Publication Date

2008

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department

School for Social Work

Abstract

This mixed method study explored aspects of White privilege that may affect White males' White racial identity development (WRID). Janet Helm's White Racial Identity Attitudes Scale was used along with nominal demographic information and five open-ended questions. WRID has been identified as an aspect of identity that determines one's ability to dismantle racism and internalize a positive White identity. This researcher did not hypothesize that specific demographic data would yield specific results; however, the literature implies that those with the multi agent status are less likely to develop a sophisticated White racial identity. Fifty-four White adult males were surveyed to identify if socioeconomic status (SES), public versus private high school, or attending high school in rural, urban, or suburban environments has an influence on their WRID. Survey participants were recruited through the internet and connected to Survey Monkey.com. The data yielded results with the majority of participants in the last stages of WRID. The scores of those with lower SES tend to correspond to higher levels of WRID. Study findings indicate that multi agent status may not have a negative influence on the ability to achieve sophisticated levels of WRID, but less privileged White men have better opportunities to do so. The implications of study findings for the helping professions and social work curriculum in the area of addressing race and racism are discussed.

Comments

Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2008. vi, 126 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 107-110)