Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Racism-United States, Children, White-Education, Children, White-Attitudes, Race awareness in children, Education, Whiteness, Youth, Race, Racism, Theoretical


In this theoretical study, I will explore ways White children are taught about race and racism, and ways this subject can be explored with White youth in therapeutic contexts. In the United States, racism continues to have a significant negative impact on the material and psychological experiences of people of color, limiting life chances while it is largely ignored by White individuals and White-dominated institutions. One factor that serves to maintain the existence and influence of racist systems is White people's ignorance of the degree to which racism is present in our institutions, dominant discourse and ideology, and in ourselves. There is a need for research on ways White children are taught about race and racism, and ways to support children in developing the intellectual awareness and emotional and social abilities to engage in working toward racial justice. I will examine literature on how children are commonly taught about racism, how they learn to understand race, and on how clinicians have addressed race in therapy. I will use critical race theory and the theory of self psychology to analyze factors that influence the learning of children on the subject of race and racism, and offer suggestions for White therapists who choose to talk about race and racism with young White clients in clinical practice.




iii, 86 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-86)

Limited Access until August 2019