Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conversations of privilege : exploring with diversity educators’ "white culture", dominance and oppression MacNiel, Deborah 1999

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1999-0556.pdf [ 14.18MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0055565.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0055565-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0055565-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0055565-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0055565-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0055565-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0055565-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0055565-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0055565.ris

Full Text

C O N V E R S A T I O N S O F P R I V I L E G E : E X P L O R I N G W I T H D I V E R S I T Y E D U C A T O R S " W H I T E C U L T U R E " , D O M I N A N C E A N D O P P R E S S I O N by D E B O R A H M a c N I E L B.A., McG i l l University, 1985 Dip loma in Educat ion, University of Brit ish Co lumb ia , 1997 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Department of Educat ional Studies; Adult Educat ion) W e accept this thesis a s conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F BRIT ISH C O L U M B I A September 1999 © Deborah Edith MacN ie l , 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract ii This research explores clusters of meanings, understandings, and shared reference points that people with white sk inned privilege may share. The literature often refers to these as "White culture". Interviews with nine Eng l ish-speak ing diversity educators of European ancestry provide the primary data. W e d i scussed their percept ions of the socia l construct ions of whi teness and privilege, the consequences of select ive privileging, how is this maintained and the problems involved in address ing systemic inequality. I bring the sal ient points from these d iscuss ions together with the literature to offer a comprehens ive, grounded portrayal of situated concept ions of "White culture", privi lege and dominant culture. I employed qualitative methods of open-ended, in-depth interviewing, which incorporate feminist research methodology ( research a s praxis, research a s empowerment) and critical perspect ives (critical ethnography, grounded theory, interpretative analysis) . Th is approach is consistent with my va lues of being inclusive, gaining insight into the perspect ives of others and creat ing a mutually enriching, col laborative process of inquiry. The signi f icance of this investigation l ies in raising awareness about interactions among factors within whi teness, privilege, dominance and oppress ion; enhanc ing educators ' abilit ies to recognise other contributing factors; identifying why/ how the sys tem is maintained, recognis ing its consequences and consider ing how to alter this condit ion in society. Multicultural educat ion in C a n a d a has general ly focused on Others, and can be enhanced through fostering a dia logue among the Ill relatively privi leged a s well a s between dominant and oppressed peop les living within a society of cultural/ racial privilege. The product of this research includes concrete representat ions summar is ing var ious aspec ts of privi lege and dominant culture. Through charts, tables and f igures I make privi lege more visible and dominant culture more tangible. To portray the complex dynamic among aspec ts of the dominant culture, which shapes these into a multitude of different configurations, I employ the metaphor, constel lat ions of privilege. Essent ia l ly, I offer a poss ib le model for understanding the e lements and interrelationships that compr ise and maintain a system of select ive privi leging, which underl ies dominance and oppress ion within society. I conc lude this study with a d iscuss ion of transformative learning theory and how we may use it to incorporate the insights uncovered through this research into educat ional practice. iv Table of Contents Page Abstract " Table of Contents i v Listof Tables v i i List of Figure. . . . v i i i Acknowledgements i x Dedication x CHAPTER ONE: Research Purpose and Questions: Situating Myself 1 The Method and Significance of the Research 6 Situating Myself: Acknowledging Identity, Values and Emotion 8 Where Did I Begin? 9 Where Did I Go? 1 3 Foreshadowed Problems and Questions 1 5 Structure of the Thesis 1 8 CHAPTER TWO: The Literature and Terms 2 0 Canadian versus American Orientations to Difference 2 2 Canadian Context An Overview 2 5 Unpacking Some Key Terms and Concepts 37 Race, Ethnicity and Culture = White Culture? 4 0 Summary 4 7 CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology 4 9 Epistemological and Methodological Rationale 4 9 Role of the Researcher and Participant Selection 5 7 A Profile of the Research Participants 60 Page Data Collection Strategies 61 Data Analysis Methodology 66 Summary.. 69 CHAPTER FOUR: Data Analysis Level I - Making It Visible : 70 Part A: White - Now You See It, Now You Don't 72 Invisible Whiteness 72 Experiencing Whiteness 78 Maintaining Invisibility 86 Exoticizing Others 88 Part B: Deconstructing Whiteness 92 Who is "Norm"? 92 What are We Talking About Mainstream? Canadian? Dominant? White? 98 The Privilege of Being Seen as 'Normal' 102 Is White a Colour? 112 Part C: Putting It All Together 118 Dominant Culture > 119 Another Way of Looking at It 131 Locations - Dominant Places, Oppressed Places 136 Summary 139 CHAPTER FIVE: Data Analysis Level II - Now that We've Identified It What Do We Do with It? 141 Part A: Barriers to Addressing Dominance 142 The Position of Power 142 Denial 144 Fear of Losing Privilege 147 "Why Shouldn't We Protect Our Privilege?" 151 Education and Representation. . . . 153 vi Page Lack of Support 157 Summary 158 Part B: Addressing the Barriers 161 The Narratives 161 Analysis and Summary of the Narratives 165 PartC: What is the Value of Addressing Dominance 169 Participant Insights, Personal Insights 169 The Worth and Liability of Highlighting Whiteness 175 CHAPTER SIX: Conclusions and Implications 181 Implications for Adult Education and Diversity Training 186 In My Opinion: Incorporating the Insights into Practice 190 Transformative Learning and Diversity Training: Addressing the "How". 194 Issues for Further Research 203 List of Footnoted Terms and References 206 Bibliography 207 Appendix A Certificate of Approval and Ethics Review 215 Appendix B Letter to Potential Participants: Introduction to the Study 224 Appendix C Letter to Study Participants: Consent for Research Participation 226 Appendix D Outline of Interview Questions 228 Appendix E Letter to Participants: Cover Letter for Transcript Review 231 Appendix F Letter to Participants: Letter of Understanding of Acceptance 234 List of Tab les vi Number Title ; Page Table 1.1 Top 10 Places of Birth for Total Immigrants, Immigrants Arriving Before 1961, and Recent Immigrants for Canada, 1996 Census 28 Table 1.2 Top 10 Places of Birth for Total Immigrants, Immigrants Arriving Before 1961, and Recent Immigrants for British Columbia, 1996 Census 29 Table 2.1 "Other Things Being Equal" Effects of Group Factors on Salience of Ethnic and Racial Identities 43 Table 3.1 Some Aspects of White Culture 97 Table 4.1 Internalized Dominance and the Privileges of 'Normal' Compared 111 Table 5.1 Dental Tactics and Typical Statements 159 Table 6.1 Summary of Participants'Insights to Breaking Barriers 166 List of F igures viii Number Title Page Figure 1.1 "Ethnic Groups and Races 44 Figure 2.1 Conceptual Schema Level One: Factors Governing Entrance to Dominant Culture 124 Figure 2.2 Conceptual Schema Level Two: The 'Invisible' Social Filter 126 Figure 2.3 Conceptual Schema Level Three: Factors Governing Entrance to and Consequences of Dominant Culture in Canada 128 Figure 3.1 Constellations of Privilege: Big Dipper Metaphor 133 Figure 3.2 Constellations of Privilege: Orion Metaphor 134 Figure 4.1 Elements to Consider When Breaking the Barriers to Addressing Dominance 168 Acknowledgements ix This has been quite a journey! O n e that was made poss ib le and enr iched by many people. I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the study participants whose interest, curiosity, knowledge, exper iences and thoughts form the foundat ion of this research. My thesis advisor, S h a u n a Butterwick, provided invaluable support and gu idance through her t remendous conf idence in me and the value of my work, as wel l a s her wi l l ingness to engage as an academic , co- learner, and friend. I would a lso like to thank my advisory committee, Kogi la A d a m Moodley , Judi th Ottoson, and Mar ina Morrow. I especia l ly thank Mar ina , who not only inspired my interest in feminist research methodologies but who enthusiast ical ly jo ined the committee at the last moment upon short notice. Last but not least, I thank my family and fr iends for their interest, d iscuss ions , encouragement and support throughout my Master 's program. In particular, I would like to thank my partner, Dragan Mis ina , for the many long conversat ions wh ich encouraged lateral thinking on my part and helped me understand my research, and its evolving content, purpose and value within a broader context. X For A n n a k a h W h o m I had the joy of we lcoming into the world on Augus t 24 , 1 9 9 9 in Beij ing, Ch ina . M a y this work contribute to the tapestry your generat ion will weave . One , perhaps, of a society that generates respect, community and equality for all people. C H A P T E R O N E R e s e a r c h Purpose and Quest ions: Situating Mysel f . . . transformation, socia l and personal , is not an event. It is a p rocess that we are living through, creat ing as we go . . . W e never know when we begin where the work will take us and those involved. Pe rhaps this is what al lows us to begin . . . The point is to learn and grow from doing, and to celebrate the doing, no matter how f lawed, smal l sca le , or less than ideal (Maguire, 1993, p. 176: in Mclntyre, 1997, p. 142). Th i s thes is presents my explorat ion of the soc ia l construct ion of wh i teness 1 and pr iv i lege 2 , within the context of C a n a d i a n society; or more specif ical ly with nine individuals who live and work within the B C Lower Main land. The purpose of my research is to explore meanings, understandings, and exper iences of the notions of Whi te culture and privilege through d iscuss ions with Engl ish-speak ing educators of Eu ropean ancestry, who are assoc ia ted with the broad area of diversity training 3 . A s a diversity trainer, Eng l ish a s a S e c o n d Language ( E S L ) teacher and adult educator, and an Engl ish-speak ing woman of European ancestry, I am interested in explor ing these concepts with other similarly situated educators, through a col laborative process . 1 One of the main purposes of this paper is to explore conceptions of whiteness and white culture. In my understanding there is not a difference between these terms. See my discussion of key terms and concepts, chapter two, pages 36-46. 2 See discussion in Chapter Four, The Privilege of Being Seen as 'Normal', pages 102-112. 3 Diversity training is an umbrella term encompassing a broad range of approaches to addressing the challenges presented by the pluralistic nature of our society. These approaches may include personal awareness training, multicultural education, intercultural and cross-cultural communication training and anti-racism education, among others. Each of these approaches can be further broken down into various orientations within the respective approach. The differences between and within approaches to diversity training depend, in a large part, on trainers' or organisations' orientations to difference and focus, or lack of it, on power relations (Moodey, 1995). Anti-racism education's "ultimate aim is transformation and a restructuring of the relations of dominance... Anti-racism education aims to raise levels of individual and group consciousness through development of critical thinking to grasp and question the rationality of domination and inequality" (p. 812). Thus, the prime difference between the various orientations to multicultural education and anti-racism education is the former's focus on cultural difference, where the tatter's emphasis is on "the way such differences are used to entrench inequality" (p. 812). 2 T h e concepts of Whi te culture, privilege and dominant culture have deeply embedded meanings, many of wh ich have been imported from Amer i can socio logical , educat ional and race relations literature, to name a few a reas in which they are frequently used. The var ious mean ings at tached to these concepts derive from an Amer i can context of exper ience and usage. Whi te culture, for example, is a term that a rose out of the Amer i can exper ience and has been imported to C a n a d a . A l though our society has been strongly inf luenced by both the Amer i can historical a n d present day exper iences, the demograph ics of our populat ions are different, and there are strong dif ferences in the historical development of our societ ies. Consequent ly , to focus on being Whi te is a limiting perspect ive when looking at dominance and oppress ion within a Canad ian context, s ince whi teness hasn't been the so le most important differentiating factor within our society. Fo r example, the Brit ish legacy to wh ich w e have been condit ioned has shaped our institutions and largely set our ideal of normal. Th is inf luence is a s powerful a s colour, a s wel l it is s e e n a s simply being 'Canad ian ' . The problems in our society that I am trying to address are dominance and oppress ion, both of which are exerc ised through many factors and at many levels in society. Therefore, it is informative and construct ive to focus on the problem and to contextual ise it with a n understanding of its complexity, rather than essent ia l ise it by highlighting one factor such as the focus on co lour through the use of the term Whi te culture. In doing this, I advocate that whi teness be made visible without centring it. That is, once we can accept that one of the consequences of racing Other people is in effect racing ourse lves, then we can begin to d is lodge the notion that whi teness 3 signals normality. Thus , rather than reinforcing the notion of race we can disrupt it and focus on the other factors contributing to oppress ion. Decentr ing whi teness, Whi te culture, privilege and dominance from being universal perspect ives that establ ish norms and s tandards upon which people are judged in society is an important aspect of this research. F lannery (1994) d i scusses severa l problems, which contribute to advocat ing universality; one of which is mystif ied concepts such as Whi te culture, privilege and dominant culture. F lannery quotes Minnich 's (1990) descript ion of mystif ied concepts as being " ideas, notions, categor ies and the like that are so deeply famil iar they are rarely quest ioned" (p.51). F lannery (1994) goes on to add that "[n]ot only do their complex cultural mean ings perpetuate the exc lus ion of what is different, but a lso we are soc ia l ized to think of these mystif ied concepts a s the gauge against which we must measure ourse lves" (p. 19). Thus , this thesis explores the cluster of meanings, understandings and shared reference points that people with white sk inned privi lege might share. In the literature these things are often referred to a s Whi te culture. I initially pursued this research by address ing Katz 's (1978) quest ions "What is Whi te cul ture? W h y do Wh i tes s e e themse lves a s individuals rather than a s part of the Whi te cul ture? Wha t are the luxuries of be ing Whi te in A m e r i c a [Canada]? How do peop le feel about their wh i teness?" (p. 135 ) 4 I a lso ask, How do w e make i ssues 4 a) I would like to make reference to the language and the presentation of it being used here. Over the years there have been many different ways of presenting terms such as Black and White etc. I will capitalise all such words in accordance with the American Psychological Association Publication manual (4th) edition (1995). I also will capitalise the terms Other and Othering when using them in reference to marginalised individuals and groups, b) I generally use the term 'they" when speaking of members of the dominant group, although I share many of the conditionings and traits of this group I set myself outside that rubric since I am challenging the foundations upon which this group maintains dominance, c) The geographical context of this study is the Vancouver Lower Mainland, which is actually even more limited in that the data was collected from nine individuals living and working within this area. I usually use the terms 'society, 'our society in reference to this context, but much of the Canadian literature discusses the broader scope of Canadian society. At times I make 4 of whi teness central to multicultural/antiracism educat ion in C a n a d a ? W h y is it important to answer these quest ions? Attention to the construct ion of white "exper ience" is important, both to transforming the meaning of whi teness and to transforming the relations of race in genera l . Th is is crucial in a socia l context in wh ich the racial order is normal ized and rat ional ized rather than upheld by coerc ion a lone. Ana lyz ing connect ions between white daily l ives and discurs ive orders may help to make v is ib le the p rocess by wh ich the stability of wh i teness - a s a locat ion of privi lege, a s culturally normative space , and as a standpoint - is secured and reproduced (Frankenberg, 1993, p. 242). Through the emergent nature of this research the essent ia l quest ions have become: How do the study participants perceive the socia l construct ions of whi teness and privi lege? What are the consequences of select ive privileging for those who are dominant or opp ressed? W h y and how is this mainta ined? A n d finally, what problems are involved in address ing sys temic inequali ty? The d iscuss ions presented within this research address these quest ions at f ive levels of considerat ion. T h e s e levels begin with (1) deconstruct ing whi teness to gain insight into the factors that compr ise whi teness and identifying the interconnections among factors that, create the category of White. Through doing this I begin the p rocess of (2) demysti fying the concepts of Whi te culture and dominant culture then locate them within local society. Fol lowing this, I (3) identify some of the barriers that prevent many members of the dominant culture from explor ing, understanding and taking responsibi l i ty for address ing their complicity in maintaining -sys temic rac ism in all of its forms. I then (4) cons ider ways of address ing these reference to Canadian society, but I acknowledge that I have not taken into account the various societal or regional differences particular to various populations or areas. My intention is not to diminish the importance of these differences, but to facilitate the flow of the text and to, at times encourage consideration of how this piece of work might have value for the broader society in general. 5 barriers in order to disrupt the status quo and move towards greater soc ia l justice. Final ly, I (5) debate the va lue of focuss ing on the meanings and exper iences of being Whi te , pr iv i leged, and a member of the dominant culture. I have d i scussed the purpose of this research and the research quest ions, but I would a lso like to express the more appl ied goal of this study. I bring the sal ient points from the d iscuss ions presented here together with the literature to offer a comprehens ive , grounded portrayal of s i tuated concept ions of Wh i te culture, pr iv i lege and dominant culture. T h e main object ives that have emerged from explor ing these concept ions focus o n (1) ra is ing awareness , within myself, the study part icipants, and the aud ience who wil l read this work about the role wh i teness p lays within the system of dominance and oppress ion in our society; (2) enhanc ing educators ' abil i t ies to recognise other factors that a lso contribute, (3) identify why and how it is maintained, (4) recognise the consequences of maintaining such a system, and finally (5) cons ider why and how we might alter this condit ion in our society. A s wel l , I highlight the fact that multicultural educat ion in C a n a d a has general ly focused on Others 5 , and would be enhanced through explor ing our Wh i te legacy with its attendant pr iv i leges, l iabil it ies and responsibi l i t ies. Through this research I hope to generate reflection on and awareness of accepted norms in our society that are oppress ive to minority groups, are consc ious ly and unconsc ious ly maintained by members and institutions of the 5 Otherfs) are generally those people or groups who are not members of the dominant group (see footnote on dominant group). Cornell and Hartmann (1998) offer some insight to the term, "First, race typically has its origins in assignment, in the classifications that outsiders make. Ethnicity often has similar origins, but it frequently originates in the assertions of group members themselves... Most racial categories, however, have been constructed first by those who wished to assign them to someone else; race has been first and foremost a way of describing 'others,' of making clear that 'they" are not 'us'" (p. 27). Related terms include racial and cultural othering these terms refer to thefocus of both passive and active subordination of individuals and groups being either racially or culturally based (Razack, 1998). 6 majority, and that limit the enr iching potential of the diversity within our society for all people. The Method and S ign i f icance of the R e s e a r c h Multicultural educat ion, diversity training, ant i -racism training, cross-cul tural communicat ion all are attempts to increase our understanding of and involvement in the multicultural society in which we live. Explor ing Whi te culture and privi lege is a look into one aspect of our society, which may contribute to this understanding. T h e method employed within this study is to conduct an ' interpretative ana lys is ' of concept ions of Wh i te culture and privi lege held by severa l adult educators work ing within the f ield of diversity training. In identifying this study a s an interpretative ana lys is my intention is to highlight the inherent d ia lect ic between the p rocesses of interpretation and analys is . Th is reflects the on-going interaction between inductive and deduct ive data ana lys is I employ. Through drawing on the strength of this dialect ical p rocess I develop, through ana lys is of the part icipants' accounts , a broader and more explicit interpretation of the meanings and e lements of Whi te culture and privi lege. I engage in an ana lys is of these descr ipt ions through relating their components to the literature; to e a c h other through compar ison ac ross interviews; and to my own exper ience. The result of this study presents a synthes is of the al l the data to provide a comprehens ive , grounded portrayal of the si tuated concept ions of Whi te culture, privi lege and dominant culture. S u c h a portrayal can enhance our understanding of the main tenance a n d effects of oppress ion b a s e d o n cultural privi lege. 7 Through the p rocess of this research I hope to generate insight into accepted norms in our society that have been estab l ished by, and in turn grant a c c e s s to the pr iv i leges of belonging to a dominant g roup 6 within society. " O n c e estab l ished, an ethnic or racial identity becomes a lens through which people interpret and make s e n s e of the world around them. It becomes the starting point for interpretation and ultimately act ion" (Cornel l , S . & Hartmann, D. 1997, p. 94). I hope to offer a cha l lenge to this starting point for interpretation through encourag ing crit ical thought within individuals and institutions upon the premises one may consc ious ly or unconsc ious ly a s s u m e through the force of one 's culture, locat ion within society, and var ious group membersh ips. T h e s igni f icance of this investigation l ies in enhanc ing educators ' awareness of the factors and relat ionships compr is ing the system of dominance a n d oppress ion within society. S u c h insight can encourage educators to apply their understanding to deve lop ing pract ices within the f ield of adult educat ion and diversity training, to a id in reduc ing the barr iers to equa l opportunity within society p o s e d by cultural / racia l privi lege. In attempting to understand e lements of pr iv i lege and portray them through the mechan isms of a conceptua l s c h e m a and a metaphor, I hope to make privi lege and dominant culture more v is ib le to those who take it s o for granted that they are unable to s e e its impact on var ious groups and individuals within our society. "The concept, majority and dominant group, refers to the category or categories of people who occupy the highest ranking or superordinate position within the society in terms of power, privilege, and prestige. The concept, minority or subordinate group, refers to the category or categories of people who occupy a lower ranking or subordinate position vis-a-vis the majority group. The crucial characteristic of a minority group ranking is not numerical strength (many minorities far outdistance the majority in population number) but its inferior social position because of which its interests are not equally or effectively represented in the major, public and private social institutions of the society" (Hughes & Kallen, 1974, p. 101). 8 Further, I hope to offer a concrete representat ion of the synthesis of theory, practice, and life exper iences that have deepened our understanding of privilege within our society. Th is representat ion will offer a critical perspect ive on the contributions relatively privi leged educators can make towards soc ia l just ice through our profession. In s o doing we may enhance the integrity of the practice of adult educat ion. Situating Myself : Acknowledg ing Identity. V a l u e s and Emot ion I begin my thesis with a d iscuss ion of my persona l exper ience of research ing and writing it in order to highlight an essent ia l e lement of this research: the quest ion of facts versus va lues and how knowledge is constructed out of these. C o d e (1991) presents this as a fundamental dichotomy and points to the impact of either consider ing or ignoring emotion when construct ing knowledge. Emot ions are b a s e d on va lues and inf luence our percept ion, attention, cho ices , interpretations and judgements. Thus , if we deny the inf luence of emotion in constructing knowledge we turn a blind eye to the va lues underlying our research. How c a n research be sound if we do not acknowledge, even to ourse lves, the subject ive factors that have shaped our interests, quest ions, methods, interpretation of the data, and conc lus ions? Descr ib ing my personal context from which this work arose, generated a s it p rogressed, and in wh ich it culminated is important to understanding the thesis as a whole; the rationale for its focus, design, and presentation, as well a s how I have interpreted and presented the implications of this work for adult educat ion. Cornel l and Hartmann (1997) identify life stories or narratives in part as "a select ion and arrangement of events and interpretations" and claim that human be ings "build 9 narratives that variously assert or justify c laims, mobi l ize compatriots, establ ish worth or meaning, defend interpretations, resolve d i lemmas, undermine or reinforce relations of dominance or subordinat ion" (p. 251). S ince this thesis incorporates a narrative that is as much about my personal a s my academ ic explorat ion, as well as about the participants' life exper iences related to the topic, it is important to acknowledge that a degree of subjectivity is inherent to it, and to emphas ise the emergent nature of the p rocess of inquiry in which I engaged . The conc lus ion you come to about who you are may change a s the situations you f ind yourself in change. Regard less , the identity you c la imed would have a profound effect on how you looked at the world around you and your p lace in it, on how you interpreted the act ions of others, on your concept ion of your interests, and ultimately on your act ions. T h o s e act ions, inevitably shaped by your concept ion of who you are, could wel l have an impact on the c i rcumstances you face. (Cornel l , S . & Hartmann, D. 1997. p. 95) The evolving percept ions I have regarding my identity 7 are an underlying context that has profoundly inf luenced the p rocess a n d product of this thesis. W h e r e Did I Beg in? My research process on the subject of Whi te culture and privi lege has been intense, disturbing, confusing and it has taken time for me to digest not only the information and var ious points of view I have encountered, but my personal react ions within this process. S o , why am I investigating Whi te culture and pr iv i lege? Answer ing this quest ion al lows me to situate myself within my research. 7 One's identity may change as situations change. Regardless, it would have a profound effect on how you looked at the world, your place in it how you interpreted the actions of others, your interests, and on your actions. (Cornell & Hartmann, 1998). A related term is group identity: "Identities are made, but by an interaction between circumstantial or human assignment on one hand and assertion on the other. Construction involves both the passive experience of being "made" by external forces, including not only material circumstances by the claims that other persons or groups make about the group in question, and the active process by which the group "makes" itself. . . . These claims may build on the messages we receive from the world around us or may depart from them, rejecting them, adding to them, or refining them." ((Cornell and Hartmann, 1998, p. 80). 10 Mezi row's theory of transformative learning h inges on "perspect ive transformation which occurs in response to an externally imposed disorienting d i lemma" (Mezirow, 1990, p. 13). Severa l years ago I exper ienced a "disorienting d i lemma" of a magnitude that almost f ive years later I am still restructuring my meaning perspect ive in a effort to make s e n s e of this particular exper ience a s wel l as to expand and reorient my s e n s e of self, not only in terms of who I a m but in what I can contribute to society. February of 1961 I w a s born in Vancouve r into a Whi te , Ang lo -Saxon , Protestant upper-middle c lass family. Through my upbringing and life exper iences, injustice, whether consc ious ly or unconsc ious ly perce ived, became one of the central motivating forces in my life. T o briefly contextual ise this motivation I shal l offer an abbreviated sequence of formative events that have inf luenced my pursuit of just ice through the var ious a reas of educat ion in which I have engaged . (i) M y parents were d ivorced w h e n I w a s six years old and my mother took my three sibl ings and me to live in Alberta. T h e aftermath of the d ivorce had long-standing effects on all of us. (ii) My mother and her mother a lways took the s ide of the underdog in any confrontation or event whether it w a s in a personal or societal context, (iii) I was a very shy chi ld who was moved to ten different schoo ls throughout my chi ldhood. Consequent ly , I rarely be longed anywhere, (iv) T h e beauty of brown-skinned people was a lways impressed upon us. (v) M y first boyfr iend's mother is First Nat ions. H e came from a large family, had no father a n d l ived in relative poverty, (vi) W e went to schoo l in a smal l town in rural Alberta, where there was direct discrimination against my boyfr iend and his family, which impacted upon 11 me. My mother cha l lenged those who looked down upon my boyfr iend's family and de fended my relat ionship with him. (vii) After high schoo l I worked as a clerk for a large company in Calgary , where I exper ienced first hand the si lent terror of sexua l harassment, (viii) At McG i l l I s tudied polit ical sc ience with a major in Latin Amer i can poli t ics. Th is reinforced my s e n s e of injustice a n d how it h a s been p layed out in international relat ions for centur ies. T h e s e and many other exper iences deve loped in me a profound s e n s e of what it means to be rendered power less in a wor ld that seeming ly rewarded greed, abuse , and the oppress ion of the less powerful. Reac t ions to my percept ions of injustice whether personal ly exper ienced or observed, intel lectually understood, or intuitively felt have profoundly inf luenced my s e n s e of self, personal i ty and life cho ices . In 1994 I part icipated in a cross-cul tural facil itator-training program. A s p e c t s of this training were couched in a confrontat ional approach to teach ing us about race and rac ism, which inc luded a strong m e s s a g e that I understood to mean: Whi te is the filthiest co lour one c a n be and there is no escap ing this st igma, nor the responsibi l i ty for "white cr imes" committed through the centur ies. Through severa l months of exposure to this m e s s a g e the foundat ions of my persona l identity were severe ly shaken . For most of my life I have educated myself in and worked toward foster ing greater equal i ty and just ice within my s c o p e of inf luence in society, yet be ing Whi te made me 'the enemy' , part of the problem. I felt the rug had been pul led out from under my feet, I w a s angry, confused, fr ightened and once aga in I felt d isp laced. The irony of this, and its most disturbing aspect , was the pr imacy of injustice embedded within this instructor's argument, i.e. the unjust effects of 12 colonia l ism on the peoples it subjugated. O n my s ide was the fact that awareness of injustice has been a powerful motivator for me to cha l lenge the status quo. A s such , react ing to just ice and injustice is not only part of my personal i ty, but an e lement of my identity. The chal lenge posed by the training lay in couching my identity in terms of belonging to a group that is inherently al igned with perpetuating injustice; therefore due to the accident of my birth (which does not excuse me from the responsibi l i ty I bear to address the issues) I w a s being identified as a member of the oppressors . Th is understanding set up a powerful contradict ion within my own identity that I needed to reconci le. It a lso served to raise my awareness about the much bigger chal lenge for the privi leged members of our society of understanding the power and on-going effects of whi teness and privi lege on both the oppressed and the overt or tacit oppressors . Relat ing this personal ep isode se rves to situate me in my research and present one of the motivating forces behind it. S ince exper iencing this disorienting d i lemma I have taken an even more focused interest in understanding race and rac ism in C a n a d a . In particular I have tried to understand how I a s a middle c lass , W A S P (White Ang lo -Saxon Protestant), Canad ian woman fit into the multicultural fabr ic of C a n a d i a n society, and how I can contribute to creat ing a society that offers greater equali ty of opportunity to all. W e may be on our way to genuine hybridity, multiplicity without (white) hegemony, and it may be where w e want to get to - but we aren't there yet, and we won't get there until we s e e whi teness, s e e its power, its particularity and l imitedness, put it in its p lace a n d end its rule. Th is is why studying whi teness matters (Dyer, 1997, p. 4). 13 Where Did I G o ? Frankly, I became lost. In pursuing my research I set myself up to engage in an odyssey of personal exploration, to an extent I had not anticipated. Th is pulled me into a vortex of self and societal ana lys is that soon dominated not only the academic context of my explorat ion, but its purpose and value. Perhaps , the fol lowing journal entry from October 1.99.8 entitled, "Why have I been stuck lately?" best descr ibes this process. I entered this endeavour, my Master of Arts program, with t remendous energy, excitement, desi re to learn and a pretty good idea of how I wanted to focus my learning. I have indeed learned a lot, but not necessar i ly what I thought I hoped to learn . . . W h a t w a s I hoping to learn? Wel l , through my exper ience as an E S L teacher of adults, an E S L teacher trainer and a diversity trainer I found there were t remendous barriers to address ing issues of rac ism in our society. M u c h of the work I was doing couldn't s e e m to move beyond "individual awareness raising" and there w a s the on-going problem of "preaching to the converted". Not only is anti-racism educat ion a long-term endeavour , but any results are almost impossib le to evaluate. Furthermore, underlying everything I felt a strong, b road-based res is tance to change within our society regarding racism. The predominant e lement of this I suspec ted was fear. I came back to schoo l in an attempt to understand this fear and to add to my knowledge of the structure of rac ism within a Canad ian context. I a lso wanted to understand my role within ant i-racism educat ion as a White, Ang lo , heterosexual , thirty something, educated, middle c lass , woman. A s wel l , I needed to explore not only my identity in terms of these classi f icat ions but how, through my identity, I embody the assumpt ions, privi leges, and liabilities that have over time infused these e lements with var ious meanings. I needed to further raise my own awareness about how I cou ld realistically contribute to reducing not only my own b iases but a lso oppress ion, whether subtle or overt, personal or sys temic in our society; and more specif ical ly within and through adult educat ion. Demysti fy ing the concepts of Whi te culture and privilege s e e m e d an important part of getting beyond raising individual se l f -awareness in an isolated way, and to begin to approach an understanding of systemic barriers to equality. Yet through my research of these concepts I have found a need to add ress in tandem the psycholog ica l (individual) and the socio logical 14 (historical/systemic) realms. There is a dialectic between these that is essent ia l to cons ider and incorporate into any study or work in the area. This, I have real ised is what was miss ing f o r m e when I was working as an educator. Th is is what brought me back to schoo l . . . . Gett ing back to being stuck . . . Though my studies I have been trying to understand the 'whys', but what I really want are the 'hows'. I bel ieve one must understand the whys in order to address the hows, but the whys are taking up s o much time and attention it s e e m s that to address the hows I would have to do another whole thesis. I suppose this contributes to my s e n s e of frustration. I want a product that will be useful . Another part of this is being unable to v isual ise an outcome or any conc lus ions. I feel a s if I don't know where I'm go ing anymore. But did I eve r? I imagined I did. Pe rhaps not the concrete results, but a s e n s e of where I was going. Shou ld I be able to v isual ise my conc lus ions or even my direct ion? Isn't that the point of doing this research, because I do not know the conc lus ions I'm in the p rocess of d iscovery? At this point I don't know on what to focus or how to direct my efforts to some sort of goal . It may be premature to want conc lus ions, but I must use some kind of filter to sort out the priorities of what I c a n address within this p iece of work that will result in something meaningful and useful. I must admit it does help to write. I have been f rozen, feel ing that I had to write something 'worthwhile'. I somehow didn't recognise the value of explor ing my own doubts, emot ions, struggle and insecurity. But, I suppose , within all of this I am the real "guinea pig". I am the living, breathing manifestat ion of all I am research ing. S o the react ions and feel ings I have can offer insight not only into the effects of the "categories" of my identity on my ability to work effectively for equality in this society, but a lso into the breadth and depth of barriers to acknowledging, understanding, and taking act ion on issues of rac ism in our society. Part of what w a s happening at the time of writing this entry was that my thesis topic w a s expand ing uncontrollably. At severa l points I felt I had to add ress s o m e of the great phi losophical quest ions human beings have been ask ing, in vain, for centuries. Fo r example , are greed and competition inherent to human nature? A s wel l , my topic not only began to overwhelm me, but a lso s e e m e d to intimidate many of the people with whom I spoke about it. T h e whole endeavour increasingly seemed impossible, idealist ic and ultimately futile. O n e acquaintance of mine, who has also worked in anti-racism educat ion, said to me, "It is soul destroying work". I was a m a z e d to hear this a s it reflected exact ly what I was feel ing at this time in my work and research. Consequent ly , I needed time to digest and move through the impact my research w a s having on me, personal ly, and to begin emerg ing from this with a new found clarity of purpose in my explorat ion. Fo reshadowed Prob lems and Quest ions It is a particular chal lenge when speak ing from a posit ion of privi lege to advocate a complete transformation of the ideologies, structures and everyday pract ices which reproduce that very privilege. How does one account for the contradict ions of one 's own location in the p rocess? (Chater, 1994, p. 100). T h e first d i lemma I face, a s a researcher, is my own identity. I am an educated, middle c lass , heterosexual , Whi te woman and have been ra ised with and to expect all of the ' invisible privi lege' these e lements of my identity entail. Thus , even a s I am trying to deconstruct privi lege to understand how it contributes to oppress ion within C a n a d i a n society, I may be bl ind to factors that are obv ious to others who do not share the var ious e lements of my identity. It is important therefore, to employ critical inquiry, reflexivity and share my work, quest ions a n d intentions with others who may help me uncover the inherent b iases and assumpt ions I hold. S u c h techniques may help me s e e through limiting factors which result from my personal exper ience and identity, e.g. colour, c lass , age, gender, sexua l orientation, physical ability, educat ion, etc. 16 Another aspect of this d i lemma is that in studying whi teness a s an aspect of privi lege in C a n a d a , I will be interviewing Whi te diversity trainers and trying to understand how a diversity training program may incorporate recognis ing whi teness, by Whi tes, as a way to move toward a more just society. Thus , my focus is not on people of oppressed groups, but those coming from privilege. Most of the literature I have read encourages oppressed peop les to recognise their situation and take act ion to change it. How does one encourage the privi leged to chal lenge their own posit ion of power or even recognise its ex is tence? Th is quest ion became a central theme underly ing the p rocess of this inquiry. Both of the d i lemmas noted above underl ie the threat of superiority that could unwittingly creep into one 's approach. Chater (1994) descr ibes this wel l . Whi te feminist writers and activists . . . have to confront the ready potential of speak ing or act ing in ways that are b a s e d on or sl ide into arrogance, moral is ing, self-congratulat ion, liberal politics, appropriation, career ism, or rhetoric w h e n conceiv ing of and express ing our stake in fighting racism. E a c h of these unconsc ious ly preserves power - in this c a s e , white power - and none contributes to revolutionary change in terms of how a c c e s s to and use of power are redistributed (Chater, 1994, p. 100). Chafer 's statement encourages considerat ion of some of the more theoretical ethical d i lemmas related to my explorat ion of Whi te culture and privi lege. With in the literature it is general ly accepted that Whi te culture and the inherent privi lege it provides for its members is invisible to these members . There is a debate within the literature about the value of identifying Whi te culture, or making it visible. The two s ides of this debate p lace the researcher, me, in a d i lemma. In order to explore and address the inherent privi lege, power and problems of Whi te culture one must make it visible. Until we recognise and define a problem it is difficult to address it in 17 concrete terms. Ye t if we make whi teness visible there is the risk of reinforcing the percept ion that Whi te is a race; thereby support ing the concept of race, wh ich is the very notion those who are working towards socia l just ice are trying to dis lodge. A s wel l , there is the danger of centring those with privilege and placing Others in the margins, all in the name of soc ia l justice. O n e of the problems with highlighting Whi te culture is to represent it a s a static thing, and take it out of a situational context. In doing this we g loss over the plurality within whi teness (Bonnett, 1996). Therefore, it is essent ia l to explore and make explicit this plurality within the Canad ian context; draw together whatever threads of similarity that may exist to g ive membersh ip within 'whi teness ' its power and privilege. M y attempt to resolve this d i lemma is central to this thesis and will evolve through my d iscuss ion of the literature, consider ing the var ious approaches to the issue of whi teness, defining my terms, and setting the parameters of the study. Within my select ion, reading and ana lys is of the literature I emp loyed the fol lowing quest ions as a basel ine filter for understanding the context of the materials being presented: 1) W h o def ines Whi te cul ture? 2) W t h i n what context is it being def ined? 3) Within the literature, which is largely Amer i can and Brit ish, there are var ious concept ions of Whi te culture; do any of these concept ions apply to the C a n a d i a n context? If so , how and why? 4) C a n these concept ions contribute to developing a distinctly "Canad ian " understanding of the term? 5) What are the pros and cons of highlighting the concept of Whi te culture within Canad ian soc ie ty? 6) How can such 18' an endeavour contribute, or not, to ant i - racism educat ion in C a n a d a and to the genera l pract ice of adult educat ion? hooks (sic) (1989) presents a final problem to be cons idered. S h e c la ims that educat ion for soc ia l just ice must be "truly revolut ionary b e c a u s e the mechan isms of appropriat ion within Whi te-supremacis t , capital ist patr iarchy are able to co-opt with t remendous e a s e that which merely appears radical or subvers ive" (p. 51). I do not know how revolut ionary this p iece of work is, but I do understand the power of the system I am crit iquing. Therefore, if this research is to have an impact it must be through the educators and other aud iences who may read, crit ique, bui ld upon it and put into pract ice any insights they may gain from this explorat ion of Whi te culture, privi lege, dominance and oppress ion . Structure of the Thes i s Fol lowing this chapter I offer a considerat ion of the literature in which I attempt to build an understanding of the similari t ies and di f ferences between C a n a d i a n and Amer i can soc iet ies and how they relate to the d iscuss ion of dominance, privi lege and Whi te culture. A s wel l , I d i scuss some of the key terms and concepts under scrutiny within this research . Chap te r three presents my d iscuss ion of the research methodology and introduces the part icipants of the study. Chap te rs four and f ive compr ise two levels of data analys is . Fo r example, in attempting to understand the dominant culture in our society I have d issec ted then reconstructed many of the e lements of identity which are either posit ively or 19 negat ively highl ighted to grant privi lege or oppress . A s wel l , to bring these e lements and the p rocesses involved in soc ia l relat ions together I have integrated a considerat ion of power inherent to be ing in a pr iv i leged location. T o complement these d iscuss ions I have offered concrete representat ions summar is ing var ious aspec ts of dominant culture, through charts, tables and f igures. In so doing I have attempted to make privi lege more vis ible and dominant culture more tangible. There is a lways the risk of undermining the complexi ty of a topic through reducing it to v isual representat ions, which tend to lock its e lements into seemingly discreet categor ies. Therefore, in endeavour ing to preserve the complexity of the topic and the dynamic at work within it, I have presented the sal ient points that emerged from the data within the contexts of the narrat ives in which they occurred. A s wel l , in an attempt to portray the complex dynamic among aspec ts of the dominant culture, wh ich shapes these into a multitude of different configurat ions, I have emp loyed the metaphor, constel lat ions of privi lege. Through these efforts I hope to avo id making the investigat ion two d imens iona l , and to enhance the integrity of the analys is . Thus , in Chapter four I present a model of dominant culture, depict ing many of its e lements and their inter-relat ionships. I extend this in chapter f ive to cons ider barriers to address ing dominance. The final chapter revisits the research quest ions, cons iders implicat ions for adult educat ion and diversity training, offers insight a s to how we may employ the understandings ga ined from this research and suggests i ssues for future research . 20 C H A P T E R T W O The Literature and Terms In researching concepts of whi teness, Whi te culture, and privilege I have focused on the literature most relevant to understanding Whi te exper iences of whi teness, which may give insight to these terms within a local ised Canad ian context, the B C Lower Main land. I use the phrase 'Canad ian context' in reference mainly to the norms and institutions which establ ish a general societal status quo in C a n a d a and are up-held by the dominant group 8 . T h e research participants were drawn from the B C Lower Main land, therefore I have a c c e s s e d only a smal l group of individuals, yet in their d iscuss ions they rarely limited their insights to this location. Like the literature they general ly speak of C a n a d a and Canad ians . In d iscuss ing a Canad ian context I do not intent to diminish the diversity of peop les , va lues, rel igions, languages, etc., but a m attempting to address the unique configuration of history, power structures and norms that set C a n a d a apart from the Uni ted States and Britain (see the fol lowing two sect ions). R e s e a r c h on whi teness has emerged a s an important topic in both the United States and Britain, yet there is limited explorat ion of this within a Canad ian context. Both the British and Canad ian literature, especia l ly the feminist work in C a n a d a , have contributed to my research. The former, somewhat , the latter substantial ly; but the majority of the literature I used for this research is Amer ican . See footnote #6, page 7. 