"Being White in a multicultural society": Critical whiteness pedagogy in a dialogue course

Jeffrey G. Yeung, Lisa B. Spanierman, Joycelyn Landrum-Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to investigate White students' experiences in an intergroup dialogue course that employed critical Whiteness pedagogy (Kincheloe & Steinberg, 2000) and focused on being White in a multicultural society. Using a qualitative approach, the authors investigated student participants' (n = 6) perceptions of the dialogue course and what they learned from engaging in this dialogue. Data from semistructured, individual interviews revealed several themes. With regard to students' general experiences during the course, findings suggested that they benefitted most from a balance of reading, personal reflection, and peer dialogue. Additionally, students reported mixed feelings about the racial composition of the students and cofacilitators in the course. With regard to the goals of critical Whiteness pedagogy, findings indicated that students increased their racial self-awareness, enhanced their knowledge of critical racial issues (e.g., institutional racism and White privilege), and engaged in some small behavioral steps toward becoming allies. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed. Additionally, the authors provide practical implications of the findings for university personnel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • White racial attitudes
  • critical Whiteness pedagogy
  • diversity education
  • higher education
  • intergroup dialogue courses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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