School for Social Work
Anti-racism-Study and teaching, Parent and child, Parenting, Parents, White-Attitudes, Children, White-Attitudes, Post-racialism, White anti-racism, White children, Colorblindness
This qualitative study explores how White parents who identify as anti-racist raise their children from an anti-racist perspective. Twenty White parents were interviewed and asked about what anti-racism means to them, their childhood experiences involving race and racism, and how they attempt to incorporate anti-racism values into their parenting. They were also asked about their perspective on their White children's racial awareness and on the impact of race and racism on their White children. The participants' neighborhood and school choices, and the racial make-up of their child's friendship circles were discussed. The findings revealed that many of these White parents who identified as anti-racist underestimated their child's understanding of race and racism and the degree to which their children internalize White superiority and negative stereotypes about people of Color. Although the vast majority of parents interviewed are attempting to socialize their children to have antiracism values and have taken some important steps, the practices they reported were often more consistent with colorblindness. Conversations about race tended to affirm difference as positive without teaching about systemic inequality, and most parents described their own anti-racism efforts as targeting inter-personal racism rather than institutional. Racism was also evident in many of their housing, school and childcare decisions.
Matlock, Sarah Amanda, "White anti-racism in the context of parenting" (2011). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.