21 I have a c c e s s e d the fol lowing areas of study: multiculturalism, ant i-racism educat ion, diversity training, intercultural educat ion, race relations, socia l c lass and ethnic studies, Whi te studies, group identity, identity politics, Canad ian immigration policy, adult educat ion, teacher educat ion, critical theory and feminist studies. T h e relevant literature from these a reas fal ls into four broad categor ies. First, as part of a large and varied a rea of work on rac ism and racial theory, there has been some considerat ion of Whi te supremacy and construct ions of whi teness and gender (Al len, 1994; Ware , 1992; hooks, 1992). There has a lso been work, particularly historical work, on the construct ion of a Whi te identity (Rodiger, 1994; He lms, 1993; Hal l , 1992; Dominguez, 1986). A sub-topic within the category of the construct ion of Whi te identity, is the considerat ion of the representat ion of Whi te identity, a s can be seen in: literature ((hooks, 1992; Morr ison, 1992; Ware , 1992); film (Dyer, 1988; Gabr ie l , 1996); and a r t (G i lman, 1985; Dyer, 1997). A third a rea of examinat ion of whi teness has been literature focuss ing on the impact on non-Whites of Whi te mainstream culture and politics. E a c h of these a reas is important and can contribute valuable insights to the considerat ion of whi teness, Whi te culture and privilege. But the constraints of a Master ' s thesis have made it necessary to limit the scope of my research in the hope of doing just ice to the work that h a s come before and is being presented here. Therefore, the most pertinent literature for the purpose of this research, has been the work that involves a more direct examinat ion, by Whi tes, of the exper ience of being Whi te (Katz, 1978; Frankenburg, 1993; Mc in tosh, 1995; Wi ldman, 1996; Dyer, 1997; Mclntyre, 1997) Before we can deve lop concrete methods for reducing the oppress ion and inequality that accompany dominance by one group over others, we must understand how l ives and exper iences are s h a p e d and inf luenced by ' rac ia l ised ' structures and d iscourses . M u c h of the literature exp lores these very topics, but largely from the perspect ives of the oppressed . A n objective of this study is to make explicit how the exper iences, percept ions and expectat ions of members of the dominant group are inf luenced by such structures and d iscourses . In other words, I seek to make vis ible the ' taken-for-granted' pr iv i leges that are embedded in the soc ia l structures and norms that are both consc ious ly and unconsc ious ly mainta ined by members of the dominant group. T o estab l ish a C a n a d i a n context for reference when d iscuss ing the soc ia l construct ion of whi teness, which is based largely on Amer i can research, I draw some compar isons between the dominant soc ie t ies in C a n a d a and the United States within the next sect ion. Fol lowing this are two sect ions present ing a n overv iew of how C a n a d i a n society has been shaped by the inf luence of Brit ish rule, immigration and multiculturalism. C a n a d i a n versus Amer i can Orientat ions to Dif ference Rei tz and Breton (1994) conc lude from their study on dominant culture and ethnicity in C a n a d a and the United States that Amer i cans express a more favourable v iew of cultural retention than do C a n a d i a n s : yet w h e n cons ider ing actual cultural retention they "found no systemat ic di f ference" (p. 129). They asser t that employment discr iminat ion against racial minorit ies is no less in 23 C a n a d a than in the United States, it is significant in both countries. They claim that " a majority of both Canad ians and Amer i cans feel that minorities are respons ib le for their own inequality, that discrimination is not a major cause of inequality, and that government shou ld not intervene to ensure equality" (Reitz & Breton, 1994, p. 88). Re i tz and Breton (1994) observe a difference between the symbol ic and polit ical va lues C a n a d i a n s and Amer i cans attach to the idea of cultural diversity: "Amer icans s e e m to assoc ia te it [cultural maintenance] somewhat with the ideology of individualism, self-fulfilment, and f reedom of express ion , whereas Canad ians s e e m to assoc ia te it with government pol ic ies and programs and bureaucrat ic structures" (p. 40). T h e Canad ian style [of racism] is more low-key than the Amer i can ; moreover, Canad ians have a consc ious tradition of ' tolerance' that Amer i cans do not have. In terms of their effects on the exper ience of minority groups, however, these dif ferences are more apparent than real. S o m e have argued that the Canad ian style serves to camouf lage underlying racial animosit ies (Reitz & Breton, 1994, p. 133). T h e Canad ian style of ethnic and race relations der ives from the tradition of paternalist ic government C a n a d i a n s have exper ienced, wh ich condit ions many people to p lace responsibil i ty on the government for deal ing with national issues. Th is results in a ' low-key' and covert approach to deal ing with diversity which may be equivalent to "It doesn' t concern me, why shou ld I get upset." " R a c i s m is a n excruciat ingly difficult i ssue for most of us. G i ven our history of exc lus ion and discrimination, this is not surpr is ing" (Nieto, 1996, p. 7; in Mclntyre, 1997, p. 11). The Canad ian expectat ion that government should deal with 'big' i ssues al lows individuals to step away from such issues, to abdicate responsibil i ty, and avoid 24 looking at one 's role within them. S u c h an attitude al lows Whi te Canad ians to get on with daily life, maintain a polite facade, and avoid discomfort. Rei tz and Breton's (1994) observat ion of the camouf lage effect of the Canad ian style of polite, largely covert oppress ion is credible. In other words, the behaviour often bel ies the racist sent iments many in our society hold. Th is notion is supported by Mood ley 's (1995a) statement that C a n a d i a n "overt express ion [of racism] is mediated by vague notions of socia l unacceptabi l i ty of such attitudes. A s a result there has been the development of democrat ic r a c i s m 9 wh ich locates racist thought within the democrat ic context" (p. 6). T h e s e observat ions on Canad ian and Amer i can attitudes and approach toward diversity may not directly address the i ssue of whi teness. They do indicate similarit ies and dif ferences inherent to the two societ ies that must be kept in mind when apply ing concept ions of wh i teness to a Canad ian context that have been der ived from crit iques of the 'White Amer i can exper ience' . What are the dif ferences and similarit ies between race relations in C a n a d a and the United S ta tes? What is the re levance of this literature for an explorat ion of whi teness within Canad ian soc ie ty? T h e s e two quest ions have served as my filters when researching the literature. A n important point arising out of these quest ions is that a Black/Whi te dichotomy is the overwhelming context within which d iscuss ions of whi teness in the United States are couched . Th is context Democratic racism is an ideology that justifies conflicting societal values; commitment to a democratic society motivated by egalitarian values of fairness, justice and equality versus "attitudes and behaviours that include negative feelings about minority groups and the potential for differential treatment or discrimination against them" (Henry & Tator, 1992, p. 8). It serves to protect the interests of the dominant group through upholding values which generally maintain the status quo. 25 has certainly inf luenced C a n a d i a n concept ions of whi teness and attitudes towards rac ism, but it does not reflect the reality of diversity within C a n a d i a n society, nor the i ssues at the heart of rac ism in C a n a d a . Despi te this, much of what has been written can provide starting points for cons ider ing the construct ion and inf luence of Wh i te identity, culture a n d privi lege in C a n a d a . T h e s e threads of re levance I have tried to tease out of the literature, and have app l ied to the C a n a d i a n context. Th is may be somewhat artificial, but it may a lso provide a prel iminary framework to understand the democrat ic rac ism based on whi teness embedded in C a n a d i a n society. C a n a d i a n Context: A n Overv iew Estab l ish ing the 'norms'. T h e foundat ions of North Amer i can rac ism and the on-going racist sys tem were estab l ished in western European , espec ia l ly within Eng l ish , ideology and language. [E]nergy, enterprise, d iscip l ine, and spiritual e levat ion, and even the white body, its hardness and tautness (born of the battle with the e lements, and often unfavourably compared with the s lack bod ies of non-whites), its upr ightness (aspir ing to the heights), its affinity with (snowy) wh i teness. S u c h notions did not apply only to forebears. They can still be found in, for instance, nineteenth - and ear ly twentieth - century not ions of C a n a d i a n identity, where the exper ience of the co ld North is c la imed to have moulded in the white settler people a distinct white national character (cf. Berger 1966) (Dyer, 1997, p. 21). Th is "distinct Whi te nat ional character" was initially moulded at the expense of the Abor ig inal peop les then living in the a reas now c la imed a s C a n a d a . T h e s e populat ions were dramatical ly reduced through warr ing with the invaders, exposure to d i s e a s e s imported with the Europeans , and subjugation 26 which resulted in the conf iscat ion of Nat ives' , territories and resources, destruct ion of their l ivel ihoods, cultures, and languages and relegation to reserves or the lowest rung in the soc ia l hierarchy outs ide the reserves, result ing in al ienat ion from both their own soc iet ies and the emerging dominant society. In C a n a d a . . . for the most part, Indian pol icy has been explicit ly assimilat ionist, directed at the soc ia l , economic , and polit ical integration of Nat ives into the institutions of the dominant society . . . The genera l consequence of Nat ive policy, despi te its assimi lat ionist objectives, has been to marginal ize nat ives from both white and Indian [sic] society (Dick inson & Wotherspoon , 1992, p. 406). The dominant Whi te identity of C a n a d a was further shaped by C a n a d i a n immigration policy, which reciprocal ly has had profound inf luence on shap ing C a n a d i a n percept ions and expectat ions of what C a n a d i a n society shou ld be. Immigration is a fact of C a n a d i a n history; apart from Abor ig ina l peop les we all der ive from immigrant forefathers and mothers. Th is history is rife with racist pol ic ies favour ing Chr is t ian northern European immigration over any other source. T h e fol lowing examples illustrate such pol ic ies: the 1885 Ac t to Restr ic t and Regula te C h i n e s e Immigration, otherwise known as the head tax for C h i n e s e immigrants; Frank Ol iver 's, C a n a d a ' s minister of immigration in 1905, back lash response to Eas te rn Eu ropean farmers populat ing the prair ies; careful sc reen ing to prevent b lacks entering C a n a d a from the Uni ted States (1911); promotion of the guest-worker s y s t e m 1 0 (early 20th century); the cont inuous voyage c lause wh ich culminated in the 1914 Komagatu M a r u 1 1 incident involving S ikhs ; re l iance 1 0 "Workers, usually ethnically distinct from the majority of the labour force, are imported on a short-term basis to fulfil labour contracts, but have no right to remain past their contract and no eligibility for eventual citizenship rights in the host country" (Whitaker, 1991, p. 9). 1 1 "In 1914 the steamer Komagatu Maru was refused permission to unload its 376 passengers, mainly Sikhs. 27 on 'medical ' criteria to exc lude 'undesi rables ' throughout the ear ly to mid 20th century; M a c k e n z i e K ing 's 1923 C h i n e s e exc lus ion legislat ion; R .B . Bennett 's blatant abuse of deportat ion criteria (1933 and later), C a n a d a ' s ' c losed door' response to the Jew ish refugees during Wor ld W a r II; the 'stop and go' immigration pol icy of the 1950-60 Liberal and Conserva t ive governments which mirrors the guest-worker system; and the high degree of 'd iscret ion' on the part of immigration off icials throughout C a n a d a ' s history (Whitaker, 1991). C a n a d i a n official pol icy blatantly made a c c e s s to C a n a d i a n immigration process ing off ices geographical ly in favour of some Europeans : "In the 1970's there were 12 in A s i a , 10 in Latin Amer i ca , 4 in Af r ica and 22 in Eu rope" (Moodley, 1995b, p. 3). Th is brief overv iew of immigration pract ices indicates the racist tenor of C a n a d i a n immigration up to the 1960's, and less blatantly, into the 1970's. It i l lustrates overt and covert condi t ions employed to d iscourage vis ible minorit ies or Other 'undesi rables ' in favour of some European immigrants. More recent changes in C a n a d a ' s immigration pol icy have resulted in al tered immigration patterns. T h e s e patterns are mani fested in substant ial changes in the make up of C a n a d i a n society as shown by data from the 1996 C e n s u s . Before 1961 over 7 5 % of all immigrants arr iving in C a n a d a e a c h year were from Europe or the Uni ted States. Between 1991 and 1996, however, less than 1 0 % of al l immigrants were from these areas. A s wel l , there h a s been a substant ial increase in the share of immigrants coming from A s i a , Af r ica and Latin Amer i ca . Between 1991 and 1996 over 4 3 % of all immigrants arr iving in After two months at anchor in Vancouver harbour, Canada's first 'boat people' were forced to sail away" .1991, p. 10). 28 C a n a d a were from A s i a ; in compar ison, the annual share of immigrants coming from A s i a never exceeded about 5 % before 1961. Despi te these changes immigrants from severa l Eu ropean countr ies still make up the largest groups living in C a n a d a at the time of the 1996 C e n s u s because of immigration patterns earl ier in the century (Census C a n a d a , 1996). The two tables below present the T o p 10 P l a c e s of Birth for Total Immigrants, Immigrants Arr iv ing Before 1961 and Recent Immigrants, for C a n a d a (Table 1.1) and for British Co lumb ia (Table 1.2). T h e data supports the claims made above for C a n a d a and g ives insight to British Co lumbia , a more speci f ic a rea related to the focus of this research. Tab le 1.1 Top 10 P l a c e s of Birth for Total Immigrants, Immigrants Arr iv ing Before 1961 and Recent Immigrants, for C a n a d a , 1996 C e n s u s - 2 0 % S a m p l e D a t a 1 2 Total Immigrants (1) % Immigrated Before 1961 % Recent Immigrants (2) % Total 100.0 Total 100.0 Total 100.0 United Kingdom 13.2 United Kingdom 25.2 Hong Kong 10.5 Italy 6.7 Italy 15.3 People's Republic of China 8.5 United States 4.9 Germany 10.2 India 6.9 Hong Kong 4.8 Netherlands 8.4 Philippines 6.9 India 4.7 Poland 5.5 Sri Lanka 4.3 People's Republic of China 4.6 United States 4.3 Poland 3.6 Poland 3.9 Hungary 3.1 Taiwan 3.1 Philippines 3.7 Ukraine 2.6 Viet Nam 3.1 Germany 3.7 Greece 2.0 United States 2.8 Portugal 3.2 People's Republic of China 1.7 United Kingdom 2.4 (1) Non-permanent residents are not included in this table. (2) Recent immigrants are those who immigrated between 1991 and the first four months of 1996. 12 Tables 1.1 and 1.2 Adapted from 1996 Census Data www.statcan.ca/enalish/census96/nov4/table1/htm 29 Tab le 1.2 Top 10 P l a c e s of Birth for Total Immigrants, Immigrants Arr iving Before 1961 and Recen t Immigrants, for British Co lumbia , 1996 C e n s u s - 2 0 % Samp le Data Total Immigrants (1) % immigrated Before 1961 % Recent Immigrants (2) % Total 100.0 Total 100.0 Total 100.0 United Kingdom 16.6 United Kingdom 33.9 Hong Kong 21.0 Hong Kong 9.9 Germany 12.4 People's Republic of China 13.1 People's Republic of China 8.7 Netherlands 9.2 Taiwan 10.5 India 8.2 Italy 5.9 India 10.0 United States 6.1 United States 3.9 Philippines 7.0 Germany 4.6 People's Republic of China 3.6 South Korea 3.1 Philippines 4.3 Poland 3.4 United Kingdom 3.0 Taiwan 3.3 Denmark 2.8 United States 3.0 Netherlands 2.9 Hungary 2.8 Iran 2.2 Italy 2.3 Ukraine 1.6 Viet Nam 2.2 (1) Non-permanent residents are not included in this table. (2) Recent immigrants are those who immigrated between 1991 and the first four months of 1996. A c lear pattern of value ascr ibed to var ious immigrant groups by C a n a d a , b a s e d on racial affiliation and capaci ty for assimi lat ion, h a s been identified over the history of Canad ian immigration: northern Europeans are cons idered the most acceptab le , fo l lowed by south Europeans , then non-Europeans , with A s i a n s and B lacks being cons idered the least acceptable. [I]n C a n a d a , Whi te European men, especia l ly those of Brit ish and F rench decent, are seen to be superior to women and to people from Other racial and ethnic origins. Sys tems of ideas and pract ices have been deve loped over time to justify and support their notion of superiority. T h e s e ideas become the premise on which societal norms and va lues are based , and the pract ices become the 'normal ' ways of doing things (Ng, 1993, p. 52). How were these soc ia l norms c rea ted? Porter (1984) a rgued that there is a relationship between racial or ethnic background and socia l c lass , whereby "people get sorted out accord ing to their bel ieved- in [by the host society] quali t ies and apti tudes for different economic activities . . . [fjhere are jobs that the host or 30 conquer ing groups do not want to do or cons ider demean ing . . . [o]ver time this marked differentiation at the period of entry can . . . harden into a permanent c lass sys tem" (pp. 71-72). Porter 's correlation between ethnicity and c lass is widely accepted as the concept of Canad ian society as a 'vertical mosaic ' . Th is has been reinforced by both overt and covert Canad ian immigration criteria prejudiced against visible minority immigrants and particular 'undesirable ' Europeans . S u c h criteria have contributed to a largely unacknowledged bias within the dominant society favouring Whi te advantage and assuming the inherent superiority of Whi tes . Under ly ing this tacit b ias are expectat ions a s to the appropriate p lace in society for immigrants, particularly visible minorities. A l though few would admit to it 'we' (White members of the dominant society who support maintenance of the status quo) general ly expect ' them' (visible minority immigrants and particular 'undesirable ' Europeans) to fill ro les 'we' do not choose and not to interfere with the way things should be done in C a n a d a . We igh ing this against Porter 's argument of the vertical mosa ic and the patterns of immigration in the past suggests that the notion of 'playing by the rules' means Ang lo -conformity and maintaining the status quo. Many would argue that Ang lo -conformity, otherwise known a s assimi lat ion, is no longer a factor influencing Canad ian society. Yet , Anglo-conformity has evo lved into Whi te hegemony which is less obvious, broader, more pervasive and holds an appeal that al lows it to co -opt other Whi te groups previously kept out of the system of privi lege. Wh i teness has been enormously, often terrifyingly effective in unifying coal i t ions of disparate groups of people . . . Th is has been strengthened by two instabilit ies that such a coali t ion produces. O n the one hand, it c reates a category of maybe, somet ime whites, peop les who may be let in 31 to whi teness under particular historical c i rcumstances . . . O n the other hand, [it] a lso incites the notion that some whi tes are whiter than others . . . A shifting border and internal hierarchies of whi teness suggest that the category of whi teness is unclear and unstable, yet this has proved its strength. B e c a u s e whi teness carr ies such rewards and privi leges, the s e n s e of a border that might be c rossed and a hierarchy that might be c l imbed has produced a dynamic that has enthral led people who have had any chance of participating in it (Dyer, 1997, pp. 19-20). Effects of more recent changes to immigration policy. A d h e r e n c e to the historical formula of preference has been diffused, in part, through the establ ishment of the point sys tem for immigration in 1966, which b a s e d admiss ion on: level of educat ion, occupat ional skil ls, local demand , and personal adaptabil ity (Moodley, 1995b). T h e removal of the racial criteria from C a n a d i a n immigration policy has offered greater equality to those compet ing to come to C a n a d a . Consequent ly , greater numbers of visible minorities began to immigrate to C a n a d a (which was before multiculturalism became a government pol icy in 1971). In 1988 Canad ian immigration policy was again altered to reflect greater practical and humanitar ian motives (which still favoured C a n a d a ' s economic interests); respectively, the creat ion of the bus iness or entrepreneurial immigrant c lass , continuation of the family reunification immigrant c lass and increased response to the world refugee situation (Elliott & F leras, 1992). T h e s e 'humanitar ian' responses to the shifting demands of the international community due to economic f luctuations, soc ia l p ressures and events, remain t ied to fostering C a n a d a ' s best interests. Th is shift in multiculturalism as an economic resource (Satzewich in Samue lson , 1994) is reflected in Mood ley 's (1995b) 32 comment that, "In 1995, C a n a d i a n immigration initiatives act ively sea rched for bus iness and profess ional immigrants from the Midd le East , Uni ted States, A s i a and Wes te rn Europe" (p. 3), thus, benefit ing the C a n a d i a n economy by draining economic and cultural capital from abroad (Moodley, 1995b). A s wel l , all immigrants coming to C a n a d a , whether refugees or not, must pay and entrance fee of $975.00, this certainly is a hardship for those peop le coming from a d isadvantaged economic situation. S o , C a n a d i a n immigration pol icy is not only still discriminatory but predatory and requires on-going scrutiny. T h e recent dramat ic increase in v is ib le minorit ies (see tables 1.1 and 1.2, pages 28-29) has had an unsettl ing effect on the dominant Whi te group. Cons ide r the fol lowing headl ines from the Vancouve r Sun : "Opposi t ion to newcomers on the rise, analysts say." (January 14, 1994, p. A7) , " C a n a d i a n s facing own racial divide." (October 4, 1995, p. A4) , "Breakdown in C a n a d i a n decency b lamed for increase in rac ism." (October 25 , 1995, p. B2), "Ant i -As ian back lash feared." (March 20, 1996, p. A1) , "To lerance not quite sk in deep , pol l f inds." (July 6, 1996, p. A4) , "The sceptre of rac ism hangs over our heads. " (April 2, 1997, p. A13) . W o n g and Netting (1992) c la im that such animosity may ar ise from rac ism, "but c a n a lso be c l a s s - b a s e d prejudice" (p. 18) result ing from anger directed at wealthy immigrants primarily from working c lass Whi tes , express ing envy, but a lso from the upper-c lass as it is their ne ighbourhoods and institutions such immigrants affect. Sa tzew ich (1994) offers an addit ional interpretation of such sent iments. He suggests there is a belief among Whi tes that " immigrants who do not p o s s e s s Whi te sk in create diversity, and this diversity creates 33 problems" (p. 48). He argues that there are inherent contradict ions to such a belief. Framing the race relations problem in terms of demograph ics and populat ion s ize indicates a c a s e of historical amnes ia ; it impl ies that the problem of rac ism is of relatively recent origin; correlating the s ize of non-European \ groups with increased racism reinforces the belief that it is these groups themse lves who create problems s imply by their p resence; "the p resence of these groups is not the problem, the reaction to their p resence is" (Satzewich, 1994, pp. 48,49). Th is demonstrates the common sent iment that visible minorit ies create racism. It a lso explains why most C a n a d i a n multicultural/antiracism educat ion has been directed at visible minorities. [R]acism is a Whi te problem in that its development and perpetuation rest with Whi te people . . . R a c i s m is perpetuated by Wh i tes through their consc ious and/or unconsc ious support of a culture and institutions that are founded on racist pol ic ies and pract ices. The racial prejudice of Whi te people coupled with the economic, polit ical, and soc ia l power to enforce discriminatory pract ices on every level of life - cultural, institutional, and individual - is the gestalt of Whi te racism (Katz, 1978: 10). A s long a s many Whi te C a n a d i a n s get away with pointing at the Other they will never take responsibil i ty for address ing rac ism in C a n a d a . Mult iculturalism: The cornerstone of our national identity. C a n a d a has a federal policy of multiculturalism that was made law in .1971. It w a s a response to objections to the Official Languages Ac t (1969) level led at the federal government by T h e Third Force ' . Th is sector of Canad ian society, made up primarily of non-charter European immigrants, were unwill ing to accept a definition of C a n a d a a s a bil ingual, bicultural country. T h e federal government 's response was to dec lare C a n a d a a bil ingual, multicultural country. 34 Bil ingual ism was l inked to, yet had greater priority than multiculturalism, as it was a imed at accommodat ing Q u e b e c nat ional ism and promoting the F rench language ta^equal status with Engl ish. The multicultural programs of the 1970's grew out of the government 's need to acknowledge the object ions of T h e Third Force ' and as such " focused primarily on the needs and interests of European immigrants who wanted to preserve their cultural traditions, ethnic organisat ions, and heri tage languages" (Driedger, 1996, p. 56). T o what extent w a s 'cultural maintenance' multiculturalism a tool of Whi te hegemony? "Hegemony refers to forms of supremacy obtained primarily by consent rather than coerc ion, by 'moral and intellectual leadership ' rather than obtained by dominat ion" (Christie, 1990, p. 139). The government gave a little to satisfy the Third Force, thereby winning their support for a federal pol icy originally des igned to deal with Q u e b e c national ism, and strengthening Whi te unity a s the majority of those compris ing the Third force were Europeans . By the 1980's " R e d B o o t s " 1 3 or cultural maintenance multiculturalism w a s being chal lenged by both Native people and French Canad ians who "saw it as neutral ising their spec ia l c la ims [as well] some European ethnic, especia l ly Ukrain ians, [who] v iewed cultural preservat ion without l inguistic preservat ion as being certain to fail" (Moodley, 1995b, pp. 802-803). T h e s e crit icisms comb ined with ev idence of increasing rac ism resul ted in modif ication of multicultural pol icy in 1985 through Bill C-85 , which advocated employment equity, in 1988 through Bill C -93 , which advocated programs to combat rac ism, and in 1990 through Bill 1 3 Red Boots multiculturalism is celebrating the superficial cultural aspects of various ethnic groups such as their dances, dress, food, music, which generally serves to valorize and exotjcize minority groups. 35 C-63 , which establ ished the Canad ian R a c e Relat ions Foundat ion (Driedger, 1996). T o what extent are these pol icies a genuine effort to address rac ism in C a n a d a , and to what extent are they a continuation of hegemony? Hegemon ic leadership must be continually won and a lways adapt ing to changing c i rcumstances and events. In Gramsc i ' s view, the leading group, or groups compet ing for leadership, must actively take into account 'the interests and tendencies of the groups over which hegemony is to be exerc ised ' and develop a 'compromise solution', making real adjustments to win the consent of other soc ia l groups. Hegemony is an act ive and changing p rocess of winning consent and justifying dominance (Christie, 1990, p. 140). Employment equity is a twelve-year-old pol icy and relative representat ion of people of colour, not to mention women, in the labour force is still a long way from being reached. There h a s b e e n Whi te opposi t ion to this policy, particularly by some Whi te males, serving to refocus attention on the dominant group, and this time a s the victim. There is a lso the st igma incurred through the employment equity p rocess that an individual who is not representative of the dominant group w a s hired because of the pol icy not due to merit. Employment equity represents an entire topic on its own, my reference to it here is really a matter of wonder ing: How effective is it? What are its p lanned and unplanned ou tcomes? Is it really intended to alter the status quo? T h e s e same quest ions can be asked of Bill C -9 3 (1988) advocat ing programs to combat rac ism, and Bil l C - 6 3 (1990) establ ishing the Canad ian R a c e Relat ions Foundat ion. How much of a dif ference in terms of equal opportunity and equal treatment are these pol ic ies mak ing? H a s multiculturalism evo lved from initially focus ing on culture and life style to really responding to and address ing rac ism in C a n a d i a n soc ie ty? 36 The re levance of whi teness for multiculturalism. Many C a n a d i a n s make a distinction between multiculturalism and . combat ing rac ism. Mult icultural ism is still seen by many as 'celebrat ing our diversity' in which we take pride as a nation and is a cornerstone of our identity. But part icipating in fest ivals and eat ing 'ethnic food' is easy (and may actual ly contribute to the problem through stereotyping and exoticizing); f ighting rac ism is difficult and requires us to face up to unp leasant truths about our society. Therefore, by focus ing on the former and treating the latter like a government responsibi l i ty many dominant group C a n a d i a n s bury their heads in the sand and shirk their responsibi l i ty towards truly contributing to equali ty and unity in C a n a d a . In this way many C a n a d i a n s are complici t in maintaining multicultural pol icy as a tool of dominant group hegemony in C a n a . Walcot t (1990) c la ims that "state instituted multicultural educat ion rendered any subvers ive e lements mute . . . It is important to keep in mind that the state constructs and appropr iates where necessa ry to maintain hegemony" (p. 112). Despi te its f laws and ambigui t ies mult icultural ism offers al ternat ives to the lessons of history where plural ism has been dealt with through war, genoc ide and apartheid (although the Abor ig inal reserve system f lour ished under this policy). But to implement fair, effective al ternat ives multicultural pol icy must be cri t iqued and deve loped to incorporate the power i ssues that perpetuate unequal opportunity within society. Through such crit ique and recognit ion of the maintenance and impact of dominant culture and privi lege, the development of 37 our multicultural pol ic ies may move toward providing v iable alternatives that truly address the roots of rac ism in this country. Unpack ing S o m e Key Terms and Concep ts Whi te , whi teness, Whi te culture, Whi te race, dominant culture, Whi te identity, privi lege, race, culture, ethnicity, diversity training, mult iculturalism, power, democracy, democrat ic rac ism, rac ism, to lerance, identity, C a n a d i a n culture, mainstream society, normal, Others . . . A n y inquiry into Whi te culture and privi lege is faced with the daunt ing problem of myriad terms and concepts that evoke powerful images, yet are often ambiguous in meaning. S u c h terms can "become essent ia l ized as an undef ined norm - joining such ambiguous express ions as 'mainstream opin ion' and 'family va lues, ' wh ich lack a c lear definit ion, yet are highly effective in discredit ing se lec ted groups" (Trend, 1996, p. 8). To il lustrate this point I examine the concept of democracy, which compr ises the foundat ion of C a n a d i a n society, and is a term we all use and implicitly understand . . . or do w e ? If democracy impl ies the enfranchisement of all voters, how is it that the majority of c i t izens do not part icipate in electoral pol i t ics? If democracy means equal rights for all c i t izens, how can one expla in the chronic d isrepair of the soc ia l serv ice network and the cont inued to lerance of predatory bus iness interests? If democracy suggests unmediated communicat ion and a c c e s s to information, what is one to make of the consol idat ion of media in a handful of corporat ions? (Trend, 1996, p.8) At t imes I have found myself drowning in such terms and concepts , us ing them interchangeably, and wonder ing if they are help ing or h inder ing the express ion of my thoughts. I have a lso found they are very difficult to pin down in that such terms are 'mobile', a s their appl icat ions shift and take on different nuances accord ing to the shared exper iences and meanings that evo lve out of a 38 particular context. Th is notion of the "mobility" of terms is evident in Trend 's (1996) statement that " 'Democracy ' is a relative term, like any other express ion, its meaning is a matter of interpretation, debate and contest." (p. 7) O n e of the motivations for this research a rose from just this problem. That within the literature important, complex terms and concepts were being used as if the aud ience general ly understood their meanings. Or, on the other hand, a term might be expla ined or def ined in one way by an author and in a very different way by another author. Another problem, wh ich is a lso a focal point of this research, is that many of these terms and concepts deve loped within a speci f ic context, often Amer i can . A term may have been very useful in shedding light on a speci f ic issue within a particular context, but over time the term is imported into different contexts and may be inappropriately incorporated into d iscuss ions of i ssues where its original meaning is distorted. My intention is that this research will expand our understanding the var ious terms and concepts used within this field. It is not to define, but to highlight the usefu lness of these terms a s multiple points of entry to a subject that has received limited d iscuss ion within a Canad ian context - the impact of whi teness and privi lege on the dominant culture in Canad ian society. I hope to il luminate the shared and divergent meanings of such terms expressed by the participants of this study while compar ing them with meanings exp ressed within the literature to raise awareness of both the useful and problematic character ist ics of such language. Ultimately, I do not intend to offer a template for understanding e a c h term or concept. I do advocate the scrutiny not only of the 39 words used within a d iscourse, but of the history key words carry and of the inf luence they can have. Aga in Trend (1996) points to this when consider ing democracy, "The very s l ipper iness of the term permits its exploitation by a range of polit icians, bureaucrats, and phi losophers for purposes ranging from political s loganeer ing to military intervention" (p. 8). I hope to encourage critical thinking through the recognit ion of the imbedded mean ings one imports into a d iscourse by adopt ing certain terms, considerat ion of the speci f ic context a term arose from and is being appl ied to, quest ioning who is being se rved or oppressed through the use of certain terms, and uncover ing the inherent assumpt ions and implicat ions underlying them. Hav ing said all of this, I recognise the need at least momentari ly to ' f reeze' a term within a meaning to provide a bas is for communicat ion. Th is can facilitate our understanding of the term's evolut ion as it moves through var ious contexts and convolut ions of meaning. Therefore, I have footnoted the initial use of a term with a preliminary meaning taken from the literature. Th is f lags the term as noted to be problematic, which is understood within subsequent uses of the term. A noted term will not be noted again, however I have provided an index of terms for e a s y reference on page 205. Th is requires of the reader some tolerance for ambiguity, an appreciat ion of the d iscovery p rocess of this research, as well as recognit ion of the inherent subjectivity of the topic of inquiry. Within the fol lowing sect ions I will d i scuss certain key concepts in depth a s they are focal points of this research, but even these d iscuss ions are intended to be open-ended, offering insight not conclus ions. T h e s e terms and concepts are 40 used frequently in the literature with little reference to their meaning, therefore I hope to set some common f rames of reference for understanding the basis for and d iscuss ion of this study. T h e s e terms and concepts include race, ethnicity, culture and Whi te culture. R a c e . Ethnicity and Culture = Whi te Cul ture? •> T h e idea of the socia l construct ion of whi teness has many controversial concepts embedded in it. Throughout the literature on this topic the term 'White culture' is used. Fo r severa l years I have found this term unacceptable, it struck me as an oxymoron; if Whi te is a ' race', social ly constructed or otherwise, how can a ' race' have a culture? E a c h time I encountered this term in the literature I struggled with it. It became apparent to me that coming to terms with the concept of Whi te culture w a s not only a n important barrier for me to overcome, but a n essent ia l focus for diversity training. Therefore, before I can begin a d iscuss ion of the socia l construct ion of whi teness, it is necessary to deconstruct the term Whi te culture. I begin through considerat ion of the broadest aspect of the term 'race' , fol lowed by a d iscuss ion of ethnicity, then apply ing the concept of culture to the synthesis of my understanding of the former two terms. I arr ive at a preliminary interpretation of the term Whi te culture. R a c e . The re are many s ides to the d iscuss ion o n the term ' race' that range from identifying var ious races as subspec ies to the assert ion that there is only one race, the human race. It is important to outline the evolution of the concept ion of race as e a c h interpretation has left a residue that in part accounts for the var ious 41 uses of the word and its inf luence as a concept. R a c e has been l inked in the past to the notion of biological ly inherited character ist ics, some of which were seen to be skin colour, facial features, intel l igence and behaviour. A l though there is no scienti f ic bas is for this it is important to recogn ise the power of this perspect ive, as some peop le still adhere to s u c h a concept ion of race, whether consc ious ly or unconsc ious ly . T h e common, or 'street', use of the term can be equated with the popular typology of "Negro id , C a u c a s o i d , and Mongo lo id [or in laymen's terms Black, Whi te and Ch inese] on the bas is of ancestry or descent , in addit ion to certain genera l phys ica l or biological character ist ics such a s skin colour or facial features" (F leras & Elliott, 1992, p. 318). He lms (1992) e laborates o n this popular interpretation of ' race' in her statement t h a t " . . . through custom, fiat, and law, [my emphasis ] a number of observab le character ist ics have come to be treated as factors denot ing different ' racial ' groups. T h e s e character ist ics include (but are not limited to) sk in colour of onesel f or one 's ancestors , geograph ic region of origin, and primary language of onese l f or one 's ances tors" (p. ii). Thus , it is general ly accepted that certain phys ica l traits are assoc ia ted with the different ' races ' , but it is race a s a soc ia l construct, the mean ings we attach to the observab le traits and the implicat ions of these for our behaviour that is key. Th is harkens back to the historical formula of preference invoked by C a n a d i a n immigration po l ic ies and the vert ical mosa ic . R ]ace is general ly regarded a s having no empir ical validity or scient i f ic merit. It exists instead a s a soc ia l construct ion wh ich is manipulated to define, structure, and organ ise relat ions between dominant and subordinate groups . . . In and of itself, the concept of race is not harmful, but because it often leads to a ranking of racial types, the concept se rves as a prelude to racial doctr ines and racist ideologies employed to justify, 42 explain, and condone exploitation and dominat ion (Elliott & F leras, 1992, p. 335). Var ious terms have been used in an attempt to focus on the socia l construct ion of the concept and to avoid reifying the biological implications with which the term has been infused through earl ier concept ions. Li (1990) cites sociologist van den Berghe 's (1984) "use of the term 'socia l races ' rather than races to emphas ise that they are no t . . . biological subspec ies b a s e d on a common genet ic constitution . . . [others] advocate the term "racialization' to draw attention to the socia l p rocess whereby groups are s ingled out for unequal treatments on the bas is of real or imagined phenotypical character ist ics" (Li, 1990, p. 7). Th is latter concept ion of race identifies it a s a p rocess rather than a thing. In other words, the focus is on racism and its effects rather than race. Frankenberg (1993) exp resses the dynamic nature of 'race': R a c e , like gender, is 'real ' in the s e n s e that it has real, though changing, effects in the world and a real, tangible; and complex impact on an individual 's s e n s e of self, exper iences, and life chances . In assert ing that race and racial difference are social ly constructed, I do not minimise their socia l and political reality, but rather insist that their reality is, precisely, soc ia l and political rather then inherent or static (p. 11). It is from this perspect ive that I will explore Whi te culture. Be low in Tab le 2.1 Cornel l and Hartmann (1997) offer some insight to factors which contribute to the socia l construct ion of ethnic and racial identities, which are a lways in the process of change as the contexts within which they develop evolve. 43 Table 2.1 "Other Things Equal" Effects of Group Factors on Salience of Ethnic and Racial Identities14 Group Factors Likely to Increase Salience of Ethnic or Racial Identities Preexisting ethnic or racial identity is embedded in social relations Group is numerically large relative to dominant population Group includes approximately equal numbers of men and women Group Factors Likely to Decrease Salience of Ethnic or Racial Identities No preexisting ethnic or racial identity is embedded in social relations Group is numerically small relative to dominant population Group includes unequal numbers of men and women Group includes a high proportion of first-generation migrants Group members are largely similar in class background Group has high social capital [being the solidarity generated through the strength of group social organization and institutions (Driedger, 1996)] Group was established largely via chain migration Cultural practice (e.g., language, religion) differs from that of society at large Group has large symbolic repertoire [ritualized historical experience in the forms of celebrations, food, clothing, etc., which may instill a s sense of belonging, purpose and heritage (Driedger, 1996)] Group includes a low proportion of first-generation migrants Group members are diverse in class background Group has low social capital Group was established largely via chain individual migration Cultural practice (e.g., language, religion) is similar to that of society at large Group has small symbolic repertoire Source: Cornell, & Hartmann, 1997, Table 6.1, p. 190 [Adapted, with somewhat different categories, from Yinger, 1986, p. 31]. 44 Ethnicity. F le ras and Elliott (1992) def ine ethnic group as "a soc ia l c lassi f icat ion in which a part icular group of people define themselves [my emphasis ] as a distinct category on the bas is of an identif ication that is felt with a part icular set of customs, and a language, rel igion, nationality, and homeland" (p. 315). A l though both race and ethnicity a re socia l ly def ined, within the context of this d i scuss ion of Wh i te culture a fundamental dif ference in the terms is that race is imposed while ethnicity is owned. A s He lms (1992) points out, " O n e general ly has both - a race and an ethnicity - whether or not one is consc ious ly aware of them" (p. 11). Corne l l and Hartmann (1997) 1 5 graphical ly express this duality in F igure 1.1 below. • Identity is based on putative common descent, claims of snared history, and symbols of peoplehood • Identity is based on perceived physical differences • Identity may originate in either assignment by others or assertion by selves • Identity typically originates in assignment by others • Identity may or may not reflect power relations • Identity typically reflects power relations • Identity may or may not imply inherent differences in worth • Identity implies inherent differences in worth • Identity usually constructed by both selves and others • Identity is constructed by others (at point of self-construction, group becomes ethnic group as well as race) Figure 1.1 Ethnic G roups and R a c e s Source: Adapted from Cornell and Hartmann, 1997, p. 35. 45 In the literature researchers d i scuss race, ethnicity, identity, and culture, yet in referring to the dominant group in society they usual ly invoke the term White culture. I have struggled with this because even if we were to accept the notion of ' race' , which I dispute, within a 'race' there may be many ethnicit ies, therefore how could one ascr ibe a single culture or ethinicity to a race? This brought me to the heart of my explorat ion on White culture. Wh i le there may indeed be many different ethnicit ies within the 'White race' there are over-r iding factors governing 'White exper ience ' which set this apart from the exper iences of 'Others' . Stuart Hal l , quoted in Frankenberg (1993), outl ines these factors in his definition of culture as "the actual, grounded pract ices, representat ions, languages and customs of any historical society, [as well as] the contradictory forms of 'common sense' which have taken root in and helped to shape popular life [my emphas is ] " (p. 194). Culture. Frankenberg (1993) offers two ways of thinking about culture. O n e dominant d iscourse is that: . . . culture indicates that which can be named, bounded, and separated from material life, and another construct ion of culture . . . in wh ich culture is v iewed more broadly a s constructing daily practices and world views in complex relations with material life . . . [sic] [T]he former construct ion of culture has worked powerfully to delimit, on the one hand, a set of "bounded" cultures - and , on the other, a residual, normative s p a c e that, as far a s most of its inhabitants are concerned, has no name and few dist inguishing marks and thus is not, apparently, a cultural space . The name given that s p a c e in this book is "white culture" (p. 228). Grounded practice, representat ions, historical society, and common s e n s e are s o m e of the essent ia l aspec ts of Whi te exper ience that create a "corpus of shared mean ings (beliefs, va lues, and symbols) that accounts for the patterns of 46 interpersonal / intergroup behaviour within a speci f ic community" (F leras & Elliott, 1992, p. 314). Identifying these in Others yet remaining bl ind to our own is one of the funct ions of whi teness being the norm. Whi te shared meanings create a normative s p a c e and contribute to the unifying concept of Whi te culture. Explor ing, with the part icipants of this study, how these mean ings and norms are created, the forms they take and the impact they have is the bas is of this research . In doing this with people working within diversity training, this research can offer insight into the mean ings deve loped and at tached to aspec ts of Wh i te culture through the lens of an informed participant group. Wh i te Culture. "Cul ture is ind ispensable to the adaptat ion and survival of the community, in large part b e c a u s e of the rules and codes ('blueprints') by which individuals def ine, plan, a s s e s s , and jointly link appropriate l ines of behaviour" (F leras & Elliott, 1992, p. 314). He lms (1992) echoes this understanding of culture in her asser t ion that "Whi te people 's adherence to Whi te culture has a l lowed Whi te people to survive and thrive" (p. 14). Yet M c L a r e n (1997) c la ims that "Wh i teness has no formal content. It works rhetorically by articulating itself out of the semiot ic detritus of myths of European superiori ty" (p. 263). F rankenberg (1993) a rgues t h a t " . . .wh i t eness does have content inasmuch as it generates norms, ways of understanding history, ways of thinking about self and other, and even ways of thinking about the notion of culture i tse l f (p. 231). He lms (1992) adds that, "It is an important part of Wh i te identity albeit an unconsc ious part" (p. 14). 47 S o , what is Whi te cul ture? A prel iminary interpretation may be: a set of institutions and pract ices adhered to and promoted by " those individuals who exhibit character is t ics of Wh i te Eu ropeans and have been ass imi la ted and accul turated into Whi te Ang lo -Saxon culture as it exists in the Uni ted States [and Canada ] " (Helms, 1992, p. ii). T h e s e institutions and pract ices ar ise out of bel iefs, va lues, and representat ions that converge in our (White) shared understanding of what is 'normal ' , ' common sense ' and 'correct'. Th is is a result of our historical exper ience as a society, our economic system, our phi losophy, d iscourses , language, locat ion and our s u c c e s s in promoting our interests. A l l of these factors combine to create the soc ia l construct ion of whi teness . . . as a location of structural advantage, of race privi lege. S e c o n d , it is a "standpoint", a p lace from which Whi te peop le look at ourse lves, at others, and at society. Third, "whi teness" refers to a set of cultural pract ices that are usual ly unmarked and un-named (Frankenberg, 1993, p. 1). T h e s e " locat ions that are historically, social ly, polit ically, and culturally produced and, moreover, are intrinsically l inked to unfolding relat ions of dominat ion" (Frankenberg, 1993, p. 6) are the focus of this research, which bui lds on the empir ical work on whi teness done by such researchers a s Frankenberg (1993), T isde l l (1993), W i ldman (1996) and Mclntyre (1997) to name a few of the more recent studies. Summary The ground work for this research p rocess has been laid in terms of d i scuss ing the purpose of this study, the research quest ions, appl ied goa ls and how this study evo lved out of my personal exper iences, interests, and educat ion. I have introduced some of the background literature and terms, which will be added to and 4 8 integrated throughout the ana lys is chapters of this thesis. I have offered a brief comparat ive d iscuss ion of C a n a d i a n versus Amer i can contexts related to Whi te culture and privi lege, then presented a more in depth historical considerat ion of key factors which have built a uniquely C a n a d i a n context within which to couch the upcoming d iscuss ions . Chapter Three presents the research methodology I have employed to gather the data, the literature and epis temological app roaches that have inf luenced my orientation to my research methodology, and out l ines a profile of the study part icipants and the premises of our mutual part icipation within this research. 49 C H A P T E R T H R E E R e s e a r c h Methodology I have employed a qualitative method of open-ended, in-depth interviewing, which incorporates both methods der ived from feminist research, specif ical ly research a s praxis and research as empowerment, and critical perspect ives such as critical ethnography, grounded theory and interpretative analys is . The somewhat ec lect ic approach I have adopted is consistent with my personal va lues of striving to be inclusive, to gain insight into the perspect ives of those involved in my research , to acknowledge and take responsibil i ty for address ing any power differential inherent to the interviewing process, and to create a mutually enr iching p rocess of inquiry whi le explor ing and chal lenging the status quo. Th is approach add resses many of my concerns relevant to the topic I am researching, and reflects a sensitivity to the interviewing process that is particularly necessary when probing into participants' concept ions of Whi te culture and privilege. Epis temologica l and Methodological Rat ionale [ K n o w l e d g e does not t ranscend, but is rooted in and is shaped by, speci f ic interests and socia l arrangements . . . [ K n o w l e d g e is a construct that bears the marks of its constructors . . . its c la ims to objectivity are derivative of culturally constituted male exper iences. They derive out of the subjective, affective preoccupat ions of privi leged, paradigmatic knowers. (Code, 1991, pp. 68, 55). C o d e (1991) c laims that knowledge is both objective and subjective. S h e s e e s these constructs as ideals at either end of a continuum. Knowledge, accord ing to the context, may be a s s e s s e d within this cont inuum a s be ing 'more' objective or 50 'more' subject ive a long this continuum. The key for C o d e (1991) is that there is no pure objectivity or subjectivity and these are not mutually exc lus ive, but they inform each other through reciprocal interaction. For example, it may be appropriate at t imes to strive for greater objectivity, but this can only be done through acknowledging the subjective inf luences involved. "fTJheorists of knowledge need to engage in critical ana lyses of the suppress ion of subjectivity against which the s tandard of objectivity def ines i tse l f (Code, 1991, p. 47-48). Th i s statement is essent ia l to apply to my field of inquiry, explor ing concept ions of Whi te culture and privilege, as subjectivity is inherent in it. For example, the word conception der ives from the word to conceive wh ich means to "form a notion or purpose; imagine or think" (Random House , 1980);."form in the mind; imagine; fancy; think; formulate; express" (Conc ise Oxford, 1976). S o , concept ions are interpretations of exper iences, ideas, history, environment, etc. and may be unique to each individual. F inding the links, or lack of such, between these in a micro study of nine individuals may offer insight to further our understanding of not only the terms, Whi te culture and privilege, but of the lived exper iences these terms may represent. The opening quote above demonstrates C o d e ' s (1991) belief that the construct ion of knowledge is inherently subjective. Wha t is accep ted a s knowledge is inf luenced by the dominant paradigm of the time. For example, C o d e (1991) outl ines how languages and d iscourses reflect the epistemological assumpt ions of the day. T h e s e reflect the va lues and interests of the dominant community. "They show what objects, events, and exper iences a linguistic community cons iders worth naming and how that community constructs the relations of objects and events to 51 one another" (Code, 1991, p. 58). Tradit ionally, the dominant 'knowledge sanct ioning community ' has been the educated Whi te male; and the dominant methodology of 'creating knowledge' has been the scientif ic method. A n sector of advocates of the scientif ic method has delimited the criteria for what counts as knowledge for all people; this is exc lus ionary and oppress ive. The congruence between the phi losophy underlying the methodological approach to this study and the research topic itself reinforces the integrity of the exploration and contributes to creat ing a mutually (for the researcher and participants) enr iching p rocess of inquiry whi le explor ing and chal lenging the status quo. C o d e (1991) c la ims that the traditional valuing of objectivity and viewing objectivity and subjectivity a s mutually exc lus ive poles of a dichotomy is inherently male. The epistemological approach of d ichotomies sets up hierarchies and acts as a n "instrument of oppress ion a n d soc ia l control" (p. 29). C o d e (1991) lists a variety of d ichotomies that parallel the ma le / f ema le and objective/subjective poles: "theory/ practice, reason/emot ion, universal / particular, mind/ body, abstract/ concrete" (Code, 1991, p. 29). V iewing the world in terms of 'b lack and white' den ies all the s h a d e s of grey in between. Th is sets up an approach that there is a 'right way' and anything/one that deviates from this is 'wrong'. It promotes hegemony 1 6 , thereby reinforcing the status quo, i.e. maintaining privilege for those in power. C o d e ' s approach aga in paral le ls the purpose of this study, wh ich is not to define, classify, or judge, but to gain insight, enrich understanding, and chal lenge ideas related to sys tems of oppress ion maintained with our society. I have attempted to heed 1 6 "Hegemony refers to forms of supremacy obtained primarily by consent rather than coercion, by 'moral and intellectual leadership' rather than obtained by domination" (Christie, 1990, p. 139). 