" also predominates in these spaces. Whiteness embodies the notion that certain individuals (typically, those with fair skin and Eurocentric features) represent a normative, ideal standard to which other (non-White) groups are juxtaposed, 'othered,' and systematically disenfranchised [17,20,21]. Whiteness or Eurocentric features are regarded as the most desirable characteristics in an intimate partner and are often sought after by both White men and men of color alike [22][23][24][25]. ...
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... In contrast, passive bystanders and aversive racists may express dissatisfaction with societal racial stratification, but no evidence of actionable protest apart from their words. 358 ...
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... 36 While policy briefs, by nature, do not allow for authors to reflect on how their own positionality (eg, a White researcher studying minoritized individuals) in a study might impact research decisions, we hope that researchers will take this work on as they design and conduct new studies. [37][38][39][40] We encourage submissions from researchers from diverse backgrounds, to ensure a variety of perspectives and expertise. 41 We further hope that this series will provoke innovation in the ways in which research and policy questions are asked, how data are collected and analyzed, and how results are presented. ...
... These colonial structures of whiteness often operate insidiously and are reinforced historically, politically, and socially. Coleman et al. (2020) have recently called for community psychology to better incorporate critical whiteness studies into the field. A critical whiteness lens implicates white audiences in examining racialized subjectivities as issues of race are typically considered a "non-white" problem or, when acknowledged, responsibility for change is displaced onto those who are explicit and extreme in their racism (Green, Sonn, & Matsebula, 2007). ...
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We use data on police-involved deaths to estimate how the risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States varies across social groups. We estimate the lifetime and age-specific risks of being killed by police by race and sex. We also provide estimates of the proportion of all deaths accounted for by police use of force. We find that African American men and women, American Indian/Alaska Native men and women, and Latino men face higher lifetime risk of being killed by police than do their white peers. We find that Latina women and Asian/Pacific Islander men and women face lower risk of being killed by police than do their white peers. Risk is highest for black men, who (at current levels of risk) face about a 1 in 1,000 chance of being killed by police over the life course. The average lifetime odds of being killed by police are about 1 in 2,000 for men and about 1 in 33,000 for women. Risk peaks between the ages of 20 y and 35 y for all groups. For young men of color, police use of force is among the leading causes of death.
Book
In the United States, it is quite common to lay claim to the benefits of society by appealing to “taxpayer citizenship--the idea that, as taxpayers, we deserve access to certain social services like a public education. Tracing the genealogy of this concept, Camille Walsh shows how tax policy and taxpayer identity were built on the foundations of white supremacy and intertwined with ideas of whiteness. From the origins of unequal public school funding after the Civil War through school desegregation cases from Brown v. Board of Education to San Antonio v. Rodriguez in the 1970s, this study spans over a century of racial injustice, dramatic courtroom clashes, and white supremacist backlash to collective justice claims. Incorporating letters from everyday individuals as well as the private notes of Supreme Court justices as they deliberated, Walsh reveals how the idea of a “taxpayer” identity contributed to the contemporary crises of public education, racial disparity, and income inequality. © 2018 The University of North Carolina Press. All rights reserved.
Article
In three studies, we demonstrate that common metaphors used to describe immigrants in news media interact with national, but not political, identity to lead to feelings of disgust as well as anti‐immigrant attitudes. The first study demonstrates that the current discourse in the U.S. surrounding unauthorized immigrants includes metaphors that readily activate thoughts of vermin (e.g., rodents). The second study shows that when these metaphors are present in a news article about immigrants, the more participants identify as American the more disgust they experience reading the article. The final study further shows that after reading a news article in which the vermin metaphors are present, the more participants identify as American the more likely they are to support stringent immigration policies. This research shows the power of metaphor to shape intergroup attitudes and support for government policies.
Article
A decolonizing standpoint in community psychology is discussed in relation to the Family Portrait Assignment—a pedagogical tool developed and implemented to facilitate white students’ decolonial thinking. The Family Portrait Assignment contributes to the limited of decolonial pedagogical tools in community psychology. Through a critical discourse analysis of student's essays, I discuss how decolonial thinking, including a critical sociohistorical examination of colonialism, racism and whiteness, was facilitated. Decoloniality as the disruption of white innocence, an ideological construct embedded within systems of power that sustain structures of whiteness, guides the analysis of student's essays. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the Family Portrait Assignment facilitated white student's decolonial thinking, specifically their process of engaging with and disrupting white innocence. A discussion of decoloniality in community psychology pedagogy, theory, research and action concludes this paper. Highlights • A decolonizing standpoint in community psychology is discussed. • A pedagogical tool developed to facilitate white students’ decolonial thinking is explained. • Decoloniality as the disruption of white innocence is also discussed through the pedagogical tool.
