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Privilege of whiteness: Adolescent male students' resistance to racism in an Australian classroom

Hatchell, H. (2004) Privilege of whiteness: Adolescent male students' resistance to racism in an Australian classroom. Race Ethnicity and Education, 7 (2). pp. 99-114.

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In this article I explore links between racism and ‘whiteness’ within hegemonic masculine discourses. I examine ways in which adolescent male students construct their own identities within a privileged white position. I acknowledge whiteness as a racial issue and interrogate different forms of whiteness through students' narratives. Adolescent white male students in my research often acknowledge the existence of racism against Indigenous Australians and recognize their own privileged ‘white’ position. These students also presented ideas that because white people were racist against Indigenous Australians, then racism was ‘naturally’ exercised in reverse. Students, however, were perceptive of the power of whiteness and recognized how this privilege was reflected at many levels in society. Noticeably, my interviews show promise for possible changes and show the importance of teaching anti‐racism at all levels in schools. This article forms part of a qualitative research project conducted within a private boys' school in Perth, Australia. Literary texts provided a platform from which to discuss issues of racism and whiteness during open‐ended interviews. I draw on feminist epistemology to explore emerging issues.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge as part of Taylor & Francis
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