52 C o d e ' s 'warning' by integrating theory and practice, access ing both reason and emot ion, attempting to draw l inks between the universal and particular, heed ing the react ions of both mind and body, and connect ing the abstract and concrete. I have attempted to ach ieve this in part through (I) the approach to interviewing I have taken here, (ii) constant reflection on what I have exper ienced and learned in pursuing this research through journal writing, d iscuss ion , and taking t ime to absorb what I am exper ienc ing and learning, (iii) inclusion of these reflections in this text, (iv) and taking a holistic approach to present ing the data, my ana lys is of it, and the relevant literature. C o d e (1991) identifies subject ive factors within research that must be cons idered. (i) [Hjistorical location; (ii) location within speci f ic soc ia l and linguistic contexts, which include racial , ethnic, polit ical, c lass , age , rel igious and other identifications; (iii) creativity in the construct ion of knowledge, with the f reedoms and responsibi l i t ies it entails; and (iv) affectivity, commitments, enthus iasms, des i res, and interests, in wh ich affectivity contrasts with intellect, or reason in the standard sense (p. 46). S h e charges that those who claim objectivity without considerat ion of subject ive inf luences, particularly va lues , ignore the soc ia l and/or moral c o n s e q u e n c e s of their research. C o d e (1991) conc ludes with the statement that, "The point is to d iscover-how subject ive and objective condit ions together produce knowledge, values, and epistemology" (p. 70). R e s e a r c h methods that advocate such considerat ion, and all this entails, offer a cha l lenge to the exclusivity of traditionally accepted research methods. " R e s e a r c h as praxis", advocated by Lather (1991), complements C o d e ' s ideas. It a s s u m e s that "knowledge is social ly constituted, historically embedded , and 53 valuationally based" (Lather, 1991, p. 52). It is a imed at chal lenging the accepted norms within research to create approaches that are more inclusive. Th i s may enhance the objectivity of the research through ensur ing a c c e s s to a wider scope of perspect ives and interpretations. " R e s e a r c h as praxis" a lso advocates creat ing results that are more responsive to the needs of those oppressed by existing norms that maintain the status quo. Lather 's (1991) research a s praxis is " research that is explicitly commit ted to critiquing the status quo and building a more just society" (p. 51). It is d irected at "encouraging people to change through self-reflection and a deeper understanding of their particular situation" (Lather, 1991 p. 58). Self-reflection is enhanced through research that is: directed at emancipat ion, that is, it works towards socia l transformation through critical inquiry; interactive, where the researcher and ' researchee 's ' posi t ions are reciprocal , both learn and contribute; contextual ised, for example it takes into account the speci f ic situation, time, individuals, interests being represented or not; focused on the l ived exper iences of the participants; and directed at raising awareness of fa lse consc iousness . Fa l se consc iousness is "the denial of how our common s e n s e ways of looking at the world are permeated with mean ings that sustain our d isempowerment" (Gramsc i , 1971; Sa lamin i , 1981; Bowers, 1984 quoted in Lather, 1991, p. 59). Th is is an element of hegemony where the oppressed contribute to their oppress ion, but is not exc lus ive to opp ressed sectors of society. Members of privi leged groups may exper ience fa lse consc iousness , in the form of ignorance of their complicity in the oppress ion of 54 Others and thereby limiting one ' s personal exper ience and reinforcing the status quo. S o m e of the key concepts underlying research a s praxis are reciprocity, negotiation, and critical inquiry leading to reflexivity. T h e s e are critical e lements | have attempted to incorporate into my research methodology (see below). Another approach to employ ing and enhanc ing research a s praxis is Ristock and Pennel l ' s (1996) " research as empowerment". They identify empowerment at a number of levels ranging from sel f -empowerment to community empowerment . The common theme throughout these is the "critical ana lys is of power a n d [the] reconstruct ing of power s o that the latter can be used in a responsib le manner" (Ristock and Pennel l , 1996, p. 2). Ris tock and Pennel l (1996) crit icise the homogenis ing approach of "grand narratives" (p. 4) and "encourage the development of multiple awareness or d iscourses" (p.5). T h e s e authors agree with Lather 's (1991) focus o n praxis, reflexivity and critique and add to this: the pursuit of ' l inks' [which] open our research to a wider group . . . and keep our studies grounded in d iverse realit ies; ' interruptions' [which] prevent our thinking from becoming either too rigid . . . or too amorphous; and ' t ransparency' [which] means reveal ing who one is and how one 's location s h a p e s the research p rocess" (Ristock and Penne l l , 1996, pp. 9,13). I have attempted to incorporate these var ious pract ices into my approach through establ ishing a col laborative orientation to exploring the issues of Whi te culture and privilege. I asked open-ended quest ions at the beginning of the interviewing sess ions wh ich general ly f ocussed on elicit ing the participants' l ived exper iences. Th is I hoped would al low participants to explore the general topic through relating it to their own contexts. Frequent ly this lead to the participants 55 naturally approach ing many of the themes which I had identif ied and a lso opened new avenues I had not yet cons idered . For example , ear ly on in the interviews I asked part icipants to "Cons ide r t imes when you became aware of your colour, what stor ies come to mind when you think of these s i tuat ions?" I often fol lowed up with, " C a n you recal l the feel ings you exper ienced at those t imes?" S u c h quest ions not only invited part icipants to explore their own exper iences, which p laced the direct ion of the conversat ion in their control, but encouraged further ref lect ion on what might have been happen ing beneath the sur face that they may not have paid attention to before. Often part icipants responded within the course of the interviews, "I have never looked at it that way"; "I've never really thought about it"; "What an interesting quest ion"; or launched into an in depth ana lys is of a subject with renewed energy result ing from a spontaneous insight. Th is latter event w a s espec ia l l y excit ing for both the part icipants and me and cor responds to Kushner and Norr is ' (1980-81) notion of "col laborat ive theorizing", which offers an opportunity to extend the range of theor ies and meanings . . . to g ive the part icipants the dignity of theor iz ing about their own wor lds . . . [and], through shar ing meaning product ion, . . . deve lop signif icant understandings of schoo l ing and educat ion [or in this c a s e , identity, privi lege, dominance a n d oppress ion , and diversity training] (p. 35, in Lather, 1991, p. 58). S u c h exchanges were often mutually enl ightening and generated a d ia logic p rocess wh ich incorporated both inductive and deduct ive e lements. T h e s e types of exchanges a lso faci l i tated genu ine interaction between me and the participant, including d iscuss ion and clarif ication which enhanced our mutual learning and objectivity. A l though not every exchange was like this such interactions enhanced 56 the exploratory nature of the research and highl ighted the va lue of the part icipants' insights and contributions. E a c h of these examples fostered an interaction that incorporated t ransparency, reciprocity, negotiat ion and reflexivity. To augment this I invited part icipants to reflect on the interview p rocess and offer any further comments they may have, as well I submitted both the transcript and tape to e a c h participant to correct, comment on, val idate and crit ique. S u c h pract ices a l lowed me to a c c e s s and represent a s accurate ly a s poss ib le the vo i ces of those be ing interviewed, and reflect their percept ions of themselves and their contexts (personal , profess ional , historical, soc ieta l , etc.)! T h e s e techniques represent a few of the ways in which I w a s inf luenced by research a s praxis and research a s empowerment. I may not have employed the methods in their strictest forms, for example I was not interviewing an opp ressed populat ion, but adopted those methods which contr ibuted to the context of this inquiry. Lather and Ris tock and Penne l l ' s not ions of research are complementary in that they build on and reinforce e a c h other. T h e s e authors offer important insights to researchers through advocat ing cha l lenge to the status quo in ways that enr ich the research p rocess and product. C o d e (1991), Lather (1991), R is tock and Penne l l (1996) give vo ice to many concerns and ideas I have as a researcher working in the f ield of adult educat ion and ant i -racism educat ion. Th is lends legit imacy to my thoughts and considerat ions and has he lped to inform my research p rocess . T h e support offered by this literature has given me greater conf idence to pursue my research by suggest ing a feminist approach to research methods that is consistent 57 with my motivation to explore Wh i te culture and privi lege in C a n a d a : to cha l lenge the status quo, quest ion and expose the power relat ions and privi lege inherent in the soc ia l system and institutions in C a n a d a , and stimulate considerat ion of an element of oppress ion not widely acknowledged in C a n a d a . I deviate from feminist methodology in that al though the all except one participant were women, the focus was not on women 's oppress ion speci f ical ly, but on the system of dominance and oppress ion that affects many individuals and groups within society. Ro le of the Resea rche r and Part ic ipant Se lec t ion Creat ing knowledge in the soc ia l sc i ences requires a researcher to be both 'knower 1 a n d 'known', "where the 'subject' and 'object' posi t ions are a lways, in principle, exchangeab le" (Code, 1991, p. 38). Th is means a researcher must recognise what he /she brings to his/her research and how this affects the p rocess and part icipants involved, understand the reciprocity of inf luence between researcher and participants, a s well as the inf luence of the power relation. It means being vigilant in recognis ing and acknowledg ing one 's b iases and assumpt ions; the context of a situation (temporally, culturally, geographical ly) ; the power posi t ions inherent to the p rocess ; and whose interests are being served and why. In attempting to adhere to this interpretation of the researcher 's role I have cast mysel f a s observer, facilitator, ' informed participant' and above all learner. In attempting to make explicit my persona l context in approach ing this research I identif ied myself to the prospect ive part icipants as a diversity trainer, E S L teacher and adult educator, and an Eng l i sh -speak ing woman of European ancestry. I stated 58 that I a m interested in explor ing with other similarly si tuated educators, the notions of Whi te culture and privi lege through a col laborative process . I invited participation from Engl ish-speak ing educators of European ancestry, who are assoc ia ted with the broad area of diversity training, and who would identify themselves a s White. I encouraged d iscuss ion around a variety of themes, wh ich were b a s e d on, but not exc lus ive to, quest ions I had developed. I attempted to facilitate a col laborat ive exploration of the topic and encourage participants to express their personal and professional percept ions, opinions and exper iences. I strove to establ ish rapport b a s e d o n mutual respect, motivation to reflect o n and learn from prior knowledge and exper ience a s well a s the interaction we are shar ing, and desire to work towards a more just C a n a d i a n society. M y role as ' informed participant' entered into the p rocess through my understanding of the literature and using this knowledge to probe for greater depth w h e n appropriate. Yet , a s wel l , I shared with the participants through d isc los ing my posit ion, understanding of the topic and exper ience. I, a lso, was a participant within my own research. I asked my advisor to interview me us ing the s a m e themes and quest ions I had posed to the other participants. M y interview w a s recorded, t ranscr ibed and c o d e d to form part of the data for this research. O n e of my concerns about engaging in this research was the general discomfort the terms White, Whi te culture and privilege s e e m to elicit, particularly from Whi te people. Focus ing my interviews on educators within the f ield of diversity training is one way of address ing this concern. Educators from this field are likely to have spent some time consider ing difficult and controversial topics such a s racism 59 a n d may be more interested in, than intimidated by a n explorat ion of Whi te culture and privilege; thus diversity training is the cite of this research rather than the focus of it. I invited Whi te diversity trainers from the Lower Main land to participate in this study through networking, which may be identified as using purposeful and snowbal l sampl ing. Having worked in the field for severa l years I am acquain ted with people working in diversity training who were able to furnish names of other trainers who may be interested in participating. Upon compi l ing a list of poss ib le participants I sent out fifteen letters introducing mysel f and outlining the study. I fol lowed up my select ion of participants with te lephone and/or e-mail contact to d i scuss my approach to the research, the value of each individual 's participation, and the particulars of this participation. A s well , I sent an informed consent form to be s igned and returned to me if the participant w ished to take part in the research. Upon receiv ing the form I ca l led to arrange with the participant an appropriate time for the interview. Part icipant select ion was limited to those Whi te diversity trainers who responded to my invitation to participate in the study and could accommodate the time f rames involved. I interviewed nine participants, one interview which unfortunately did not record, and was interviewed myself by my thesis advisor. Thus , the p rocess involved ten interviewees but the data has been drawn from only nine interviews. 60 A Prof i le of the R e s e a r c h Part ic ipants It is important to say that within this research I w a s general ly speak ing with individuals who, in relation to myself, are either in a similar or more privi leged soc io -economic strata, similar or higher level of educat ion, who share a similar or greater degree of power as bestowed by socia l norms and who have a similar or higher degree of knowledge, insight and exper ience with the research topic. My intention in interviewing these individuals w a s to learn from educators who may have s o m e previous exper ience in address ing some the complex i ssues explored through this research. T h e participants, who include myself, are Eng l ish-speak ing adult educators of European ancestry, who are assoc ia ted with diversity training in the B C Lower Main land. Th is group includes eight women and one man whose ages range from late twenties to early fifties. The participants are middle c l ass and all have a minimum of an university undergraduate degree. Their professions include human rights educators, lawyers, organisat ional change educators, students of anti-racism educat ion, employment equity consultants and adult educators. It is important to note that the participants' educat ional backgrounds related to diversity training is highly var ied as there is no s tandard ized criteria for working within this f ield. Al l of us are Eng l ish-speak ing and of European descent , ranging from first generat ion Canad ians to sixth generat ion Canad ians . The rel igious affiliations of the participants include Protestant, Cathol ic, Jew ish , and Agnost ic ; the sexua l orientations include heterosexual and homosexua l ; the family constel lat ions include single individuals with or without chi ldren, coup les with or without chi ldren, and coup les with grown 6 1 chi ldren. T h e part icipants' p lace of origin, i.e. p lace of birth and ch i ldhood homes, cover many Canad ian provinces, some parts of Europe and South Afr ica. Al l have been living and working in the B C Lower Ma in land for severa l years. Data Col lec t ion Strategies My approach to this research involved setting up a col laborat ive p rocess of investigation between the interviewees and myself. The data col lect ion p rocess cons is ted of an hour and a half tape-recorded interview with e a c h participant. C o d e s were used to ensure the confidentiality of all data. T h e tapes, transcripts and all co r respondence were identified only by code, kept in a locked fi l ing cabinet, and a c c e s s e d exc lus ive ly by me and my thesis supervisor. I faci l i tated semi-unstructured interviews with e a c h of my part icipants. M y interpretation of the term 'semi-unstructured' is that my approach is "to understand rather than to expla in" (Fontana & Frey, 1994, p. 366) and to fol low the direction the participant takes. I va lue Fon tana and Frey 's (1994) statement that the unstructured interview "is used in an attempt to understand the complex behaviour of members of society without imposing any a priori categor isat ion that may limit the f ield of inquiry" (p. 366). Despi te this, I feel it is important, within this part icular topic, explor ing Whi te culture and privi lege, to have prepared well thought out quest ions, which I g rouped into themes (See appendix D, page 228). My intention in do ing this w a s to initiate the d iscuss ions if necessary and facil itate them through employ ing quest ioning techniques that had be somewhat sc reened to avo id leading quest ions or imposing certain orientations. A s wel l , I w a s nervous during the first few interviews and felt 62 that through careful preparat ion on my behalf I may mitigate the effect of my nervousness on the participants. Kva le (1996) expla ins that al though such an interviewing technique may be based a sequence of themes each having speci f ic quest ions, "there is an openness to changes in sequence and forms of quest ions in order to fol low up the answers g iven and the stor ies told by the subjects" (p. 124). Merr iam (1988) suggests that "[t]his format a l lows the researcher to respond to the situation at hand, to the emerging world v iew of the respondent, and to new ideas on the topic" (p. 74). T h e quest ions and themes I deve loped were based on my ana lys is of the literature, as wel l as the feedback ga ined from the initial interviews and their analys is . Hav ing themes and quest ions prepared gave me the option of offering some structure to the interview p rocess if this s e e m e d more comfortable for the respect ive participant. Converse ly , these themes and quest ions remained in the background a s an organis ing foundat ion for my thoughts, when the interviewee seemed more comfortable with an exploratory process . Genera l ly , the themes and quest ions provided stimulating starting points to address i ssues ra ised in the literature and he lped both the part icipants and me to crit ically reflect on our knowledge and exper iences. T h e quest ions and themes embod ied Gi roux (1992) and L inco ln and G u b a ' s (1985) crit ical ethnography approach to interviewing, in that: [Critical ethnography] accounts for the historical, soc ia l , and economica l situations. Cri t ical e thnographers real ise the structures c a u s e d by these situations and their va lue- laden agendas . .". (and attempt) to broaden the polit ical d imens ions of cultural work whi le undermining exist ing oppress ive sys tems" (Fontana & Frey, 1994, p. 369). 63 Th is exp resses in part the under ly ing va lue of this research, which l ies in "undermining exist ing oppress ive systems", or at least inspir ing people to think about some aspec ts of s u c h sys tems in C a n a d a . T o do this it is important to cons ider the "historical, soc ia l , and economica l si tuations" of the part icipants' knowledge and exper iences related to the topic. Thus , I used the themes to guide the interviews, but these themes remained f lexible. A s I completed, t ranscr ibed and a s s e s s e d e a c h interview, I adjusted my themes to include a reas I had not previously cons idered. In this way I hoped to make the interviews relevant and stimulating for both part icipants and the researcher and to enr ich the data be ing col lected. Part ic ipants were a s k e d to cons ider Whi te culture and privi lege and what it means within the context of their personal and professional exper iences. The interviews focused on d iscuss ions of part icipants' diversity training exper iences, considerat ion of C a n a d i a n society and investigation into part icipants' interpretations of and exper iences with Whi te culture and privi lege. A fol low-up conversat ion - v ia te lephone, e-mai l , written mail, or in person - took p lace after e a c h participant had rece ived his or her respect ive transcript and taped copy of the interview to review, verify and comment upon. The purpose of this was to provide both the part icipants and myself with an opportunity to reflect on the initial interview p rocess and topics d i scussed , clarify what was d i s c u s s e d and explore any quest ions that had ar isen s ince the interview. Fol lowing e a c h interview I recorded my thoughts, quest ions, observat ions, and fee l ings about the interview p rocess and content in a short journal entry. I encouraged the part icipants to do the s a m e if they l iked (although this w a s not a 64 requirement) a s s u c h a pract ice c a n create a n opportunity for reflection and provide va luable feedback. During the fol low-up communicat ion we had the opportunity to d i scuss our reflections, which gave me insight into part icipants' interpretations of the d iscuss ions and enhanced the accuracy of my interpretations and representat ion of the part icipants' contr ibutions. Part ic ipat ion in this study required about three hours of the part icipants' time, which I hope offered e a c h person an opportunity to engage in an interactive p rocess of mutual learning and reflection about some sensi t ive i ssues we face in the f ield of diversity training. A draft of the part icipant profile, the two ana lys is chapters, conc lus ion and bibl iography were sent to e a c h participant. My intention in doing this was to give the part icipants the opportunity to comment on the work before I wrote the final draft. A s wel l , I hoped the part icipants would be ab le to incorporate the insights they may have ga ined into their training sess ions ; thereby us ing this exper ience to enhance and inform their pract ice. I rece ived very little crit ique regarding the drafts, but I did receive cons iderab le feedback from the part icipants regarding the importance and use fu lness of this material for their a reas of work. In summar is ing my data col lect ion methodology I would like to briefly address two of the pract ices coming from the scienti f ic method that are often appl ied, appropriately or not, to qualitative studies: reliability and validity. McMi l l an and Schumache r (1997) point to the "dependabi l i ty and confirmabil i ty of the researcher 's interactive style, data recording, data analys is , and interpretation of participant meanings" (p. 408) as the qualitat ive approximat ions of the quantitative terms 65 reliability and validity. I have attempted to meet e a c h of these criterion through the methods indicated below. interactive style: through recording and transcribing semi-structured interviews and journal ing my impression after e a c h interview; data recording: through having the participants review their respect ive transcripts and clarify any mis-interpretations; data analysis: through integrating the themes emerg ing from the data with the literature and reflecting upon my ana lys is with my research advisor to aid in recognis ing my b iases in interpretation, as well as responding to feedback on my ana lys is offered by the two other research committee members ; interpretation of participant meanings: through and offering a draft of the data ana lys is and d iscuss ion to e a c h participant to comment upon and consider ing their feedback when writing the final draft of the analys is . Th is thesis documents my interaction with a spectrum of literature relevant to the topic, data col lected from nine interviews, d iscuss ion with my adv isors , co l leagues, fr iends and family, and scrutiny of my inner react ions, thoughts and reflections. It is ultimately my perspect ive o n and interpretation of a n interactive learning process. 66 Data Ana lys i s Methodology T h e purpose of my data ana lys is w a s to make explicit the interviewees' individual interpretations, exper iences and understandings of Whi te culture and privilege, then to synthes ise my understanding of these with my exper ience and knowledge of the literature. Data ana lys is took p lace at severa l levels s imul taneously and was developmenta l . For example, my ana lys is of the text of the first one or two interviews enhanced my sensitivity to certain themes. Th is inf luenced the development of my interview guide and quest ions over the course of the whole interviewing process . A s wel l , my interviewing and analyt ical skil ls deve loped with subsequent interviews; thus later interviews were subject to more 'on-the-spot' analys is within the interview p rocess than earl ier ones . Th is means that through recognis ing themes as they came up in the interview I cou ld summar ise or probe during the exchange to gain greater clarif ication of the interviewee's meaning, perspect ive or interpretation. Thus ana lys is of the later interviews may reflect more informed interpretations of interview data which a ided me in re-interpreting the data from the interviews conducted at the beginning of the study. Th is p rocess illustrates the multi- level, cycl ical , and developmental nature of my approach to data analys is. M y approach to data ana lys is is interpretative; the validity of my interpretation is based on a combinat ion of deduct ive analys is , inductive analys is , constant compar ison and 'playing the devi l 's advocate ' . Through these analyt ical methods I a imed to reduce the threat of biased subjectivity, which Kva le (1996) def ines as " researchers noticing only ev idence that supports their own opinions, select ively interpreting and reporting statements justifying their own conc lus ions, overlooking 67 any counter ev idence" (p. 212). T o further enhance the validity of my interpretations of the data I attempted to follow Kva le 's (1996) adv ice that the researcher must "play the devi l 's advocate towards his or her own f indings" (p. 242). Marshal l and R o s s m a n (1995) echo this sentiment in terms of data analys is : "As categor ies and patterns between them emerge in the data, the researcher must engage in the critical act of chal lenging the very pattern that s e e m s s o apparent. The researcher must sea rch for other, p lausible explanat ions for these data and the l inkages among them" (p. 116). Marsha l l and R o s s m a n (1995) reflect the dialect ic between deduct ive and inductive analys is as a way of gradual ly uncover ing the mean ings held within the data: "The researcher is gu ided by initial concepts and guiding hypotheses, but shifts or d iscards them as the data are col lected and ana lysed" (p. 122). M y prel iminary coding reflected this dialectic. Al though I did not work from an a priori hypothesis, my sensitivity to initial concepts was der ived from my own exper ience and my knowledge of the literature. Th is guided me in posing quest ions to the text and identifying themes and key words through open coding. S t rauss (1987) descr ibes the goal of open coding in the following quote. The aim is to produce concepts that s e e m to fit the data. T h e s e concepts and their d imens ions are as yet entirely provisional: but thinking about these results in a host of quest ions and equal ly provisional answers . . . the aim of the coding is to open up the inquiry. Every interpretation at this point is tentative (pp. 28-29). A s I worked through e a c h interview I openly coded recurring themes and used in vivo codes for key words and phrases that a rose out of the data. Here I am us ing a loose interpretation of S t rauss ' (1987) descript ion of in vivo codes, wh ich he 68 identifies as "terms used by actors in that field (the field under study) themselves" (p. 33). In other words, in vivo codes are the tacit understandings or meanings that become at tached to certain words or phrases within a field of d iscourse. S t rauss (1987) identifies two character ist ics of in vivo codes as "analyt ic usefu lness and imagery ... . In vivo terms have a very vivid imagery, inclusive of much local interpretative meaning: they have 'grab' for the participants . . . They a lso have much analyt ic force s ince actors do use them with e a s e and with sufficiently prec ise meaning" (pp. 33-34). M y ability to recognise in vivo terms increased a s subsequent interviews were ana lysed . Th is contributed to identifying links between participants' interpretations and exper iences of Whi te culture and privilege. M y bank of themes evo lved into categor ies as I condensed the data through identifying relat ionships between themes. T h e s e categor ies a rose out of the p rocess of interpreting and compar ing themes ac ross interviews, looking for similarit ies and differences, and omiss ions in compar ison to the literature. T h e s e categor ies came to include sociological constructs, wh ich St rauss (1987) identifies as being "based on a combinat ion of the researcher 's scholar ly knowledge and knowledge of the substant ive field under study" (p. 34). A s sociological constructs deve loped a greater synthesis of the meanings der ived from the interviews evolved. Marshal l and R o s s m a n (1995) quote Scha tzman and S t rauss ' (1973) descript ion of how categor ies and relat ionships ar ise out of the data. Th is descr ipt ion summar ises in simple terms the analyt ical p rocess I employed. Probab ly the most fundamenta l operat ion in the ana lys is of qualitative da ta is that of d iscover ing significant classes of things, persons, and events and the properties wh ich character ise them. In this process, which cont inues throughout the research, the analyst gradual ly c o m e s to reveal his [sic] own 69 " is 's" and "because 's " : he names c l a s s e s and links one to another, at first with "simple" statements (proposit ions) that express the l inkages, and cont inues this p rocess until his proposi t ions fall into sets, in an ever- increas ing density of l inkages (pp. 108-110, emphas i s in original) (p. 112). Thus , it is this p rocess of deve lop ing "an ever- increas ing density of l inkages" between categor ies of data that will evo lved into the themes, e lements, and relat ionships that came together to form situated concept ions of Whi te culture, pr ivi lege and dominant culture. Summary T h e research p rocess and part icipants have been identif ied in this chapter, fol lowing this are two chapters dea l ing with the data analys is . T h e first level combs through exper iences and percept ions of wh i teness d i scussed within the interviews, to deve lop a set of factors contributing to dominant culture. Chapter F ive takes the ana lys is a step further to d i scuss the barriers to address ing dominant culture. 7 0 C H A P T E R F O U R Data Ana lys is Level I: Mak ing It V is ib le T h e focus of this study is to conduct an interpretative analys is of concept ions of White culture and privi lege, a s articulated by nine individuals (including myself) working in areas within or bordering diversity training. I develop, through analys is of the participants' accounts, a broader and more explicit interpretation of the mean ings and e lements of Whi te culture and privi lege. I relate components of these descr ipt ions to the literature; to e a c h other through compar ison ac ross interviews; and to my own exper ience. I create a synthesis of all the data to provide a comprehens ive, grounded portrayal of situated concept ions of Whi te culture, privilege and dominant culture. The nine participants in the study have been give pseudonyms and the transcript code and page number have been cited after e a c h quote. In p laces where I, a s the interviewer, ask quest ions or interject comments my words are ital icised and contained within curly brackets { }. In present ing the quotes from the transcripts I have taken the liberty of reducing the number of conversat ional interjections, in the name of improving the f low and readability. I have not changed any of the actual words, my edit ing addit ions are conta ined within square brackets [ ] and delet ions shown by three . . . consecut ive, s p a c e d dots. Emphat ic ph rases or statements are shown in bold type. In many c a s e s the quotes are rather extensive. The interviews provided a t remendous amount of rich data deal ing with very complex issues; therefore I have tried to maintain the context of the responses . Many of the concepts being 71 d iscussed are intricately woven together; therefore it hasn't been poss ib le to present discreet categor ies for d iscuss ion. Rather, I use part, sect ion and subsect ion titles to highlight core themes ar is ing from the data. I have ar ranged the progression of these themes in a building block manner a s much a s possib le, that is the themes b e c o m e more complex as they progress incorporating and building on ideas presented in earl ier parts and sect ions. Par ts A and B present data from the interviews se lec ted accord ing to themes and d iscuss ion ar is ing from participant responses to either one quest ion or a set of quest ions. T h e themes and d iscuss ion for Part A : Whi te - Now Y o u S e e It, Now Y o u Don't, a rose from responses to the following quest ion: "If you think back to your chi ldhood, youth or adulthood was there a time when you became aware of being Whi te? T h e responses to this quest ion were rather complex and varied, but severa l themes emerged from the data wh ich highlight similarit ies and dif ferences in the responses . T h e themes and d iscuss ion for Part B: Deconstruct ing Wh i teness , a rose from responses a variety of quest ions related to: C a n a d i a n culture, norms a n d va lues, dominant society/ cu l ture /mainst ream society, Whi te culture, privi lege and Whi te privi lege and Whi te a s a colour. S ince the quest ions in part two vary somewhat I have occas ional ly included the interviewer's text as wel l as the respondents ' to indicate changes in context. Part C : Putting It Al l Together serves to summar ise and extend the d iscuss ion. Here I present a conceptual s c h e m a depict ing var ious factors governing entrance to and consequences of dominant culture; I then present the metaphor 72 Constel lat ions of Pr iv i lege in an attempt to portray the myriad interrelations of the factors. I conc lude this part with a d iscuss ion of interlocking structural privilege. I have taken measures to represent the participants' thoughts and exper iences a s accurately a s possib le, yet I recognise what is presented it ultimately my interpretation. I would like to acknowledge the t remendous support the participants offered through their interest, honesty, encouragement and the investment of their time, knowledge and reflections. I must a lso say that through such generous participation I co l lected far more data than could be dealt with here, therefore I have relied on my percept ions of what is most important in the select ion of the themes, text to be quoted, and arrangement of these. Part A . Whi te - Now Y o u S e e It. Now Y o u Don't Th is part presents participants' narrat ives around their percept ions of, and exper iences and thoughts about being Whi te. I then d iscuss the consequences of the general non-percept ion of whi teness by Whi tes and some of the react ions many Whi te people may have to perceiving their whi teness. Invisible Wh i teness S u p p o s e you a s a human are told to live in the o c e a n in a society of f ish. Y o u f ind it difficult to breathe. W h e n you compla in that oxygen is a problem, the f ish would say this is simply the way the world is, and you should adjust. The f ish might even feel be leaguered a s you gasp . " Y o u are getting t i resome," they say, "Can' t you think of anything bes ides oxygen?" Water is the only world they know, even though the f ish did not create it (Wi ldman, 1996, p. 30). Wh i teness and privi lege are often invisible to those who are a part of it. Many White people do not recognise the ex is tence of a dominant culture that der ives from 73 the norms and common s e n s e that have ar isen from Whi te exper ience. S o m e people bristle at the insinuation that there is a dominant culture that bestows privi lege once r ta in members of our society, and become indignant when this is assoc ia ted with being White. "Ask a Whi te person his or her race, and you may get the response 'Italian,' ' Jewish, ' 'Irish,' 'Eng l ish, ' and so on. White people do not see themselves as White. Th is is a way of denying responsibi l i ty for perpetuating the racist sys tem a n d being part of the problem. By see ing onesel f solely as an individual, one can d isown one 's rac ism" (Katz, 1978, p. 13). This, for the most part, is not a consc ious cho ice of individuals. For Whi te people being Whi te and just part of 'normal ' society is like the air w e breathe, taken for granted; w h e n one is ins ide something we often cannot s e e it for what it really is. Part ic ipants' responses to the following quest ion reveal their thoughts and stories around the Whi te exper ience. Through these narratives var ious e lements that contribute to the invisibility of wh i teness emerge. I a s k e d the participants, "If you think back to your past, your chi ldhood, your youth, your adul thood w a s there a time when you became aware of being Whi te?" Pau l : (Pause) I don't think so. That 's interesting that you ask that. I don't, I cou ld not, no, no ( p a u s e ) . . . maybe it's in this last while that I've come to recognise it more but even still it's a really good quest ion. I don't think there was any defining moment for me about my colour (Int. 32.4, pp. 11-12). Th is is an interesting response in that an almost taken-a-back quality can be heard. Many of the participants paused a long time before answer ing this quest ion and commented that they "had really never thought about it before". The quest ion 74 generated a lot of interest and reflection. It is particularly interesting that for some participants once they started to think about it many real isat ions began to surface. Soph ia : . . . it's really interesting b e c a u s e I think it's l ike Whi te, I mean we' re not ra ised, you know like, when I was ra ised it was like "Oh , " you know there was never any reference to being White. There was reference to all other aspec ts of our identity at that time, but wh i teness a s a word, a s a concept is something that tends to be negative. It has a negat ive connotation because it's about, it is about privilege. It's about W A S P ; W A S P has a negative connotat ion. S o there is, we're not, we' re not ra ised with an awareness of our whi teness right, because whi teness is not an ethnicity, it's not you know. I can't think of an image for it, but it's not part of our ethnicity or our culture, but it's very much there (Int. 20.9, p. 40). Soph ia , who was a chi ld during the sixties, highlights a couple of points that support the concept of the invisibility of whi teness. S h e comments on the lack of reference to and awareness of being White, yet she remarks on it omipresence with her observat ion that "it's very much there." Dyer (1997) reinforces this point with his anecdote about the "bloke and the geezer" . The s e n s e of Whi te as non-raced is most evident in the absence of reference to whi teness in the habitual speech and writing of Whi te people in the West . W e (Whites) will speak of, say, the b lackness or C h i n e s e n e s s of fr iends, neighbours, co l leagues, customers, or clients, and it may be in the most genuinely friendly and accept ing manner, but we don't mention the whi teness of the Whi te people w e know. A n old-style Whi te comed ian will often start a joke: T h e r e ' s this bloke walk ing down the street and he meets this B lack geezer", never thinking to race the bloke a s well as the geezer (p. 2). Dyer 's point is well taken a s many of us can identify with it. A s wel l , this anecdote is one example of mediated r ac i sm 1 7 . J iwani 's (1994) examples of mediated racism indicate other ways in which Whi te invisibility is reinforced. 1 7 The media draw on a "pool of common sense knowledge [that] is a reservoir of all our unstated, taken for granted assumptions about the world we live in. It is filled with historical traces of previous systems of thought or belief structures. An inherent part of that historical legacy is the way in which the media positioned and represented peoples who were different; different from what was considered acceptable in Canadian society... People who were different were positioned as 'others'." (Jiwani 1994, p .2). . 7 5 For example, mediated rac ism may take the forms of omiss ion and commiss ion , where speci f ic groups are absent from the genera l med ia or "consp icuous ly present in stor ies deal ing with cr ime or problems in their communit ies, [and] the identif ication of racial background when these are s imply not warranted" (p. 4-5). T a k e for instance, the statement 'the suspect was a black male '. Or, 'the suspect is a C h i n e s e man. ' Al ternat ively if the racia l identity is absent, the cultural background tends to be ment ioned, a s for example, 'The body of the baby girl found in the ravine revea led her to be of South A s i a n origin. ' Th is assoc ia t ion of cultural identity with a cr ime indicates that the cultural heri tage is to b lame for the way in wh ich the person ac ted (p. 5). T h e s e examples of mediated rac ism give subs tance to Soph ia ' s express ion of the unremarked " thereness" of whi teness. In other words, we do not talk about it, but its a b s e n c e is part of its power; if you are not ' raced ' you are normal . S o p h i a a lso comments on the negat ive connotat ion of the concept of whi teness. Th is may offer one explanat ion a s to why many Whi te peop le prefer to ignore the oppress ive legacy whi teness has acc rued over the centur ies. S h e supports this sentiment with the fol lowing statement. I do not speak with pride about being Whi te , right, and I think we need to examine that, you know, why not? I think we don't because definitely we know, at some unconsc ious level , that be ing Wh i te is being part of the oppressor here in C a n a d a . Y o u know s o peop le don't, it's interesting (Int. 20.9, p. 39). .- Another aspec t of the " thereness" of wh i teness is that a l though being Whi te isn't general ly acknowledged, when it isn't "there" the impact is immediate and powerful. Th is can be s e e n in Patr ic ia 's response about her exper iences of real is ing her colour. Not when I was little I don't think. Not consc ious ly . Um, probably when I travel led, I was most aware of my sk in colour. I went to C h i n a when C h i n a had just opened . That w a s quite interesting b e c a u s e there weren't Wh i te 76 people in Ch ina . I think there w a s about 10 of us in the country. There was probably more than that, but there were many, many, many people and you are very Whi te . W e were off in the south of C h i n a . . . and we came ac ross this woman with her baby, and this baby looked at me and she just went hyster ical . B e c a u s e I am sure they had never s e e n a Whi te person, and just the sight of these two sickly Whi te things, just absolutely put this chi ld into shock. I was really just sitting there going huh, I guess I am really different. I mean , I w a s aware that w e are real ly different, obviously, but it w a s l ike it just, from a kid's perspect ive it w a s really interesting (Int. 17.8, pp. 22-24). Another part icipant's response to the quest ion of first exper iences of whi teness a lso supports the notion of its invisibility, yet based on a slightly different perspect ive from that of the former responses . J o a n points to the a b s e n c e of Others and the impact of the homogenei ty of the society in which she grew up. I grew up in a Whi te suburb. I mean, when I look back on it now, it w a s s o homogeneous in terms of colour that it was hardly even something, I mean in terms of sk in co lour or wh i teness in that sense , it w a s a non- issue. It w a s such a non- issue I look back on it now and I am amazed , that I cou ld have l ived, I l ived through that per iod of t ime of Whi te homogeneity. S o the sal ient i ssues were different r ight? It w a s c lass , really. C l a s s w a s the biggie. W h o had more money than others. A n d then maybe rel igion in the s e n s e that you know, we had some Jehovah ' s W i tnesses , but I didn't know anybody that was Jewish . I didn't know anybody who was a non-Chr is t ian. I mean, in my chi ldhood, all the way up to my teen years, I don't think I knew anybody, really knew anybody who wasn' t Whi te and who wasn' t bas ica l ly Chr is t ian affil iated in some cultural way (Int. 36.5, p. 35). J o a n too was a chi ld in the sixt ies. Her focus on the homogenei ty of society, in terms of colour, leads her to comment that wh i teness w a s a non- issue. S h e points to other "sal ient i ssues" at the time such as c l ass and rel igion, which contribute important insights into the complexity of the dominant culture in our society. For example, perhaps there was not a spectrum of di f ferences in skin colour and rel igion at that time, but within whi teness there were other powerful differentiating factors such as soc io -economic c lass through which power, privi lege and prest ige were bestowed. 