Article
In addition to racial stereotypes about people (e.g., Black people are poor), perceivers hold parallel racial stereotypes about physical spaces (e.g., Black spaces are impoverished; Bonam, Bergsieker, & Eberhardt, 2016). Three studies extend these findings, showing that (a) Whites describe Black space as impoverished and undesirable, but describe White space as affluent and desirable, and (b) this racially polarized stereotype content is heightened for spaces compared to people (Studies 1 & 2). Perceivers are accordingly more likely to racially stereotype spaces than people (Study 3). This asymmetry in racial stereotype application is exacerbated when targets are objectively middle class versus lower class, likely because Whites have more difficulty incorporating counterstereotypic information into perceptions of Black spaces—compared to perceptions of Black people, White people, and White spaces (Study 3). Finally, we provide and discuss evidence for potential consequences of invisible middle-class Black space, relating to residential segregation and the racial wealth gap.
Article
Objective: To identify the contributions of individual-, household-, and area-level characteristics to disparities in the use of prenatal care (PNC). Methods: This study used individual-level data from the 2001 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort linked to county-level U.S. Census data (N ≈ 5,200). I used nonlinear regression decomposition to quantify the contributions of several groups of factors-maternal health and pregnancy characteristics, preconception health behaviors, insurance coverage, PNC location, socioeconomic status (SES), and the social/economic and healthcare environments-to PNC disparities. Results: Relative to whites, blacks and Hispanics were less likely to initiate first-trimester PNC and to have adequate PNC. The models explained 61.20%-79.90% and 52.15%-79.09% of the disparities in PNC initiation and adequacy, respectively. The most important factor was SES, which explained 50.68%-79.92% of the black-white gap and 37.50%-49.51% of the Hispanic-white gap in PNC use. Location of care, insurance status, and pregnancy characteristics also made significant contributions to these disparities. Conclusion: SES is a key driver of inequality in PNC, particularly black-white inequality. Addressing socioeconomic factors may improve PNC use among minorities.
Article
This article offers insight from psychological science into whether models of diversity (e.g., color blindness and multiculturalism) remedy or foster discrimination and racism. First, we focus on implications of a color-blind model. Here, the literature suggests that while color blindness appeals to some individuals, it can decrease individuals’ sensitivity to racism and discrimination. Furthermore, the literature suggests that, with some exceptions, color blindness has negative implications for interracial interactions, minorities’ perceptions and outcomes, and the pursuit of diversity and inclusion in organizational contexts. Second, we examine circumstances under which a multicultural approach yields positive or negative implications for interracial interactions, organizational diversity efforts, and discrimination. The research reviewed coalesces to suggest that while multiculturalism generally has more positive implications for people of color, both models have the potential to further inequality.
Book
Omi and Winant examine the creation and negotiation of race's role in identify construction, contestation, and deconstruction. Since no biological basis exists for the signification of racial differences, the authors discuss racial hierarchies in terms of a "racial formation," which is a process by which racial categories are created, accepted, altered, or destroyed. This theory assumes that society contains various racial projects to which all people are subjected. The role that race plays in social stratification secures its place as a political phenomenon in the United States. This stratification is tantamount to what Omi and Winant call "racial dictatorship," which has three effects. First, the identity "American" is conflated with the racial identity "white." Second, the "color line" becomes a fundamental division in American society. Finally, oppositional racial consciousness became consolidated in opposition to racial dictatorship.
Article
In demonstration of the Marley hypothesis, Nelson, Adams, and Salter showed that differences in critical historical knowledge (i.e., knowledge of past racism) and motivation to protect group esteem predicted present-day racism perceptions among Whites and Blacks attending different, racially homogenous universities. The present Study 1 conceptually replicates these findings among Whites and Blacks attending the same racially diverse university. Consistent with previous findings, Whites (vs. Blacks) displayed less critical historical knowledge, explaining their greater denial of systemic racism. Moreover, stronger racial identity among Whites predicted greater systemic racism denial. A brief Study 2 intervention boosts Whites’ racism perceptions. People who learned the critical history of U.S. housing policy (vs. a control group) acknowledged more systemic racism. The present work interrupts seemingly normal and neutral dominant perspectives, provides mounting evidence for an epistemologies of ignorance framework, and suggests that learning critical history can help propel anti-racist understandings of the present.
