Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Education

Major

Adult & Higher Education

Date of Defense

4-19-2011

Graduate Advisor

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, EdD

Committee

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, Ed.D.

Angela Coker, Ph.D.

Pi-Chi Han, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study was completed between the months of March 2011 and April 2011, and focused on White privilege attitudes among both part- and full-time faculty members in a College of Education at a metropolitan university in the Midwestern United States. Specifically, it answered the following question: What is the relationship between the participants’ demographic characteristics and their White privilege attitudes? Eighty-four White, Caucasian, or European American faculty members were selected for this study, and a total of 17 faculty members participated in the study. Two survey instruments were administered. The first was a demographic survey that obtained information, which included: age; gender; race / ethnicity; highest level of education completed; current area of residence; level of exposure to people of color; and number of multicultural courses, workshops, and conference sessions attended in the last five years in which White privilege was discussed. The second survey instrument administered was the White Privilege Attitudes Scale (WPAS), which measures White privilege from three distinct dimensions: affective; behavioral; and cognitive (Pinterits, Poteat, & Spanierman, 2009). The results of this study suggest that younger faculty members may experience greater remorse associated with White privilege. Additionally, younger faculty may also experience greater affective, cognitive, and behavioral reactions to their exposure to White privilege, as opposed to older faculty. The data also indicates that faculty members who had completed a Doctor of Philosophy Degree may have a greater understanding of the potential costs of addressing their White privilege on both personal and professional levels. Faculty who live in suburban settings may experience the least amount of remorse associated with White privilege. Finally, the study concludes that the demographics of faculty members may impact their remorse associated with White privilege. This study is important for the following reasons: (a) it uncovers the attitudes White faculty hold with regards to White privilege; (b) the results may drive faculty members toward an increase in self-awareness; and (c) the results of this research may encourage higher education programs to supplement their curriculum with classes or workshops which introduce aspiring faculty members to White privilege and its effects in educational settings.

Share

COinS