77 Pau l brings together severa l of the e lements d i scussed above s u c h a s invisibility, the " thereness" of whi teness and the impact of this in Othering people who are not part of the dominant culture. S o , whi le Whi te culture is our dominant culture, in C a n a d a you know, most Whi te people don't s e e that as being part of the culture, they just s e e that as part of their life and everyone e lse has culture. I mean , in the s a m e way that you know full well what someone is talking about when they talk about 'ethnics' . Wel l , I'm an ethnic you know. I mean my ethnicity is Scott ish, Eng l ish , Amer ican , when I look at my grandparents for example , that's my ethnicity and yet, when people think of ethnics they a lways think of someone who really has a different colour skin at the very least you know, maybe it wou ld be broader to include you know Eas te rn Eu ropeans or some thing, but usual ly they are talking about people who look different. A n d so, you know, not real is ing that, you know, there's all k inds of different cultures, there's all k inds of ethnicity, and yet when they talk about it you know what they're talking about, you know what they're really talking about, they're talking about other people, you know not me (Int. 32.4, pp. 11-12). Pau l ' s comments point out the tacit understanding, or mainstream common s e n s e meaning of the word 'ethnic'. W h e n we look back to Chapter Two and the considerat ion of the evolution of Canad ian immigration pol icy and multicultural pol icy and practice we get a s e n s e of where such an understanding may be rooted. Pau l brings up another important point about the dominant culture in C a n a d a being not only Whi te culture but perce ived a s 'the' C a n a d i a n culture. W h e n I talk about culture I have to remind people that culture includes everyone, they have their own culture, they have their own background and whether it's all one hundred percent Canad ian based , or whether they have you know, in which they've forgotten about their ancestry or the culture of their grandparents, great grandparents, maybe they've been in C a n a d a for so many years that they don't identify that much with the other cultures, then they just look at it a s C a n a d i a n culture (Int. 32.4, pp. 11-12). Upon deeper reflection participants began delving into the notion of Whi te culture being the dominant culture and the dominant culture being accepted a s C a n a d i a n culture, wh ich may underl ie the s e n s e of the implicit " thereness" of 78 whi teness which contributes to the tacit Othering of people who are not members of the dominant group. D iane offers some insight into the dichotomy of whi teness and Othering. . . . I w a s just reading that a, article by someone , Kobayash i , I think her name is, yeh. Wha t she talks about is that we 've created a myth that Canad ian is Whi te and that, you know, that we have to chal lenge that myth in order to bring about change. A n d , you know, I think that what we have to acknowledge is that the system has been def ined by Europeans . It reflects European values, it reflects and ideology of superiority that is held by Europeans um, the society is permeated with the myth that C a n a d a is a Whi te, predominantly a Whi te country. A n d that we, must talk about the ways in wh ich that filters down, and effects people 's ability to a c c e s s and participate in the society (Int. 24.3 , pp. 21-23). T h e s e reflections provide a broad summary of the va lues that have inf luenced the var ious exper iences around whi teness the participants have offered so far, and will be reinforced over and over aga in as other participants tell of their exper iences. T h e overwhelming s e n s e I got from these responses w a s that as a chi ld or youth growing up in var ious parts of C a n a d a there w a s little or no real isat ion of being White. Yet, this was not because whi teness was not relevant or powerful, but because it w a s the unremarked norm. Exper ienc ing Whi teness The next select ion of narratives were a lso responses to becoming aware of being White, but the dominant theme exp ressed here is real isation of colour and privi lege through be ing in the minority or fac ing adversity. Stereotypes and unwarranted power. A n y a : The first time I really real ised, profoundly that I was Whi te w a s when I went to Af r ica in 1986. I was walk ing down the street in Nairobi and it wasn' t tourist s e a s o n and there were very few Whi te people around and, yah, it w a s a shock. {Hmmj It w a s a shock. {What are your feelings around that?) Y o u 79 see , it's a n interesting thing, though, I think in Afr ica, there, there w a s a level of, certainly there was a level of, "Do I belong here and what are percept ions of me?" and so on. A n d I learned a little bit more about that when I went back to Afr ica . . . lots of assumpt ions were made about me and who I was, and about my wealth. A n d the host family that I was living with, even though they k n e w T w a s a student, had percept ions of my home be ing Fort Wor th and Dal las, and that sort of thing. S o there w a s a certain amount of frustration around being in a n environment where, I couldn't, where people were making assumpt ions about who I was based on the colour of my sk in. S o , it w a s an interesting posit ion to be in compared to being here when you're part of the dominant culture and so it's eas ie r just to kind of melt in to the . . . {normal} yah ! quote, unquote. Normal yah, exactly. But in Afr ica, obviously I was in a minority. But I w a s still very much, I still felt a s though I w a s g iven all this power unduly or that, it was due to a lot of history and a lot of the relations between France and the Co te d' lvoire (Int. 21 .1 , pp. 15-16). Powerful images come out of this quote of how A n y a exper ienced being a racia l ised minority. S h e exp resses quest ions of belonging, self-doubt, insecurity and reacts to being a victim of stereotyping. Within this she is express ing her exper ience of Whi te being the minority, yet she remarks on the contradiction within being a member of a minority yet still having more power and privi lege than other people due to her colour. T h e s e comments are very much in contrast to the sent iments from the previous sect ion, which reflected the exper ience or non-exper ience of whi teness in C a n a d a . The themes of shock and unwarranted privilege are echoed in Patr ic ia 's anecdote about travell ing in Ch ina . Go ing through Ch ina again, we had all of these people that just wanted to talk to us. They wanted to talk to us because we were White. They wanted us to just speak because they wanted to learn Engl ish. Go ing into S ingapore people would, they just wanted anything that you had to say, anything that . you cou ld share with them. They wanted their picture taken with us. W e were hot. L ike we were these two ordinary people that were extremely privi leged even a s a visitor to those countr ies. A n d I w a s thinking, isn't that interesting that when people come from Singapore , you know, brown sk inned people come to C a n a d a , they have a completely different exper ience. Like it is a little bit unsettl ing somet imes feel ing like you were so , I don't know if it was b e c a u s e you were so much a minority or because you know we didn't speak the language. I mean it w a s just, everything w a s kind of foreign. Um, but even 80 though it was foreign, we were definitely treated as the privi leged c lass . A n d I was thinking how frightening it would be to come to another country and not just n o t k n o w the language, look different, but be treated completely the opposi te. Like be treated just like, you didn't really belong in the country. S o , that w a s very sort of, it w a s very helpful for me to kind of walk in someone e lse ' s shoes . A n d I recognize that I wasn't, even on, like walking, you know, I go into another country and being, like a v isual minority really, a visible minority. That w a s really interesting. Deborah : Being a minority in that country and yet having this privilege attributed to you, representing sort of a majority, just because of your skin colour (Yah ! It was so bizarre. It was really a bizarre feeling.) What are your feelings around that? Patr ic ia: Wel l , Peter sa id it was completely unwarranted. That I could be like the biggest jerk in C a n a d a , and just because I happen to have Whi te skin, I was this very important person. It w a s completely, from, my exper ience, it just wasn' t val id (Int. 17.8, pp. 22-24). Patr ic ia and A n y a have both exp ressed exper iencing unwarranted power and privilege. Peop le of the host country bestowed upon these women a higher status because they were Whi te and Engl ish speak ing. Another element that comes out of these reflections is the exper ience of being literally a visible minority, yet possess ing the power, prestige and privi lege of a broader majority. Dyer (1997) give insight into this p rocess with his comments that, "socia l groups must be visibly recognisab le and representable, s ince this is a major currency of communicat ion a n d power. Be ing visible as White is a passport to privi lege" (p.44). S u c h exper iences highlight the relationship between being part of a majority and possess ing power, prest ige and privilege, rather than simply being present in greater numbers as d i scussed by Hughes and Kal len (1974) (see footnote #6 on page 7). Patr ic ia compared her exper ience of having unwarranted importance while travell ing in Ch ina to the very different exper ience "brown sk inned people" have 81 when they come to C a n a d a . Here she refers to such people as being treated as if they "didn't really be long" and having no va lue bestowed on them by the host country. In the fol lowing sect ion J o a n and Mar ion offer further reflections on this theme. W h e n is pr ivi lege recogn isab le? J o a n : I mean in terms of taking things from an intel lectual thing about, "Oh , yes , I bel ieve in equality". A n d in my mind over the years going, "Imagine feel ing that way [dehumanised - stereotyped, degraded, not s e e n as an individual] every day of your life". L ike having this happen a mill ion t imes in smal l ways constantly, constantly, constantly. A n d in fact, in a bizarre sort of way I am real ly g lad I had that exper ience [of be ing dehumanised] b e c a u s e I think, it's unfortunate that, I mean, not that everybody d igests it in the same way, you know, but I think that is one of the problems of being Whi te . Is that we live in s u c h an insulated world. W e have no idea how much, you know, go back to your s e n s e of that quest ion of privi lege. L ike Whi te people are s o shel tered from the broader reality that they are a part of e v e n though they don't s e e themselves as a part of it, r ight? (Int. 36.5, p. 37). Mar ion : The s e n s e of being Whi te I don't think really it hit me a s hard until I started being more in the Native community. A n d I think when we say that word, in the s e n s e of being Whi te [ is] . . . "Oops , I am not quite Nat ive here". Or I am being judged for what I am. W h i c h is not something that as Whi te people we exper ience al l the time. S o , when w e think of ourse lves a s be ing Whi te , w e don't go around, it's like Byron says , we don't wake up in the morning and say, " G e e , how Whi te do I feel today". But it's more when it suddenly hits us in the face that we are, that there is some barrier that is not c rossab le . It might be a barrier or it might be an attitude. It might be a p lace where we just can' t walk the walk that al l the rest of these peop le sort of walk (Int. 16.7, pp. • - 15-18). J o a n and Mar ion reflect on the "shel tered" exper ience of being Whi te . J o a n focuses on Whi te peop le be ing unaware of the dehumanisa t ion many non-Whi te people exper ience. Wh i l e Mar ion talks about the privi lege of not hav ing to think about being Whi te every morning, she a lso exp resses discomfort in being judged for being Whi te when outside the protective insulat ion of the Whi te majority. Both of 82 these exper iences were unusua l for these women and forced them to reflect on what it might be like to exper ience being dehuman ised and judged for what you are perhaps many t imes every day. Guil t = anger, fear, pain and shame. Exper ienc ing whi teness does not necessar i ly mean exper ienc ing power and privi lege in a recogn isab le way, yet these remain part of the Whi te exper ience even if embod ied within a negat ive (for the Whi te person) context. In the fol lowing quote J o a n talks about how whi teness is not iced usual ly because of exper iences with rac ia l ised Others. Th is forced awareness often results in powerful emot ions such as anger, fear, pain and shame as il lustrated through the fol lowing f ive anecdotes . Joan : W h e n I was in my early 20's I drove ac ross C a n a d a with a fr iend of mine. A n d we ended up almost running out of gas and we were in the middle of an Indian reserve and they wouldn't serve us any gas . {Really?} Y a h . B e c a u s e it was like, "We l l , you're, Wh i te guys, you can just lie on the road all night". Y o u know it was a real sort of " fuck-you" thing, right? That was the first t ime in my life where I had ever exper ienced what it meant to exper ience my whi teness in a negat ive way. It was the first time where I exper ienced being Wh i te is a problem for some people, and they are not go ing to l ike me just because I am Whi te. It doesn' t matter if I am a nice person or I have certain fee l ings and opin ions about you know, abor ig inal i ssues . They don't care . A l l they know is that I have got Whi te sk in and that is enough for them. A n d on that bas is they are go ing to you know, do what they do. A n d s o I g u e s s that was the first real exper ience that I had of whi teness, in any sense . A n d I think that's maybe not uncommon for Wh i te people, is that their wh i teness is only apparent in an issue where they exper ience, where they are forced to exper ience it by someone who is not Whi te . Deborah: That experience that you had, with running out of gas on a reserve, what were you feelings around that? J o a n : O h , G o d . It w a s awful. A n d in that s e n s e it w a s a really good eye-opener , right? I mean, first of al l , the person that I was with was like, f reaked right out. I think he thought they were go ing to kill us or something . . . I thought it was a 83 very interesting exper ience because I was really scared . I have never in my life known what that sort of situation felt like, what it meant for someone to say, " Y o u can lie on this street all night long, and I don't give a shit". Y o u know it was like that exper ience of your bas ic humanness means absolutely ze ro to me. Y o u are a symbol of something, like I see you as a symbol , not as a person. S o that sense of being dehuman ized . {Mhmm} S o it was like big. R ight? Like it w a s a crystal l ising moment in my life (Int. 36.5, p. 36). Mar ion: Be ing White, I think of the p lace of really turning and fac ing the cave again, which is a big thing in my life right now, but a p iece of that happened the first t ime that someone I knew and respected and cared about and worked with ca l led me a racist. I went through what most liberal Whi te folks do, which is, "Not me, how dare you, how could you say this about m e ? " A n d I mean it is a very, very painful period of time, but it w a s out of that that I started down the road of exploring my whi teness, my privi lege and my rac ism. A n d it is out of that that I have come to a p lace of being much more truthful with myself. A n d s o I think that the, probably I had a s e n s e of my wh i teness 2 0 years ago, 30 years ago. I didn't face my whi teness until the last 10 years. A n d at the same time I have come to a p lace of forg iveness around my whi teness in that same {self forgiveness?} Y a h . I can't make myself any less than who I am. But I don't go to a p lace of guilt about it. I go to lots o f -sadness and lots of p laces of pa in in knowing what people have gone through, but what I teach I bel ieve very firmly myself, is that my walk is my walk. What I do and do consc ious ly is what matters. It's how I dea l with the issues of my own privi lege and my own whi teness and my own fear and pain and loathing and all of that stuff. That is the part that is not the interment, it's not the residential schoo ls and me. I wasn' t there. I didn't do that. But I, I do the s a m e stuff to people all the time and for that I am responsib le (Int. 16.7, pp. 15-18). Mar ion exp resses the "fear and pain and loathing" assoc ia ted with coming to terms with her Whi te legacy. Yet she a lso has moved beyond the s e n s e of b lame and guilt for being Whi te that I have heard many Whi te Canad ians express. Mar ion refuses to take responsibi l i ty for speci f ic events in the past, but focuses her sense of responsibil i ty on the here and now. Th is takes the form of her awareness of the influence her Whi te legacy may have on her percept ion of and act ions towards other people. Mar ion 's posit ion may show a 'healthy approach ' to the guilt that Whi te people often feel when becoming aware of whi teness, but her refusal to take •84 responsibi l i ty for the past is still problemat ic b e c a u s e much of it is still impact ing on both the pr iv i leged and the oppressed , for example the notion that a person 's s u c c e s s or fai lure is entirely their personal responsibi l i ty. F rankenberg (1995) provides an example of peop le 's des i re to d is tance from taking responsibi l i ty for the act ions of one 's ancestors , which differs somewhat from Mar ion 's approach. A s some of the women [in Frankenberg 's study] ruefully pointed out, history was "not their fault" - they merely inherited it, a s its wil l ing or unwil l ing benef ic iar ies. However , . . . history s h a p e d the present(s) in wh ich they l ived their l ives, p lac ing them in a range of relat ionships with people of color that inc luded relat ive privi lege, soc ia l d is tance, explicit ly art iculated segregat ion, and local , fragile, and situationally speci f ic forms of quasi- integrat ion (p. 238). T h e relat ionships among peop les throughout history in C a n a d a and around the wor ld c a n inform our efforts to come to terms with the legacy of rac ism whi teness has bes towed on our society, but p leading absence , i.e. "I wasn' t there" does not excuse us from the responsibi l i ty for address ing the problems posed by a largely covert sys tem of privi lege and oppress ion that exists in this country now. Nothing handed down from the past cou ld keep race al ive if we did not constant ly reinvent and re-ritualize it to fit our own terrain. If race l ives on today, it can do so only b e c a u s e we cont inue to create and re-create it in our soc ia l life. Cont inue to verify it, and thus cont inue to need a soc ia l vocabulary that will a l low us to make s e n s e , not of what our ancestor d id then, but of what we choose to do now" (Omi & Winant , 1993, p. 5; quoting F ie lds , 1990, p. 118). A s i ssues of rac ism and the centrality of whi teness within it gain a h igher profile in our society, people react in many ways. S h a m e and guilt are two of the most powerful and can often be at the root of avo idance and anger. Diane: . . . initially in the ant i - racism kind of context, I was continual ly confronted with my role a s a person with the Whi te label . Um, do ing the work and what role did we have in the work and, and all I was see ing w a s that. (Mhmm) A n d , you know coming from South Afr ica, growing up in the situation where because of 85 the polit ical cho ices my parents made I had huge shame from a very ear ly age about be ing Whi te . {Mhmm} I knew from a n ear ly age what that meant in terms of the damage, that that label was doing in that context. A n d yet I a l so s a w peop le l ike my parents who s tepped outs ide of that in a sense , the privi lege and r isked everything. A n d , so there were a lot of contradict ions for me . 77 um, wel l I g u e s s the shame, the shame of be ing Wh i te has , has been something that I really struggle with (Int. 24.3 , pp. 17-18). W e may not be proud of the legacy of whi teness, but it has endowed a sector of our society with power. How we use this power is a key factor in deal ing with oppress ion and inequality in our society. Soph ia : I was talking about speak ing with pride about my coming from the Mari t imes; being ra ised Cathol ic , stuff l ike that. That um, I think I would never, and don't think peop le would necessar i ly , speak with pride about be ing Whi te . But it's one of those things like c l ass that you might not be proud of, but it's absolutely imperative that you be aware of, right. S o I don't think a goal is for people to be proud of being Whi te , but I think the goa l is that we become more aware of what whi teness is. {Mhmm} In the s a m e way that the goal is not to be proud, but people are proud of their c lass , but to be aware of their c lass , not so much c lass in terms of what their posit ion is, in terms of c lass , but aware of, of their pr iv i leges, or lack of privi lege that their part icular soc ia l s tanding has brought and will bring to them (Int. 20.9, p. 41).. Soph ia ' s comments move from reflection on what is, i.e. no pride in whi teness, to suggest ing an approach to coming to terms with the power inherent to whi teness and decentr ing this. I would like to note that this is quite different from the 'white pride' advocated by Whi te supremacis t groups "It so happens" : Cont ingenc ies of history. Le igh 's response to my quest ion about her becoming aware of be ing Whi te offers a very different perspect ive from the others exp ressed so far. S h e focuses on her real isat ion of "the tenuousness of privi lege" and the "historical accident" that has endowed being Whi te and descendant from colonia l ancestors with having privi lege. 86 W h e n I was in grade ten and we were studying the S e c o n d Wor ld War . I real ised that if, I mean, I not only real ised, it s e e m s sort of self evident to me but everybody reacted with surpr ise when I sa id , "Wel l , if the Germans had won the war we would be learning a different history than we're learning". A n d that percept ion as I say came as a real surpr ise to other people. A n d there was s o m e moment in there where I began to solidify a s e n s e of the, I suppose the tenuousness of privilege or the, "it s o happens" that here we were, Canad ians , and for me that w a s Whi te Canad ians . It w a s very much about "it so happened. " {Hmm} A n d s o the, so my root to understanding whi teness w a s a root of understanding the "it s o happened" about it. Understanding the historical accident that put me here and them there instead of v isa versa . Deborah: Historical accident is sort of an entry point, but the maintenance of the privilege or building of that position is no accident and I guess it's interesting that the point you're expressing is understanding the historical accident which gave you a springboard to start to explore what followed (that's right) which was no accident (that's right). Le igh: Wel l and I, I don't, by historical accident I don't mean to say colonial ism wasn' t anything but deliberate, but rather that colonial ism was success fu l , it might not have been. I mean success fu l in its own terms, in the s e n s e that um, and so the cont ingency I guess of things is what began to interest me (Int. 10.6, pp. 21-23). T h e "cont ingency of things" points to the soc ia l construct ion of whi teness and its attendant privilege, liabilities and responsibi l i t ies. Leigh cites the " success " of colonial ism for setting up whi teness as a system of dominance that marginal ises and opp resses visible minorities and maintains the status quo of Whi te privi lege in this country (Mclntrye, 1997). Maintaining Invisibility "[W]hites are nondef ined definers of other people. Or, to put it another way, whi teness comes to be an unmarked or neutral category, whereas other cultures are specif ical ly marked 'cultural'" (Frankenberg, 1995, p. 197). A l l Others are def ined 87 from the s tance of being outside the norm. The norm just is; therefore it e s c a p e s . del ineation and scrutiny, and is perpetuated by the force of its own momentum. There is no more powerful posit ion than that of being 'just' human. The claim to power is the claim to speak for the commonal i ty of humanity. R a c e d people can't do that - they can only speak for their race. But non-raced people can , for they do not represent the interests of a race. The point of see ing the racing of Whi tes is to d is lodge them/us f rom the posit ion of power, with all the inequalit ies, oppress ion, privi leges, and sufferings in its train, dis lodging them/us f rom undercutt ing the authority with wh ich they/we speak and act in and on the world (Dyer, 1997, p. 2). Until we can deconstruct whi teness and own its var ious character ist ics we will cont inue to perpetuate inequality in our society. "Naming 'whi teness' d isp laces it from the unmarked, unnamed status that is itself an effect of its dominance. A m o n g the effects on Whi te people both of race privi lege and of dominance of wh i teness are their seeming normativity, their structural invisibility" (Frankenberg, 1995, p. 6). Naming whi teness is perce ived a s a threat by many Whi te people, s ince privi lege is v iewed as a win- lose situation. Many Whi te l iberals bel ieve that recognis ing difference undermines our efforts towards a "universal subjectivity (we are all just people) that they think will make rac ism d isappear" (hooks, (sic)1992, p. 167; in Dyer, 1997, p. 2). Peop le who hold this attitude deny the soc io -economic implications and consequences of race. They buy into the belief that we all have the s a m e chances in society, demonstrate no recognit ion of systemic rac ism and therefore, implicitly advocate the action or ientat ion 1 8 some assoc ia te with Whi te culture, which justifies the view that failure is the responsibi l i ty of the individual. 1 8 The attitude that "everyone is responsible for what happens to him / her and controls one's own fate" (Helms, 1992, p. 13) which completely denies systemic inequality. 88 Therefore, many Wh i tes have invested in a pol icy of 'colour b l indness ' which "d isconnects race from soc ia l identity and race consc i ousness " (McLaren , 1997, p. 260). With in the d iscourse of color b l indness, b lackness and whi teness are seen a s neutral and apoli t ical descr ipt ions reflecting skin color and as unrelated to soc ia l condi t ions of dominat ion and subordinat ion and to soc ia l attributes such a s c lass , culture, language and educat ion. In other words, color b l indness is a concept that symmetr izes relat ions of power and privi lege and flattens them out so that they appear symmetr ical or equivalent (p. 260). Wi th one hand many Whi te people advocate co lour-b l indness, whi le with the other hand they relent lessly promote their co lour and culture as the best. Both tactics keep whi teness invisible whi le serv ing dominant group interests. O n e may argue though, that C a n a d a is a mosaic , not a melting pot like the United States, and as such C a n a d i a n may claim that we do recogn ise Others. Pe rhaps we s e e Others, but this does not imply that they are granted equal (to dominant group members) value as c i t izens nor does it ensure equal a c c e s s to opportunit ies within our society. The fol lowing sect ion il lustrates aspec ts of society some people may point to in c la iming that C a n a d a is a mosaic , which many correlate with being a l iberal, progress ive and inclusive society, yet these very aspec ts actual ly serve to maintain Whi te invisibility and the marginal isat ion of Others. Exot ic iz ing Others Many Whi te C a n a d i a n s will g ive ev idence of our society 's to lerance and deny the ex is tence of a dominant culture that may be assoc ia ted with whi teness, by pointing to our 'ethnic' ne ighbourhoods. In Vancouve r there are highly ce lebrated enc laves s u c h as Chinatown and Punjabi Market. T h e s e " 'bounded ' cultures, whi le apparent ly be ing valor ized, are in fact re legated to ' reservat ions' (or Chinatowns) in 89 the name of 'preservat ion, ' a p rocess that has the effect of reinforcing rather than dis lodging the normat iveness of the dominant culture" (Trinh in Frankenberg, 1995, p. 193). If a culture were valor ized it would be valued and respected rather than marginal ised and contained. Exot ic iz ing results in the marginal isat ion of bounded cultures. Exot ic iz ing appea ls to some people s ince there is a tendency for Whi tes to feel cultureless, thus they may romant ic ise and stereotype other groups. A n y a ' s anecdote gives a somewhat obl ique, but still va luable examp le of this through equat ing only people of colour with cultural diversity. I'm at this workshop and I went up to this woman, who was born in G h a n a , she had a Whi te mother and a Ghana ian father. I sa id someth ing to her about you know, how I was, we were having this conversat ion and we were talking about the people, you know, and how we were both enjoying the workshop and so on and how wonderful ly d iverse the group was. A n d I sa id to her, someth ing about, yah, " C a n you imagine, c a n you imagine walk ing into a diversity workshop and everybody 's W h i t e ? ' A n d she sort of looked at me and sa id , "Wel l , no I can't." Or no, or something that I just thought, I, I'm not sure, I'm not sure . . . it made me real ise, I guess what I was trying to do was trying to, I was making assumpt ions about what a diversity workshop should look like. A n d that if it were all Whi te we should, we shou ld just cance l it altogether because there wouldn't be enough diversity in the room (Int. 21 .1 , pp. 13-14). Here A n y a does not see the di f ferences within whi teness or its var ious ethnicit ies, and therefore sets being Whi te outside of the diversity within our society. A s she recognises, her assumpt ion at that moment impl ies that we cannot learn about diversity from other Whi te people, only from non-Whi te people. Th is a lso ra ises the issue of who needs to be educated a n d by whom. Genera l ly , the responsibi l i ty for educat ing Whi tes about rac ism has fal len on the shoulders of non-Whites. It is essent ia l that those in the dominant posit ion engage in the d iscuss ion with other similarly situated people a s well as with people in non-dominant locations 90 in society. Doing so, will p lace the responsibi l i ty for address ing racism on the shoulders of those who are complici t in maintaining it, wh ich may include both those from dominant locations and racial ised Others who through internal ised oppress ion can a lso bejsomplicit.. Frankenberg (1995) descr ibes yet another pract ice of exot ic iz ing and some of its consequences . O n e of the guilt react ions participants in her study had to recognis ing their whi teness w a s a desi re to belong "to a bounded, nameab le culture" (p. 230). Th is can be s e e n among s o m e people in C a n a d a . For example one can s e e Whi te individuals who have completely adopted a foreign culture or "who emphas i ze the parts of their heritage that are bounded over the parts that are dominant, [such people] run the risk of romanticizing the exper ience of being opp ressed " (p. 230). Th is quote from C laud ia exempl i f ies this concept. Somewhe re back in my history is C r e e Indian. A n d my mother a lways highlighted that, with great pride, and a lways taught me that brown sk in was the most beautiful skin anyone could ever have. A n d this w a s really impressed upon me, you know, that we remember that my grandmother, my great grandfather, my great, great grandmother and the history and the l ineage of the native s ide that c o m e s in . . . and it w a s interesting that no matter how diluted it [native l ineage] became it was never al lowed to become insignificant in our family. W h y ? B e c a u s e somehow, I bel ieve, it gave us a little bit more legit imacy that it might take away from all of the whi teness. Y o u know, that Ang lo -Saxon , Scot t ish background. I think it's tied into this idea of the shame of whi teness. A n d because of this drop of C ree , that kind of redeemed us somewhat (Int. 25.2, p. 25). C laud ia ' s story a lso points to ways w e deve lop our identity and how physica l features such as skin colour are what we routinely rely on to document our heritage. Another aspect of exoticizing is romanticising the Yea lness ' of another 's exper ience. Frankenberg (1995) offers an example of this from her study of Whi te women. 91 T h e link between whi teness and dominat ion, however, was frequently made in ways that both artificially isolated culture from other factors and obscured economics . Fo r at t imes the traits the w o m e n env ied in Other cul tures were in fact at least in part the product of poverty or other d imens ions of oppress ion. Lack of money, for example, often means lack of pr ivacy or space , and it can be va lor ized a s "more street life, less a l ienat ion" (p. 200). T h e var ious aspec ts of exot ic iz ing others results in stereotyping wh ich "character isefs] the representat ion of subord inated soc ia l groups and is one of the means by which they are categor ised and kept in their p lace" (Dyer, 1997, p. 12). To what extend had C a n a d a ' s national pol icy of mult icultural ism contr ibuted to exot ic iz ing o thers? Pate l (1980) cr i t ic ised C a n a d a ' s multicultural pol icy as s imply recognis ing and legit imising ethnic ceremon ies and dances . Th is vers ion of multiculturalism earned it the name R e d Boots multiculturalism. With in many of our schoo ls even currently, diversity still often means post ing pictures of peop le from other countr ies, celebrat ing 'ethnic' tradit ions and eat ing exot ic foods. Genera l ly , dominant culture C a n a d i a n s s e e multiculturalism a s being about (immigrant) Others, not 'us' (White Canad ians ) . E v e n Abor ig inal groups d isassoc ia te themselves from multiculturalism and diversity. Th is point was made very c lear to me when facil i tating a diversity workshop for E S L teachers I inc luded a picture depict ing a Abor ig ina l P la ins coming of age ceremony. A n Abor ig ina l woman became very upset c la iming that Nat ive peop les are not part of mult icultural ism, they are not immigrants. The re is resentment among many First Nat ions peop les towards multiculturalism and they pointedly divorce themselves from it. Elliott and F le ras (1992) state that First Nat ions peop les are not "anxious to be integrated into a C a n a d i a n multicultural mosa ic a s an ethnic component with a cor responding diminishment of their c la ims. Wha t they 92 propose is recognit ion of their sovere ign status as the aboriginal inhabitants of C a n a d a " (p. 158). A s d i scussed in Chapter Two multicultural pol icy in C a n a d a is evolv ing and now incorporates to some extent ant i -racism educat ion, but as Pate l (1980) pointed out back in the eighties, for mult iculturalism pol icy to be effective in promoting equali ty whi le advocat ing plural ism it must " incorporate an important if not substant ial e lement of power shar ing at all levels" (p, 60). Part B: Deconstruct ing Wh i teness Th is sect ion is based on responses to quest ions general ly related to: C a n a d i a n culture, norms, va lues, dominant society / culture, mainstream society, and Whi te culture; Whi te culture, privi lege, and Whi te privi lege; first awareness of being Whi te; and Whi te as a colour. S i nce the speci f ic quest ions in this part vary somewhat I have occas iona l ly inc luded my words, as wel l a s the respondents ' to indicate changes in context. W h o is "Norm?" Le igh: I cal l , you know, the straight, Whi te , ab le-bod ied, Chr is t ian, heterosexual , ma le who 's neither too fat nor too thin, nor too old nor too young, and doesn' t have, ah isn't a survivor of sexual abuse , and has no criminal or psychiatr ic record, I cal l him Norm. {Yah} A n d he 's marr ied to h is wife Norma, and those two, are the people who in this culture, are set up as people against whom we unconsc ious ly measure our own l ives, and identify the a reas that we' re different (Int. 10.6, pp. 12-16). Le igh highlights e lements of what is cons idered "normal" within the dominant society in a rather tongue in-cheek manner, yet she is d e a d ser ious about the m e s s a g e that there are c lear norms wh ich bestow priv i lege to those who fit them in 93 our society. Through this she offers an introduction to this sect ion looking at the norms of society which may be assoc ia ted with the notions of Whi te culture and dominant culture. Dyer (1997) i l luminates the dynamic socia l and political reality of ' race' within a Whi te context. " A s long as race is something only appl ied to non-White peoples, as long a s Whi te people are not racial ly s e e n and named, they/we function a s a human norm. Other people are raced, we are just peop le" (p. 1). What are some of these 'norms' we unwittingly or otherwise impose on Others and ourse lves? What is the e s s e n c e of this invisible wh i teness? The fol lowing excerpts from the interviews provide some insight into these quest ions. A n y a : C a n a d i a n culture in, this is broadly defining C a n a d i a n culture in terms of dominant culture. It's looking, in terms of what I'm talking about, I'm talking about that percept ion of White.culture, the percept ion of sort of the mainst ream culture and um, (pause) time, individuality . . . Um, family, ah, I remember talking about the importance of the nuclear family connected to the notion of independence. A n d that, at least in my exper ience, um, and the culture of my family, I w a s brought up to be very, very independent, at a very young age . . . {Do you think that there's a dominant set of beliefs, values and norms that are considered to be Canadian?} I think that, yes, I think there are. A n d I think that's, (pause) those, yah, (laugh) yah. A n d I think it's held by the dominant culture and that people, who . . . {Who defines these?} O h ! Peop le in power. {Who are these people?} Um, (pause) in C a n a d a today it's mostly Whi te people, middle c lass , upper-middle c lass , um, when I think, I think about people in posit ions of power in bus iness, educat ion, health, government . . . Um, mhmm, yah, but I don't think it's a, I think it's ah, just a set of norms that have been establ ished and, and become the way things are, the normal way of things. Quote, unquote the normal way of things (Int. 21 .1 , pp. 13-15). Deborah: So, uh, who defines whiteness, or White culture in Canada? A n y a : (Pause) I think um, the media , in terms, yah , in terms of def ining what the, in terms of the normalisat ion of whi teness, in terms of who, you know, what 94 women are suppose to look like, in terms of what Whi te women are supposed to look like, like there's lots of definitions of that in the media (Int. 21.1 p. 19). * * * Deborah: Do you have any sort of conception of Canadian culture? Soph ia : Wel l , see , when I'm thinking C a n a d i a n culture I'm thinking mainstream again Right, s o the quest ion is kind of like what is C a n a d i a n culture right. That 's hmmm, I think, like when I think of how my, I have three n ieces and two nephews, {mhmm} and they're under eight years old. O k a y s o if I, what I'm going to do is think about how they're be ing ra ised . . . they're being ra ised to bel ieve that they can do whatever they want, right that whatever they set their minds to they will ach ieve. That there's no set of barriers in the world, that they are individuals in the world and they can basical ly get what they w a n t . . . I think that as a part of Canad ian culture there's the myth of the individual, individual merit right, and it is a myth {mhmm} . . . I think we're very polite um, and have a tendency to be like ostr iches. I'm totally general is ing {mhmm} but put your head in the sand and pretend you don't s e e it and it'll go away, and that's how I w a s ra ised. U m , if people are having a hard time it's their own fault, it's not the system, and it's not their skin colour, {mhmm} and it's not their language, and it's not their c lass , they didn't try hard enough or they didn't bel ieve in G o d . Um, (long pause) A n d I want to say that there's some kind of fear level, but I don't know what that's about. I think, some kind of paranoia that people are like going to get more than them (int. 20.9, p.) . The participants have identified many e lements they assoc ia te with the four terms C a n a d i a n culture, dominant culture, Whi te culture and mainstream culture. T h e s e e lements cover a spectrum ranging from physica l appearance, rel igious affiliation, sexua l orientation, socia l strata, to isolating life exper iences, va lues, opportunity, act ion orientation, the privi lege of ignoring, and competit ion. Leigh, in consider ing Whi te privilege, expands upon these themes and highlights the privi lege of being "ordinary", "unremarked," "not thrown into re l ie f . Deborah: In talking about class, you were talking about class and this relationship, and talking about White privilege, what is White privilege? 95 Leigh: Um, in, in Canad ian culture Whi te privi lege is the assumpt ion that um, (pause) it is the assumpt ion that is made by the culture and by the Whi te people in it, that the ach ievements that they have, whatever they may be, are their own personal ach ievements and that they have nothing to do with the colour of their skin. That Whi te is the colour, is the ordinary c o l o u r . . . Um, it's, it, Whi te privi lege means that I never ever, ever have to worry if anybody is going to let me through the door b e c a u s e of the colour of my skin. I may have to worry for other reasons but I never worry for the colour of my sk in. I never have a kind of stark, or like a sharp intake of breath over that quest ion. {Mhmm} Um, it means that I don't have to think about the colour of. my sk in and it is not thrown into r e l i e f . . . S o that um, it is, whi teness is constructed a s the unremarkable basel ine and w e all know how to look for it, it's that wh ich is unremarked you know, you have writers and you have black writers, you have Whi te writers and you have women writers, s o what you really mean is you have brackets "straight Whi te male writers", and {everybody after that} yah, and s o all the other signif iers are remarked when.they exist (Int. 10.6, pp. 12-16). Le igh 's comments contribute the a n increasingly important and complex theme that the participants have either identified or a l luded to severa l t imes: The notion of the " thereness" of whi teness and the reciprocal Othering of people who don't fit. A s wel l , there are a number of e lements which may put someone outside the rubric of White, dominant, mainstream, or Canad ian which have nothing to do with sk in colour. Fo r example, rel igious affiliation, sexua l orientation, physical ability, soc ia l strata, and. isolating life exper iences. J o a n adds to these ideas by focusing on language, bel iefs and principles. Peop le think of a dominant culture as a Canad ian culture and they think that somewhere it exists and it is real. A n d people talk about that . . . They have this notion that the mainstream is White, it is Engl ish speak ing. They are into democracy . . . They think of a nuclear family. They think of equal rights for women. They think of um, you can have abortion, divorce and you know. L ike there is this s e n s e of what the dominant va lues are in C a n a d a and the bel iefs that you have to have in order to be a part of that. L ike you can't bel ieve in genital mutilation, you can't be Mus l im. L ike there are some things that are outside. . . That we have to, we live in certain kinds of houses . A n d we can , and I think that is an interesting thing. Like we will accept a lot more diversity in how people may, the clothes they might wear. Not somet imes. The food 96 they might eat. The languages they might speak at home, but we are really hard core around I think more and more hard core around principles and beliefs. {Mhmm} I think that has become a site of struggle for people. They want people to bel ieve in the equality of women and men. They want people to raise their kids with a certain kind of attitude around educat ion and chi ld rearing. They want people to vote. A n d um, hold certain beliefs about equality. {Mhmm} Okay , and they want them to speak Engl ish (Int. 36.5, pp. 28-20). J o a n ' s s e n s e of the centrality within our society of the principles and beliefs about equality, f reedom, individuality, and educat ion are supported by Marchak 's (1987) comments that the Canad ian belief in the exis tence of equality and personal f reedom are central va lues in our society. S h e points to these a s motivators for "individuals to util ise the educat ional opportunit ies to ach ieve occupat ional status and to view their eventual status as the legitimate outcome of their personal and unaided efforts" (p. 26). Marchak cont inues with an example of how the assumpt ion and expectat ions of the "normal" individual lead to the judgement of those outside the norm. It is a short step to look back at others who haven' t made it and a s s u m e that for them, too, the outcome is attributable to personal abilit ies. It is congruent with these beliefs as well to limit one 's chari table donat ions to the "deserv ing" s ince the poor, the unemployed, and the failures must carry the burden of their own short-comings. Their problem is private, not socia l (p. 26). He lms (1992) summar ises some of the character ist ics of Whi te culture ar ising out of (American) societal attitudes, beliefs, and pract ices. Helms presents "Aspec ts of Whi te Culture" therefore, I have used this as a 'measure ' against wh ich the elements participants have identified related to Whi te culture, dominant culture, Canad ian culture, and mainstream society may be compared. He lms ' original table included two categor ies: Soc ia l D imens ions and Express ions . I have modif ied the table by adding a third category, E lements Identified in Data. Al l of my addit ions are 97 contained within square brackets [ ], wh ich summar ises the data from this chapter in terms of the e lements identified within the d iscuss ions and compares them to the literature. In Tab le 3.1 below, I present S o m e Aspec t s of Whi te Culture, which compares insights from the data to the literature. Tab le 3.1 S o m e Aspec t s of Whi te Culture 19 Some Social Dimensions Expressions [Elements Identified in Data] Rugged Individualism -The individual is the most important societal unit. Nuclear Family - An "ideal" family is defined as two parents and children. Rationalism - mind, body, and emotions should be treated as separate entities. Time - time is perceived as a quantity. European Aesthetics -beauty is defined by European standards. Action Orientation -Everyone is responsible for what happens to him/her. and controls one's own fate Universalism-the normative and best characteristics are defined by European culture. Competition - society's resources belong to the best History - the most important American history is White. [individuality, independence, "will achieve what they set their minds to"] [nuclear family, heterosexual, straight] People should take care of themselves; individual achievement is most valued. Alternative family structures (single parents, extended families) are considered deviant People who express emotions in "rational" situations (e.g. political speeches) are devalued. People are expected to save [lateness being attributed to time, spend time, and perform on time, individual not group] People cut, dye, and starve themselves to resemble the European ideal of beauty. If people are homeless it is because they want to be. Introduction of multicultural curricula in schools necessarily means a diluted education. Access to societal goods is determined by competition as reflected in test scores. Separate weeks, months, and so forth are needed to teach about other groups. [not too fat nor too thin, too old nor too young, appearance -height, good-looking] [your problems are your own fault isn't a survivor of sexual abuse, no criminal or psychiatric record "ostriches", opportunities] [European values, White, Christian, democracy, equal rights, Protestant work ethic] ["paranoia that someone will get more than them"] [superiority, English-speaking, the privilege of being "ordinary", "unremarked," "not thrown into relief] [Social Strata] [middle class, upper-middle class] Source: Helms, 1992, p. 13, modfied to incorporate the data from this study. 98 Many of these norms ring true yet I, as a Whi te person, do not adhere to most of them. S o , we cannot say these are character ist ics of Whi te people. Perhaps , more accurate ly we could say these identify the dominant inf luences in society in genera l , which Whi te people may more readily d isplay because they have more options, choice, greater a c c e s s or are more readily recognised than non-White people. Fo r example, I recognise these norms, and know they have had a profound inf luence in shaping my personal identity; and , if I want to, can invoke them when it suits me to benefit from the advantage they can elicit. Many of these norms I act ively oppose , others I oppose simply through who I am, through my personal i ty and values. Yet , however I oppose these norms my ob tuseness will rarely be credited to my race. I am accepted by society as an individual, no matter how eccentr ic I may be. I have opinions and a manner that may not a lways be acceptable, but all other members of my race, or even gender, c lass , etc., are not stereotyped through my attitudes, beliefs, or behaviour. "Be ing White, I am given cons iderab le power to e s c a p e many kinds of danger or penalty as well as chose which r isks I want to take" (Mcintosh, 1995, p. 84). Through these d iscuss ions a set of character ist ics, c i rcumstances and va lues have been identified. But what do they signify? A re these indicative of Whi te culture, or dominant culture, or Canad ian soc iety? What are W e Talk ing About: Ma ins t ream? C a n a d i a n ? Dominant? Wh i te? This is an exploration of how the commonly accepted traits or norms of our society s h a p e s or del ineates a group or sector of the populat ion which is privi leged. Th is is a group that we do name and tacitly know what we are talking about. Fo r 99 example, we all use the terms 'Canad ian society ' and 'mainstream society' . Within the field and the literature the terms 'dominant culture' and 'White culture' are more common. There is a tendency to use these terms interchangeably in reference to what we cons ider 'normal ' society, however we don't recognise the power, privi lege or prestige inherent to such terms. T h e fol lowing exchange between Soph ia and me helps to unravel the interwoven mean ings assoc ia ted with each of these terms. Deborah: ... dominant society, mainstream society, ah Canadian society, White culture, these terms are used with a sort of sense that we all know what we're talking about and I'm wondering what do they mean for you? Soph ia : Um, (pause) I think, when I think of C a n a d a , s o I try and picture a little map of C a n a d a and everybody that's in here {mhmm} right. I certainly s e e everything you know. Like, I s e e it in it's diversity, you know, in it's, but when I think mainstream, right, I, I think most peop le 's inclination is to think of, of Whi te um, (pause). Mainst ream, (pause) wel l , mainstream is kind of different, mainstream is kind of that middle, you know, the (laugh) wel l it's interesting actually, you know, but ah, mainstream C a n a d a , um, they have um, they're mostly White, they have a TV , they watch a lot of T V , they (laugh) you know what I mean, they vote probably either Liberal or, or Conservat ive depending on what part of C a n a d a they're in, you know, they've got kids, they're straight, they want their kids to have a decent educat ion, you know I think, I don't think of upper c lass necessar i ly . I'm thinking kind of the middle c lass {mhmm} middle to, middle and working c lass (mhmm). W h e n I think of mainstream C a n a d a I'm thinking White, straight, working, family um, working, looking for work, like the struggle. I s e e a bit of the struggle (Int. 20.9, pp. 19-20). Deborah: Okay then we've got this idea of dominant culture or dominant society, what comes into your mind with that one? Soph ia : With that o n e ? Um, dominant culture is like the norms, the, the norms, (pause) and structures of our society, so it's not just the people but it's, it's, it's the um, like I don't think of it in terms of dominance, but it's the, it's more the norms. But again, (pause) {what sets these norms?} time, tradition, um, old culture, um, s o norms aga in , I guess traditional norms, dominant culture, 100. White, straight, um, (pause). It's funny you know, we all use these words but have never really thought about like I mean, I know the s e n s e of it. . . Deborah: So, that was interesting that the difference between dominant culture and mainstream, is that the mainstream is the manifestation the dominant culture is what perpetuates that... (the institutions) what keeps it going? (Int. 20.9, pp. 20-21). Here Soph ia thinks through the relationship between the terms in quest ion. S h e begins by equat ing mainstream with the members of society, the actual people who fit many of the e lements outl ined above but adds working c lass and the notion of "the struggle" of life. Dominant culture she relates to the main tenance of the norms or the status quo through the structures of society, s u c h a s embedded traditions, old culture and current institutions. S o some differentiation is being made between the terms mainstream society, dominant culture, Canad ian culture and White culture and some paral lels are beginning to emerge. First the words 'society' and 'culture' are often used interchangeably without much thought as to their different meanings. For the purposes of this d iscuss ion I will make the fol lowing distinction: 'Society ' I assoc ia te with the actual people and institutions of a nation, whi le 'culture' I assoc ia te with the imbedded norms, va lues, bel iefs a n d behaviours general ly e s p o u s e d or d isplay by these people and institutions. My focus is on the latter, so from now on I will adhere to the term culture. General ly , the participants use dominant culture and Whi te culture interchangeably. It s e e m s that Canad ian culture is often perce ived to parallel these. However, it is not the term they identify most c lose ly with the e lements that have emerged. Mainst ream, too s e e m s to have a slightly different connotat ion, in that al though it is seen a s White, the power factor assoc ia ted with it is less than with the 101 terms dominant or Whi te culture. A s ment ioned previously, it is very difficult to establ ish discreet categor ies and definitions within this field. There is a lot of over lap and complexity, therefore we must be will ing to accept some ambiguity. Yet, to pursue the purpose of this thesis, the explorat ion of Whi te culture and privi lege, some l ines must be drawn, however tentatively. At this point in the explorat ion I will accept that dominant culture and Whi te culture are on a par, so far, and these will be the two major terms of reference. Mar ion takes this d iscuss ion a step further through denying that Whi te culture exists and that what w e are really deal ing with is a dominant culture that has been set up accord ing to Whi te European standards and incorporates Whi te Eu ropean norms. S h e impl ies that whi teness is an important factor but it is not the defining one for membersh ip in the dominant cul ture. S h e s e e s c lass a s the most powerful factor. S e e , I think it's a misnomer [White culture]. I don't actual ly think there is a Whi te culture. I think there is a culture of dominance and people get to play at it, in different ways. There is no Whi te culture in the s e n s e that c lass is even more powerful I think than, than colour in this country. S o you can, you can have cultural, um, dominance and not in fact be pure Whi te a s long a s you come into a culture of raising your c lass level. Um, now that is not entirely true . . . {So what, what is practising White culture?} I don't think there is such a thing. They are practising a dominant culture. {Mhmm} Wh ich is the culture of the power of this time. That is primarily from a Whi te European background. S o it's, it is going to have that kind of s takeholder place. It is a very middle c lass culture. It's a culture of the individual. A n d it's a culture I think of, um, ah , you know. It's pretty "me" b a s e d . . . A n d s o the dominant culture would a lso be the culture of individual gain for individual um, privilege. . . . A n d I think that this culture of dominance that's, that's primary here, um, tells all our chi ldren that they can do this. That is a lie. (Tells all our children as any culture, colour, religion?} A n y culture. The television doesn' t come on and say, you c a n have this car if you are Whi te and middle c lass . It s a y s you can have this car. It is your right to have this car in fact. {Mhmm} A n d if you really are going to, you know, if you are a part df this whole place, this is what you should dream for and you can have it. {Okay, and the flip side?} T h e flip s ide is " Y o u can't be White, sor ry . " . . . W e tell you you can have it. A n d you just f igure out a s you go along, that w e are not, wel l , you could have if 102 you were the right kind of C h i n e s e person. If you were Whi te enough you could have done it (Int. 16.7, pp. 26-28). Mar ion identifies dominant culture a s middle c lass and individualistic. C l a s s and privilege are consistent ly interspersed throughout these d iscuss ions. A s severa l participants have ment ioned it is very difficult to separate these var ious concepts into p ieces, especia l ly in relation to c lass . S o , for now it will remain imbedded but is obviously an element of relations of dominat ion that needs to be il luminated. The paral lels between dominant and Whi te culture s e e m to lie in the power and privi lege of being accepted a s 'normal ' , wh ich is the subject of the next sect ion. T h e dif ference between dominant culture and Whi te culture is colour. Th is d iscuss ion will follow in the sect ion titled, Is Whi te a Co lou r? T h e Priv i lege of Be ing S e e n a s 'Normal ' "White people do not have to s e e themselves as White. They have the luxury of see ing themselves a s individuals, whereas people who are oppressed by the system can never forget who they are racial ly" (Katz, 1978, p. 140). Rac ia l i sed Others must constantly prove themselves as worthy individuals and strive to d isassoc ia te themselves from the stereotypes at tached to their race or culture, soc io -economic status, sexua l orientation, physical ability, etc. Soph ia : What does Whi te culture m e a n ? It, I think Whi te culture is about not having a . culture, not having to have a culture in s o m e ways . Right, that if you're a member of, of a dominant group then you don't s e e yourself as being part of a "we". Right, and so I, and I think there's a privilege to that. S o , in some ways people would deny that there's a Whi te culture because they don't s e e it. Um, um, and I think it's, I have a hard time kind of separat ing it from c lass b e c a u s e it's s o imbedded, I think c lass and Whi te privi lege (Int. 20.9, p. 14). 