Article
Discussions of community psychology (CP) ethics often examine how we might best uphold CP values in community-based practice. However, for many community psychologists in faculty positions, our main domain of practice is the undergraduate classroom. Teaching is essential to the growth and sustainability of our field as prospective students tend to discover CP during their undergraduate studies. University-based work is also a key site of CP practice. Universities are contested spaces where interlocking forms of oppression manifest in many ways, including teaching (e.g., what is taught, how, by whom, to whom). CP values compel us to treat our classrooms as more than just information transmission spaces; just as there is no value-neutral research, there is no value-neutral course content or classroom practice. This first-person narrative explores ethical issues that arise when we put CP values, specifically social justice, respect for diversity, participation, and wellness, in conversation with pedagogical best practices and course content in higher education. It presents interrelated ethical dilemmas and the authors’ conflicted responses. We conclude with a four-part call to the field for dedicated scholarly spaces and supports focused on the development and study of undergraduate CP pedagogy.
Article
This special issue commemorates the 50th anniversary of the founding of U.S. community psychology in Swampscott, Massachusetts in 1965. The issue includes commentaries from a cross-section of community psychologists educated in community psychology training programs established after Swampscott, in the 1970s or later. The contributors, who vary in their involvement in community-engaged research, training, and practice, offer a diverse set of perspectives on the field. Each was asked to reflect on the future of community psychology based on their own training and experiences. After providing some background to the Swampscott Conference and the era in which it took place, I offer a few of my own reflections on community psychology's future growth and development. I then introduce the 15 commentaries that follow.
Article
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of community psychology, the author looks backwards in community psychology literature and to each side in other allied disciplines to suggest three fundamental issues that are in need of critical reflection and re-evaluation as we move toward the next 50 plus years of our field. These fundamental issues are: Defining community psychology, Doing community psychology, and Perfecting community psychology.
Article
Agitation, as deployed by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), occurs when imaginations and curiosities are piqued, and self-interest is made visible. In this framework, agitation is a step in creating change. In this paper, I outline two agitations within US-based community psychology. I then describe a third agitation that is underway; I add my voice and call for a methodology of diffraction as a contribution to critical reflexivity practices within US-based community psychology. Consistent with the IAF framework, I do not provide solutions. I write this paper as a provocation to help us think imaginatively and creatively about our actions and future, so that we can consider the paradigm shifts needed to move into critical ways of understanding connection, responsibility, accountability, and creating change-of interest during Swampscott and today.
Article
Critical Whiteness studies has emerged as an academic discipline that has produced a lot of work and garnered attention in the last two decades. Central to this project is the idea that if the processes of Whiteness can be uncovered, then they can be reasoned with and overcome, through rationale dialogue. This article will argue, however, that Whiteness is a process rooted in the social structure, one that induces a form of psychosis framed by its irrationality, which is beyond any rational engagement. Drawing on a critical discourse analysis of the two only British big budget movies about transatlantic slavery, Amazing Grace and Belle, the article argues that such films serve as the celluloid hallucinations that reinforce the psychosis of Whiteness. The features of this discourse that arose from the analysis included the lack of Black agency, distancing Britain from the horrors of slavery, and downplaying the role of racism.
Article
Community psychology emphasizes an ecological approach to mental health by focusing on the individual in the environment and the influences that shape and change behavior. This book brings together the work of the author, one of the founders of community psychology. It unites 13 of his publications from 1968 to 2002, as well as four new essays on current issues in the field: the theory, research, practice, and education of community psychologists. The author introduces the work by offering connections between his personal experiences and the topics he chose to focus on throughout his long career. He begins each of the 13 previously published essays with commentary that sets the article in its original context so that the reader has a historical perspective on why certain ideas were salient at a particular time and how they are still timely today. The author concludes with a "summing up" section integrating the previously published articles with the four new essays. Throughout, he presents examples of how to plan and carry out research and practice in the community. The principles underlying the examples both enhance the relevance of the research and practice and increase the potential of community residents to use the findings for their own purposes.
Book
This book seeks to analyze the issue of race in America after the election of Barack Obama. For the author, the U.S. criminal justice system functions can act as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it adheres to the principle of color blindness.
Article
The NHS Research and Development Service, Delivery and organisation Programme (SDO), is commissioning research that directly addresses the concerns of patients and professionals. Following a national ‘listening exercise’, continuity of care was identified as a priority area of research, and the National Co-ordinating Centre of the SDO Programme commissioned a ‘scoping exercise’ to define and limit the field of research on this subject. As this seems set to become a more common exercise, we explain how we interpreted the task of ‘scoping’, using some innovative methods. We raise some issues prevalent in many kinds of short-term research, and discuss some of the challenges and advantages of working in a multi-disciplinary team.
