Making meaning of whiteness : explorations by white community college faculty / by Frances Trowsse.
Trowsse, Frances Roberta
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This study examines Whiteness from the perspectives of White college faculty. The participants in this study responded to a letter of invitation to volunteer for this study. A total of 12 White faculty participated in this study, including the researcher. Nine participants were female, and 2 were male; 9 participants had 15 years or more of work experience with the college, and 2 participants had less than 5 years. Data were collected through discussions with two focus groups. The data were coded first by a word analysis and followed by a text analysis to support and identify themes. The findings are presented in six themes: (a) colour prevails - right/White way; (b) privilege with a small "p"; (c) ethnicity and colour; (d) sameness - be like "us"; (e) immigrant syndrome; and (f) expectations of the education system. The focus group sessions also produced six recommendations : (1) there should be a preparation process for faculty offering diversity courses; (2) administrators should consider the experience and background of faculty being assigned courses with content on diversity issues and, if needed, offer professional development that thoroughly examines Whiteness and diversity issues; (3) all faculty should engage in a discussion of Whiteness that could better prepare faculty to deal with issues of diversity and build relationships with students of colour; (4) discussions of Whiteness should be expanded to include all staff and students, perhaps as a responsibility of the Diversity Committee, a subcommittee of Academic Council; (5) a specific course on Whiteness could be offered in all programs; and (6) the college could develop a well-constructed media campaign that speaks a clear message of acceptance.