Online from: 1963
Subject Area: Education
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|Title:||Educational administrators' conceptions of whiteness, anti-racism and social justice|
|Author(s):||Brenda McMahon, (Nippissing University, Toronto, Canada)|
|Citation:||Brenda McMahon, (2007) "Educational administrators' conceptions of whiteness, anti-racism and social justice", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 45 Iss: 6, pp.684 - 696|
|Keywords:||Canada, Leadership, Race, Racial discrimination, Social justice, White people|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09578230710829874 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the intersections of whiteness, anti-racism and social justice in educational administration. It is an attempt to understand how white administrators who work in racially minoritized school communities reconcile the moral challenges of articulations of racial equity with the hierarchical institutions of schooling.
Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative study asks ten white administrators how they understand themselves as raced, the ways they see race operating at individual and institutional levels in schools and districts, and factors that facilitate and/or hinder social justice work as it pertains to race.
Findings – The data indicates that whiteness is a difficult subject for white administrators, even those who agreed to be interviewed about whiteness, racism, equity and social justice. As agents of the school districts where they are employed, the administrators generally view these issues from an organizational perspective that does not challenge hegemonic structures. They typically understand social justice from non-critical perspectives, see whiteness at the level of the individual, racism as unacceptable individual acts, and multiculturalism as preferable to anti-racism.
Research limitations/implications – The findings cannot be generalized; however, they show that academic education and certification programs need to be revised in order to prepare administrators to deal with issues of locatedness and difference.
Originality/value – The study is set in a Canadian context where, in spite of overwhelming evidence that visible minority students are marginalized in and by school policies and practices, racism is often overtly and emphatically conceptualized as a phenomenon that happens in other times and places.
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