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White Teachers' Talk about Race Talk: Discursive Strategies of Whiteness and Color-blind Racism

McGuire, Christy L (2022) White Teachers' Talk about Race Talk: Discursive Strategies of Whiteness and Color-blind Racism. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study investigated white teachers’ discourses of whiteness and color-blind racism within the context of their beliefs about the role of race in education and their beliefs about race talk. Participants in this study responded with “no” or “not sure” to at least one of the three Teachers Race Talk Survey (TRTS) items about whether race plays a role in the educational experiences of their students, and if race or racism should be discussed in their classrooms, and then provided follow-up responses to one or more of these questions. In this study, I conducted two stages of analysis: first, an inductive approach through a Reflexive Thematic Analysis (RTA) followed by a deductive Codebook Thematic Analysis (Codebook TA). The research questions, methods, and analyses were framed by Bonilla-Silva’s strategies of color-blind racism and Nakayama and Krizek’s rhetorics of whiteness. Through the RTA process, I organized the teachers’ discourses around race, racism, and race talk around three general themes: (a) race does not matter, especially to those without race (white people); (b) race talk is usually “bad” (term used to represent a collection of negative attributions); and (c) racism is external and visible. Each of these themes included aspects of both color-blind racism and whiteness — in alignment with and extending well beyond the conceptualizations of the two guiding theoretical frameworks. In the Codebook TA stage, I created coding schemes based on five types of color-blind strategies detailed by Bonilla-Silva and six discursive strategies of whiteness as outlined by Nakayama and Krizek. The primary theme that emerged from both of these coding schemes revolved around dismissing race as well as avoiding racial language. These results provide an opening for learning more about how we can inform teacher preparation programs and professional development, both around the historical and ongoing mechanisms of racism in schooling and then learning to discuss race and racism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McGuire, Christy Lchristy.mcguire@gmail.comCLM191@pitt.edu0000-0002-2381-7342
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDancy, T.
Committee MemberDelale-O'Connor,
Committee MemberGold Kestenberg,
Date: 10 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 September 2021
Approval Date: 10 January 2022
Submission Date: 8 November 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 159
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: race talk; white teachers; education; color-blind racism; whiteness; racism
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 18:17
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2022 18:17

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  • White Teachers' Talk about Race Talk: Discursive Strategies of Whiteness and Color-blind Racism. (deposited 10 Jan 2022 18:17) [Currently Displayed]


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