Difficult dialogues: How white male graduate students in student affairs preparation programs make meaning of their whiteness, white privilege, and multiculturalism

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Title: Difficult dialogues: How white male graduate students in student affairs preparation programs make meaning of their whiteness, white privilege, and multiculturalism
Author: Olson, Barry Alan
Advisors: Audrey Jaeger, Committee Chair
Marc Grimmett, Committee Member
Kathy Lohr, Committee Member
Michael Schwalbe, Committee Member
Joy Gaston-Gayles, Committee Member
Abstract: OLSON, BARRY ALAN. Difficult Dialogues: How white male graduate students in student affairs preparation programs make meaning of their whiteness, white privilege, and multiculturalism. (Under the direction of Audrey Jaeger). The purpose of this narrative case study was to understand how white male graduate students in student affairs preparation programs make meaning of their whiteness, white privilege, and multiculturalism. Through the use of the participant’s own words, the results showed that these nine participants from the Southeast had a limited understanding of whiteness as it related to any racial conception, often limited to the negative components of their racial makeup, or even an obliviousness to whiteness in general. White privilege was understood more clearly, however the participants often were in positions where they could choose to act in favor of a person of color, and instead chose not to act. Finally, the participants gained a significant amount of value from personal connections through their own informal experiences and formal activities, but the most growth seemed to occur within a classroom setting focusing on multiculturalism and diversity. The findings indicate that white male graduate students in student affairs preparation programs could benefit from required coursework in the areas of diversity and multiculturalism, where exposure to race, culture, and difference would broaden their limited experience base. Within this study, a model for the social transformation of racial identity was proposed as a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Using the concepts of white privilege, multicultural competency, and emancipation, the proposed model helps to explain the components within developing those difficult dialogues among white males, but also across racial boundaries.
Date: 2010-04-12
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Higher Education Administration
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6234


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