103 "Be ing unable to conceptual ize 'whiteness, ' Whi te people are unable to s e e advantages afforded to the Whi te populat ion within this country. Furthermore, they fail to s e e how these advantages come at the expense of the d isadvantaged" (Mclntyre, 1997, p. 16). Yet , w h e n being p ressed on the subject, Whi te peop le may express concern about " 'having' and 'not having* and about 'sharing their privilege' but not want ing to 'give it up'" (Mclntyre, 1997, p. 57). Al though many Whi te people may have trouble admitting that racial privi lege is inherent to our sys tem, they certainly do not want to lose it. In a nutshell what is 'it'? A d a m s , Bel l , & Griffin (1997) offer two concepts of 'it': privi lege and Whi te privilege. "Privi lege: one of the many tangible or intangible unearned advantages of h igher-c lass status, such as personal contacts with employers, good chi ldhood healthcare, inherited money, speak ing the s a m e dialect and accent a s people with institutional power" (p. 248). "White Priv i lege [Racial privilege]: The concrete benefits of a c c e s s to resources and socia l rewards and the power to shape the norms and va lues of society which Whi tes receive, unconsc ious ly or conscious ly , by virtue of their skin color in a racist society . . ." (p. 97). J o a n a lso identifies two concepts of privilege, which run parallel to those of A d a m s et a l . (1997). A s wel l , she offers some insight into some people 's denial of having privilege. . . . the notion of Whi te privilege I think has 2 concepts in it, there is Whi te privi lege in the notion of Whi te dominance, Whi te superiority. L ike that is the first thing that people think of when they think of Whi te privilege. L ike being Whi te g ives you privilege. S o a lot of people who are Whi te say, wel l , I don't have any privilege. Look at me. Y o u know, I l ive on the Eas t S ide of Vancouver . Right now I have a crappy job, you know, working for the city you know, on the maintenance crew. I don't have any fucking privilege. . . . and so they s e e it as meaning that they have more than everybody e lse . That they are advantaged. That they exist in a state of advantage already. {Mhmm} A n d so, that is one sort of vers ion of it. A n d s o a lot of people of course will 104 completely reject that rac ism exists because they are not personal ly as a Whi te person feel ing pr iv i leged . . . S o , but I think the other thing about privi lege that people don't s e e is that privi lege is the opportunity to be cons idered normal. . . . if you are Whi te , you get to think of yoursel f a s not being different. A n d I think that is maybe another sort of meaning of it. Is that if you are Whi te , you get to think of yoursel f a s the norm. A s natural, a s the standard, as the way the world is meant to be. A s um, and unexamined. R ight? L ike your l i fe. . .and people may have an awareness of their c l ass of course, you know, people may have. But that your part icular way of life is um, is just taken for granted. And -so what people don't s e e is how that posit ion is a pr iv i leged posit ion. It is hard for them to s e e that normal, to be ab le to cal l yoursel f normal in a world of diversity automatical ly makes you pr iv i leged, and that this is um, you don't have to constant ly s e e yoursel f a s hav ing to adjust to anything. A n d I think that is the part that Wh i te peop le don't see . . . A n d s o it is not a quest ion of pr ivi lege necessar i l y in the s e n s e of hav ing all of these advantages in terms of money and prest ige and status, but it is a way of be ing ab le to just go through the world without constant ly thinking of yoursel f {mhmm} all of the time. A n d whether or not you are doing it right. {Yah} A n d , and how that then may inf luence this other level of privi lege, the extent to which you may a c c e s s money, status, prestige, um, you know, and other stuff (Int. 36.5, pp. 32-33). J o a n equates Whi te privi lege with dominance and superiority based on sk in colour as well a s normalcy. S h e remarks that people deny having privi lege because they view it a s having "more than everybody e lse" , which is c lose to A d a m s ' et a l . (1997) first concept of privi lege. J o a n relates the two concepts of privi lege with her observat ion that it is not s o much the material benefi ts a s the luxury of moving through life unremarked that is important. He lms reinforces the idea that pr iv i lege is about being Whi te or normal and not necessar i l y about hav ing weal th. "Regard less of what soc io -economic level one observes , Wh i tes are more advantaged than most people of colour of the s a m e soc io -economic l e v e l . ... Wh i te pr ivi lege is the benefit of being Whi te and the foundation of rac ism" (Helms, 1992, pp. 11-12). A n y a and Mar ion, in responding to a quest ion about Whi te culture identify a number of pr iv i leges as being inherent to it. 105 Deborah: Okay, so you've been using the term White, you know fairly broadly, and I'm just wondering, what does the term White culture mean to you? A n y a : It means privi lege, power, privi lege, there's a lot of things that I take for granted that people of colour can't. S o it's sort of, yah, funny it's not really, it has a lot, to talk about it, getting back to your roots in terms of ethnicity . . . A n d it's important for me to look back at my ancestry and say why is it that that people in my family do things in a certain w a y ? It's this Protestant work ethic in my "family is enormous. It's not okay just to rest, it's not okay just to be, you have to do, do, do. But I think when I'm talking about Whi te culture it has more to do with, privilege and I think it is the privilege that I have, so, and , and, hmmm and what is that pr iv i lege? (laugh) . . . M h m m m , um, (pause). Wel l , people don't ask me where I'm from, peop le don't ask me where my roots are or where I really c a m e f r o m . . . . nobody makes assumpt ions about my linguistic capabil i t ies, nobody says , you know, you write wel l or you are very articulate when I speak Engl ish , and those kind of things. Um, (pause) oh G o d , people don't, (pause) um, (pause), I don't know. I remember reading that Peggy Mac in tosh article, and I remember one of, one of the things in there was about being late and, and I thought yah! Th is is, this is aga in part of my family culture. M y father is a lways trying to squeeze , and this is part of the, I g u e s s the Protestant work ethic, "I've just got one more thing to do, and I'm gonna s q u e e z e that one more thing in". A n d , and s o he 's a lways late because he 's trying to s q u e e z e in one more, one more little project. S o , I s e e m to have adopted a very loose s e n s e of time. A n d s o I'm late for things. But, I think my privi lege means, al lows me to be va lued, er, evaluated on my lateness, it's not about "those people" it's not about "those Canad ian people" or " those Vancouver i tes" or whatever, "those Whi te people are a lways late", it's just me, A n y a is late again. {Yah} S o , it's about assumpt ions being made more about me than about my peop le (Int. 21 .1 , pp. 16-17). A n y a ' s f inal statement points to one privi lege of being Whi te which is be ing able to represent ourselves not a cultural or racial group. Th is reinforces the connect ion emerging between being White, just being a person, being 'normal ' , the privi leges that come with this and not being judged harshly for such pract ices a s being late. Mar ion: I think it [whiteness] is a culture of aspirat ion, but what is real in it is if you have the privi lege of your whi teness, you could practice that culture without 106 quest ion. {Mhmm} S o m e people, they practice, I mean , what wou ld be the difference between the culture of my 5 t h generat ion C h i n e s e Canad ian fr iends and me, 5 t h generat ion European. It's what we are a l lowed to do. The p laces where we would be stopped from making the practice of what we learned from everything around us real. {Mhmm} S o nothing will quest ion me walk ing down the street pract ising any p iece of the culture that I w ish to pract ice. In my own home of course I can pract ice what I like. With the raising of my chi ldren I can pract ice what I l ike . . . I just c a m e from a family reunion and it looked pretty much like their [Asian] family reunions would look like too. {Mhmm} T h e matriarch w a s there. T h e matriarch sat in a certain place. S h e was visi ted, she w a s adulated. I mean, what is the difference. The difference is that nobody will ever quest ion my right to do this. S o I, I, I think this is where privi lege and culture s m a s h together and we don't talk about it. {Privilege and culture or privilege and colour?} I think it is more than colour, privi lege. T h e privi lege c o m e s from my colour. But it g ives me the right to pract ice the culture as mine. Um, now I can dabb le in the other cultures too. A n d by my whi teness I a m sort of almost g iven that privilege. {Mhmm} A n d that comes out of I think that p lace of dominance and old colonial stuff where I can walk where I want to walk. (Int. 16.7, pp. 32-33). Interestingly, Pau l struggles with colour awareness yet is able to identify a number of advantages he assoc ia tes with having Whi te privilege. Like, even now I don't know that I would be aware of my colour as opposed to, I can talk about White privilege, I can know I'm in there, and I know the privi lege that I get. I mean I'm a m a z e d , I'm a m a z e d you know the opportunit ies that I've had in life, I've had incredible opportunities. A n d I know that I'm just, they wouldn't have come my way if I w a s of a different colour skin, if I was a woman, if I w a s shorter or if I wasn' t as good- looking, if I wasn' t ab le to speak wel l , if I didn't have the educat ional background, there's just, just no way that they would have come my way (Int. 32.4, pp. 11-12). Deborah: So there is this idea of uh, equal opportunity exists already? Mar ion: O h , absolutely, absolutely. I hear that everywhere. Is if people just struggle, they can make it. If they struggled like I struggled. S o people do not recognise in this country the issues of privilege. A n d I think that because our culture, our culture dominates, our dominant culture, however we want to say that, I don't think it is, it is not specif ical ly a Whi te culture. B e c a u s e we do let other people in, so it makes a lie of the thing that it is Whi te culture. W e will let them in, but they have to be, they have to follow all the rules twice a s w e l l . . . the driving thing behind the dominant culture is of course Whi te Eu ropean rules to a 107 White European game. But it's not so s imple a s to say it's a Whi te culture. B e c a u s e Whi te people don't all get to play (Int. 16.7, pp. 28-30). Here Mar ion is echoing the act ion orientation of the dominant society al luded to by other participants, and which He lms (1992) equated with Whi te culture. But Mar ion remarks that the privilege in being Whi te is that such an orientation is readily accep ted and that if you are not Whi te or otherwise outside the norm, this orientation has to be proven many t imes before being recognised. S h e emphas i ses that "it's not s o s imple a s to say it's a Whi te culture. B e c a u s e Whi te people don't all get to play . . ." Here Mar ion is inferring that a hierarchy exists within whi teness, which will be d i scussed later. S h e states that Other people may be "let in" to some sectors of society through wealth, c lass , educat ion or accompl ishment but this does not necessar i ly correlate with being accepted. Hughes and Kal len, (1974) make a distinction between privilege and p res t ige 2 0 that g ives insight to what Mar ion is al luding, and may help us understand why she is struggling with clearly express ing the difference between dominant culture and Whi te culture. T h e particular rank (status) accorded a group in one d imens ion of stratification (e.g. privilege) may or may not cor respond with its ranking in other d imens ions (e.g. power and prestige). . . Of crucial importance, here, is the relative status or posit ion of particular socia l categor ies in the public, v is-a-vis the private spheres of socia l life. In the publ ic sphere, high ranking may be b a s e d on personal achievement. In the private sphere, however, ascript ive character ist ics such a s ethnicity, religion, family background and "connect ions" (relatives and friends) may play a much more significant role in determining which socia l categor ies will be included as insiders, and wh ich will be exc luded a s outsiders. A high level of prestige ga ined through achievement in the publ ic sphere may not be sufficient to ensure a commensura te level of prestige in the private sphere. For members of soc ia l 2 0 "Prestige can be said to relate broadly to the inter-personal, informal or primary, private sphere of life [while privilege relates to the influential/ authoritative decision-making positions within the public sphere]. The concept, prestige, refers to esteem and/or deference accorded particular categories of people by members of society at large, and especially by the social leaders or "core" elite of the society (Kelner, 1969). The prime social indicator of high ranking in terms of prestige in Canadian society is membership in the private social clubs and gatherings, and participatjon in the primary social relationships of the social leaders and /or elites of society." (Hughes and Kallen, 1974 pp.99-100). 108 categor ies, who, by virtue of ascript ive. character ist ics, are exc luded from participation in the informal, primary relat ionships of the soc ia l elite, high ranking in terms of prest ige is clear ly impeded" (p. 100). In other words, a person who is not part of the dominant culture may ach ieve a certain level of status in the publ ic sphere but still may not be invited into the homes, c lubs, or personal l ives of dominant group members. T h e quest ion in which we are becoming entangled at this point is one of colour, c l ass and power. Through the next exchange clarif ication of Mar ion 's d i scuss ion of dominant culture versus Whi te culture emerges. Now in this country the other part of the big lie is that anybody can make it. A n d so immigrants come to this country bel iev ing that the first generat ion will have to suffer b e c a u s e that is the deal in immigration. W e will suffer but our chi ldren will make it. Y o u will suffer and your chi ldren will mostly make it but they will never be Whi te and as such , they will a lways be from somewhere e lse, whereas if you are a Ukrain ian or a R u s s i a n newcomer now, you can hear them on the street here talking, their chi ldren will be indist inguishable from the fabric of what we cal l C a n a d a . A n d as such , they will make it. {Mhmm. So they will be White?) They will. It doesn' t mean they are going to have an entrance into it [dominant culture] because they can still be den ied entrance by c lass . {Mhmm} But they have the key that we say doesn' t exist. {Now what is that key?} O h , that key is truly sk in colour. T h e first key is skin colour. {Okay} Y o u see , because we can move c lass . In this country we can move c lass . A n d in fact what is terrifying is that up until my job, certainly my generat ion was told, you can move c lass . They meant up. A n d now for the first time we are see ing that you can move c lass down and our chi ldren can return to be ing what their work ing c lass grandparents were. {Mhmm} A n d that shocks the hell out of your family and mine. {Sure does. Laughter} S o the ticket is partly, certainly in a very, very strong way is your skin colour (Int. 16.7, pp. 28-30). Mar ion impl ies that ultimately, because skin colour is immutable it has a power other attributes of those accepted a s dominant group members may not, but it cannot stand a lone. S o m e configurat ion of the other aspec ts of the dominant culture, the e lements previously identif ied with being cons idered normal, notably favourable soc io -economic c l ass must accompany being Whi te . 109 In this sect ion the participants have identified var ious privi leges of being cons idered normal. W h e n we take these privi leges together the assumpt ion of just being a normal person is fraught with certain expectat ions of how we will be t reated. and what we can get from life if we work hard. Within this are two deeply embedded orientations to society, belonging and entitlement. T h e s e are legitimate and essent ia l components of a healthy identity and community membersh ip , but when they are implicitly b a s e d on the denial of other peop le 's rights, individuality, and identity they s ignal dominat ion. The consc ious or unconsc ious dominat ion of other people that is exp ressed in our everyday act ions and attitudes as power over others and results in their exc lus ion from equal ly access ing the opportunities to benefit within society may be seen a s internalized dominance, f indlay (sic) (1991) def ines internalized dominance a s "the incorporation of the fact of soc ia l privi lege into the thought patterns, the behaviour patterns, and the expectat ions of people in the dominant p lace" (p. 5). A corollary of this is internalized oppress ion, where members of the oppressed groups begin to identify with the negative attitudes and treatment directed at them and develop limited expectat ions of their opportunit ies in society, and s o stay within these (Sawyer, 1989). Essent ia l ly, they begin to oppress themselves through the subtle, pervasive exper ience of dominant members ' internal ized dominance. Le igh g ives an example of how this works within our society. . . . one of the things about the oppress ion of lesb ians and gay men is that we are, many of us, ab le to p a s s if w e choose . T h e price of pass ing , that is to say of keeping secret a part of yourself, for fear that it will attract d isapprobat ion, is a profoundly damaging process. A n d ah, we are invited, encouraged to keep those things secret. {Mhmm} It's not polite, I mean literally, I w a s taught it's not polite to talk about um, things like sexual abuse or you know, cance r or whatever it was , it just isn't you know, you don't talk about sex, polit ics, and religion, or psychiatr ic treatment, or um. A n d that kind of 110 s i lencing is regarded a s handl ing it in some manner. It's a l so of course, it sets up the person handl ing it for blackmai l , literally or psychical ly (Int. 10.6, pp. 12-16). Deborah: Yah, the profound function is silencing, as you have mentioned and how those who are being silenced maintain that silence for all kinds of reasons, but it's a function of, it's hegemony at work in the end. (Mhmm, mhmm) And how those who are silenced contribute to keeping themselves silenced Leigh: That 's right and that internal ised oppress ion is what that is (Int. 10.6, p. 16). Tab le 4.1 below, Internalized Dominance and the Pr iv i leges of Be ing S e e n as 'Normal ' Compared , I deve loped from references to the privi leges of being normal from the data and compared these to components of internalized dominance and internalized oppress ion d i scussed by Sawye r (1989) in her article Internalized dominance. Th is makes explicit the power imbalance inherent to the dialect ic between 'privi leging' and Othering in our society. Sawyer (1989) c la ims that, "Before w e c a n understand how the power shifts and how group membersh ip is formed, we must be ab le to s e e both s ides. Th is is normally next to impossib le for members of the dominant group" (p. 23). 111 Table 4.1 Internalized Dominance and the Privileges of Being Seen as 'Normal' Compared Target or Oppressed Group 1. Internalised oppression • All our lives we hear negative message about target group members • If you are a target group member this can lead to internalising such negative messages about yourself. 2. Feelings of differentness 3. Experience and feelings of powerlessness 4. Experience and feelings of being excluded • Often the interests and points of view of those 'outside the norm'' are considered "special interests", whereas the interests of the dominant group are considered to be "everyone's" interests. 5. Shame (about oneself) Non-Target or Dominant Group 1. Internalised dominance • All our lives we hear positive messages about dominant group members. • These are wrong if they are exclusive, or determined solely by group membership. 2. Feelings of normality • The central idea that dominant people learn is that we are part of the "norm". We are not usually aware of that dynamic. 3. Experience and feelings of powerfulness • What is "normal is usually defined by those with power in the society 4. Experience and feelings of being included • Attributes of the dominant groups, which are believed to be the norm are often not considered to need stating, they are simply assumed. 5. Guilt (about others) • When we start to examine our own internalised dominance, we have to challenge our view of the world. It can be frightening, angering, and can make us shaky, defensive and confused. The Privileges of Being 'Normal' from Data 1. \ntemalised dominance • "Not having to have a culture" • Being recognised, i.e. having an action orientation • Not having to prove yourself more than other people • "It's about assumptions being made more about me than about my people." 2. Feelings of normality • Being normal, natural, standard, "as the world is meant to be", unexamined • One's way of life is taken for granted, unquestioned 3. Experience and feelings of powerfulness • Belonging to superiority, dominance, having power and opportunities • Being generally able to assume that privilege and prestige will be correlated 4. Experience and feelings of being included • No assumptions about linguistic ability • No questions about where you are from • The right to practice any piece of the/ a culture that I wish to practice. 112 In this sect ion I have attempted to identify aspec ts of the power and privi lege of being normal assoc ia ted with the concepts of dominant culture and Whi te culture. Summar ies of these concepts are presented within Tab le 3.1, S o m e Aspec t s of Whi te Culture, page 97 and Tab le 4.1, Internalized Dominance and the Privi lege of Be ing S e e n a s "Normal ' Compared , page 111. T h e s e tables offer conc ise representat ions of the themes that have emerged from the data and a compar ison of these with the literature. T h e e lements identified within these two tables inform e a c h other through, at one level, present ing speci f ic e lements compr is ing the notion of what is accepted as normal within our society, and on another level present ing the privi leges and consequences of this normality. Taken together these summar ies begin to build and clarify the concept ions of Whi te culture and privi lege held by the study participants and l inks these to the literature. The fol lowing sect ion explores a seemingly pivotal difference between the concepts of dominant culture and Whi te culture: the issue of colour. Is Whi te a Co lou r? Be ing seen a s 'normal ' can endow one with greater degrees of power, privi lege, and prestige. In a society where normal is s ignal led through multiple and often tacitly recognisable factors to those who fit, members of the dominant group tend to exper ience internal ised dominance and Others exper ience internalized oppress ion. Wh i teness has been woven into these d iscuss ions , but not directly addressed . In this sect ion I present the responses participants gave to the quest ion: "Is Whi te a co lour? ' I have grouped the excerpts under three sub-headings to 113 highlight the common themes exp resses within each , and to make l inks among sub-sect ions. Whi te a s a colour. Patr ic ia : It is a colour, I think. {Mhmm} It is very clearly a colour. A n d you know aga in in Ch ina , espec ia l ly actual ly in S ingapore , people were talking about the whi teness of their bab ies, and the more Whi te their baby w a s the more, the more attractive the baby was. {Mhmm} A n d I am going, "Oh , this is really, it is sort of like not got nat ional boundar ies here. I feel l ike be ing Wh i te you are a part of a superpower. A n unspoken superpower, or unnamed superpower. {Mhmm} Um, but yah, I wou ld say Wh i te is definitely a colour, and uh, I don't think that people in C a n a d a recognise it as a colour consc ious ly or recogn ise what goes with that colour. L ike the privi lege. (Int. 17.8, p. ) A n y a : Mhmm, yah. {So, it's about colour?} Y a h ! B e c a u s e the colour of your sk in is an indicator for people not to make assumpt ions, but we, or to, grant that pr ivi lege that I was just talking about, the yeah , pr iv i leges of colour. But I was , (pause) it's that problematic term "people of colour" that you know yes, people of colour, aga in people of colour, non-Whi te ve rsus Whi te , it's a power thing (Int. 21.1 pp. 17-18). T h e s e responses support the notion that indeed Whi te is a sk in colour with inherent benefi ts. R o m a n (1993) states that indeed "Whi te is a color ! [sic]" (p. 71), and points to the inherent contradict ion in the assumpt ion that everyone e lse is raced, and as such in a subordinate posit ion, whi le Wh i tes are normal, in a dominant posit ion. S h e goes on to say that being "colorless [sic], and hence without racial subjectivit ies, interests, and pr iv i leges . . . can convey the idea that Wh i tes are free from the responsibi l i ty to cha l lenge rac ism" (p. 71). A g a i n power, privi lege, the posit ion of be ing normal and not hav ing to examine one 's complici ty in a n d responsibi l i ty for rac ism, emerge as prime benefits of being Whi te . Yet , is this a universal exper ience for Whi te peop le? 114 White as a multi-ethnic colour. Le igh and Diane highlight the socia l construct ion of whi teness and the myth that there is a "uniform Whi te status". T h e y point towards the complexi ty within whi teness that gets g lossed over by simplifying it to a colour issue. A s wel l , they speak of the importance of uncover ing the context within which whi teness is being g iven meaning or being identified. Le igh compares the Amer i can understanding of Whi te with the Canad ian historical exper ience of whi teness. Both participants refer to the British colonial exper ience of exc lus ion non-Brit ish Whi te groups have undergone. Th is bel ies the notion that Whi te is simply a colour, and points more to the role Ang lo -Saxon beliefs, principles, pract ices and sys tems have had in construct ing a dominant culture within our society. Le igh: Wel l , in a world which at taches great penalt ies to not being White it's a colour. {Mhmm} It's a colour that's constructed. It's a social ly constructed co lou r . . . A h , White, I actually don't talk about Whi te culture. I don't f ind that a very useful descript ion and I think that the Amer i can exper ience of racism is, is emphat ical ly different than Canad ian because of slavery. Um, and that's a kind of defining moment in their understanding of racism. U m , and whi le w e had s laves in C a n a d a that, it didn't become the defining moment in quite the same way. {Mhmm} I talk about, and I'm careful to talk about British and Brit ish colonial ism and F rench colonial ism, - b e c a u s e we a lso have the history of oppress ing, for example, Ukrain ians or Eastern, S lav ic or Eastern European peoples, and um, (pause) and you need to take that into account, you need to be able to talk about that and have an explanat ion and have an analys is of that. (Int. 10.6, pp.16-17). Diane: . . . the whole myth, [that Canad ian is White] yah, the myth of, yeh. I think what we fail to do somet imes, is to really talk about the context. That um, you know, we 've got to talk about the implications of the term. But I think we have to, if we want to look at, truly, that in itself is part of the myth, {mhmm} That, that, that there is some uniform Whi te status, and I don't bel ieve there is because it's so much more complex. . . . we fail to recognise the European sett lers who themse lves exper ienced discrimination, who you know were marginal ised. A n d um, we don't look at the diversity that w a s there in reasons 115 why Whi te people came here, and what people were escap ing from um. So , I mean, what we do in that is not be ab le to tell the story of other forms of racism, where the, the dominant culture being, you know, a s I put its roots in predominant ly Brit ish, but predominant ly Eng l ish ideology um, def ined other groups as , a s um, gave col lect ive memory, treated them in abysmal ways and, you know, in a sense , left them with a internal ised s e n s e of self that rendered them, um, like in the Amer i can context to the extent that to overcome that, to be long they had to give up who they were (Int. 24.3 , pp. 2 3 -24). Wh i te as a mult i- level led colour. T o further probe into the notion of the myth "that there is some uniform Whi te status" I a s k e d A n y a this quest ion: "Do you think there's a hierarchy within wh i teness? C a n some people be more Whi te than others?" O h , that's an interesting quest ion! (pause) More Whi te , (pause) that, that is in my mind to have more power? Have more (pause) O h G o d . . . I don't know (Int. 21.1 pp. 17-18). Deborah: {Okay, how would a White Latin American or a White Eastern European, or a White, Middle Easterner be identified?} A n y a : I don't know. We l l , perhaps by accent if they're first generat ion immigrants? Um, (pause) {Would they be identified as White?} , I guess it probably depends on the context? Um, there's even, yah, it depends on the context I think it depends on, yah, I suppose there is a hierarchy I s e e what you mean. Um, if you're in a room with peop le of A s i a n decent, peop le of Af r ican decent, people of Eu ropean decent, there's a, I guess you could say Latin, Eastern European , Midd le -Eas tern , Lat in Amer i can um, I think if you're in a very multi-racial room then there's more likely, there's a, it's a stronger l ikel ihood that, that when it c o m e s to that they wou ld be label led a s Whi te . Um, b e c a u s e I ' think to someone who 's black there's a deeper percept ion of Whi te , um the i ssues are different, the b lack person is going to be granted much less (pause) privi lege than an Midd le Easterner in terms of peop le 's percept ions. I guess , that's . . . that's a hard one I'm not really sure. Um, yah, I guess that um, I guess it depends on the more d iverse the group the more the change in peop le 's percept ions of whi teness, um, it has certainly changed over time. W h e n I think of a time when Southern Eu ropean peop le weren't cons idered, or and Irish people at points weren't cons idered entirely Wh i te enough. But I think um, that's chang ing (Int. 21.1 pp. 18-19). 116 Like Leigh and Diane, A n y a cons idered context. T h e context she focused on is that of people 's percept ions of the whi teness of other people depending on how they themselves fit into the spectrum of whi teness. Dyer (1997) supports the notion that there are degrees of whi teness with his comments that "some Whi tes are whiter than others, with the Ang lo -Saxons , G e r m a n s and Scand inav ians usual ly providing the apex of whi teness under British imperial ism, U S development and Naz i sm" (p. 19). W e can enhance A n y a ' s reference to people 's percept ions of their own and others' degree of whi teness by consider ing the concept of the hegemony of whi teness. Dyer offers an example of this. A shifting border and internal hierarchies of whi teness suggest that the category of whi teness is unclear and unstable, yet this has proved its strength. B e c a u s e whi teness carr ies such rewards and privi leges, the s e n s e of a border that might be c rossed and a hierarchy that might be c l imbed has produced a dynamic that has enthral led people who have had any chance of participating in it (p. 20). In Wes te rn C a n a d a the Whi te norm to which one might aspire was shaped by the British, in particular the Engl ish. Th is takes us back to the d iscuss ion in Chapter Two about how the evolution of Canad ian immigration policy shaped the norms of our society. Not only was immigration general ly b iased in favour of Whi te Europeans , but assimi lat ion to British norms was act ively advocated through both policy and socia l practice throughout much of C a n a d a ' s history. F le ras and Elliott (1991) equate assimi lat ion and Anglo-conformity, which they define as : a one-way p rocess of absorpt ion - del iberate or unconsc ious , formal or informal - whereby the dominant sector attempts to undermine minority patterns of living, impose its culture and institutions a s the superior alternative, and extract some degree of ritualistic conformity through outward compl iance . . . T h e cultural va lues and soc ia l patterns of the dominant group are def ined as inevitable and desirable. T h o s e of the subordinate are 117 d isparaged a s inferior, chi ldish, threatening, irrelevant, and counterproduct ive to both minority and societal interests (pp. 60-61). Whi le the pursuit of Anglo-conformity as a policy in C a n a d a has diminished, Anglo-conformity in a largely covert, 'Canad ian ised ' form remains very much one of the roots of our d iscuss ion here about dominant culture, Whi te culture and privilege. J o a n highlights this with her comments about the "culturally coded" norms being der ived from the historical Engl ish dominat ion of most of C a n a d a . Wel l , I think this thing about what is Canad ian culture and what is Whi te culture and what is Whi te culture and Whi te privilege are like connected in my mind. {Mhmm} . . . the issue is not just how much can I learn about being C a n a d i a n s o that I can fit in, r ight? It's the extent to wh ich a person will be al lowed to fit in. A n d I think it sort of connects back into this whole thing about Anglo-conformism. A n d this problem of things being apparently neutral and yet ultimately culturally coded . {Mhmm} A n d the degree to which anybody can sufficiently change who they are to actually be accepted . S o that is sort of what I think is more at the heart of it (Int. 36.5, p. 26). A s we have s e e n there are rewards such as the privi leges d i scussed earl ier for those people who fit the norm, and punishment in the forms of oppress ion and marginal isat ion for those who do not. That skin colour is an important factor is understood, but it cannot stand alone. I would argue that it is not the defining element for accep tance by the dominant group. Th is s tance is supported within the fol lowing exchange. Diane: Peop le , when in a context of being um, a European male, see , I think that there's ways in wh ich the sys tem never inc luded all Eu ropean ma les anyway. Not just because they were gay or d isabled or whatever, um because they were Jew ish or because they were Doukhobor or b e c a u s e they were Whi te Ukrainian or whatever, it is a lso because they might have represented a different belief system, ideology of who the, you know, of how you are in the world. . . . If we want to build a bas is for support for change, we have to connect to the stories that everybody has to tell around all these p ieces. A n d we 've got identifiable stories, we 've got the gay and lesbian story, we 've got the d isab led story, we 've, do you know what I mean , we 've got those 118 conversat ions going. But I bel ieve there are other layers that we 've forgotten, that we need to be connect ing back to (Int. 24.3 , pp. 25-26) Deborah: / thinkjt's very interesting what you were saying earlier about, we have to separate whiteness and privilege, and separate these two concepts out. And at points there is an intersection between them but they don't necessahly imply a correlation (No, no) and that's an interesting um, ah, discussion to have because in much of the literature it's an assumption [that whiteness dictates privilege] that is reinforced over and over. (Int. 24.3 , p. 26). S o , is Wh i te a co lour? Definitely! Is whi teness a cul ture? I would conc lude that it isn't. D o e s Whi te have a cul ture? I would say that Whi te people do not share either a universal culture nor exper ience in our society. W h e n white sk in co lour is combined with other factors (favourable c lass , language, ethnic background, Ang lo -conformity), which may contribute to being perce ived as 'normal ' , relatively light sk inned people inherently p o s s e s s a key element towards receiv ing select ive privi leging. Part C : Putt ing It A l l Together T h e focus of this d iscuss ion s o far has been the deconstruct ion of the genera l notions of whi teness, privi lege, Whi te culture and dominant culture through explor ing the study part icipant's exper iences and concept ions of these. Through teas ing out of the data and literature speci f ic factors compr is ing the norms, contributing to privi lege, and result ing in dominance and oppress ion , I have attempted to establ ish an understanding of a set of criteria upon which dominant culture is based , and through which its c o n s e q u e n c e s are exper ienced. In the sect ions that fol low I will re-construct these notions and incorporate the meanings and exper iences assoc ia ted with them that have emerged from the ana lys is and d iscuss ion . 119 Dominant Culture To a s s e s s where we began with this exploration and where we have arrived I will briefly re-visit Chapter T w o and s o m e of the arguments about Whi te culture taken from the literature. He lms (1992) stated that "White people 's adherence to Whi te culture has a l lowed Whi te people to survive and thrive" (p. 14). I would argue that there are certain sectors of Whi te people w h o s e members be long to a variety of cultures. T h e s e people have understood power, how to get it and how to keep it, so they have surv ived and thrived. A s well , these sectors have used the power that comes from surviving and thriving to maintain the status quo through which they ga ined their s u c c e s s . Part of this involves hegemony, where other groups are co-opted, and unconsc ious ly contribute to keeping those in power on top. M c L a r e n (1997) c la imed that "Whi teness has no formal content. It works rhetorically by articulating itself out of the semiot ic detritus of myths of European superiority" (p. 263). I would agree with M c L a r e n in that being Whi te is a s ignal to invoke a content made up of much more than skin colour. A content that inc ludes the colonial ly condit ioned expectat ion of (on behalf of many Whi tes , known a s internalized dominance) and affirming response (on behalf of many Others, known as internalized oppress ion and hegemony) to European superiority. Frankenberg (1995) states t h a t " . . . whi teness does have content in a s much a s it generates norms, ways of understanding history, ways of thinking about self and other, and e v e n ways of thinking about the notion of culture i tse l f (p. 231). Wha t Frankenberg cal ls "whiteness" I would argue is, in our society, primarily a potent 120 mixture of skin colour, Anglo-conformity and soc io -economic c lass . T h e s e are almost inseparab le in the importance e a c h p lays in determining who is pr iv i leged and who isn't, and none can stand a lone. A multitude of factors, be they racial , polit ical, economic , soc ia l , historic or others combine in an infinite number of conf igurat ions to dictate who is ' in ' and who is 'out' of what some refer to as Whi te culture. I have come to the conc lus ion that in our society dominant culture is a more appropriate and useful concept. Many of the factors that have emerged from the data have inf luenced my percept ion of the terms we use s u c h a s Wh i te culture. Th is term a rose out of the Amer i can exper ience and has been imported to C a n a d a . A s d i scussed earl ier, al though our society has been strongly inf luenced by both the Amer i can historical and present day exper iences, the demograph ics of our populat ions are different, and there are strong di f ferences in the historical development of our societ ies. Consequent ly , to focus on being Whi te is a limiting perspect ive when looking at dominance and oppress ion within a C a n a d i a n context, because whi teness hasn't been the so le most important differentiating factor within our society. C l a s s dist inct ions and the Brit ish legacy to which we have been condi t ioned have shaped our institutions and largely set our ideal of 'normal ' . T h e s e inf luences can be a s powerful a s colour, a s wel l they contribute to the image of s imply be ing 'Canad ian ' . J o a n : . . . things that used to be named as Brit ish, like wel l , we have a, you know, Brit ish system of government. W e have Brit ish law, we have Brit ish, you know, all of these things that were def ined as part of being Brit ish are now def ined as , "Wel l no, this is just l iberal democracy." "This is just human rights." Th is is just like, they lost their cultural taint even though they s tayed the same. W h i c h relates to what I want to talk about wh i teness later on too (Int. 36.5, p. 24). 121 Within our society a somewhat di luted vers ion of Anglo-conformity still re igns as a powerful factor in what gets recogn ised within the var ious poss ib le conf igurat ions of normal. Sal ient points of this, other than colour, include belonging to the middle or upper c lass , advocat ing or seeming to advocate Eng l i sh va lues about the individual, family, work and society, Christ ianity espec ia l l y a Protestant or even currently, Catho l ic orientation, Eng l i sh language, and the degree of acceptabi l i ty of one 's accent. Here 's a c a s e in point. A White, male fr iend of mine who is highly educated, well qual i f ied for his occupat ion a s a engineer, of Eastern European origin, ra ised as an only childwith a Christian up-bringing, and speaks English well told me that he and many of his co l leagues faced a huge barrier when job hunting in Vancouver , the quest ion, "Do you have C a n a d i a n exper ience?" If they did not they were at a big d isadvantage. W h a t is this about? Th is man has most of the factors giving entrance to the dominant group: White, male, educated, engineer, European, nuclear family, Christian and speaks English well. Ask ing "Do you have C a n a d i a n exper ience" is about whether he has begun the necessary assimi lat ion p rocess ; does he understand 'our' (Anglo-based) system; can he fit in? S o , all of his 'attributes' g ive him a substant ial advantage over someone who does not have them, but they do not guarantee accep tance within the dominant group. The dominant institutions and pract ices in our society tend to be adhered to and promoted by " those individuals who exhibit character ist ics of Whi te Europeans and have been ass imi la ted and accul turated into Whi te A n g l o - S a x o n culture a s it exists in the Uni ted States [and Canada ] " (Helms, 1992, p. ii). T h e s e institutions and 122 pract ices ar ise out of beliefs, va lues, and representat ions that converge in a tacit understanding of what is 'normal' , ' common sense ' and 'correct'. This is a result largely of Wes te rn C a n a d a ' s Whi te Ang lo -Saxon historical exper ience and the dominat ion of our economic system by those holding this orientation. The power of Anglo-conformity inf luences our phi losophy, values, language, and s u c c e s s in promoting dominant group interests. A l l of these factors combined contribute to the bas is and power of the dominant culture in our society. Wh i teness puts one in a posit ion of structural advantage within society and in so doing creates a perspect ive on society (Frankenberg, 1995). I have two other arguments for focuss ing on dominant culture rather than Whi te culture, which some may d ismiss a s simply semant ics, but I bel ieve have more subs tance than just being words. Firstly, the problems in our society I am trying to address are dominance and oppress ion, both of which are exerc ised through many factors and at many levels in society. Therefore, it is more informative and constructive to focus on the problem and contextual ise it with an understanding of its complexi ty rather than essent ia l ise it by highlighting one factor. Second ly , a n d a related argument, is that one of the reasons for this investigation is to understand the role whi teness plays within dominance in our society. In doing this whi teness can be made visible without centering it. That is, once we can accept that one of the consequences of racing Other people is in effect racing ourselves, then we can begin to d is lodge the notion that whi teness s ignals normality, and rather than reinforcing the notion of race we can disrupt it and focus on the other factors contributing to oppress ion. 123 By way of introduction to the next severa l sect ions, in wh ich I present a model of dominant culture, I offer the fol lowing summary. A locally si tuated concept ion of dominant culture is a p rocess through which individuals are granted or den ied power, privi lege, and prest ige in society and gain membersh ip in the dominant group. Th is p rocess is carr ied out through the maintenance of norms, institutions and pract ices that reward combinat ions of e lements such as being Whi te , male, middle /upper c lass , degree of Anglo-conformity, and Eng l ish language ability, among others. Wh i t eness is a n important factor but not the def ining one for granting privi lege. Sk in colour is immutable, therefore it has a power other attributes p o s s e s s e d by dominant group members may not, yet it cannot s tand a lone. S o m e configuration of the other aspec ts of dominant culture must accompany be ing Whi te ; notably soc io -economic c lass . A l so , 'non-Whi te ' people may be granted privi lege through combinat ions of identity e lements other than colour, within a favourable context. Converse ly , if an individual be longs to the dominant group, this membersh ip is not absolute. There is a hierarchy within dominant culture; a s wel l , whi le one may outwardly be long membersh ip may be revoked if this individual d isp lays 'unacceptable ' e lements of his/ her identity, i.e. psychiatr ic history or homosexual i ty. Conceptua l s c h e m a level one: Factors. I summar ise many of the themes that have been d i scussed through a ser ies of v isual representat ions. T h e s e bui ld on e a c h other to deve lop a model of dominant culture a s I have come to understand it through the context of these d iscuss ions . The first level of the conceptual s c h e m a is shown below in F igure 2 .1 : Conceptua l S c h e m a Leve l One : Factors Govern ing Ent rance to Dominant Cul ture. 124 125 Specific Factors Shaping Societal Norms are contained within the large arrows compr is ing the outer circle. T h e s e depict the major groups of factors from which the norms are recognised. The arrows indicate interaction among all the groups, not necessar i ly one to another in the l inear fashion shown. Within each category many of the actual factors that may bring one c loser or further from the ideal norms have been indicated. T h e smal l arrows pointing I down indicate a hierarchy of diminishing value bestowed by members of the dominant culture. A bullet indicates some of the var ious factors compr is ing a group that inf luence entrance to the status of being normal, but no hierarchy is intended here. Pan-Societal Factors Limiting Entrance to Norms sets a level of broad categor ies which function as a secondary filter, within many societ ies, and limits a c c e s s to the privi lege of being perce ived and treated as normal. The arrows indicate that these factors too, interact not only among e a c h other but ac ross the spectrum of norm shap ing categor ies. Aga in , this is not a l inear relationship but highly interactive and variable, creat ing a multitude of different poss ib le configurations which may result in either granting or denying a c c e s s to the dominant culture. Wild Cards are personal character ist ics one may have wh ich can grant direct a c c e s s to privilege, power and prestige despi te non-conformity to the soc ia l filter formula. Here it is important to note the earl ier d iscuss ion about privilege and prestige: Whi le one may gain a c c e s s to privi lege and a certain amount of power, prestige does not necessar i ly follow. 126 Conceptua l schema level two: Filter Figure 2.2 presents Conceptua l S c h e m a level Two: The 'Invisible' Social Filter. This shows the bas ic ' formula' for acceptance. Th is may at t imes be obvious, but as seen through the d iscuss ion on invisible whi teness it often is not, depending on the societal location of the observer. Infused into this formula is the inf luence of the pers is tence of exper ience over t ime and p lace. Th is c a n work to aid or inhibit a c c e s s depend ing on the st igmas that have become at tached to certain identities over time within speci f ic contexts. I have depicted this inf luence through Historic Role in Society. Th is is one example of how the pers is tence of exper ience over time and p lace contributes to the reciprocal inf luence of how groups are represented and how they are perce ived in society. 'Normal' = 'Value' of Skin Colour + Proximity to Norms + Degree of Anglo-Conformity " I N V I S I B L E " S O C I A L F I L T E R (shown previously in Figure 2.1) Influenced by pers is tence of exper ience over t ime and placel Historic Role in Society Representation reciprocal Influence How Perceived Figure 2.2 Conceptua l S c h e m a Leve l Two: T h e 'Invisible' Soc ia l Filter 127 Conceptua l schema level three: Dominant culture F igure 2 .3 below, br ings together the factors categor ies a s shown in F igure 2.1, the 'Invisible' Soc ia l Filter, a s shown in Figure 2.2, then extends the conceptual representat ion to include the consequences of dominant culture; resulting in the Conceptua l S c h e m a Leve l Three: Factors Govern ing Entrance to and C o n s e q u e n c e s of Dominant Cul ture in C a n a d a . In pass ing the socia l filter one deve lops Expectations of Belonging (being normal), Representation (reinforcement of normality through self reflection in society), Entitlement (the consc ious or unconsc ious assumpt ion of privilege) and Individual identity (perceiving onesel f and being perce ived a s an individual, just a person, and being evaluated upon personal achievement) . A s noted in the previous d iscuss ion, whi le these expectat ions may be an important part of a healthy identity, yet if they are predicated on the exc lus ion of others, ' in-group' members exper ience Internalized Dominance and 'out-group' members may exper ience Internalized Oppression. Dominant Culture is the inner sanctum of the entire process, where society grants members var ious degrees of privilege and power (structural benefits - publ ic level) and possib ly prestige (personal benefits - private level). T h e arrows linking the outer circle with the inner c i rc les show the interconnection among and between factors and consequences . For example, two of the consequences of dominant culture are internalized dominance and internalized oppress ion, yet these in turn shape the factors governing who gets privi leged. 128 129 Another example is representat ion, dominance governs who gets represented while representat ion inf luences who gets privi leged. Th is summary does not indicate the end of the d iscuss ion. It is just one way of uncover ing the building b locks of dominance in our society. Until we can make these tangible it is very difficult to begin to address the resulting overarching problems of rac ism and other forms of oppress ion that uphold a sys tem of unequal a c c e s s to opportunities to benefit from society and to contribute to it. S u c h a seeming ly static and l inear portrayal h ides one of the most powerful aspec ts that contributes to the invisibility (to those who are accepted within it) of the system of dominance. Th is is the t remendous interconnection and dynamic exist ing among all of the elements. Th is is essent ia l to uncover and portray in a coherent way, as it can help us understand some of the seeming contradict ions inherent in dominance and oppress ion that s o m e peop le use to d ismiss the ex is tence of s u c h a system within our society. For example, people may point to apparently 'out-group' members who are privi leged and ' in-group' members who are d isadvantaged. T h e fol lowing excerpt from J o a n offers not only an excel lent summary of the factors giving entrance to the dominant culture, but she points out that there are no abso lu tes within the formula. Context a lways p lays a role and c a n shift the importance given to any one factor. S h e a lso g ives an example of how different combinat ions of factors can lead to the privileging of apparently out-group members. Deborah: Right, and so within this there is a White element. (Yes) Okay, and what do you think is the influence of class in that dynamic? 