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Critical Multicultural Perspectives on Whiteness

Views from the Past and Present


Edited By Virginia Lea, Darren E. Lund and Paul R. Carr

Whiteness is a narrative. It is the privileged dimension of the complex story of "race" that was, and continues to be, seminal in shaping the socio-economic structure and cultural climate of the United States and other Western nations. Without acknowledging this story, it is impossible to understand fully the current political and social contexts in which we live. Critical Multicultural Perspectives on Whiteness explores multiple analyses of whiteness, drawing on both past and current key sources to tell the story in a more comprehensive way. This book features both iconic essays that address the social construction of whiteness and critical resistance as well as excellent new critical perspectives.

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9. Disrupting Denial and White Privilege in Teacher Education (Darren E. Lund / Paul R. Carr)


Chapter 9

Disrupting Denial and White Privilege in Teacher Education*1

Darren E. Lund and Paul R. Carr

Our work for the past number of years has involved analyzing and unpacking White2 privilege in the U.S. and Canadian education systems. Recent collaborations around these issues have included an edited book (Carr & Lund, 2007) and a retrospective analysis of some of the backlash we have encountered when raising issues of White privilege in societies that have difficulty facing the demons of their colonial pasts and remnants in their oppressive presents (Lund & Carr, 2010). We have presented our ideas at a number of conferences, primarily in North America, but also in Europe and South America. Further, the salience of our topic in light of ongoing public debates around diversity and discrimination has allowed us to speak in public venues, including newspapers and magazines and on a number of call-in radio shows. Throughout our interventions we have been concerned by the extremely high resistance by many White people to considering their own racialized (White) identities as implicated in power and privilege. At the same time, we have continued to learn how others perceive our identities as White males of European origin, and how this can be both an advantage (in being able to connect with White people) and an area of concern (in presuming to be able, or attempting, to speak for people of color3). There are many accepted reasons not to address issues related...

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