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Whitened rainbows: how white college students protect whiteness through diversity discourses
Race Ethnicity and Education (2016)
  • Annie Hikido, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Susan B Murray, San Jose State University
This qualitative study investigates white students’ attitudes toward campus diversity at a large, multiracial public university. Drawing upon focus group data gathered from a larger campus climate study, we identified four themes: participants voiced that: (1) racial diversity fosters campus tolerance; (2) diversity fragments into de facto racial segregation; (3) institutional support of diversity undermines and excludes whites; and (4) the university should avoid acknowledging white identity. Employing critical multiculturalism as a theoretical lens, we argue that these discourses maintain white dominance within a framework that promotes inclusion. These findings suggest that without more direct institutional guidance, white students will protect white supremacy even as they celebrate diversity in multiracial spaces.
  • whiteness,
  • white students,
  • diversity,
  • critical multiculturalism,
  • higher education
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Citation Information
Annie Hikido and Susan B Murray. "Whitened rainbows: how white college students protect whiteness through diversity discourses" Race Ethnicity and Education Vol. 19 Iss. 2 (2016) p. 389 - 411 ISSN: 1361-3324
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