130 Joan : . . . I think there is a kind of imaginary normal Canad ian that is sort of middle, middle-c lass, and stuff like that. Um, and I think that if you are an immigrant, the higher you are up the c lass level, like how much money you actually have, you have more f reedom to be different. A n d the lower you are, the less , you know, the proportionally greater chance you have of exper iencing greater oppress ion and exclus ion. {Mhmm} I am not sure that if c lass is so much, um, someth ing that people have to conform to, but their c l ass posit ion has a t remendous impact on what they can get away with or away from. {Mhmm} S o c lass , more economic power brings you c loser to what might be the ideal norm if other factors s u c h a s sk in colour or language take you outside that norm . . . L ike the way I s e e it is . . . that there is kind of like a cluster of character ist ics. A n d sort of maybe like a rubric cube. They don't and I think this is a shift from in the old days. L ike in the old days, you definitely had to be White. There were things that were almost impossib le to beat. Y o u had to be White. That w a s number one. A n d you don't have to be Whi te anymore, and so people will strategically kind of s e e you and things will combine in a different way. S o for example, and so I think that the big criteria are, like skin colour isn't an absolute. There is skin colour. There is language, ability in Engl ish , which I think is really big now. A n d I mean, it has probably a lways been big, but it is accent and the ability to speak, f luency in Engl ish is huge. M o n e y is huge. T h e n there a re other things, l ike the degree of conformity to what we think of this western way of being. {Mhmm} W h i c h has to do with who and how you get marr ied, the way you actually live, um, and the degree to wh ich you are mainstream. Y o u know, you participate in a nuclear family situation . . . Y o u don't exclusively practice certain cultural habits and traditions, you know. {Mhmm} A n d I think people will make a, they will judge people on the bas is of those in a kind of a package . A bundle, right? Like, S o you could be, have a different colour skin than Whi te. A n d I think that is what is interesting when you asked the quest ion is White a colour. {Mhmm} B e c a u s e you can, you know, so for example, you can get people you know, they talk about bananas or oreos or whatever, right? {Mhmm} Like, you can get people who aren't actual ly having Whi te sk in, who if all of these other factors are in place, speak fluent Engl ish, have a pile of money, you know, do all of those sort of dominant pract ices in terms of family and things, they have a very, very good chance of being cons idered part of the group. {Mhmm} ... Like so the term both refers to the colour of somebody 's skin, but the skin colour itself really refers to something deeper than that, which is this. It is a symbol . It is a s ign of this other thing. That whi teness (Int. 36 .5 pp. 29 -31 ) . The next two sect ions, Another W a y of Looking at It and Locat ions -Dominant P laces , Opp ressed P l a c e s attempt to il luminate the dynamic exist ing 131 among al l of the e lements of dominance and reconci le the apparent contract ions within it respectively. Another W a y of Look ing at It D iscuss ion , charts and explanat ion do not a lways transfer knowledge or generate understanding, espec ia l ly when the subject is very complex and relatively unknown to the receivers (many members of the dominant culture). Us ing compar isons or metaphors is one way of l inking the 'unknown' to a possib le 'known' and generat ing understanding of the less tangible aspec ts of the unknown. In this c a s e the less tangible aspect of the unknown is the interactive dynamic that exists among the factors granting a c c e s s to privi lege. In using the metaphor of the night sky and its constel lat ions I am attempting to il luminate the complexi ty and variety of these inter-connections. Metaphor: Constel lat ions of privilege. T h e first thing you need to know is that constel lat ions are not real! The constel lat ions are totally imaginary things that poets, farmers and astronomers have made up over the past 6,000 years (and probably even more!). The real purpose for the constel lat ions is to help us tell wh ich stars are which, nothing more. O n a really dark night, you can s e e about 1000 to 1500 stars. Trying to tell which is which is hard. T h e constel lat ions help by breaking up the sky into more manageab le bits. They are u s e d a s mnemon ics , or memory a ids. For example , if you spot three bright stars in a row in the winter evening, you might real ize, " O h ! That 's part of Or ion!" Suddenly , the rest of the constel lat ion falls into p lace (Dolan, 1999, p. 1) L ike the constel lat ions, privi lege is social ly constructed. Just a s it was not preordained that we would look to the night sky and s e e Orion, it was not preordained that certain groups of people would be privi leged and others oppressed . 132 Priv i lege is only real in that we give it subs tance through our percept ions, attitudes and act ions. In the night sky there are many constel lat ions. S o m e stand out and are easi ly identified, for example the Big Dipper as s e e n from the Northern hemisphere. Others may not be a s immediately discernible, but become apparent once we learn to identify the major points of reference, as in the example g iven above; the three stars compr is ing the belt of Orion. Still other constel lat ions are very difficult to identify at al l . The night sky contains many stars some of which are bright and easy to identify, others are not so c lear until seen in relation to the obvious ones. The indicator stars al low us to connect the bright and dim stars and we s e e a constel lat ion. The connect ions are made in our minds through being taught to s e e certain configurations rather than others. Fo r example , people who have been condit ioned to a western way of thinking may be able to identify the Big Dipper or Orion, whi le Abor ig inal Peop le may s e e other images in the night sky using the same stars but connect ing them in different ways. Priv i lege, as d i scussed , can result from myriad combinat ions of factors. Certa in of the privilege granting factors when combined il luminate an obvious configuration, or constel lat ion, that members of the dominant culture have been condi t ioned to recognise. W e may compare the most powerful privi lege granting factors, such a s colour, c lass , and Anglo-conformity to the bright indicator stars. T h e s e incline us to see ing a 'normal ' individual. Within this configuration there may a lso be less privileging or non-privi leging factors, the dim stars. Context dictates 133 which combinat ions of factors will result in privilege and which will not. The two f igures below are an attempt to visual ly illustrate this metaphor. Anglo Saxon Ethnicity Figure 3.1 Constel lat ions of Privi lege: Big Dipper Metaphor Th is constel lat ion is compr ised of many of the factors that general ly point to the ideal norm: White, Ang lo -Saxon , Engl ish-speak ing, Prest ig ious Profess ion, Upper-Midd le C l a s s , Heterosexual , and Protestant Up-bringing. Her only visible 'drawback' is being female. A s such , it is likely that a person possess ing this configuration of factors will be perce ived a s normal, granted privilege, and gain a c c e s s to the dominant culture. The next constel lat ion, Figure 3.2, Orion = A L e s s Obv ious Constel lat ion of Pr iv i lege, is compr ised of some of the factors va lued and recognised by members of the dominant culture: White, Ma le , Middle C l a s s , High Degree of Anglo-Conformity, and University Educated . But a lso includes less-privi leging factors such as : . 134 Orthodox Chr ist ian Up-bringing, Eastern European Origin and Accent , and the non-privileging factor of imperfect Engl ish as a S e c o n d Language. A s such , it is poss ib le that a person possess ing this configuration of factors will be accepted into the dominant culture but this depends on context. Figure 3.2 Constel lat ions of Pr iv i lege: Or ion Metaphor Apology to Astronomers: These are highly stylised representations of the constellations and do not accurately depict the proportions of the constellations nor the brightness of the actual stars involved. 135 The constel lat ions metaphor may a lso be extended td offer some insight into the inf luence of context. T ime affects the clarity of the constel lat ions we see , for example as the s e a s o n s change the constel lat ions move their posi t ions in the sky bringing some into greater focus and diminishing others. A s wel l , posit ion or perspect ive p lays a role in that we s e e different sets of constel lat ions from the northern and southern hemispheres. A n d as ment ioned earl ier, different world v iews or people of different cultures look at the night sky and may s e e completely different images us ing the same stars. Therefore, time, locat ion in society of the perceiver and the perce ived, and the pers is tence of exper ience over time and p lace are all e lements of context that may shift the va lue granted to one configurat ion over another. Through us ing the metaphor, constel lat ions of privi lege, I have tried to enhance our understanding of the i l lusive yet powerful dynamic at work among the factors of dominant culture. The two examples presented offer very simpli f ied vers ions of a person 's identity, but we do tend to be judged and "slotted" based on very few aspec ts of who we really are. T h e s e examples a lso, have been presented on the assumpt ion of all other things being equal , and have not add ressed many of the "Pan-Soc ie ty Factors Limiting Ent rance to Norms" such as sexua l orientation, isolat ing life exper iences, phys ica l or mental cha l lenges, age or gender. Look ing at how these factors affect the dynamic inherent to the equat ion of normality and accep tance is the subject of the next sect ion. 136 Locat ions - Dominant P laces , O p p r e s s e d P l a c e s This sect ion focuses on the seeming contradict ions inherent to the system of dominance.JHow do we reconci le different combinat ions of privileging factors and oppress ing factors within the identities of indiv iduals? How can one be located a s a n 'oppressor 1 or part of the dominant culture, while at the same time being oppressed or marginal ised. Th is d iscuss ion may enhance our understanding of the dynamic at work among these locat ions and of the consequences of dominant culture. Leigh opens this d iscuss ion with the fol lowing comments . . . . you can be targeted for oppress ion of one kind and a perpetrator of another kind of oppress ion at the same moment and these are not inconsistent. Th is is not a particularly profound insight but it really is general ly completely miss ing in the literature in my exper ience. Um, and s o ways in which for example, what dif ference does it make to me that I'm a Whi te lesbian a s opposed to being a Whi te heterosexual? What, how has my privi lege a s a Whi te and my targeting a s a lesbian, how have those two things affected each other, how, what 's the di f ference? (Int. 10.6, p 17). Discr iminat ion happens at many levels in society. Other than colour, c lass , ethnicity, religion, and language there are sex ism, age ism, ab le ism, discrimination based on sexual orientation and on life exper iences that have marginal ised individuals both publicly or privately, such as having a criminal record , being a survivor of sexua l abuse or a lcohol ism. I have d i scussed the former set of factors upon which privilege or exc lus ion and oppress ion may be based . Here I would like to focus on the latter set. T h e s e have already been identified within the d iscuss ion of dominant culture as : "Pan-Soc ie ty Factors Limiting Entrance to Norms", which I have descr ibed a s a level of broad categor ies wh ich function a s a secondary filter, within many societ ies, and limits a c c e s s to the privilege of being perceived and treated as normal. T h e s e factors interact not only among e a c h other but ac ross the spectrum 137 of norm shap ing categor ies: colour, c lass , va lues, ethnicity, religion and Engl ish language. Aga in , this is a highly interactive and variable dynamic, creat ing many poss ib le configurations which may result in individuals who exper ience, as Leigh ment ioned, being "targeted for oppress ion of one kind and a perpetrator of another kind of oppress ion at the same moment". It is a lso not uncommon for many individuals to exper ience multiple oppress ions. For example, someone who is Abor ig inal , a survivor of sexua l abuse and alcohol ism al ready has multiple oppress ions, but it doesn' t stop there because it is likely that this person will a lso be relatively uneducated and living in relative poverty. f indiay (sic) (1991) talks about the locations of people in society as being target group members or oppressed , and non-target group members or the oppressors and members of the dominant group. Yet , she c la ims w e may in s o m e ways be targets of oppress ion while occupying a dominant p lace in society. S h e goes on to say: . . . oppress ions do not all operate in the s a m e way. O n e oppress ion is not "the same as " another. But oppress ions have things in common. Typical ly, the non-target people . . . have more power, the target . . . less. Typical ly the target people suffer from systemat ic mistreatment ranging from v io lence through economic d isadvantage to ostracism. That mistreatment is institutionalized in laws and soc ia l mores of the society; it is a lso carr ied out within personal relat ionships. Typical ly the non-target people feel "normal"; they think that the target group people are "abnormal." Typical ly the non-target people feel that the target group people somehow deserve the mistreatment they are getting. A n d the target group is granted much less credibility than the non-target group. The target group both feel and are exc luded from society (p.2). S o , take for example a configuration that inc ludes being an educated, Whi te, Ang lo -Saxon , middle c lass , female who is a survivor of sexual abuse , and has a psychiatr ic record. The first four factors signal privilege while the last three are sites 138 of oppress ion. S h e cannot hide her gender, but her personal exper iences may or may not have left v is ible remnants. B e c a u s e she outwardly represents the norm she may be accep ted into the dominant culture at certain levels. S h e may a l so enact internal ized dominance, thereby being an oppressor . Ye t being female she exper iences sys temic d isadvantage in our society. Hav ing a psychiatr ic record cou ld exc lude her from many opportunit ies, and being a survivor of sexua l abuse she keeps locked up inside her where this s i lence quietly does its own damage through internal ized oppress ion (see the d i scuss ion about s i lenc ing within T h e Pr iv i lege of Be ing S e e n as 'Normal ' page 102). Th is example points to the fact that even if on some levels an individual be longs to the dominant culture, this is not an absolute membership. There is not only a hierarchy within the dominant culture, but whi le one may s e e m outwardly to belong, this membersh ip may be instantly revoked if the s a m e individual d isp lays his or her whole identity. A n example of this would be an educated, Whi te , Ang lo -Saxon , Eng l ish-speak ing , middle c lass male who is homosexua l . T h e sexua l orientation can alter the power all other privi leging factors if it is exp ressed . If it is not exp ressed then this man may have membersh ip within the dominant culture but at the expense of be ing unable to l ive a s a who le person, and will probably exper ience l i felong suffering through profound inner oppress ion and a s e n s e of isolat ion, not only from the dominant culture but from others who share his sexua l orientation. f indlay (sic) (1991) and Sawyer (1989), among others, use the terms internal ized dominance and internal ized oppress ion as a way of naming multiple effects of the power differentials exist ing within society. Cons ider ing the notion of 139 internal ized dominance has contributed to this explorat ion of whi teness, pr ivi lege and dominance, but it is couched in terms that resonate with a 'b lame the victim' impression. Th is is not the m e s s a g e those who speak of internal ized oppress ion advocate, but may be a consequence of the limitations of and embedded mean ings at tached to the language w e use to d i scuss it. I be l ieve both internai lzed oppress ion and internal ized dominance are important concepts that have va lue within the d iscourses of dominance, oppress ion , and hegemony, but the former in particular, needs to be re-visi ted and reworked to al low its full va lue to be c lear ly rea l ised. Summary Many of the factors and the interrelat ionships among them, which contribute to dominant culture have emerged from the d iscuss ions a s a central focus in understanding sys tems of oppress ion and dominance. I have attempted to summar ise the var ious e lements and through a ser ies of v isua ls represent the dynamic at work among them. I have conc luded with an extension of the d iscuss ion to deepen our understanding of the effects of dominant culture. I have only touched on the concepts of internal ized dominance and internal ized oppress ion , but I wou ld l ike to note that there are other authors who use simi lar concepts to capture this dynamic within power relations. For example, R a z a c k (1998) and T isde l l (1993) speak of interlocking sys tems of oppress ion and dominance and interlocking structural pr iv i lege respect ively. R a z a c k c la ims that there are multiple sys tems of oppress ion which rely on e a c h other to give e a c h meaning. S h e points to the importance of context in understanding these var ious meanings. R a z a c k (1998) says , "it is vitally important to explore in a historical and s i te-speci f ic way the 140 meaning of race, economic status, c lass , disabil ity, sexuali ty, and gender as they come together to structure women [children and men] in different and shift ing posit ions of power and privi lege" (p. 12). T isdel l (1993) descr ibes interlocking sys tems of structural privi lege and oppress ion as being based on "a combinat ion of any two or more factors that give one privi lege and/or opp ressed status in our society including gender , race, c lass , phys ica l abil ity/disabil ity, sexua l orientation, age and intel l igence (Col l ins, 1991)" (p. 204). The inf luence and effect of power relat ions cannot be d iscounted, they are core funct ions wh ich maintain the status quo and sys tems of oppress ion in our society. I have tried to highlight aspec ts of this problem to make it tangible. In the next chapter I shal l d i scuss barriers, p lace which prevent many people from recognis ing systemic dominance and oppress ion and taking responsibi l i ty for dismant l ing it. I wil l e n d this chapter with a quote from R a z a c k (1998) who is express ing the goal of her work, which in my opinion is one that shou ld be made central to multicultural educat ion and all a reas of educat ion. My goal is to move towards accountabi l i ty, a p rocess that begins with a recognit ion that we are e a c h implicated in sys tems of oppress ion that profoundly structure our understanding of one a n o t h e r . . . T rac ing our complici ty in these systems requires that we shed notions of master ing di f ferences, abandon ing the idea that di f ferences are pre-given, knowable and exist ing in a soc ia l and historical vacuum. Instead, w e invest our energ ies in explor ing histories, soc ia l relations, and condi t ions that structure groups unequal ly in relation to one another and that shape what can be known thought and said [sic] (p. 10). W e need to ask: W h e r e am I in this p icture? A m I posi t ioning myself a s the saviour of less fortunate peop les? A s the progress ive o n e ? A s more subord inated? A s innocent? . . . Accountabi l i ty begins with tracing relat ions of privi lege and penalty. It cannot p roceed un less we examine our complicity, (p. 170). 141 C H A P T E R F I V E Data Ana lys is Level II: Now that W e ' v e Identified It, What Do W e Do With It? In chapter four the analys is f ocussed on deconstruct ing Whi te culture and privi lege to understand the var ious aspects within these constructs and to gain insight into how they are predicated on dominance and oppress ion within our society. Now I would like to focus on the level of deal ing with this knowledge. In other words, now that we have many of the p ieces how do we build an informative picture that has re levance for diversity trainers, their aud iences, educators general ly and ultimately society a s a whole. To do this I have extended the d iscuss ion to consider: How d o e s this understanding of the elements of dominance relate to the pract ice of diversity training, to the lives of the privi leged and oppressed , and to our society in genera l? What is the point of such a d iscuss ion ; and what can we do with this knowledge? Chapter five takes the exploration of dominance and privilege to the next level through present ing the study participants' v iews on the quest ions posed above. Three major themes emerged from these d iscuss ions wh ich I have ar ranged into the three parts compr is ing this chapter: Part A : Barr iers to Address ing Dominance, Part B: Address ing the Barr iers and Part C : Wha t is the Va lue of Address ing Dominance? Aga in these are not discreet categor ies, but serve a s organis ing constructs that inform and build on each other. 142 Part A : Barr iers to Address ing Dominance This part is compr ised of six sect ions whose titles present the themes that have emerged from the data around barriers to address ing dominance. T h e s e include: T h e Posi t ion of Power , Denia l , Fea r of Los ing Priv i lege, De fens iveness -"Why shouldn't we protect our pr ivi lege?" Educat ion and Representat ion, Lack of Support and Summar is ing the Barriers. The Posi t ion of Power A few d a y s before the interview with Patr ic ia I had attended a graduate conference at the University of British Co lumb ia that brought together students of Educat ional Stud ies from U B C and Wash ing ton State University. In the fol lowing exchange I am reflecting on some insights into dominance which I ga ined from the conversat ions we had with the Amer i can students. Deborah: . . . we are so exposed to the American literature, we know very well, what their situation [is] in dealing with races and ethnicity and White studies and all of these things going on in the States. We are very aware. They were quite surprised to find out that our context is different and that actually, what they are doing doesn't necessarily translate to Canada... I went away from that thinking, what is underlying that? And what is underlying it, in my opinion is power... it's just that they are in a powerful position, we are in a much less powerful position. And I started thinking about other relationships of power and less power... that a group which is not so powerful usually knows a lot about the powerful group. The group which is powerful usually hardly even recognises or understands much at all about the non-powerful group... And why? It's survival... We have to know how to deal with what they are putting towards us. You know, they are setting the rules. We have got to learn how to cope with that... And then I started equating this with the idea of White in Canada and how most [White] people don't see the whiteness at all. The, the, the power that goes with that (Int. 17.8, p. 38). Here I am express ing a function of power that results in limiting the vis ion of those in the dominant p lace and broadening the vis ion of those in the less powerful 143 place. Patr ic ia is able to identify with this idea and provides an example. Patr ic ia: But it is very similar to when you are talking to men about their relationship to women. {Mhmm} A n d it is very difficult to try to get that concept ac ross because they are in a posit ion of power, um, organisational ly, often hierarchically, but even if they were working s ide by s ide with women, they don't recognise the, again the male privilege or the male power. A n d it is a very, very, it is very difficult to help them understand that. {Mhmm} L ike they really don't see it, whe reas women, I mean it is like wel l . . . this is a very different um, this is exact ly what you descr ibed. A very different level of awareness and {Mhmm, but it's like, when you are, when you are in a situation, you can't see it for its own reality.} B e c a u s e that is your subjective reality. Y o u are looking out and what is the issue. Like, "I feel f ree to speak, I feel free to communicate, I don't understand why this person, if they are having a difficulty, they can't speak". A n d it is like wel l , you know, they don't recognise their privi lege and their responsibil i ty to try to you know, bridge that power imbalance. They just, that is a very difficult concept to get across. {Mhmm. It's a} ... b l indness . . . That I think is a chal lenge and it sort of, it's the theme. Like how do you increase understanding? How do you increase awareness of Other? {Mhmm.} A n d that really I think is the chal lenge (Int. 17.8, pp. 39^0). Deborah: Yah. But it is interesting, the phrase, "how do you increase the awareness of Other?" That Other is such a reflection of the way we perceive things, that we are the centre and everything is defined from us, and so "they" are "Other". And to increase awareness so that it isn't that "Other", but it is that, "Gee, you know, we are all part of the puzzle somehow. And how do you get that far, to stop people from Othering? (Int. 17.8, p. 40). Patr ic ia identifies the "bl indness" that can result from one 's "subjective reality". S h e conc ludes that increasing awareness and understanding of Other is the key to helping those in the dominant posit ion recognise their privilege and their responsibil i ty to bridge the power imbalance. I do not dispute this, but I do point to the orientation of Othering, that cont inues to promote the centrality of the dominant p lace in society. 144 Leigh identifies another barrier inherent to attempting to raise awareness , that is predicated on the tenuousness of the dominant posit ion and is a function of the hegemony of whi teness or dominance. Deborah : What do you think might be the value or liability of exploring whiteness, White privilege? (Int. 10.6, p. 28). Leigh: Wel l , the truth is the value. Um, truth in the opportunity to work together ac ross our dif ferences. T h e liability for any person in the non-target group, for any person in a location of privi lege to be inquiring into the nature of privi lege is that they will, privilege is, wel l , one of the ways of thinking about privi lege is it's the attribution of unearned bonus points, and you, you lose those bonus points a s soon a s you start to quest ion Whi te privi lege {Mhmm} Um, you become suspect as a member of the ruling c lass and so no, you know you are open for the same kind of targeting behaviour as the people that you are studying a n d working with. Um, and that's how that is, that's one of the ways that the world maintains hegemony of whi teness {Mhmm} or of anything e lse. (Int. 10.6, p. 28). Denial Probably one of the most common and entrenched barriers to address ing dominance and privilege in our society is denial . Th is can take the forms of defens iveness, resistance, feel ing threatened, rejecting ownership, and undermining t the value of address ing the situation through taking an absolutist s tance. Th is ser ies of excerpts presents examples of these barriers the participants have observed within their pract ices of diversity training. Leigh: . . . I think the notion of equality is so pervas ive or something that it really does prevent people from see ing , l ike well- intentioned, hardworking, people from see ing the connect ions between ah , different, different parts of the world. Certainly not understanding the notion that as heterosexual Whi te feminists who stand, relatively speak ing, in a posit ion of privilege in relation to women of colour, lesbians, Whi te or of colour, women with disabil i t ies, and s o forth and s o on, s o that um, that notion of s imul taneously being targeted and powerful is one that is really hard for people to get. It means that people are 145 extremely defensive when you say but your organisat ion is racist, or whatever, homophob ic or whatever e lse. S o um, I think that the, the genes is of that kind of ignorance is the cultural ideology of equality. (Int. 10.6, p. 27). R a z a c k (1998) offers some insight to Leigh 's use of the phrase "the cultural ideology of equality" with her comment that: "If we live in a tolerant and pluralistic society in wh ich the fiction of equali ty within ethnic diversity is maintained then w e need not accept responsibi l i ty for rac ism" (p. 60). J o a n adds to the power of this notion of equality with her observat ion that members of the dominant culture talk as if the odds are equal . . . . there is a t remendous res is tance o n the North Shore to talking about i ssues of racial dominat ion, privilege, what does it mean to be White, what does it mean to be of European descent . Al l of this kind of stuff and basical ly to talk about i ssues of discrimination. I mean, people don't want to bel ieve that discrimination happens and so it is e a s y for people to talk about all of these i ssues in a technical way, a s things we need to do to make things different, but it is very difficult for people to talk about the kind of systemic um, p rocesses of wel l , . . . what I s e e is dominat ion. L ike there is, you could call it superior, you know, there is. . . but I s e e it a s dominat ion in the s e n s e of W e b e r who says , he talks about the systemat ic probability of things going in a certain direction. Y o u know, like there is his definition of dominat ion is, you could pretty wel l , there is a system gets in place, and certain people are more likely to win than others. A n d that's the odds have been set. A n d that is what dominat ion pretty wel l d o e s a n d the odds have been definitely set in our society. {Mhmm} Um, for certain people to um, for certain kinds of outcomes and so, because people won't talk about that, they want to talk a s if all the odds are equal . {Yah} That everybody has an equal chance. . . S o , but there is no s e n s e that the field is not equal , rea l ly . . . . A n d so yah, s o people only go so far, right? (Int. 36.5, p. 16). Deborah: People don't want to deal with the reality of inequality and if they do, if they are really encouraged to address it in some way, they are willing to see it as oh, out there somewhere but not to bring it down to a personal level, like I might be a part of this? (Int. 36.5, p. 17). J o a n : . . . I think it is intellectually a s well as sort of morally too threatening for them. I think at the level at just sort of analys is , it is quite confusing. L ike it is not as , because I think people hold a very stereotyped view of rac ism, right? . . . S o 146 people don't s e e themselves as personal ly racist, therefore they don't see themselves as involved in a racist system. {Mhmm} A n d because they don't, . . . they can't p roceed. {Yah} "Rac i sm is somep lace e lse. It is not here." Or, "it might be in individual people, but our system is not racist. A n d I don't personal ly feel like I am racist, so therefore this isn't really a problem." M a y b e that is I think, in a nutshell how people feel. {Mhmm} S o the d iscuss ion about rac ism is a total non-starter. (Int. 36.5, pp. 17-18). J o a n identif ies a number of reasons for the denial of dominance, oppress ion and racism in her statement that it is intellectually and moral ly threatening a n d can be confusing in that it doesn' t fit with some people 's stereotyped view of racism. The result is taking refuge in the "fiction of equal i ty" , which is based on the arguments that we live in a democracy, we have a charter of rights, we even have a multicultural policy, and as previously d i scussed the valuing of the individual and bel ieving that everyone is responsib le for their own s u c c e s s or failure, which is advocat ing an action orientation. R a z a c k (1998) again adds to our understanding of the power and attraction of adher ing to the "cultural ideology of equality" (Int. 10.6, p. 27). S h e states that the belief that w e all have equal rights is predicated "on not ions of individual f reedom and autonomy, [which] feeds the i l lusion that subordinate groups are not oppressed , merely different and less deve loped. Rights rhetoric . . . masks how historically organ ized and tightly constra ined individual cho ices are. The individual who has fai led has simply chosen badly" (p. 24). Therefore, through sticking to the equality argument members of the dominant group deny systemat ic oppress ion and avoid taking responsibil i ty for either maintaining or mitigating it. Other forms of denial that result in rejecting responsibi l i ty for deal ing with systemat ic inequality and oppress ion are s e e n in Patr ic ia 's comments which 147 exempli fy the s tance of distancing and devaluing, and Le igh 's comments which illustrate the s tance of sabotaging efforts to address the issues. Patr ic ia: . . . one guy sa id to me, "Why is it that you only hire women in your company and why is it that you, a woman are standing here talking to us about th is? ' I mean, there is this s e n s e of, I don't know, it is almost like a Whi te guilt or a male guilt. I don't know if it is guilt or denial . . . " W e don't see there is a problem here s o why do we have to talk about this? This is not an issue." I mean, I don't know how you character ise that, but that is, "When it comes that we don't need this. Th is isn't about us. Th is is of no value to us. It is not, you know, it is not re levant . . . W e don't want to talk about it b e c a u s e it is a waste of time. Th is isn't real work. Th is isn't important." {Yah.} But it is all about, "This has nothing to do with me." (Int. 17.8, p. 10). Le igh: . . . I gave up on trying to develop a ser ies of socia l act ions which would transform the who le country {Mhmm} some whi le back. A n d I, a h I don't pretend to know the answers , and I refuse to be defeated by the quest ion. It's a common quest ion and it's, " S o how are you going to make it be t te r? ' . . . "If you can't tell me how everything should happen then that shows the bankruptcy of your posit ion," {Mhmm} and that's simply not true. (Int. 10.6, p. 34). F e a r of Los ing Priv i lege The next ser ies of exchanges highlight what Mclntyre (1997) has identified as the "White-as-vict im syndrome" (p. 52), which w a s a preoccupat ion of the Whi te Amer i can students participating in her study examin ing whi teness. Th is orientation is fuel led by minimising the historical and sys temic exper iences of oppress ion subordinate groups face; it f ocuses on the v iew that pol ic ies such a s employment equity d isadvantage dominant group members whi le privileging Others; and it highlights instances where they (the dominant group members) have been made to feel like outsiders and or perceived themselves a s facing reverse racism. S u c h a s tance demonstrates a de fens iveness that results from the fear of losing privilege. 148 A n y a , Peter a n d Mar ion give examples of this fear, observed within their training pract ices. Deborah: As White, as it's happened with males in terms of the feminist movement, some males start to take on a victim stance (Int. 21 .1 , p. 47). A n y a : . . . I think that is a , c a n be a very common response . If (pause) if you, highlight privilege um, or, you highlight, you're looking at sort of Whi te men who often, or somet imes feel a s though they are being targeted by all these spec ia l interest groups. By people of colour, you know, by these groups who are trying to um, highlight their privilege. S o the back lash is " a poor me syndrome". S o what do you do about that? Um, (pause), oh I don't know. There 's a part of me that feels like it's a stage, it's a phase, it's a, if someone needs to go there, I mean I still, I think about this one particular man at this one workshop, who wanted to form the Whi te male group, opp ressed group, and it's not gonna help him if I shut him down (Int. 21 .1 , pp. 47-48). R o m a n (1993) identifies a responsibil i ty Whi te educators as helping racial ly privi leged students move from a "desire to be included in the narratives of racial oppress ion a s its d isadvantaged victims into a wi l l ingness to . . . [being fully accountab le for the] daily ways we (Whites) benefit from the conferred racial privi lege a s wel l a s from our complicity in the often invisible institutional and structural work ings of rac ism" (p. 84). The posit ion of victim c a n a l so be art iculated through fear of losing privi lege if we truly pursued fair treatment in society, as s e e n in Peter 's exper ience with dominant group participants in a workshop he was facilitating. Deborah: You talk about people being afraid of losing privilege. Do you think that's what it comes down to is losing privilege? (Int. 32.4, p. 45). Peter: O h , yes. Y e s , I remember in one of my training sess ions when we were going through this notion, we were talking about diversity and [about] giving everyone an opportunity, giving Aboriginal people, giving women all this kind of stuff. A n d one person sa id , "But what about, you know what about my 149 son? " S o m e o n e e lse spoke up and said, "What about my daughter?" Y o u know, l ike "Fo lks , you want fa i rness but it's not, it's not just supposed to be fair for the Whi te, middle c lass , or upper-middle c lass or above, in the way of income. Admit that's not what it's about." But without a doubt, is it going to be tougher for people 's kids to get jobs than in the past. Y a h , you know, because there's a more level playing field. A n d so when things were given to you, b e c a u s e you were sort of, you know, a lways put at the top of the heap or the top of the c lass or the top of the appl icat ions, that's not going to automatical ly happen. S o and you know, that's a tough thing, that's a tough thing to g ive up, because , boy it's awfully nice-when you've got that privi lege working for you (Int. 32.4, p. 45). Go rdon (1985) points out the d i lemma inherent to raising the awareness about sys temic dominance and oppress ion of those who have privilege, which is: A s they real ise that address ing this injustice means Other chi ldren "will compete with our chi ldren and ostensibly with us for a share of the power and real location of resources" (p. 37) many become more conservat ive and invest more heavi ly in the status quo to protect their material gains. Mar ion: T h e p lace of fear, of um, concern that they are go ing to lose something. That we are all, that somebody e lse is going to get something that I don't get is not something that comes from a real spirit p lace. It comes from, I don't know. S o m e kind of greedy little animal inside of us, you know, . . . A n d it's not greed. I don't think it is greed very often. It's fear. That we will not survive. I and my kind and my chi ldren will not survive if, if this happens . (Int. 16.7, p. 12). Mclntyre 's (1997) exper ience with her group of Whi te students paral lels what is being exp ressed here. S h e comments that the students' concerns at s o m e point centered around negotiating a s p a c e where they could live comfortably with their advantaged posit ions, whi le at the s a m e time, al low people of colour to share some of the advantages they, as Whi tes, exper ience. They f ramed this shared advantage around the notion of levell ing the playing field, which created an uncertainty about what would happen to them - and their privilege - if that logic became a reality. W o u l d they lose someth ing on a n individual level? Wou ld the entire Whi te race lose someth ing? (p. 59). 150 The fear of losing privi lege emerges as a central construct within the exploration of concept ion of whi teness and privilege. It has been consistently reiterated both within the interviews and the literature under a variety of forms. Fo r example, fear of difference can include the entire spectrum of factors summar ised in Figure 2 .1 , Conceptua l S c h e m a Level One : Factors Govern ing Entrance to Dominant Culture (page 124), and the fear of knowing oneself, a s Mclntyre (1997) found among the participants in her study on whi teness. . F a c e d with being benef ic iar ies of Whi te racism, and yet, shudder ing at the thought of "being racist," resulted in the participants having to live with contradict ion - a state of d i ssonance that many Whi tes find unwill ing to accept , choose a s a way of life or both . . . the d issonance c a u s e d by critically investigating whi teness, the history of rac ism, the untold stor ies of Whi te supremacy, and the advantaged positionalit ies of Whi te people in our society immobil ize many Whi tes, thereby, distancing us from engag ing in critique. T h e data suggest that refusing to examine whi teness is not just about Whi te self-interest, Whi te power, and Whi te gains - al though they are certainly cemented into the face of rac ism - but a lso about the inability of Whi tes to live with ambiguity, contradiction, and personal and col lect ive responsibil i ty for racial injustice. T h e average Whi te person is not exposed to daily harassment, stereotyping, marginal izat ion, and living "under survei l lance" (Fine, 1995). Therefore when the spotlight shone on us, as Whi te people, and we were asked to critically examine and confront our own l ived exper iences, many of us ran for cover (p. 136). I personal ly have exper ienced much of what Mclntyre has observed. A s I ment ioned at the beginning of this paper my research has led me through an intense p rocess intellectually, emotionally, and psychological ly. It has been a difficult and at t imes really disturbing investigation of my own identity and if it w a s not for my personal a g e n d a I might have 'run for cover" more than once. Therefore, this excerpt resonates loudly for me and g ives subs tance to the power of the fear that accompan ies self analys is . 151 Fea r of crit icism, blame, guilt and of see ing or acknowledging how one may be complicit in the oppress ion of others are interconnected and combine to create profound res is tance to engaging in d iscourses on soc ia l justice. E a c h of these fears is at the root of denial and one of the primary b a s e s of protecting privilege. A s wel l there is the very bas ic fear of poverty, "the notion of middle c lass fear of being broke and home less . . . you know that we' re all afraid that we' re going to be broke" (Int. 32.4, p. 37). T h e underpinning of this fear is an ideology of scarci ty rather than abundance, which, a s seen in the next sect ion, translates into de fens iveness due to the fear of being dominated. Th is ideological perspect ive is a lso the foundat ion of a win- lose worldview. "Why shouldn't we protect our pr ivi lege?" Understanding the root of dominant group defens iveness cont inues the d iscuss ion of fear. Th is incorporates the multiple fears embedded in the notion of losing privilege, but here the fear of being dominated is the focus. Defens iveness is another common form of denia l and a way of avoiding the responsibi l i ty dominant group members have for address ing privi lege and oppress ion. I presented the fol lowing scenar io to the participants a s an example of the defens iveness I have encountered in d iscuss ing dominance with people who are members of the dominant group. Le igh and Soph ia 's responses shed some light on what underl ies this posit ion. Deborah . One of the arguments that I get all the time in one form or another is that, you know, "Well, okay, maybe we've got privilege, maybe we're in a position of power or dominance in Canadian society, but that's the way of the world. And that in pretty well every country in the world there's a dominant culture and society and there's the non-dominant groups." People will give examples like 152 look at China or whatever, and so they say, "So why are you picking on us? And why shouldn't we protect our privilege? Because if we don't then somebody's going to dominate us" What are your thoughts about this? (Int. 10.6, p. 30). Le igh: Wel l , I descr ibe that as the phi losophy of despai r because it contains a notion of human nature, the nature of humanity which is that, "you're either going to be s tepped on or stepping". It's actually not true that in all human societ ies that has been the case , it is certainly less the c a s e than the norm, but aboriginal societ ies for example um (pause) it is you know that is certainly that deserves to be recorded a s one of the central cultural bel iefs of this country, which maybe c o m e s from the fact that most other people these days are immigrants, which wasn' t originally true, but we came and we conquered. S o , we bel ieve that if we didn't conquer the Indians they would conquer us and there's a deep psychic, d e e p historical and psych ic ev idence for that belief {Mhmm}, but (pause) our end, un less we can unpack that notion and change it, we' re headed for disaster. It's the notion a lso on which capital ism is based (Int. 10^6, p. 30). Le igh identifies the win- lose paradigm governing dominant culture in our society and g ives examp les of its foundat ions. Mclntyre (1997) identif ied the s a m e mind set within her study group and states that: "White society 's cont inued fetish about controll ing the racial d iscourse around a 'we / them - win / lose ' mentality resulted in these young Whi te [American] females accept ing and ideology embedded in fear and distortion" (pp. 59-60). The next exchange between Soph ia and myself points to the need to shift from this way of thinking and investing in an alternative paradigm: win-win. Soph ia : . . . it's the, "Wel l , it happens everywhere and therefore it's okay," argument right. A n d I think the thing is that, ideally I mean, I'd like to shift the paradigm away f rom t h a t . . . I'm actual ly one of those optimists that be l ieves that actual ly no one actually has to d o m i n a t e . . . . S o I think it's about shifting the paradigm and convincing people that other paradigms work (Int. 20.9 , pp. 3 1 -32). 153 Deborah: Or that there's even a possibility of another paradigm (yup) cause the way I look at it, I think that, we'll use Canada as a example, that we're very entrenched in that there's only one paradigm (mhmm) and that's win-lose .. . so, "If I'm winning then somebody's got to be losing, and why should I lose so somebody else can win?" (Mhmm) And it's very difficult to shift the perspective to considering that there's another dynamic, there's another possible combination (Int. 20.9, p. 32). Genera l ly the barriers d i scussed so far are manifested at an individual level, but these are reinforced at institutional and systemic levels. Fo r example one might ask the quest ion, W h e r e does a w in / lose mind-set, world v iew or paradigm c o m e from and what might be some ways to change such an orientation? A s Leigh pointed out there is "deep historic and [social] psych ic ev idence" that supports this mind set. A s wel l , it is embedded in our educat ional sys tem and reinforced within the med ia through a distorted view of history and b iased representation. Educat ion and Representat ion The exchange below focuses on the personal exper iences and observat ions Patr ic ia and I have had regarding the power educat ion and the med ia have in shaping our societal and worldviews. Patr ic ia: A lot of the bias and the, some lack of understanding of privi leges, some of that c a n be add ressed by just more exposure. U h , it is a realistic, they [dominant group members] haven't, it is almost like they have grown up in a - bubble and their educat ion is, is really, it's very, it's um, they have inadequate educat ion in the area of culture. They just haven't been exposed to it or they haven't, so tools that would help them understand other cultures, other c lasses . I think that that wou ld be really useful (Int. 17.8, p. 47). Deborah : Why do you think they or we have inadequate education around this? Patr ic ia: O h , it's just, I just think, you know, even going back into the school system, I mean I a m deal ing with grown up men who have absolutely no knowledge of our First Nat ions' history. They have no knowledge of women 's um, just, just 154 even, what I just call your bas ic , you know women 's studies 101 or First Nat ions studies, or, they just have absolutely no, they have had no educat ion or no information. Um, about, it's not part of our curriculum, it is not math, sc ience or physics. {Mhmm} A n d so it's, it's been el iminated (Int. 17.8, p. 47). Deborah: And it is interesting when I think back to my elementary and junior high education, we studied native peoples of Canada. We studied their culture, back what it was before it was destroyed. (That's r i g h t ) . . . You know, all of that, but we don't study, we didn't study the reality of their genocide. (Of course not.) / didn't study them in the context that they are in now, but we studied the exotic, the quaint, the um, romantic images (Int. 17.8, p. 48). Patr ic ia: A b s o l u t e l y , . . . but the issues around you know, when we c a m e to C a n a d a , or who c a m e to C a n a d a , the treaties that were made, were those treaties honoured, the residential schoo ls , all of that which is the important educat ion, the recent educat ion is miss ing. A n d so I think that we live in a culture that supports um, that what I wou ld cal l misinformation. A n d so, you know, I think we need to, and I think we are doing, there is some movement they made to sort of introduce some educat ion in, or to look at the curriculum in the educat ional systems. Certainly in the col lege systems. But um, but for those people that have graduated, that sort of uh, one would call it the Whi te male corporate culture, it's not there. A n d it is a void, you know? (Int. 17.8, p. 48). Deborah : And it is actually still a huge void. The other day McLean's [July 1, 1998, 111:26] put out an issue, here it is, that I couldn't resist picking up. The one hundred most important Canadians in history. (Oh, and you looked at the pictures and there wasn' t a woman in there. ) . . . But it was very interesting, and [I had] a couple of very strong reactions. First of all, the overwhelming White male um, (the whi teness of it and the ma leness of it. Yep. ) And the other part of it was how many of these people I had never heard of. When I think of history, sort of North American history, most of the heroes and figures that come up in my mind are American. And so I had sort of like a double whammy coming at me in looking at this was a) the representation . .. And then the um, (the lack of diversity, the lack of women.) Yes, and even, I am sure they dug, that they wanted to have diversity in there, because it is a big issue now and the fact that we have got to dig so hard, because the archives have been wiped clean to a large extent (Int. 17.8, p. 49). Patr ic ia: Absolute ly, absolutely. A n d then you . . . O h , there is the media, s o sort of reinforced, like the m e s s a g e s and the, when you talk about Whi te culture I a lso think about the media and then the m e s s a g e s that the media reinforces. . 155 . you know, because that's who is visible, that's who has a voice, that is who has connect ions, that is who has a part of this, this White. (Int. 17.8, pp. 49 -50). Patr ic ia 's final comments here summar ise the t remendous power those in the dominant p lace have in maintaining the sys tem of dominance and oppress ion. The key is select ive representat ion and a lauding of the accompl ishments of predominantly Whi te, mostly male, Wes te rn Europeans in both educat ion and the media. Th is justif ies how 'we' deve loped this posit ion of dominance and legit imises the maintenance of it. Ana lys ing this p iece of ' journalism' in itself could be an informative a n d important p iece of work for another time, but offering a brief ana lys is of the article contributes to this d iscuss ion of whi teness and dominance, and contextual izes my "couple of very strong reactions". First I would l ike to point out that of T h e one hundred most important Canad ians in history (Granatstein, 1998, in M c L e a n ' s Magaz ine Vo l . 111, No. 26, pp.14 - 5 7 ) fourteen were women, real or fictional, eight were not entirely wh i te 2 1 , and none were non-White women. S e c o n d , the few references made to these Others general ly are couched in mythical or except ional terms. E x a m p l e s of the mythical or mystical include: Evangel ine the heroine of Henry Waldswor th Longfel low's poem; the fictional character A n n e of G r e e n Gab les ; and Mrs. B leaney the "obscure fortune teller [who] w a s the first to introduce Mackenz ie K ing to communicat ing with the dead" (p.48). Whi le the except ional are Rober ta Bondar and Nell ie McC lung . Or these Others are revered because they championed the Engl ish, White, Protestant conquer ing and consol idat ion of the a reas now known as C a n a d a . 