Abstract/Details

The social construction of whiteness: Teacher power, personhood and performance in the classroom


1997 1997

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

In this dissertation, I examine the ways white women teachers construct whiteness as they teach students of primarily Asian, African and Latina/o heritage. The primary purpose of this study is to conduct a preliminary examination of how white women construct whiteness as an embodied racial identity in educational contexts. More specifically, my goal is to examine how whiteness is constructed through narrative and to critique how the constructions of whiteness perpetuate and/or resist the discourse of white supremacy.

To frame the study of teacher narratives, I draw on theory from critical pedagogy, communication education, interpersonal/intercultural communication and critical cultural studies. Furthermore, I employ a critical-interpretive methodology to examine how teachers construct their personhood within complex relationships of power. This methodology is practiced through the use of three methods: Interactive classroom observations, dialogic interviewing and narrative analysis.

Five women teaching at a Southern California high school acted as "co-researchers" during this study. Herein, I interpret their narratives in order to understand how whiteness is constructed within the stories each teacher tells about her personhood/identity, the stories teachers tell about the personhood/identity of the students she teaches and how each teacher accounts for her relationship and the relationship of her students to the social world.

Titular terms include whiteness, personhood/identity, narrative, critical pedagogy, communication education, intercultural communication and critical cultural studies.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Minority & ethnic groups;
Sociology;
Womens studies;
Bilingual education;
Multicultural education;
School administration;
Educational sociology;
Cultural anthropology
Classification
0631: Minority & ethnic groups
0631: Sociology
0453: Womens studies
0282: Bilingual education
0282: Multicultural education
0514: School administration
0340: Educational sociology
0326: Cultural anthropology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Education; academic performance; racial identity; women educators
Title
The social construction of whiteness: Teacher power, personhood and performance in the classroom
Author
Johnson, Julia Ruth
Number of pages
301
Publication year
1997
Degree date
1997
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 58/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780591597837, 0591597837
Advisor
Cooks, Leda
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9809350
ProQuest document ID
304375964
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304375964
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.