A narrative analysis of the evolution of and factors influencing White anti-racism action
Keywords:White privilege, White identity management, anti-racist action, social justice
Dismantling white privilege requires anti-racist action of some sort. However, there is little research about the factors that influence White people to engage in anti-racist work or what can be done to promote White anti-racist action. We conducted an exploratory qualitative study to address this question where we interviewed White individuals, we had reason to believe were engaged in an anti-racist activity (n = 6). The research question was as follows: To what extent, if any, are the participants aware of their white privilege, and how do they describe their journey to anti-racist action? Findings suggest that dismantling white privilege is a complex journey. Participants engaged in dismantling work described an evolution of the understanding of their white privilege that included influential people that encouraged critical thinking or empathy and some combination of small and large revelatory moments. Participants also spoke to experiences of backtracking or resisting and a constant balancing act related to managing privilege. Scholarly and practical implications of this study are discussed.
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