156 Examp les of this include: Cather ine Parr Trail l for her book The Backwoods of C a n a d a , wh ich "bespeaks the quiet triumph of the Eng l ish Protestant spirit not only in meet ing the harsh condit ions cheerful ly and with curiosity but a lso in carrying forward t h e b a n n e r of Christianity and civi l ization" (p. 22) and "Tecumseh , a S h a w n e e war chief, [who] all ied himself with Britain and played a key role in the war 's [War of 1812] opening months that s a w the Brit ish victories that preserved C a n a d a " (p. 19). Converse ly , Others were noted for their notoriety, such a s G e r d a Muns inger 's sex scanda l with Diefenbaker and V io la MacMi l l an who in her mining pursuits w a s "merely a worthy forerunner of the men who gave C a n a d i a n s the B r e - X scanda l of 1997" (p. 56). Granast ie in con fesses that "although we consul ted widely, the list is arbitrary . . . the present list g ives too much weight to 'dead Whi te m a l e s ' . . . who held power and had the greatest opportunities . . . we tried to offset this . . . we endeavoured to be inclusive. W e fai led - because the weight of history and accompl ishment determined we must" (p. 15) Th is statement s p e a k s vo lumes in itself about the frightening b iases entrenched in our educat ional materials and attitudes which are promoted through the media . Not to be labour the point, but the fol lowing quote from Ganas te in ' s (1998) second opening paragraph g ives a rather explicit indication a s to M c L e a n ' s failure to be inclusive in this article. There is absolutely no concept ion of the exper ience of exc lus ion. C a n a d a is a huge success , a nation that has overcome most of the problems of geography and regional ism, race, rel igion a n d c lass to build a garden in the wi lderness. A n d , astonishingly we have done this without civil wars and with I use the phrase not entirely white rather than non-white or people of colour because included here were Grey Owl a full-blood Englishman "passing himself off as the son of an Apache mother and Scots father" (p. 48), Louis Riel the famous Metis revolutionary, and as a group the Voyageurs who included a spectrum of skin colours. 157 remarkably little blood on our hands or much justif iable col lect ive guilt. C a n a d a is a nation that has offered and cont inues to offer the opportunity of the good life to the vast majority of its c i t izens (p. 14) Lack of Support At the organisat ional level too there are t remendous barriers to address ing dominance and oppress ion. For example, a s diversity i ssues gain a higher profile within society, bus inesses , organisat ions and institutions feel the pressure to dea l with them. A s S o p h i a points out this usual ly takes the form of "Let 's do training, let's educate people", but a s D iane observes this puts "the onus for change" on the individual. Deborah: And what do you see to be the biggest challenge in the work that you're doing? (Int. 20.9, pp. 8). Soph ia : That cha l lenge? . . . actually having the resources from the senior management level to commit to sys temic c h a n g e . . . and as part of that . . . wel l , convincing the senior management level that they need to, you know, which is part of the commi tment . . . b e c a u s e most of the work it s e e m s that's done is educat ion, so, "Let 's do training, let's educate people". But there's not been a lot of evaluat ion of training, s o that we know that we 've actual ly done something, that it's actually been effective, whatever the original objective was. S o , there's I don't know, I somet imes feel like I'm operat ing in a bit of a black hole . . . (Int. 20.9, pp. 8-9). D iane: Now we very rarely do awareness training, per se , anymore. Most ly because organisat ions, there w a s a time when that's al l we did, and then we shifted and our focus and so the work shifted obviously accordingly. But a lso, organisat ions began to see , let 's hope they began to see , that the awareness building wasn' t changing anything directly. Mostly, I argue, because there was no context of the training in the first p lace . . . the onus for change w a s on individuals {mhmm} so, "If you reduce your own prejudice then we will have a better organisat ion." We l l , that's sort of l ike this much [ indicates a tiny amount with her finger] of what has to be done. If there's no context for the training in terms of people being supported to effect change then there's no, in fact I go into organisat ions and tell them there's no point in doing training. I s a y they're going to waste their money, un less they've done other work {yah, 158 they provide an infrastructure to support it). But they, you know, I've worked with agenc ies that spend thousands of dol lars on training, like crown corps and stuff but they haven't made any sort of major changes to the culture of the organisat ion, {hmm, so} Others of them have shifted a little bit and the training did, was susta ined through organisat ional initiatives but that's not a general rule {hmm}. (Int. 24.3, pp. 7-8). Unfortunately, many of the organisat ional level initiatives for address ing diversity i ssues take the form of lip serv ice, where awareness training is done at the worker level but isn't supported within the context of the entire organisat ion. A s Diane suggested, there must be an organisat ional context for such training or it may even be harmful in simply mask ing or embedd ing the problems more deeply through mechan isms such as tokenism. Kivel (1997) g ives an Amer i can example of how this might work. There may be significant numbers of people of color [or members of oppressed groups] who are demanding equality. W e will then seek input from people of color. W e [members of the dominant group] al low them to speak out or testify, we study the situation, we do research and we remain in control. Th is p rocess creates the il lusion of participation, but there is still no shar ing of power (p. 218). Summary Kivel (1996) d i scusses a set of tactics people in the dominant posit ion will use to retain the benefits ga ined through dominance and avoid any responsibil i ty for racism. Below, in Tab le 5.1, I have adapted his presentat ion and d iscuss ion of these tactics to summar ise many of the barriers the participants have identif ied. I have included statements from the interviews as wel l as those identified by Kivel which reflect much of what has been d i scussed here. A s d iscussed , such tactics may be manifested by individuals but are supported a n d reinforced institutionally and systemical ly. 159 Tab le 5.1 Denial Tact ics and Typical S ta temen ts 2 2 TACTIC TYPICAL STATEMENT Denial Minimization Blame Redefinition Unintentionality If s over now Ifs only a few [people] Counterattack Competing victimization ["all the odds are equal1] ["everybody has an equal chance"] "it's a level playing field" ["this isn't about us"] ["this has nothing to do with me"] "personal achievement depends on personal ability" ["it happens everywhere and therefore ifs okay"] [°we don't want to talk about it because it is a waste of time"] "Look at the way they act.. ." "If they weren't so . . . " They are immoral, lazy, dumb or unambitious" "Anybody can be prejudiced" "People of colour people attack White people too" "Discrimination may happen, but most people are well-intentioned" "She probably didn't mean it like that" "It was only a joke" [That was before, it's not like that anymore"] "Discrimination is the result of a few bigoted people" "It's only the neo-Nazis and Skinheads" [They want special status"] [They're taking our jobs away"] The insights and exper iences presented within Part A come from professional trainers within the field of diversity training, which includes anti-racism, human rights and harassment educat ion. T h e participants work with a broad s c o p e of people within their training programs, but a large sector of their aud iences represent dominant group members. Therefore, these excerpts offer grounded awareness of Source: Developed from Kivel's (1996) discussion pp. 40-46 in Uprooting racism: How white people can work for social justice. Note: the square brackets [ ] indicate the statements added to the table from the data. 160 the barriers we face in trying to address the issues of dominance and oppress ion, rac ism and equality. A s daunting a s these barriers may be, the underlying sentiment I perce ived through these d iscuss ions were opt imism, faith in our ability to change, and a determination not to be defeated by the chal lenges. .Part ic ipants general ly pointed to the need to bring about change in our society through taking incremental but multi-level steps. This involves advocat ing a paradigm shift, away from win- lose and towards win-win, which is supported by speci f ic act ions resulting in not only increased awareness and understanding but in creating concrete avenues and institutions to change the status quo. T h e fol lowing exchange g ives an example of this orientation. Deborah : ... one of the few things that gives me hope, like when I start to flag and my stamina gets worn out, I look at the feminist movement and I think so much has been accomplished. And sure lots of mistakes have been made and it hasn't been perfect, and yet, we've come so far. (Mhmm.) And it hasn't been easy, it's taken a long, long time, and now we're at a point where we're having to look at whiteness within feminism, and look at how blind we've been on that one it's like, "Wow, how could we have been so blind, but okay let's start moving in that direction now," that kind of ah, progress (Int. 20.9, p. 33). Soph ia : . . . but it's a lso thinking about the speci f ics r i g h t . . . if it had not been for feminism we not have women 's shel ters now, we would not have a sexual a b u s e team a St. Pau l ' s , w e would not have a lot of paral lel serv ices in the non-profit community {Mhmm} would not exist without feminism {Mhmm} Right, s o within the ant i-racism movement or the diversity movement that there become speci f ic things that we can focus our attention on. Right, and that's where we um, feel good , you know at the end of the day, or think okay this is worth it (Int. 20.9, pp. 33-34). 161 Part B: Address ing the Barr iers Part B presents participants' exper iences, pract ices and thoughts about what is important in and how we might mitigate some of the barriers to address ing dominance within our society. T h e s e approaches come from the lived exper iences of practit ioners of diversity training and offer grounded narratives which speak for themselves. Therefore, I shal l present the participants' narratives uninterrupted and will summar ise the salient points at the e n d of this sect ion. I have added the bolding and reference symbols to highlight the sect ions of each excerpt that relate to Tab le 6.1, Summary of Part ic ipants ' Insights to Break ing the Barriers on page 166. The Narrat ives Patr ic ia: I will ask people, one of my warm up quest ions may be what are your concerns about this subject, and [I] get them to tell me. A n d they just have long, ugly lists . . . A n d I will just basical ly get them to {start engaging) say what they think and make it really safe so nobody gets smacked if they say something that is . . . Like I have set the exercise up so that they are free to say what they think. {Mhmm} And structure it in such a way that no one is wrong. That everyone has their opinion and they will have the opportunity to express it (*). {Mhmm} A n d that is the starting point. A n d that k ind of gets people feel ing like it is okay to talk about these issues. Rather t h a n . . . {right, take away the blaming type of finger pointing . . . the stigma that this field seems to carry.} Y a h , exactly. That I am, that I am Whi te and I am male. I must be guilty or I am participating. They just start off with this feel ing of, just being really threatened. Um, and , and so I yah. I try to make it a comfortable place (Int. 17.8, p. 9). A n y a : I think, it's overall in training you have to meet, somehow or another, you have to meet people where they're at ( £ ) . . . [' n a v e to] put as ide my miss ion and try to be with the people that I'm working with and so . . . {"Put as ide you m i s s i o n " . . .In a nutshell what 's your m i s s i o n ? } . . . I g u e s s it's about inclusion and acceptance. A n d , and ah G o d , I don't suspect , it sure won't happen in my lifetime. But to get to a point where we can, people can truly, not just tolerate each other, not just accept each other, but 162 really appreciate um, each other for their differences? (*) And , I guess that's my miss ion, um, ideally. But at the very least, learn to tolerate and accept, um, just accept difference. Y o u don't have to like it. Y o u don't at all have to like it, but just accept . (Int. 21 .1 , pp. 49-50). Soph ia : . . just doing the focus group alone was in itself effective, and did in itself affect change . . . in terms of, it's, like from a community based perspective in terms of building the skills and, of a community (<-*). {Mhmm} . .. {that process has value and potential for change}. Right, and I think, maybe I forget somet imes that when I do focus groups at a hospital that just pull ing together people right, and getting them to talk about some of the horrible things that have happened to them or some of the trials that they've had in providing care to, to patients, that in itself um, {gets people thinking} gets people thinking and affects change in some way, and changes attitudes (*-+) and that's just at the d iagnos is s tage {Mhmm} Y o u know, c a u s e I can see people's little light go on just because people hear the flip in the same focus (<-*). . . (Int. 20.9, pp. 10-11). Patr ic ia: Mhmm. I think that people have to recognise the place, the shoes that other people walk in as a starting point. And I think that when they do that, they can then start to see, I think an increased understanding then moves towards um, that, the contributions that differences can bring A n d I think that, I don't know. Y o u kind of need to, if you have no sense that anyone is different than me or that anyone who is different f rom me is someone who is very quiet, is quiet because he c h o o s e s to be. That he is not being verbal, um, and you never bother to kind of get, to sort of ask quest ions of that person, and hear what they have to contribute {Mhmm} then if, you know, people have to be like me in order for me to see them or hear them {Mhmm} um, you know, you have to move people from that place to understanding that, yah, there are a lot of different ways of doing and being (#). {Mhmm.} A n d I think that that's the trick. I don't think that, not the trick, I think that that's what needs to happen. (Int. 17.8, pp. 40 -41). Deborah: But it is interesting too that someone is different from me. (Yah.) It is always the outward, that "you" are different from "me", not perhaps that "I" am different from "you". Or that you don't reflect my reality. I don't know. (No, I hear what you are saying.) And that is probably another step. I mean first of all to recognise (that there are different realities.) Yah, that there are different realities and then to stop highlighting my reality as the most important and probably, actually the right way ( ) (Int. 17.8, p. 41). 163 Joan : [There's a book by] Cha r les Mil ls, and it's cal led the Rac ia l C o n t r a c t . . . he very much at the end is looking for a reconstructive, you know, a new vis ion, a way of working together and a way of dismantl ing the ideology. . . H e says , unless we understand where it has come from, we don't understand why it still operates and s o that is why he says , you know, I am talking about it because I want to be able to undo it. . . A n d I guess that is the way I try to think about it (Int. 36.5, p. 49). Soph ia : S o I think that there's certain things that, that we' re proud of, that we, you know, that are part of our sel f -esteem or conf idence, or pride, kind of locates us in the world or grounds us in the world. There's certain things that are more important that we just be aware and own {Mhmm} And I think whiteness and privilege and class are some of those things (Q) {Mhmrn, so that we own them and therefore take some responsibility.} M h m m , c a u s e you a lso can't like, if I'm not aware of my privi lege, if I'm not aware, right, then, then I don't know enough. If I'm not aware of, of my income, and the fact that people have different incomes, then I don't know enough, I'm not sensi t ive enough to the fact that when I go out with a friend that I need to give them an option that's free. {Mhmm} L ike that's awareness . That 's not pride, there's no, you know, that's s imple awareness and k indness and sensit ivity (Int. 20.9, p. 41). J o a n : I think there is a process of awareness and then divesting one's self, in a sense as a White person, one needs to divest one's self of privilege (0) (Int. 36.5, p. 49). Leigh: . . . which of these two would you ask your new born child to be: Do you want them to be, because racism is a tragedy not just for people of colour but for White people, it cuts us off, it, the kinds of things we have to do to maintain privilege and power are extremely damaging (S) Y o u r new born chi ld what cho ice would you wish for them? {Mhmm} and what we say is we' re looking for another choice. We ' re looking for a third way or a different way which involves . .. respect for each other across differences and an sense of, that we don't have to make each other all the same in order to deal with each other (•). O n e of the things about Whi te privi lege is the reasoning [that] when people are freed of all their oppress ions they will all just look like us ( l a u g h t e r ) . . . so I say that, that is a convict ion of despair . A n d that a conviction of hope requires that you be willing to look at your own inauthentic privilege, and look at ways that you are going to be sharing that privilege (0) because this is not a study des igned to teach us how to stay rich, powerful and isolated. Presumably , it's a study which is des igned to 1 6 4 teach us how to live together wor ld wide, s o that there's a humanity still here in the next hundred years (Int. 10.6, pp. 30-31). Deborah: But, okay, um (pause) when we look at basically radical change, perhaps over a long slow time, but radical change in society, and for example, the kinds of questions I'm asking, or the kind of work I'm interested in is really turning the status quo on its head. And I'm taking the approach that I believe that those who are benefiting most from the status quo and maintaining it, blindly or knowledgeably, with power or just participating somehow, have a huge responsibility in doing this @). Okay, I have a big problem, why would anyone who has that want to stir it up? Turn it on it's head? And the other thing that I'm faced with . .. is generally if people are fairly comfortable in doing their own thing, and we can talk about... how would you like your child to be raised and... that Whites are as oppressed by racism because we're isolated. Okay, we can say all of that, but unless it hits . .. us in our life we can [still] sit there and go, "Yah, that's all really interesting, yah I agree but I'm not going to do anything about it." (Mhmm.) How do we get beyond that? How do we actually make it hit so we feel something, we get a reaction we get some kind of involvement? (#) (int. 10.6, p. 32). Leigh: I think that (pause) the secret to having people involved in a general way is probably that when people come to the understanding that their physical survival depends upon their ability to share resources (#), either b e c a u s e of the consequences of you know, the environmental damage or because of genetical ly manipulated p lagues or because of whatever, {Mhmm} um, at some point in their, it may be the case that we come to understand that we need to figure out a few ways of working together. Or not, in which case the human race is not long for this planet (={}=). Um, and I guess the other, from my own personal self, my s e n s e of being in the world at the moment is that I am most interested in my own growth and spiritual connection and this is what I have, this is the way... I find myself growing bigger, bigger and more interesting and more, more wiser person (©), so as a straight self interest, that's my self interest, that's what keeps me going (Int. 10.6, p. 33). Mar ion: . . . my good fr iend, . . . she is very, a venerated, very w ise woman. A n d she would say to me in her sweet and loving way, " G o d you are self-righteous". S o I fought that image that she had of me for a very long t ime until I f inally turned and faced it and looked at it. A n d I am. A n d it's not helpful in what I am trying t o , . . . I am standing in judgement on people . . . A n d when I turned and faced myself and my own levels of judgement in this, the cha l lenges of what I was trying to do changed because I have moved, s topped, but I have moved much further away from standing in judgement on people. What I 165 try to do instead is return to the place of the heart. And in aligning myself and my spirit in one, then I can help people to go to that place in themselves and when we go to that place, we can't in the same way stand in a place of hate (©) and we can't s tand together in a p lace were we say, wel l , they are this and they are that. B e c a u s e that's, I don't think very many people, the p lace of their spirit would ever let them do that (Int. 16.7, pp. 11-12). Ana lys is and Summary of the Narrat ives It is worthwhile to note the progression in the themes arising from this d iscuss ion. In Tab le 6.1 below, Summary of Part ic ipants ' Insights to Break ing Barr iers, I have summar ised the sal ient points but a lso have presented a n ana lys is through identifying themes and drawing relat ionships among these. I have charted the themes, which represent significant e lements to be cons idered in breaking down the resistance to address ing dominance and oppress ion often demonstrated by members of the dominant group in our society. I have then al igned these with the support ing statements made by the participants from which the themes arose. In attempting to summar ise this set of data I have taken the liberty of present ing the e s s e n c e of the participants' words in condensed forms, which may not match word for word the excerpts.from the interviews. I have a lso grouped statements from different participants under unifying themes, but have indicated a different speaker through separat ing the statements with three . . . consecut ive dots. T h e participants' statements are presented more or l ess in the s a m e s e q u e n c e they occur within the excerpts presented above. A s wel l , to facilitate connect ing the statement to the respect ive speaker and offer an opportunity to revisit the context of the statements I have bolded the sect ion within e a c h excerpt from which the statement w a s der ived and inserted the theme symbol to which it relates. 1 6 6 / Tab le 6.1 Summary of Part ic ipants ' Insights to Break ing the Barr iers Some Elements Involved • RESPECT & SUPPORT £ RELEVANCE <-> EXCHANGING 1 DECENTERING 4 VALUING DIFFERENCE BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE D OWNERSHIP TAKING RESPONSIBILITY 0 DIVESTING PRIVILEGE =ji= UNDERSTANDING INTERDEPENDENCE © MOVE FROM JUDGING TO CARING Data: How can we break down the barriers? V Make it really safe, they are free to say what they think and no one is wrong. That everyone has their opinion and they will have the opportunity to express it £ You have to meet people where they're at <-• Just doing the focus group alone did affect change in terms of a community based perspective, of building the skills, that gets people thinking, changes attitudes, I can see people's little light go on just because they hear the flip in the same focus. First of all to recognise that there are different realities and then to stop highlighting my reality as the most important and probably, actually the right way. 4 Get to a point where people can truly, not just tolerate each other, not just accept each other, but really appreciate each other for their differences... I think that people have to recognise the shoes that other people walk in as a starting point understand the contributions that differences can bring, if people have to be like me in order for me to see them or hear them, you have to move people from that place to understanding there are a lot of different ways of doing and being... Respect for each other across differences and a sense that we don't have to make each other all the same in order to deal with each other. •& Unless we understand where it has come from, we don't understand why it still operates. • There's certain things that are more important that we just be aware of and own and I think whiteness and privilege and class are some of those things. B Racism is a tragedy not just for people of colour but for White people, it cuts us off, it the kinds of things we have to do to maintain privilege and power are extremely damaging... Those who are benefiting most from the status quo and maintaining it, blindly or knowledgeably, with power or just participating somehow, have a huge responsibility in doing this. 0 There is a process of awareness and then divesting one's self, in a sense as a White person, of privilege... A conviction of hope requires that you be willing to look at your own inauthentic privilege, and look at ways that you are going to be sharing that privilege. =jr How do we make it hit so we feel something, we get a reaction we get some kind of involvement?... When people come to the understanding that their physical survival depends upon their ability to share resources, it may be that we come to understand that we need to figure out a few ways of working together. Or not in which case the human race is not long for this planet © I am most interested in my own growth and spiritual connection and I find myself growing bigger and more interesting and a more wiser person . . . I have moved much further away from standing in judgement on people. What I try to do instead is return to the place of the heart And in aligning myself and my spirit in one, then I can help people to go to that place in themselves and when we go to that place, we can't in the same way stand in a place of hate. 167 As is generally the problem with charts, such a form suggests the process only has a linear progression, which it is not the case. There is value in identifying some of the important components and representing the somewhat hierarchical nature inherent to such a process of change, but it must be recognised that there is an interconnectedness which creates a dynamic among all of the themes presented here. I have tried to represent this dynamic below through Figure 4.1, Elements to Consider When Breaking Barriers to Addressing Dominance. In doing this I have attempted to highlight the somewhat developmental process involved in breaking down the barriers. This process can begin anywhere within the first two rings. As the change process continues it will incorporate many of the other elements in the first two rings. As the process develops it will shift down to incorporate the elements in ring three and culminate in ring four, where through experiencing the benefits of working towards equality we shift from a position of judging, which is based on the win-lose paradigm, to one of caring, sharing, and valuing, which is based on a win-win paradigm. In charting this process I have only included the insights offered from the data in this section, therefore the focus here is on how we might engage individuals in challenging the status quo. I have factored in other levels of change, mentioned previously, that must happen in tandem, such as the organisational, institutional, and societal levels through the vertical arrow connecting the four rings. Change must take place at many levels simultaneously, which will influence attitudes, perceptions, behaviour, norms, conventions, and ultimately policy, laws, and worldview. 168 Figure 4.1 E lements to Cons ide r W h e n Break ing Barr iers to Address ing Dominance 169 Part C : What is the Va lue of Address ing Dominance? Many of the insights the participants have offered to address ing the barriers, within Part B j s u g g e s t the possib le value of an exploration of concept ions of Whi te culture, privi lege and dominance. In the first sect ion of Part C , Part icipant Insights, Persona l Insights I draw connect ions between these insights and the value of the exploration. I then offer some of my personal insights and support them through citing the literature. Through this I am attempting to acknowledge the t remendous complexity inherent to such an exploration. I am not implying that this acknowledgement add resses the multitude of avenues to be cons idered in order to do just ice to deconstruct ing whi teness, privilege and dominance nor does it begin to include the various ways for or multiple levels at which address ing the consequences of oppress ion have been researched within the literature. The fol lowing d iscuss ion is one way of extending the concept ions of privi lege deve loped through the exploration of this topic with the study participants. T h e Wor th and Liability of Highlighting Whi teness acknowledges what may be gained as well as the possib le limitations inherent to exploring whi teness. Participant Insights, Persona l Insights In deconstruct ing whi teness, privilege and dominance we may begin to understand the foundat ions of oppress ion, which can offer direction in understanding why such a system of soc ia l relations persists. For example, when we can identify concrete e lements of a problem we are in a stronger posit ion to deve lop ways of address ing it. Therefore, if we can educate members of the dominant group to " recognise that there are different realit ies" (Int. 17.8, p. 41) then we may d is lodge 170 the view that the dominant group reality is "the most important and probably, actually the right way" (Int. 17.8, p. 41). A s wel l , it is difficult to take ownership for someth ing one cannot perceive, and therefore, one cannot take responsibil i ty for address ing the problems that ar ise from it. I wou ld like to offer a personal interpretation of the interactive, cycl ical nature of dominance and oppress ion, as well as one view on the value of engaging in the process of chal lenging the status quo in order to dismant le these entrenched systems. Th is interpretation incorporates my own life exper iences and observat ions, educat ion, research and personal s e n s e of morality. A s wel l , it is largely ref lected in and supported by the participants insights and much of the literature relating to the subject. A caveat to the fol lowing scenar io is that dominance and oppress ion are contributors to, not the so le cause of the s e n s e of al ienation I descr ibe below. I have observed within our society a s e n s e of d isconnect ion from self a s wel l as community, an inexpl icable empt iness many individuals within our society exper ience. I will cal l this 'the intangible void' . S o m e people try to fill this with religion, involvement in philanthropic act ions or institutions, the accumulat ion of material possess ions and monetary wealth and the acquisi t ion of power; or through more extreme pursuits such as var ious types of escap ism, subs tance abuse, withdrawal or overtly deviant behaviour. W h e n these attempts to fill the void fail to satisfy, one can exper ience a deep, incomprehensib le s e n s e of frustration wh ich may contribute to physical abuse, family breakdown, the s e n s e of al ienation many of our youth exper ience and a diminishing s e n s e of connec tedness and community. S u c h a p rocess furthers individual isolation and fuels insecurity which generates 171 fear. Th is is often mani fested in blaming the establ ishment or converse ly in b laming Others, as can be seen in scape-goat ing, prejudice and discrimination, and the whole scope of oppress ions that fall under the rubric of racism. Th is takes us full circle s ince the system of dominance and oppress ion contribute to creating "the intangible void". C h a v e z and O'Donnel l (1998) offer corroborating insight to this void in their d iscuss ion of the negat ive effects oppress ion can have on members of the dominant groups, such as : "the loss of knowing one 's real self and potential. Limitations on intellectual, moral, and emotional growth . . . moral ambiva lence, guilt, and shame . . . f e a r . . loss and diminishment of relat ionships . . . isolation is increased" (pp. 258-259). Th is s e n s e of empt iness or al ienation from self and others, in part, is a consequence of the tragedy of rac ism "not just for people of colour [or other oppressions] , but for Whi te people" (Int. 10.6, p. 30) or members of the dominant group. It limits not only one 's exper ience of other people in genera l , but one 's exper ience of self through the 'extremely damag ing . . . k inds of things we have to do to maintain privilege and power" (Int. 10.6, p. 30). Th is cou ld be character ised in terms of, "Dehumanizat ion, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but a lso (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of becoming more fully human" (Freire, 1970, p. 28). C h a v e z and O'Donnel l (1998) endorse this interpretation of the origins and consequences of "the intangible void" with their statement that: L iv ing in a society where there are systematic, institutionalized inequalit ies affects everyone, whether in advantaged or d isadvantaged roles. T h e s e 172 . condit ions have profound personal psychological , spiritual and social ramifications. They affect and limit how w e think about our se lves and others, how and with whom we interact and the opportunit ies and cho ices we have about how to lead our l ives. Wh i le oppress ion provides benefits for those in dominant groups, for all of us in some ways , there are negative consequences (p. 258) . . I bel ieve that part of the value of deconstruct ing whi teness, privi lege and dominance ultimately lies in address ing this void, al ienation, or "dehumanizat ion" that has become so unrecognisable to many people in our society that they do not perceive its negative effect on developing their potential a s mentally, social ly and spiritually healthy human beings and on contributing as such to society. A s important and even valid a s these aspec ts of the value of investigating whi teness, privilege and dominance may be, there is t remendous res is tance to engag ing in such a p rocess , especia l ly on behalf of those in the dominant p lace. O n e of the deeply embedded fears among dominant group members is los ing privilege. Th is comes from only being able to perce ive a win- lose situation, wh ich is predicated on White, Wes te rn European / North Amer i can colonial ism and the valuing of individualism, competi t ion and capital ism (Katz 1978, Frankenberg 1993, Sleeter 1996, Dyer 1997, McLa ren 1997, R o m a n and Eyre eds. 1997, among a host of other authors). A s Leigh pointed out earl ier in this chapter, this is a phi losophy of despair , of either stepping or being s tepped on, of conquer ing or being conquered, which "deserves to be recorded as one of the central cultural beliefs of this country" (Int. 10.6, p. 30). C h a v e z and O'Donnel l (1998) observe that "often people from dominant groups s e e efforts at progressive soc ia l change as a win- lose situation (in wh ich they will lose)" (p. 257). T h e chal lenge is to move members of the dominant group to 173 perceiv ing other options, such a s a win-win paradigm, where "everyone could benefit from the elimination of oppress ion" (p. 257). Th is would be based on recognis ing not only the "contributions that difference can bring" (Int. 17.8, p. 40), but the interconnect ions among all people in our society a s wel l a s the reality of global interdependence. Th is highlights the value of address ing pan-societal and global cha l lenges from the unifying stance-of concern for the welfare of humanity. It is based on a percept ion of abundance and responsib le use of resources rather than scarci ty and competit ion for resources. W e must move away from the divis ive and general ly counterproductive perspect ives of c lass ism, nat ional ism, and racism. Many advocates of chal lenging the status quo who place the responsibi l i ty of this squarely on the shoulders of Whi tes recognise that the logic presented above may be laudable, but relatively ineffective in at t ract ingihe attention of those who are comfortable with their privilege no matter how it is gained. Katz (1978) offers a perspect ive which such individuals may find more relevant. "It is physically, socially, and psychologically advantageous of Whites to learn about racism for their own survival [sic]" (p. 24). S h e goes on to cite We ls ing (1972) who emphas i ses that Whi tes make up one-tenth of the world 's population; Third Wor ld people make up the other nine-tenths. Most of the natural resources are conta ined within the Third Wor ld countries. In the next few decades the world 's weal th may be redistributed into Third Wor ld countries. For their own survival , physical and economic Whi tes must change their racist sys tem and attitudes s o that they can peaceful ly exist with all Third Wor ld peoples (p. 24). Advoca tes of socia l change need to offer members of the dominant group a logic that is in keeping with the motivators to which they have been historically condit ioned in order for them to recognise, relate to and invest in radical socia l change. The current Wes te rn paradigm is predicated on the notions of scarcity and 174 competit ion. There may be many people who are will ing to undergo the chal lenging and long road to personal fulfilment and a paradigm shift, but in my exper ience the most motivating reasons for many human be ings to champion socia l change on a large sca le are economics and the percept ion of a common enemy, such as a universal threat. A s Leigh pointed out in the previous sect ion, the secret to having people involved in a general way is probably that when people come to the understanding that their physical survival depends upon their ability to share resources, either b e c a u s e of the consequences of the environmental damage or b e c a u s e of genetical ly manipulated p lagues or because of wha teve r . . . unders tanding] that we need to figure out a few ways of work ing together. Or not, in which c a s e the human race is not long for this planet (Int. 10.6, p. 33). M c L a r e n (1997) supports this point of v iew that in pursuing socia l just ice we need to focus on i ssues like the environment or resource distribution rather than identity. He quotes Yud ice ' s (1995) comments that a key to engaging dominant group members l ies in: Shifting the focus of struggle from identity to resource distribution will a lso make it poss ib le to engage such seeming ly nonracial i s sues a s the environment, the military, the military-industrial complex, foreign aid, and free-trade agreements as matters impact ing local identities and thus requiring global politics that work outside the national f rame (p. 280, in McLa ren , 1997, p. 274). In present ing such a point of v iew my intention is not to detract from the valuable suggest ions d i scussed by the study participants, summar ised in Tab le 6.1 on page 166 . But to add to these ideas through incorporating other aspec ts and levels of the d iscuss ion which can enhance our concept ions of Whi te culture, privi lege and dominance. I bel ieve there is a need to pursue soc ia l just ice from mult i faceted approaches at many levels; deconstruct ing and understanding one 's identity being one way, while recognis ing global in terdependence and survival of the '175 human race be ing another. Yet , at whatever level and through what ever approach the shift from the win- lose paradigm, in my opinion is central. A s much as I may agree with Yud ice ' s comments above I bel ieve it is inherently f lawed in that it perpetuates this paradigm. T o put it in other words, it still a l lows for a logic that may sound like this: "In order to save myself and my kind I may have to l eam to share, but that doesn' t mean I have to appreciate, value or respect those with whom c i rcumstances are forcing me to share. " It is impossib le within the scope of this study to address the full spectrum of factors, inter-relations, and consequences connected to understanding dominance and privilege. My goal in pursuing this explorat ion was to gain insight to locally si tuated concept ions of Whi te culture, privi lege and dominance held by a group of individuals working in a reas where such an exerc ise may have va lue for their pract ices within diversity training, and for themselves. Within the final sect ion of this chapter I shift the focus back to the participants' perception of the worth or liabilities inherent to such an investigation. The Worth and Liability of Highlighting Wh i teness Whi le researching the literature related to whi teness, privi lege, dominance and oppress ion I began to perceive two s tances on the value of highlighting whi teness: O n e which v iews it as a posit ive activity, and another wh ich cons iders the liabilities of such an endeavour. In previous chapters we have heard thoughts on the merit of deconstruct ing, taking ownership for, and highlighting whi teness from K a t z (1978), Frankenberg (19 ) and Dyer (1997) to name a few of the authors advocat ing these posit ions. Below, I offer a few more examples from the literature which pertain 176 to e a c h s ide of the d iscuss ion about the value of highlighting whi teness to offer some background to how my percept ion of this deve loped. The value of highlighting whi teness Whi teness cannot remain invisible and outside the framework of multiculturalism. A signif icant goal of multicultural educat ion is to teach all chi ldren [and adults] critical consc iousness , so that they can quest ion the condit ions in society that al low inequalit ies to exist within the democrat ic rhetoric of socia l justice. Dominant-group chi ldren [and adults] must learn to chal lenge prejudice and discrimination s imply because their privi leged posit ion makes it less likely that others will do so (Ghosh , 1996, p. 2). What if we took the posit ion that racial inequalit ies were not primarily attributable to individual ac ts of discrimination targeted against persons of colour, but increasingly to acts of cumulat ive privileging quietly loading up on Wh i tes? That is, what if by keeping our eyes on those who gather d isadvantage, we have not not iced Whi te folks, var ied by c lass and gender, nevertheless stuffing their academic and socia l p ickup trucks with good ies otherwise not a s readily avai lable to people of co lour? (Fine, 1997, p.57). T h e liabilities of highlighting whi teness: "I think that to concede any validity to whi teness a s a category is to perpetuate injustice," s a y s Noel Ignatiev, a fel low at Harvard Universi ty 's W E B . Du Bo is Institute . . . Ignatiev wants nothing less than the destruction of the idea of whi teness." (Yemma, 1997, p. 4). Chip Berlet, senior research assoc ia te of Polit ical R e s e a r c h Assoc ia tes in Somervi l le , M a s s . . . acknowledges that analyz ing Whi te identity is important in combat ing racism, but he is worr ied that in doing so creates a dangerous "loop" in which Whi te identity could become more firmly establ ished (Yemma, 1997, pp. 4-5). I found e a c h posit ion exp resses important concerns, therefore I w a s interested to hear what the participants had to say about the merit of studying Whi te culture. I formulated the fol lowing quest ion to ask the study participants within the course of the interviews: Within the literature there are two camps which express opposing views on the value of looking at whiteness. One group says that it is essential to look at whiteness and that we start to identify exactly what it is so that it doesn't just 177 remain the invisible norm against which everything else is measured." The other side claims that by highlighting whiteness we are reinforcing the very divisions of, for example race, that we're trying to break down. How do you understand that or look at it, do you have any feelings about these two views? This sect ion presents some of the study participants' thoughts around the va lue of. engaging in an exploration of whi teness and privilege. Be low I have arranged the responses to match the orientations identified above: The value of highlighting whi teness and the liabilities of highlighting whi teness. T h e va lue of highlighting whi teness: a local context. Le igh: Um, I ah , I think that, the former v iew is the more correct one, that is to say that until we make whi teness, until we can understand whi teness as both contingent and limited, you know there are s o m e Whi te people in the wor ld it's not the norm, it is it is one of many a cultures, World v iews, sys tems, da , da, da , da so that when we as Whi te people understand ourse lves not a s the normative definers the people with the power to define, which is one of the other things our race gets to do, then we 've moved s o m e d is tance towards the concept of negotiating wor ldviews and outcomes (Int. 10.6, p. 35). Soph ia : I think it's important that we, that it [whiteness] be highlighted or that we become more aware of it. S o people, first of all, people can start to take ownership for how they are i n the world. L ike I wonder somet imes about, like S o p h i a who, how did Soph ia come to be who she is now, it's like how much of it is, is Scot t ishness, which is like nine to ten generat ions away from me. {Mhmm} L ike you know, how much of who I a m in the world is very much is, is Scot t ish? How much of who I a m in the world is Catho l i c? How much is coming from a rural, from a n is land? S o I mean , so, how much of who S o p h i a - is, is a part of her wh i teness? I think it's important the we know, that we think about it, and know it, and own it. I think when w e own things w e become less defensive and less resistant and less in denial because I think, when I a m at my most defens ive, general ly, it's w h e n I'm sca red to look at myself. Right, and when I'm sca red to look at myself I'm sca red to own who I am. A n d then I'm not as open-hear ted and kind in the world. S o I think it's important that w e take ownership. (Int. 20.9, pp. 35-36). D iane: I was just reading Andrew H a c k e r . . . Two Nat ions. B lack and White. Amer i can again, bu t . . . one of the things he conc ludes is this whole issue 178 about how you s e e the world. A n d I think that that's something when you talk of the quest ion of Whi te privilege, we s e e the world in a certain way and we don't s e e some things . . . I think that we can only somet imes see , hear, contextual ise the wor ld b a s e d on our f rame of reference (mhmm) and that frame of reference can be rooted in being European , or being of a certain privi lege, be it c lass or whatever a n d that's how you c a n chal lenge that though, I think you can chal lenge that, as Friere talks about by entering into dia logue to see the p laces where people can begin to broaden in how they s e e themselves in relation to a larger world (Int. 24.3, p. 43). T h e liabilities of highlighting whi teness; a local context. Le igh: I think on the other hand that the people who are say ing no, no then you are reifying whi teness have a point a s wel l , . . . the people in that group tend to want to draw l ines around them because the, the way of figuring out who you are is by talking to other people who are like you {Mhmm} S o then the l ines around the edges get drawn in very dark ink and nobody e lse is going to be al lowed in . . . there is a danger in identity boxes, but it is never ever the answer to refuse to look at them, because then you're back in the state sanct ioned hypocr isy of, "There aren't any dif ferences here." A n d it's not true that w e are trying to move towards a day w h e n there aren't any dif ferences, I doubt, I don't think that's true, that's certainly not true in C a n a d a , it's not my vis ion of equali ty (Int. 10.6, p. 35). Mar ion: I think that it's an oversimplif ication to suggest that there is such a thing as a White culture, (mhmm) A n d so, um, I do bel ieve we, one of the things that strikes me as very s a d when I work with any kind of group, . . . I might do something with them about where did your name come from. Wha t is the history, the family history. A n d is there, do you think of a cultural, famil ial attachment to this name . . . A n d how many people I hear who say, I don't have any s e n s e of that. I don't know what my family history is. I don't know what my family culture is. I don't know what my family background is. A n d it is not, there is a s e n s e of bel l igerence somet imes in that that there is not a p lace of pride. A n d people do not feel, they feel at a loss somet imes in this country, looking around and see ing what we refer to a s a culture is what is not White. A n d we are not a s a culture White. I think that is the thing . . . A n d it is not so s imple as a dominant culture because they vary. In what, and people will tell us that all of the time. Y o u leave Vancouve r and go out to Pr ince Geo rge and people say why are you giving us this Vancouve r stuff. It doesn't work up here. It is not our reality . . . S o simplifying it to say w e have a Whi te culture, there is nothing common with the White middle c lass practice in Vancouver ' s Eas t S ide with what my family still pract ices o n the prairie. It is a different culture (Int. 16.7, pp. 41-42). 179 J o a n : M h m m . We l l , it is a bit of a doub le-edged sword, isn't it? B e c a u s e it is true that, like I remember one time . . . we were talking about doing a kind of a ethnic monitoring thing. Like, you know, the whole thing about f inding out how many people are, you know, J a p a n e s e , Ch inese , etc. A n d this one J a p a n e s e woman who w a s on one of the boards of the organisat ion sa id , you know, I really, really d isagree with this. I think that the colour-bl ind approach is the most appropriate. S h e said . . . my family a l ready got rounded up once b e c a u s e we were J a p a n e s e . S h e says , I am not putting myself in a posit ion of be ing at r isk of being rounded-up again. S h e sa id i do not want us to go down this road. S o she felt very strongly that this whole identity politics thing, you know. Identifying people and creating kind of boundar ies and you know, groups and stuff like that. L ike b a s e d on these kinds of affiliations. It was just a recipe for you know, incredible racism. That she didn't want to be a part of and so the only solution w a s to go in a different direction. S o I wonder, yah , like there has to be another strategy that goes with it, right. L ike I think that there has to be um, wel l , you know, people say acknowledging difference but acknowledg ing commonal t ies. (Int. 36.5, pp. 46-47). Powerful themes relating to the value and liability of highlighting whi teness emerge from these excerpts. T h e s e are outl ined more-or less in the s a m e sequences in which they occur within the interview excerpts present above: Negotiating Worldviews and Outcomes: recognis ing the limits and cont ingency of whiteness, that it is not the norm but one of many world v iews s o m e of which we may be better able to understand, accept or at least respect through "entering into dialogue". Reducing Fear Through Knowing Self: understanding one 's identity in all of its facets al lows one to take ownership for who one is and become less defensive, less resistant and less in denial which can reduce fear. Recognising Difference and Commonalties: the comments related to this theme evoke the notion that there are more di f ferences within groups, among individuals, than between groups T a k e n all together these themes and the respect ive comments indicate that the two points of view, value versus liability, are not mutually exc lus ive. For an individual to understand how the legacy and on-going power of being Whi te and possess ing the privi lege this can bestow it is necessary to highlight whi teness and make it visible to those who race Others but not themselves. Ye t this is just one piece, albeit a big one, in the overal l puzz le of understanding and being able to address one 's complicity in maintaining the status quo in our society which is a system of dominance and oppress ion. Therefore, yes highlight whi teness for the va lue we can gain in doing so , but use this a s a spr ingboard to further the true objective which is dismantl ing the system of dominance and oppress ion in our society. In advocat ing the use of the concept dominant culture rather than Whi te culture I bel ieve the focus falls on the problem, which is dominance, rather than a n element of it, whi teness. In focuss ing on the problem we bring together greater resources to address it through fostering a cl imate of perhaps, at t imes, working apart as there are many different configurations of oppress ion, yet coming together through recognis ing the mutually harmful consequences of dominance and privilege. In deal ing with a mult i faceted, broad based , deeply entrenched sys tem of destructive soc ia l relations , we cannot afford to divide our efforts or work at c ross purposes through engaging in blame, denial , pity and guilt. T h e final chapter outl ines how the insights into "White culture", privilege and dominance have been establ ished through the d iscuss ions cons idered above. I revisit the research quest ions, cons ider implications for adult educat ion, offer my conc lus ions based on this research about its value, appl icat ion, and its re levance for diversity training. I conc lude with a d iscuss ion of i ssues for further research. 