White on White: Researcher Reflexivity and the Logics of Privilege in White Schools Undertaking Reform

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I use this paper to reexamine my role as a White researcher on a multi-racial research team. I reanalyze data I collected during an evaluation project to reveal how I avoided seeing race in the schools I visited and how I dodged discussions of race with members of those school communities. By analyzing my own discursive practice, I introduce a series of logics enacted through a variety of strategies that I used to manage race talk. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: (1) an analysis of the strategies I used to sustain White privilege and (2) an examination of the logics of those strategies in order to understand the power they have in reproducing inequity. Only by understanding the self-perpetuating nature of White privilege will we be able to begin to dismantle it.

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