College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education

Department

College of Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies and Research

First Advisor

Enora Brown, PhD

Abstract

Parenting is a primary site for the socialization of young children, including socialization around issues of race and racism. Giving careful attention to the implications of a socially privileged racial status, this study draws on the personal narratives of three White, middle-class, heterosexual mothers living in Chicago to improve understanding of White, middle-class parenting around issues of race and racism and to critically examine the ways parenting practices relate to larger social Discourses in the United States that perpetuate or disrupt White supremacy. When parenting around issues of race and racism, mothers adherent to White supremacy typically abandoned parenting strategies they found consistently successful for supporting their children's adoption of specific values in more general parenting contexts. However, women with a broader understanding of racism and with an awareness of children as racially aware and engaged beings were more likely to rebuke racism and seek to enact anti-racist parenting strategies.

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