Article
This article introduces the notion White fatigue. White fatigue occurs for White students who have grown tired of learning and discussing race and racism, despite an understanding of the moral imperative of anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices. The article differentiates White fatigue from ideas like White resistance, White guilt, or White fragility, arguing that each of these phenomenon occur at different stages of White Racial Identity Development. Distinction is also drawn among White fatigue and other forms of racially based fatigue, specifically racial battle fatigue and White people fatigue syndrome. Further drawing on the notion of stereotype threat, the article considers the challenges for White students learning about race and racism while simultaneously resisting being labeled a racist. This struggle is elemental to the manifestation of White fatigue. Ultimately, the author argues that educators must be more accurate in how they define the range of responses from White students, consistently humanize all students in the process of understanding race and racism, and encourage further research for understanding a condition that is happening to a growing number of students.
Article
Social scientists have traditionally argued that whiteness-the attribute of being recognized and treated as a White person in society-is powerful because it is invisible. On this view, members of the racially dominant group have the unique luxury of rarely noticing their race or the privileges it confers. This article challenges this "invisibility thesis," arguing that Whites frequently regard themselves as racial actors. We further argue that whiteness defines a problematic social identity that confronts Whites with 2 psychological threats: the possibility that their accomplishments in life were not fully earned (meritocratic threat) and the association with a group that benefits from unfair social advantages (group-image threat). We theorize that Whites manage their racial identity to dispel these threats. According to our deny, distance, or dismantle (3D) model of White identity management, dominant-group members have three strategies at their disposal: deny the existence of privilege, distance their own self-concepts from the White category, or strive to dismantle systems of privilege. Whereas denial and distancing promote insensitivity and inaction with respect to racial inequality, dismantling reduces threat by relinquishing privileges. We suggest that interventions aimed at reducing inequality should attempt to leverage dismantling as a strategy of White identity management. © The Author(s) 2014.
Chapter
In this chapter, we argue that community, liberation and peace psychology and the psychology of oppression share a common concern with issues of social exclusion, social inequality and peacebuilding. This shared concern is reflected in a commitment to developing theories and modes of practice that can address problems of structural violence and that can contribute to the creation of living conditions within which individuals and communities can realise their potential. We focus on an area of work within community psychology that is concerned with understanding and disrupting racialised oppression within the context of Indigenous and non-Indigenous partnerships for change through community cultural development. We discuss the broader theoretical framework for understanding structural violence and oppression, informed by community, liberation and peace psychology and highlight the importance of ethical engagement from a relational epistemology, as well as critical engagement with ontological matters, in seeking to advance liberation and decolonisation. We point to deconstruction as a tool for revealing dominance as well as devalued subject positions. We also highlight the role of counter narratives in change processes.
Article
Introduction: Why Are Racial Minorities Behind Today? * What is Racism? The Racialized Social System. * Racial Attitudes or Racial Ideology? An Alternative Paradigm for Examining Actors' Racial Views. * The "New Racism": The Post-Civil Rights Racial Structure in the U.S * Color-Blind Racism and Blacks. * Conclusion: New Racism, New Theory, and New Struggle.
Article
While both postindustrial and emerging states face economic, cultural, and political changes, the constant of oppression remains. Economically and culturally marginalized groups continue to endure untold degrees of suffering. From a moral point of view, it is imperative that social scientists attend to the needs of the oppressed. This paper examines the dynamics of oppression in postindustrial and emerging states from both a psychological and political perspective. The reality of oppression may be understood from various levels of analysis, from the macrolevel of global economic and political structures, to the microlevel of internalized psychological images of inferiority. A comprehensive analysis of oppression will emerge only from an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the political with the psychological. Otherwise, efforts to reduce conditions of oppression will be inhibited by limited perspectives that neglect either the internal or external domains. We explore some of the psychological mechanisms accounting for oppression, such as learned helplessness, internalization of hegemonic self-rejecting views, and obedience to authority. Some of the political mechanisms accounting for oppression in emerging countries include the oppressive structure of international financial systems and internal colonization. We conclude by outlining the process of conscientization necessary to overcome conditions of oppression at all levels of analysis.
Article
This article describes two participatory theater projects undertaken by Western Edge Youth Arts in Melbourne and aimed at challenging racialization and fostering belonging among culturally diverse young people. Drawing from interview and archival data, we suggest that participatory theater provided the young people the opportunity to share and reflect on their lived experiences and re-present themselves, as well as gain resources for responding to the different issues associated with racialization. In the settings created, participants were able to disrupt taken for granted and common sense understandings of self and other and create new stories of identity and belonging. These disruptions into the symbolic context of social identity construction are important for personal and social change, including for decentring whiteness. However, participatory theater is not a panacea, nor is it free of power relations. We discuss some of the challenges and limitations of the different projects.
