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Catholic High School Students' Perception of Racism

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Item Summary

Title: Catholic High School Students' Perception of Racism
Authors: Patla, Nathan
Keywords: racism
perceptions
color-blind
high school students
Catholic education
Issue Date: Dec 2015
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2015]
Abstract: How people perceive the reality of racism depends on many factors, including their own experiences with racism and the belief that the United States is a color-blind, post-racial society. This qualitative case study used Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a theoretical framework to look at the perceptions at Catholic high school students in regards to racism. The data collection included a survey given to all eligible senior students at the school (N = 170 respondents), interviews (N = 9 students), and field observations of a three-week unit on racism. The study found that there was a marked difference in the way students that identified with being a minority perceived racism compared to those that identified with being of the majority. This difference was likely due to their experiences with racism and tendency to talk about racism in different contexts other than the classroom. The research also uncovered evidence for a color-blind mentality amongst many of the white students that included some indications of unconscious biases and claims of “reverse racism.” Finally, the study found that a threeweek unit on racism grounded in Catholic social teaching showed signs of being effective in raising students’ awareness of the realities of de facto racism, as well as challenging the color-blind mentality in which they operate. This research expands CRT by applying it to a Catholic school context. It also has the potential to further add to discussions concerning general perceptions of racism in the United States. Finally, in terms of Catholic education, this study can be used to shed light on how racism is addressed in Catholic high schools and curriculum development in regards to racism education.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51220
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Education


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