Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


This qualitative study maps ‘locally situated’ (Twine and Gallagher 2008), contours of whiteness as cultural practice and institutional discourse by examining how white college faculty, staff, and administrators respond to multiracial educational environments and multicultural ideals. Drawing on depth interviews with thirty white administrators, faculty, and staff, this study finds that these white educators adhered to an intermittent form of color-blind racism (Bonilla-Silva, 2009) that enabled them to hold fast to the fiction that race has no meaning in their lives, yet remains the single-most defining dimension of the lives of people of color. This analysis identifies five contextually-embedded manifestations of everyday racism and microconstructions of white supremacy: 1) Whites subscribe to a view of racism as an individualized phenomenon, 2) Whites take a color-blind position regarding race in their daily lives, 3) Whites claim, ‘people of color see race, but I do not,’ 4) Whites employ a diversity discourse of “helping and caring,” 5) Whites see race primarily as a black/white binary. Article concludes with implications of findings for critical multiculturalism.

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