Article
Given South Africa's unique history of colonization and racial segregation, understanding and working with issues of race and racialization have been of paramount importance in South African critical community psychology. This article considers how race has emerged in the supervision of community work with master's students in a community psychology practicum. Using an autoethnographic approach, we document our reflections as two community psychology supervisors to discuss the dilemmas experienced in dealing with race in community psychology supervision. We engage with notions of Whiteness and Blackness, intersections of race and language, and race and crime, and document specific issues that emerge in the supervision for Black and White supervisors. In conclusion, we highlight the importance for supervisors to adopt a critical stance that utilizes reflexivity as a tool for the supervision of community work to help students to reflect on issues of race and racism as part of their community engagement.
Article
A reading of Feagin's The White Racial Frame: Margery Otto and Herbert Perkins, January 2011 ASDIC Metamorphosis, www.asdic-circle.org The racial frame, as we know it in the United States, has been in the making for more than four hundred years. Think of frame as the "viewer" or the aperture of a camera. The particular photo or image that results from the full photographing process is more a result of the characteristics of the camera and lens, and the perspective, intentions, and artistry of photographer and photo-processer than what the eye would gather if the scene were not "framed." Of course, all who view a scene view it (perceive it) through their own "subjective lenses." Framing influences what is seen and how it is seen. We cannot truly understand the image produced without fully appreciat-ing all that the photographer brings to the creation of the photo. Feagin defines the white racial frame as the overarching worldview encompassing important ra-cial ideas and beliefs, terms, images, emotions, inclinations, and interpretations and determining a way of being, perspective on life, and language and explanations that help structure, normalize, and make sense out of society (3, 10-11). White racial framing is as much, if not more, subcon-scious than conscious (thus a "hidden" barrier). The contemporary racial frame not only encompasses cognitive stereotypes and articulated values (the important conceptions of what is desirable or undesirable on racial matters), but also impor-tant nonlinguistic elements such as racialized emotions, images, and even smells. Altogether, these various elements of a racial frame act as an "organizing principle;" that is, the ideas, images, feelings, dispositions, assumptions, perspectives, and worldview about race are used to interpret social reality (used to make sense of relational roles and responsibilities, to understand who is owed deference, who is deserving, who ought to control or lead, and so forth).
Article
The current study uses social network analysis to explore one aspect of cross-disciplinary connections in community psychology–citations from articles published in community psychology's main journals (i.e., American Journal of Community Psychology and Journal of Community Psychology) to allied disciplines in 2009. Results indicate that although community psychology journals cited a wide range of disciplines, their levels of citation to any individual journal in another discipline never exceeded 10% of their total network citations. Additionally, journals in other disciplines did not exhibit many citations to community psychology journals. Observed homophily measures indicate that community psychology journals have more cross-disciplinary citations than articles published in the flagship journals of clinical psychology, sociology, and public health. However, relative homophily measures suggest that community psychology journals are also far more likely to cite within discipline than expected by chance. Implications and future directions for cross-disciplinary endeavors in community psychology are suggested.
Article
Calls for vigilance have been a recurrent theme in social justice education. Scholars making this call note that vigilance involves a continuous attentiveness, that it presumes some type of criticality, and that it is transformative. In this essay Barbara Applebaum expands upon some of these attributes and calls attention to three particular features of vigilance that, while they may be alluded to in the aforementioned discussions, are rarely made explicit. These three features are critique, staying in the anxiety of critique, and vulnerability. Using the lens of Judith Butler's recent work and the discussions that her work has provoked, Applebaum examines these three features of vigilance and demonstrates how they are crucial for white people interrogating their complicity in systemic racism. Finally, she discusses how the expanded three features of vigilance can offer guidance to one of the enormously thorny questions that arises in the social justice classroom.
Article
Constructive dialogues on race have been proposed as a means to heal racial and ethnic divides, reduce prejudice and misinformation, increase racial literacy, and foster improved race relations. Studies on the psychology of racial dialogues indicate social and academic norms that dictate against race talk between White Americans and persons of color: (a) the politeness protocol, (b) the academic protocol, and (c) the color-blind protocol. These protocols discourage race talk and allow society to enter into a conspiracy of silence regarding the detrimental impact oppression plays on persons of color. Facilitating difficult dialogues on race requires educators to recognize what makes such discussions difficult. For people of color, engaging in race talk exposes them to microaggressions that invalidate and assail their racial/ethnic identities. For Whites, honest discussions are impeded by fears of appearing racist, of realizing their racism, of acknowledging White privilege, and of taking responsibility to combat racism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).