181 C H A P T E R S IX Conc lus ions and Implications This endeavour has been like finding a box containing p ieces of an old tapestry; picking e a c h p iece apart then reweaving the whole without knowing what the final product will look like. T o continue this analogy we could identify the research quest ions a s the warp and the speci f ic e lements, d i scuss ions and insights as the weft, which fill in the picture. To summar ise this work I shal l revisit these components of this particular tapestry. The research quest ions that emerged from this research are: How do the study participants perceive the soc ia l construct ions of wh i teness and pr iv i lege? W h a t are the consequences of select ive privileging for those who are dominant or opp ressed? W h y / how is this mainta ined? What problems are involved in address ing systemic inequal i ty? The analys is involves five levels of considerat ion. (1) Deconstruct ing whi teness and identifying the interconnections among factors that create the category of White. (2) Demysti fying the concepts of "White culture" and dominant culture. (3) Identifying barriers preventing many members of the dominant culture from understanding and taking responsibil i ty for address ing their complicity in maintaining systemic racism. (4) Cons ider ing how to address barriers to moving towards greater socia l justice. (5) Debat ing the value of focuss ing on the meanings and exper iences of being White, privi leged, and part of the dominant culture. In attempting to understand the dominant culture in our society I have d issected then reconstructed many of the e lements of identity which are either 182 posit ively or negat ively highl ighted to grant privi lege or oppress . A s wel l , to bring these e lements and the p rocesses involved in soc ia l relat ions together I have integrated a considerat ion of power inherent to being in a pr iv i leged location. To complement these d i scuss ions I have offered concrete representat ions summar is ing var ious aspec ts of dominant culture, through charts, tables and f igures. In so doing I have attempted to make privi lege more v is ib le and dominant culture more tangible. There is a lways the risk of undermining the complexity of a topic through reducing it to v isua l representat ions, wh ich tend to lock e lements into seeming ly d iscreet categor ies. Therefore, in endeavour ing to p reserve the complexity of the topic and the dynamic at work within it, I have presented the sal ient points that emerged from the data within the contexts of the narrat ives in which they occurred. A s wel l , in an attempt to portray the complex dynamic among aspec ts of the dominant culture, which shapes these into a multitude of different configurat ions, I have employed the metaphor, constel lat ions of privi lege. Through these efforts I hope to avo id making the investigation two d imensional , and to enhance the integrity of the analys is . The goal of this study w a s to bring the sal ient points from these d i scuss ions together with the literature to offer a comprehens ive, grounded portrayal of s i tuated concept ions of Whi te culture and privi lege. T h e main object ives that have emerged from explor ing these concept ions focus on (1) rais ing awareness about the role whi teness p lays within the system of dominance and oppress ion , (2) being ab le to recogn ise other factors that contribute to dominant culture, (3) identifying why and how it is maintained, (4) recognis ing the c o n s e q u e n c e s of maintaining s u c h a 183 sys tem, and finally (5) cons ider ing why and how w e might disrupt this condit ion in our society. Respec t i ve points within e a c h of these object ives include recognis ing that: (1) Wh i teness is not only a colour but impl ies a set of norms, that have evo lved largely from Whi te, male, Ang lo -Eu ropean va lues, al tered somewhat over time and p lace, which function as a filter through which some peop le pass to a c c e s s the privi lege of be ing 'normal ' , whi le Others remain marg ina l ised a n d opp ressed ; (2) Be ing Wh i te is central within a group of many powerful factors such as c lass , gender, language, and sexua l orientation which combine in different ways to p lace s o m e groups in posi t ions of dominance and pr iv i lege in society; (3) S u c h a sys tem is kept in p lace through implicit and explicit support from individuals and institutions, through pol icy and convent ions that remain unchal lenged, through complacency a s well as purpose; (4) Ma in tenance of the status quo in our society harms not only the opp ressed but the oppressors ; and that (5) multicultural educat ion in its var ious forms in C a n a d a has general ly focused on Others and has p laced the responsibi l i ty for address ing rac ism on Others. In its more commonly emp loyed forms, multicultural educat ion and multicultural pol icy have rarely incorporated the inf luence of power differentials as a central factor. T h e s e problems cou ld be add ressed , at least in part, through dominant group members explor ing with e a c h other and with members of culturally d iverse groups the Whi te legacy embedded within C a n a d i a n society and its attendant pr iv i leges, l iabil i t ies and responsibi l i t ies, wh ich have deve loped over history and cont inue to uphold sys temic inequality. 184 A s for the final image that has emerged through reworking this tapestry, I offer a local ly si tuated concept ion of dominant culture as understood from my ana lys is of the data and literature. Dominant culture is a p rocess through which individuals are granted or den ied power, privi lege, and prest ige in society and gain membersh ip in the dominant group. Th is p rocess is carr ied out through the maintenance of norms, institutions and pract ices that reward combinat ions of e lements such as being Whi te , male, middle /upper c lass , degree of Ang lo -conformity, and Engl ish language ability, among others. Wh i teness is an important factor but not the defining one for granting privi lege. Sk in colour is immutable, therefore it h a s a power other attributes p o s s e s s e d by dominant group members may not, yet it cannot stand a lone. S o m e configuration of the other aspec ts of dominant culture must accompany being Whi te ; notably soc io -economic c lass . A l so , 'non-Whi te ' people may be granted privi lege through combinat ions of identity e lements other than colour, within a favourable context. Converse ly , if an individual be longs to the dominant group, this membersh ip is not absolute. There is a hierarchy within dominant culture; a s wel l , whi le one may outwardly be long membersh ip may be revoked if this individual d isp lays 'unacceptab le ' e lements of his or her identity, for example a psychiatr ic history or homosexual i ty. To illustrate this concept ion I have presented a poss ib le model for understanding the e lements and inter-relat ionships that compr ise and maintain a system of select ive privi leging, which under l ies dominance and oppress ion within society. T h e f inal part of this model presented a set of cons iderat ions with wh ich to engage as individuals and organisat ions in our attempts to move through the 185 barriers to address ing systemic inequality. At this point I would like to offer a few caut ions; as ment ioned in present ing a model there is a lways the danger of portraying a p rocess as static. R a c e , rac ism, and dominant culture are soc ia l construct ions involving complex relat ionships that are act ive, ever evolv ing p rocesses . Part of the va lue of deve lop ing a model for conceptual is ing dominant culture is to offer a heurist ic dev ice through which to make s e n s e of these very relat ionships. If the model is to be used , it must be cons idered within the context and for the purpose wh ich it w a s deve loped. There too, is the danger of s ink ing into total relativism, that is in present ing the myr iad factors wh ich contribute to dominance and oppress ion a s identif ied within the context of this study, one might assume that e a c h element bears equa l weight within the equat ion that determines select ive privi leging, or that one constel lat ion of privi lege (or oppress ion) may determine equal status, benefits, and power (or marginal isat ion). Th is is not the case . In attempting to understand whi teness, yet avoid centr ing it I do not deny the t remendous power with which the notion of race and in part icular the category 'Whi te ' has been infused over time, locat ions, and contexts. I have offered one way of thinking about whi teness and dominant culture, which if nothing e l se may provide a concrete medium through which crit ique may be focused . Thus , to implement a model impl ies do ing just ice to it through maintaining its integrity, complexity, and purpose, this a lso impl ies responsibi l i ty and integrity on behalf of those who use, present, crit ique, or add to such an initiative. To conc lude this study I shal l d i scuss the implicat ions of this research speci f ical ly for adult educat ion and diversity training; yet embedded within these 186 implications is the suggest ion that this research may have value for the broader s c o p e of individuals and organisat ions act ive in advocat ing soc ia l justice. S u c h a suggest ion impl ies there is common ground, which cou ld be covered through bringing together the c i te-speci f ic knowledge of var ious communit ies, be they academic , educat ional , or pract ice or iented. Implications for Adul t Educat ion and Diversity Train ing In pursuing this research I hope to generate ref lect ion o n and awareness of these i ssues as they relate broadly to adult educat ion and more speci f ical ly to diversity training. I hope too, that through investigating our local society insight may be extended into real is ing the va lue of our diversity and its enr iching potential within the broader context of C a n a d i a n society. T h e s igni f icance of this investigation l ies, particularly, in enhanc ing educators ' awareness of privi lege and dominant culture and the construct ion, maintenance and consequences of systemic racism. I hope this study will contribute to a more profound understanding of these problems, which will be translated into develop ing pract ices within the field of adult educat ion and diversity training that demonstrate and advocate equal opportunity and soc ia l justice. To facil itate this I cons ider the impl icat ions of this research for the f ield of adult educat ion. Hayes (1994) points to the d i lemma inherent to being in the posit ion of "normal" in society, which endows people with var ious degrees of power and privi lege, but this is se ldom recogn ised by those in this location. If a person does not (consciously) exper ience a phenomenon, one "may be unaware of its ex is tence or ' 1 8 7 diminish its s igni f icance because he or she has never seen it" (Rocco and Wes t , 1998, p. 172). Another way of looking at this d i lemma is exp ressed by R. D. La ing in the followingjDassage as quoted by Mez i row (1991). T h e range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. A n d b e c a u s e we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we not ice how fai l ing to notice s h a p e s our thoughts and deeds (sic) (p. 19). W e could a s s u m e that this phenomenon would be reinforced through dominant group members interacting mainly with people who are in a simi lar posit ion. Th i s exclusivi ty is a funct ion of pr ivi lege that is mani fested within the f ie ld of adult educat ion. R o c c o and Wes t , (1998) point out that " [pr iv i lege g ives a c c e s s to segments of our society den ied to people without privi lege. A n example of a c c e s s is that part icipants in adult educat ion are primarily Whi te middle c l ass and educated" (p. 173). A s a result the orientation of adult educat ion theory and pract ice has general ly ref lected the va lues and wor ldv iew of the dominant group, which " is a signif icant factor in contributing to reproducing power relat ions" (Tisdel l , 1993, p. 223). Implicitly and explicitly, adult educat ion 's prevai l ing bel iefs about adult learners have supported rac ism and sex ism. Wh i te male developmenta l models have been emphas ized , and theor ies of learning that s t ress individual ism, l inear thinking, and Ang lo -Eu ropean va lues of self-suff ic iency have been genera l i zed to al l adults as "universal" (Flannery, 1994, p. 17). 188 Cunn ingham (1998) suggests that adult educators have an ethical responsibi l i ty "to create environments where peop le c a n come to a n understanding of how the reality of their l ives w a s socia l ly constructed in a society where unequal power relat ionships based on gender, race and c lass abound" (in T isde l l , 1993, p. 203). O n e approach to creat ing such an environment may be s e e n through Roman ' s (1993) method of engag ing her students in d i scuss ion around her concept of "crit ical soc ia l ly contested real ism" (p. 74). Th is focuses attention on "ways in which individuals' and groups' representat ions of reality are l inked to their material and ideological interests in a struggle for hegemony" (p. 74). Through s u c h a n approach pr iv i leged individuals may begin to identify some of these material and ideological interests, such as gender, race, va lues, needs for and a c c e s s to food and shelter (Chafetz, 1980), and recogn ise the inf luence exper ienc ing these from a posi t ion of dominance has in shap ing and giving "r ise to power relat ions b a s e d on interlocking systems of privi lege and oppress ion , including race, c lass , gender, age, phys ica l ability/disability, knowledge, and so on." (Tisdel l , 1993, p. 204). If as adult educators and students, who are members of the dominant group, we accept this ethical responsibi l i ty then we must cha l lenge the status quo and upset the exist ing power relations. T h e field of adult educat ion prov ides a point of entry to address ing systemat ic dominance and oppress ion that ex ists within adult educat ion at a variety of levels and is a reflection of broader society a s a whole. T isdel l (1993) noted in her study with master 's level counsel l ing students that: the students who benef i ted from more interlocking sys tems of structural privi lege tended to have more inf luence in the c l ass from the perspect ive of their peers than the students who . . . exper ience interlocking sys tems of oppress ion and [who] were either forgotten about or their contributions were 189 less recogn ised. In sum, the fact that students with the greatest interlocking structural privi lege had the most inf luence in the c lass room most likely reflects that they have more structural inf luence in society at large (p. 223). Therefore, b e c a u s e of this very posit ion of power, privi lege and inf luence those who benefit from structural privi lege are in the best posit ion and bear the greatest responsibi l i ty to cha l lenge sys tems of dominance and oppress ion. If we fail to take-up this cha l lenge and neglect to incorporate it into our adult educat ion pract ices then we implicitly condone and support an oppress ive system. Not to directly cha l lenge them is to reinforce them, because not cal l ing the structured power relat ions of society into quest ion inadvertently makes the assumpt ion that the system of structured power relat ions with regards to the curr icular material doesn' t need chang ing (Tisdel l , 1993, p. 223). Interaction and exchange among individuals who are similarly si tuated within the dominant culture can generate reflection on "what it means to make cho ices about one 's polit ical a l leg iances rather than use one 's pr iv i leged location as an excuse for paralysis, guilt, and shame" (Roman 1993, p.84). Dominant group educators have a responsibi l i ty to help dominant group students move through a p rocess of recognis ing "that rac ism exists at levels deeper than the express ion of individual prejudice . . . [to feeling] ashamed to be impl icated in its structural pract ice . . . [to taking] responsibi l i ty to bui ld effective soc ia l al ternat ives to structural rac ism [c lassism, sex ism and the other ' isms', or forces that have been identif ied within this research a s contributing to dominance and oppression]" (Roman, 1993, p. 84). Th is can be a long and difficult journey, a s I have acutely exper ienced through engag ing in this research. Yet, this is not reason enough not to embark on it when we cons ider the consequences of maintaining a system of dominance and oppress ion within our society, which is ultimately harmful to all people. 190 In M y Opin ion: Incorporating the Insights into Pract ice In this sect ion I express my v iews on the poss ib le value of this research and suggest two theories of learning (I only offer the tip of the iceberg of possibi l i t ies here), which combined could offer an educat ional approach which I be l ieve is of great va lue in address ing the i ssues d i scussed within this research, both through adult educat ion general ly and diversity training specif ical ly. Th is explorat ion of concept ions of Whi te culture and privi lege has touched on many of the concerns these academics , above, have exp ressed about the theory and pract ice of adult educat ion. T h e va lue and originality of this study does not lie in p ioneer ing new thought or solut ions to the problems d i scussed . I have a c c e s s e d part of the theoretical body of knowledge related to the subjects of whi teness, pr ivi lege and dominance and comb ined it with the l ived exper iences and current thoughts related to these i ssues expressed by a smal l group of educators working in a reas within or bordering on diversity training. I suggest that the va lue and originality in this p iece of work c o m e s through bringing together severa l bodies of knowledge (the literature, participant thoughts and exper iences, my own reflections on the material and process) that offer insight at var ious levels and through different perspect ives into the inf luence whi teness and privi lege have on the interactions among individuals and groups within the local society. The core body of knowledge I a c c e s s e d and which provided both pract ical and theoretical insights to dominance and oppress ion , came from nine individuals who invest a signif icant portion of their l ives on a dai ly bas is to advocat ing and 191 providing educat ion to bring our society c loser to being one of equal i ty and soc ia l justice. T h e s e individuals are not neophytes to the subject or young adu l ts 2 3 . They are an informed and exper ienced group of people who live and work within local communit ies. A l l of these people live their ideas to a greater or lesser degree, some have publ ished their thoughts, and many make them central to their work, wh ich rel ies on the demand for and institution of adult educat ion as a vehic le through which to relay their messages . The insights to be ga ined from these narrat ives combined with the literature are original in their context, and valuable in that context cannot be d ismissed or its inf luence di luted by 'grand narrat ives', or broad genera l isat ions ac ross society. E a c h participant in this study, including the interviewees, myself, e a c h member of my advisory committee, and the var ious people who have engaged and exchanged with me in d iscuss ing this subject bring a different identity constel lat ion to bear on it, which provides a variety of perspect ives and realit ies, through which we can educate e a c h other. Communicat ion has been identified a s an important e lement in breaking barriers to recognis ing privi lege, in generat ing respect and appreciat ion for similarit ies and dif ferences, and in beginning to va lue the d iscourses which advocate soc ia l justice. "Effective communicat ion is the s ingle most important requirement for effective teaching" (Banks, 1981, p. 49). 2 3 Many of the studies on whiteness that I read focussed on or involved discussion among White women or young White adults who had relatively little introduction to the topic. For example, Frankenberg, 1993; Tisdell, 1993; Mclntyre, 1997. 192 Communicat ion is in many c a s e s a one-way street in our society, which is a result of the power differentials among pr iv i leged and opp ressed individuals and groups. Effective communicat ion, in my opinion, results from engagement and exchange. T h e s e are interactive dynamics that character ise a quality that is essent ia l for effective communicat ion. W e as adult educators, as members of family, communit ies, institutions, local , regional and national soc iet ies, who are in relatively pr iv i leged posit ions, must create environments that foster such quality of communicat ion. Whether engagement and exchange transpires between Whi te on Whi te , Wh i te on Brown, Black, or Ye l low, young on young, young on old, etceteras, every combinat ion is worthy, but some have been under uti l ised and their time has come. Here I advocate the engagement of dominant group members with e a c h other, who through exchang ing perspect ives, exper iences, fears and knowledge can broaden their v is ion of 'normal ' and expand their understanding of how the var ious factors and convent ions that dictate normality limit our l ives. Th is is not to say that such exchanges should be limited to dominant on dominant, but that this combinat ion has be the except ion rather than the rule. Foster ing this pract ice, therefore, is one way of the relatively pr iv i leged to begin taking responsibi l i ty for address ing the problems of systemic inequality in it var ious forms and configurat ions Convent ions are soc ia l construct ions we use to order our l ives, as short cuts for ach iev ing our purposes, and a s s ignposts to indicate the smoothest road. Convent ions are general ly es tab l ished through the perspect ives, va lues and power of the dominant culture. A s wel l , even relatively useful convent ions can become foss i l ised and detract from dynamic, authent ic human interaction. For example, often 193 we become condi t ioned to invoking a formula rather than genuinely engag ing with other people or groups, thereby ignoring their identities, vo ices, needs and c o n t r i b u t i o n s ^ skil l we as educators can employ within our pract ices and teach at all levels to cha l lenge not only this kind of condi t ioned non-engagement but a lso the status quo, is crit ical th ink ing 2 4 . T h e importance of effective communicat ion and teaching crit ical thinking have been an aspec ts of adult educat ion for some time (Freire, 1970; Mez i row and Assoc ia tes , 1990; Brookf ield, 1991). Frei re (1970) states the prime importance of integrating these into our pract ices a s educators: "Only d ia logue, which requires critical thinking, is a lso capab le of generat ing crit ical thinking. Without d ia logue there is no communicat ion, and without communicat ion there can be no true educat ion" (p. 81). If adult educators were truly employ ing these themselves the academics heard from earl ier would have few concerns. Until we as adult educators engage in a critical ana lys is of the dominant culture va lues and systems that are embedded in many of our theories and pract ices we will remain part of the problem rather than become part of the solut ion. For example, we must identify and crit ically a s s e s s the va lues that have dictated what is worthy of considerat ion in bui ld ing and accept ing knowledge, and quest ion "the nature of des i rab le knowledge i tse l f (Flannery, 1994, p. 22). W e must cons ider whether our curr icula, materials, resources, methods and orientations are inclusive, genuinely represent multiple perspect ives and val idate " . . . critical thinking - thinking which discerns an indivisible solidarity between the world and men [women] and admits no dichotomy between them - thinking which perceives reality as process, as transformation, rather than as a static entity - thinking which does not separate itself from action, but constantly immerses itself in temporality with out fear of the risks involved" (Freire, 1970, p. 81). 194 different reali t ies; or converse ly s imply reflect, reinforce, and recreate the dominant culture worldyiew. Many individual adult educators do engage in such crit ical assessmen t of their own pract ices, a s wel l crit ical theory and feminist theor ies have contr ibuted to broadening the d iscourse in adult educat ion to include crit ical assessment , which advocates soc ia l change toward equality. O n e part icular theory of learning that I va lue and bel ieve can provide a n educat ional approach to working towards soc ia l just ice is Mez i row 's theory of transformative learning. Transformat ive Learn ing and Diversity Train ing: Add ress ing the "How". The essential concept underlying both transformative learning and raising awareness about cross-cultural communication is perspective, the filter through which we interpret our world created by the interplay of context, culture, language, self-concept, and experience. Transformative learning, a learning theory developed by Mezirow, exploring the process of how individuals make sense of their experience and how this influences decisions for future actions. W e do this in a number of ways, the process of transformative learning involves raising awareness of: the assumptions and premises one holds, how these influence what an individual experiences, and the reasons why these assumptions are held, or examining their validity. Specif ic assumptions, values, beliefs (meaning schemes) can be seen as "habits of expectation", which essential ly derive from prior experience and cultural conditioning. Sets of assumptions form the foundation of the way individuals interpret experiences; Mezirow (1991) identifies these as "meaning perspectives". Meaning schemes and meaning perspectives comprise our 195 frames of reference. Key to transformative learning is recognising how one's frames of reference limit experiences. Through such recognition individuals may find their frames of reference are inadequate for interpreting new experiences, this discrepancy creates a state of disequilibrium, which can motivate critical reflection on the validity of the assumptions comprising one's belief systems. W h e n one's assumptions and/or belief systems are found to be deficient they are reformulated in an attempt to reconcile the discrepancy. W h e n this results in meaning perspectives that "permit a more inclusive and discriminating integration of experience and acting upon these new understandings" (Mezirow, 1991, p. 6) one's perspective has been transformed. The goal of transformative learning is to help adults identify, critically reflect on, and reformulate the frames of reference that influence the way they perceive, think, decide, feel, and act on their experiences. In this way individuals gain a greater sense of agency in their lives through "negotiating] meanings, purposes, and values critically, reflectively and rationally instead of passively accepting the social realities as defined by others" (Mezirow, 1991, p. 3). The goal and process of transformative learning parallel the purpose of diversity training, which creates opportunities for individuals and organisations to broaden their scope of knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of differences in communication, interpretation, approach, methods, expectation, and behaviour perceived to arise from the diversity of cultural backgrounds comprising Canad ian society. A s in transformative learning this involves: making explicit one's existing knowledge, assumptions, and values; understanding how these have been assimilated and how they influence the ways we interact with others and interpret our experiences; questioning the validity of 196 these premises; and developing new, more effective premises through which we interpret our experience. The purpose of this process is to allow us to make more conscious and informed choices, act with a greater awareness of intention rather than reaction based on social conditioning, and to enhance our ability to consider and value different points of view. The process through which meaning perspectives are formed and perpetuated can be compared to the way stereotypes and prejudice are developed and reinforced. During our chi ldhood or through cultural conditioning we are sensit ised to a certain characteristic identified with a particular group of people. W e unconsciously absorb this distortion and it becomes part of a meaning scheme we draw on each time we come in contact with people from this group. Thus we are highly aware of individuals representing this group who display the trait to which we have been sensit ised. A s a result, our experience with these individuals reinforces our associat ion of this trait with the particular group. This process of selective awareness tends to ignore this trait when displayed by an individual not of this group. S ince stereotypes and prejudices usually focus on negative characteristics our repeated experience provides justification for automatic avoidance or unfair treatment of individuals we feel represent this group, whether or not they display the trait. Such a process develops a meaning perspective fraught with distortions, which if it remains unchal lenged continues to be passed on, contributes to unjust behaviour, can become a social norm entrenched in the informal rules governing social behaviour, and even influence the formal laws of society. The example of how stereotypes are perpetuated indicates that meaning perspectives can exist at both personal and societal levels. 197 So, how do we move from this posit ion? How do we break the cycle of prejudice and stereotyping? "Perspect ive transformation occurs in response to an externally imposed disorienting di lemma" (Mezirow, 1990, p. 13). Such an event as major life transitions, literature, art, travel, d iscussion, and education can raise awareness of the limiting effect of one's frame of reference. Such events can break the cycle of failing to notice, thus providing an opportunity for change. The key to change in transformative learning are the catalysts, which throw us into a state of disequilibrium and stimulate critical reflection on presupposit ions, resulting in new ways of perceiving. A 'disorienting di lemma' breaks the cycle, but what is critical reflection, how do we move to new ways of perceiving, and do we always follow the same process? Mezirow identifies three domains of learning. The first is instrumental learning, which is learning to control and manipulate the environment and other people through task oriented problem solving, where results can be empirically demonstrated. The second is communicative learning, which involves understanding the meaning of what others communicate and requires "a critique of the relevant social norms and of cultural codes that determine the allocation of influence and power over whose interpretations are acceptable" (Mezirow, 1990, p. 8). Instrumental and communicative learning can be differentiated, yet they are inter-related, "instrumental learning occurs within a context of communicative learning; most learning involves both instrumental and communicative aspects" (Mezirow, 1991, p. 80). The third type of learning is emancipatory learning, which can take place within both instrumental and communicative learning. This is the process of critically reflecting on assumptions and premises that limit our options; it is the process of removing these limitations. 198 New experiences may or may hot stimulate reflection. Reflection has three purposes to guide actions, give coherence to the unfamiliar, and assess the justification for what is already known (Mezirow, 1990). Mezirow identifies three processes.of reflection we apply to the learning domains and meaning perspectives. Content reflection involves a reassessment of the description of the problem - focus on "what" questions, process reflection examines the problem-solving strategies being used - focus on "how" questions, premise reflection questions the premise underlying the posing of the^problem - focus on "why" questions (Cranton, 1994, p. 49-50). Formative learning involves making sense of a new experience through associat ion within an existing frame of reference. This can be done habitually, which is what takes place in the perpetuation of stereotypes, or may involve some degree of reflection. This results in further differentiating or elaborating existing meaning schemes, or developing new meaning schemes compatible with an existing meaning perspective, integrating the new information and acting upon it. " W e learn not only from our experience but by shaping things to our existing categories of understanding, interpreting the unfamiliar to fit the psychological, cultural, and linguistic constraints of our current frame of reference" (Mezirow, 1991, p. 26). The implications for the purpose of diversity training are bleak. General ly this is the learning process we follow, if unguided, which involves little or no reflectivity, thus we are governed by habitual responses to meaning perspectives we are largely unaware of or take for granted; the status quo is maintained. In transformative learning existing meaning schemes are found to be inadequate which stimulates reflection on assumptions. This can transform a meaning 199 scheme that may, in turn, transform related meaning schemes and lead to perspective transformation (Mezirow, 1991, p. 94). The most radical kind of learning is through perspective jransformation which begins with a situation that cannot be understood through either existing or new meaning schemes, thus the problem must be redefined by finding a whole new way of looking at it. This requires critically assess ing the validity of existing assumptions and premises (Mezirow, 1991, p. 94). New and old experiences are processed through a new set of premises; this provides insights upon which action is based. The key element differentiating formative and transformative learning is that the former is a process of adaptation within existing frames of reference, the latter is a process of creation, reformulating assumptions, premises, and perspectives. Perspect ive transformation is key to diversity training, yet as Mezirow (1991) has indicated we rarely engage in it and "perhaps, most of the time we think and learn nonreflectively" (p. 15). Exploring the barriers to premise reflection and emancipatory learning can give us insight to important elements trainers must consider when facilitating awareness of cross-cultural issues. Our meaning perspectives determine our self-concept and our criteria for judging and evaluating ourselves and the world around us; they make up the very fabric of our being. Thus, critically questioning the foundations of who we are is threatening and can involve emotional upheaval, self-doubt and confusion. W e naturally strive for equilibrium, which may involve reformulating our perspectives to make sense of new experiences, or, whether consciously or unconsciously, we may avoid or ignore information that conflicts with our existing mechanisms for making 200 meaning. 'There is much evidence to support the assertion that we tend to accept and integrate experiences that comfortably fit into our frame of reference and to discount those that do not" (Mezirow, 1991, p. 32). If we must consider information that is incompatible with our habits of expectation we struggle, as with a disorienting di lemma, we are motivated to find meaning yet we feel anxious, "Daniel Go leman (1985b) reminds us that every act of perception is and act of selection: the incompatibility of attention and anxiety teaches us to exchange diminished attention for lessened anxiety, and this trade-off profoundly shapes our exper ience" (Mezirow, 1991, p. 18). Thus, we have powerful psychological barriers that protect us from experiencing the disruptive emotions that can be evoked by critically reflecting on our perspectives. There are social barriers combined with psychological barriers to premise reflection and emancipatory learning. A n important element in perspective transformation is rational discourse where we test the validity of new perspectives through discussion. Mezirow identifies a variety of optimal conditions for rational discourse, some of which are being free from coercion, open to alternative perspectives, and having equal opportunity to participate. Such conditions imply having the opportunity to explore doubts, confusion, and unfamiliar ideas with others in an environment of relative safety, when challenging the core values and social norms underlying prejudice and stereotyping our sense of safety is threatened. The skills we need to engage are identifying, analysing, and weighing conflicting evidence. The traditional methods of education do not foster critical thinking to an extent that we engage in it easily. Another necessary element is a sense of empowerment, which requires that individuals "feel confident, secure, free, equal, or possibly supported by 201 others" (Cranton, 1994, p. 74). Th is means we must begin from a position of strength which is usually associated with familiarity and harmony and goes against challenging the social and psychological forces fostering prejudice and stereotyping. Thus, engaging in rational discourse assumes conditions most of us strive all our lives to create. These conditions are not given, and can in themselves require transformative learning to acquire. Mez i row (1991) identif ies the goa l of adult educat ion a s encourag ing: crit ical reflection in adult learners, full and free participation in rational d iscourse and act ion, and development of more effective meaning perspect ives. It is the adult educator 's responsibi l i ty to foster learners ' reflection upon their mean ing perspect ives through crit ical examinat ion of the history, context and c o n s e q u e n c e s of their assumpt ions and premises through the creat ion of d ia logic communit ies which incorporate the ideal condi t ions for learning, identif ied above as goa ls of adult educat ion. If one is able to engage in critical reflection and rational d iscourse and exper iences perspective transformation there are further ramifications to be dealt with. How does this change the relationships we have with others, with our work, with our life style? Perspect ive transformation can involve disturbing emotions ranging from pain to exhilaration. A s well, it takes time. Therefore, the forces initiating perspective transformation must be great enough, our sense of self strong enough, and the environment supportive enough to al low us to overcome the many profound barriers inherent to the process. Through understanding it we are in a better position to foster it in ourselves and others. This indicates the value of linking transformative learning to 202 raising awareness about cross-cultural communication; both are about perspective transformation. Fre i re 's (1970) approach to learning too inc ludes al l of the cri teria identif ied by Mez i row above. A l s o it involves a dynamic p rocess that must constant ly be adapted to the actual situation. It dea ls with i l l-defined problems, such a s many of the ones I have add ressed within this research, and focuses on problem-posing and problem solv ing. A core concept within Fre i re 's (1970) work is "critically transit ive consc iousness" , or " consc ien t i zacao" 2 5 (p. 95), which is, in very s imple terms, a generat ive p rocess of becoming crit ically consc ious . Th is incorporates many e lements similar to those Mez i row identif ies as necessary for perspect ive transformation. Crit ical thinking, crit ical reflection, cons ider ing context, expand ing perspect ives, engagement and exchange or effective communicat ion are a few of the core themes in both Freire and Mez i row 's work 2 6 . T h e m e s upon which, in my opinion, core pract ices should be based within adult educat ion general ly, and more speci f ical ly within multicultural educat ion. A s educators who consistent ly pract ice crit ical thinking and deve lop critical ana lys is of our pract ices and theor ies educate other adults, who educate chi ldren, we may gradual ly deve lop succeed ing 2 5 Friere (1970) identifies a process of raising awareness about one's existing perceptions or "real consciousness" which stimulates a new perception, or "potential consciousness (p.106). Freire descibes this as "the process in which individuals analyzing their own reality become aware of their prior, distorted perceptions and thereby come to have a new perception of reality" (p. 107). 2 6 Here I have offered a simplified overview of transformative learning theory, which is a much more in-depth process to which Mezirow, Freire and other academics have devoted considerable research. As well, this theory of learning has its flaws, some of which have been argued by Collard and Law(1989), among others. Such criticism does not diminish the potential value of this theory for educating for social justice, rather it indicates the need to consider the contexts to which it is being applied. I would like to note as well, that I have not begun to do justice to Freire's work in general, but I suggest that the combined research of both Mezirow and Freire are the tip of the iceberg of important theories of consciousness raising that offer invaluable guidance in making social justice a core ingredient of adult education. 203 generat ions of crit ical thinkers and a body of knowledge on which they can draw for advocat ing soc ia l justice. T h e s e individuals may live much freer l ives within healthier communit ies and societ ies because they will be directing their l ives from a posit ion of being informed, aware, and genuinely present. Therefore, they may be more accept ing of self and others, and thereby enr iched through fully exper ienc ing the diversity within humanity. W e are by nature soc ia l be ings; we have a n obl igat ion to ourse lves to live this aspect of our spec ies posit ively and fully. Issues for Further R e s e a r c h The prime factors under scrutiny in this study have been whi teness and Pr iv i lege, which have culminated in a local ly si tuated concept ion of dominant culture. C l a s s and power have been important considerat ions throughout the d iscuss ion , but both deserve to be highl ighted through studies where e a c h is the central focus. There a l ready exists a fairly broad scope of literature on these issues, but further investigation within the context of locally situated soc iet ies would, perhaps, enhance our understanding of systemat ic dominance and oppress ion within Canad ian society as a whole. Other factors, which emerged through this study as prominent indicators of, privi lege or oppress ion, are language and accent. A l though there are studies address ing these, I bel ieve these i ssues warrant a higher profile in a society a s d iverse as C a n a d i a n society. A s wel l , an influential factor to which I w a s unable to devote a lot of attention yet feel is very important is the role and impact of rel igion, particularly Protestant ism, on shap ing the va lues and norms of the dominant society. 204 Cons ider ing the notion of internal ized dominance has contributed to this explorat ion of whi teness, privi lege and dominance, but it is couched in terms that resonate with a "b lame the vict im" impression. Th is is not the m e s s a g e those who speak of internal ized dominance advocate, but may be a consequence of the limitations of and embedded meanings at tached to the language we use to d i scuss it. I be l ieve both internal ized oppress ion and internal ized dominance are important concepts that have va lue within the d iscourses of dominance, oppress ion , and hegemony, but the former in particular, needs to be re-visi ted and reworked to al low its full va lue to be clear ly rea l ised. T h e final topic, very briefly presented here, is a d i scuss ion of the value, in my opinion, of adult educators adapt ing crit ical thinking and the theory of transformative learning to address ing the cha l lenges p o s e d by systemat ic dominance and oppress ion. I bel ieve there is t remendous va lue in doing this and would love to make it the topic of my next p iece of research (if there ever is one!) . Th is study has covered a lot of ground yet is far from comprehens ive. It may have value in bringing together different p ieces of the puzz le , which are concept ions of whi teness, privi lege and dominant culture, yet e a c h of these p ieces are complex i ssues within themselves that warrant greater attention and ana lys is , particularly within local contexts, than it has been poss ib le to present here. Th is work would be enhanced by cons ider ing it in tandem with other research cover ing a spectrum of f ields, one of part icular importance is identity polit ics, in which there has been a lot of very valuable, in depth research by such academics a s Char les Tay lor (1994), 205 Anthony App iah and A m y Gutmann (1994, 1996), and Jurgen Habermas (1989, 1992, 1994) to name a few. I would like to c lose this d iscuss ion by paying homage to an author whose works have subtlety contributed to the development of my thinking on the topics add ressed here. Through shar ing his exper iences in the North he prov ided me with profound ana log ies that fostered lateral thinking and deepened my understanding of my own thoughts and exper iences. Barry L o p e z (1986) in his book Arct ic dreams: Imagination and des i re in a northern landscape relates a n insight he ga ined through interacting with the Esk imos (sic), into the va lue of accept ing different real i t ies and perspect ives. In the time I was in the f ield with the Esk imos I wondered at the bas is for my admirat ion. I admired a n awareness in the men of providing for others, and the soft tone of vo ice they used around b loodshed. I never thought I cou ld understand, from their point of view, that moment of preternaturally heightened awareness , and the peril inherent in taking life; but I accep ted it out of respect for their se r iousness toward it. In moments when I felt perp lexed, that I w a s deal ing with a n order outs ide my own, I d iscovered and put to use a part of my own culture's w isdom, the formal d iv is ions of Wes te rn phi losophy - metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthet ics, and logic - which pose, in order, the fol lowing quest ions. Wha t is rea l? Wha t can we unders tand? How should we behave? Wha t is beauti ful? Wha t are the patterns we c a n rely o n ? A s I travel led, I would say to myself, Wha t do my compan ions s e e where I s e e death? Is the sunlight beautiful to them, the way it spark les on the water? W h i c h for the Esk imo hunter are the patterns to be trusted? The patterns, I know, cou ld be different from the o n e s I imagined were before us. The re could be other, remarkably different insights [sic]" (pp. 181-182). 206 List of Footnoted Terms and Re fe rences Footnote Term (Related Terms) , Page 1. Whiteness (White Culture) 1 2. Privilege (White Privilege, Racial Privilege) 1 3. Diversity Training, (Multicultural Education, Anti-racism Education) 1 4. Note on Language Usage 3-4 5. Other (Othering) 5 6. Minority Group, (Majority Group, Dominant Group) 7 7. Identity (Individual Identity, Group Identity) 9 8. Dominant Group, re: #8..... •••• 20 9. Democratic Racism 24 10. Guest Workers 26 11. Komagatu Maru — 26-27 12. Tables 1.1 and 1.2, source 28 13. Red Boots Multiculturalism (Cultural Maintenance Multiculturalism) 34 14. Table2.1,source 43 15. Figure 1.1, source 44 16. Hegemony 5 1 17. Mediated Racism.. 7 4 18. Action Orientation 8 7 19. Table 3.1, source 97 20. Prestige (Privilege, Power). 107 21. Phrase "not entirely white" 156 22. Table 5.1, source 159 23. Reference to young white adults 191 24. Critical Thinking 193 25. Conscientizacao, Critically transitive consciousness 202 26. Acknowledgement of the Complexity and Variety in Consciousness Raising Theories 202 207 B I B L I O G R A P H Y A d a m s , M., Bel l , L. A . , & Griffin, P. (Eds.) . (1997). Teach ing for diversity and soc ia l justice: A sourcebook. N e w York: Rout ledge. A l len , T. W . (1994). The invention of the white race. Vo lume I: Rac ia l Oppress ion and Soc ia l Control . London: Verso . App iah , K. A . (1998). T h e multicultural mistake. Utne Reader . J a n / F e b . 4-27. App iah , K. A . & Gutmann, A . (1996). Co lo r consc ious : T h e polit ical morality of race. Pr inceton, N .J : Pr inceton Universi ty P ress . Banks , J . A . (1981). Educat ion in the 80 's : Mult iethnic educat ion. Wash ing ton : Nat ional Educat ion Assoc ia t ion . Bannerj i , H. (1997). Geog raphy lessons : O n be ing an insider/outsider to the C a n a d i a n nation. In L. R o m a n & L. Eyre (Eds.) , Dangerous territories: Struggles for dif ference and eguali ty in educat ion, (pp. 23-44). N e w York: Rout ledge. Bo lan , K. (1995, October 4). Canad ians fac ing own racial divide. T h e Vancouve r Sun , p. A 4 . Bo lan, K. (1995, October 25). Breakdown in C a n a d i a n decency b lamed for increase in rac ism. The Vancouve r S u n , p. B2 . Bonnett, A . (1996). Ant i - rac ism and the crit ique of 'white ' identit ies. N e w Community. 22 (1). 97-110. Brookf ield, S . D. (1991). Deve lop ing crit ical thinkers: Cha l leng ing adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and act ing. S a n F ranc isco : J o s s e y - B a s s Publ ishers . Chafetz , J . (1988). Feminist soc io logy: A n overv iew of contemporary theories. I tasca: F. E. Peacock . Chater, N. (1994). Bit ing the hand that feeds me. C a n a d i a n W o m a n Studies. 14 (2). 100-104. C h a v e z C h a v e z , R. & O'Donnel l , J . (Eds.). (1998). Speak ing the unpleasant: T h e polit ics of (non) engagement in the multicultural educat ion terrain. A lbany: State Universi ty of N e w York P ress . Christ ie, P. (1990). O p e n schoo ls . Braamfontem: R a v e n P ress . 208 Ci t izensh ip and Immigration C a n a d a . (1996). A profile of immigrants in C a n a d a (pamphlet). Ottawa: C i t i zensh ip and Immigration C a n a d a Publ icat ions. C o d e , L. (1991). Wha t can she know? - Feminist theory and the construct ion of knowledge. Ithaca: Corne l l Universi ty P ress . Corne l l , S . & Hartmann, D. (1998). Ethnicity and race: Mak ing identit ies in a chang ing world. Thousand Oaks : P ine Forge P ress . Cranton, P. (1994). Understanding and promoting transformative learning: A guide for adult educators. S a n Franc isco : J o s s e y - B a s s Pub l ishers . Cunn ingham, P. (1988). T h e adult educator and soc ia l responsibi l i ty. In R. Brocket (Ed.), Ethical i ssues in adult educat ion, (pp. 133-145). N e w York: T e a c h e r s Co l l ege Press . D ick inson, H. & Wotherspoon, T. (1992). From assimi lat ion to self-government: Towards a polit ical economy of C a n a d a ' s Abor ig inal pol ic ies. In Sa tzewich , V . (Ed.) Deconstruct ing a nation: Immigration, mult icultural ism. and rac ism in 90 's C a n a d a . Hali fax: Fe rnwood Publ ish ing. Do lan, C . (no date g iven, but I a c c e s s e d it on Feb . 9, 1999). Wha t are conste l la t ions? [On-line] Ava i lab le : http:/ /www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan /constel lat ions/extra/constel lat ions.html Domingeuz, V . R. (1986). Whi te by definit ion. Soc ia l c lassi f icat ion in Creo le Lou is iana. N e w Brunswick: Rutgers Universi ty P ress . Driedger, L. (1996). Mult i-ethnic C a n a d a : Identities and inegual i t ies. Toronto: Oxford University P ress . Dyer, R. (1988). Whi te. Sc reen 29(4). 44-65. Dyer, R. (1997). Whi te . N e w York: Rout ledge. Economic Counc i l of C a n a d a & S w a n , N. et a l . (1991). Economic and soc ia l impacts of immigration. Ottawa: C a n a d a Communicat ion Group Publ ish ing. Elliott, E. L. & F leras , A . (Eds.) . (1992). Unegua l relations: A n introduction to race and ethnic dynamics in C a n a d a . Scarborough: Prent ice-Hal l C a n a d a Inc. Evanson , B. (1996, Ju ly 6). To le rance not quite sk in deep, poll f inds. T h e V a n c o u v e r Sun , p. A 4 . f indlay, b. (1991). Wi th all of who we are: A d iscuss ion of oppress ion and dominance. Vancouver : Laza ra P ress . 209 F ine, M. , W e i s , L , Powel l , L. C , & W o n g , L. M. (Eds.). (1997). Off white: Read ing on race, power, and society. New York: Rout ledge. Flannery, D. D. (1994). Chang ing dominant understandings of adults a s learners. In E. H a y e s & A . A . J . Co l in (Eds.) , N e w direct ions for adult and cont inuing educat ion: Confront ing rac ism and sex ism, 61 (17-26). F leras, A . & Elliott, J . L. (Eds.) . (1992). T h e cha l lenge of diversity: Mult icultural ism in C a n a d a . Scarborough: Ne lson C a n a d a . Fontana, A . & Frey, J . H. (1994). Interviewing: T h e art of sc ience . In Dez in , N. K. & Lincoln, Y . S . (Eds.) , Handbook of Qualitative research. T h o u s a n d O a k s , C A : S a g e . Frankenberg , R. (1993). Whi te women, race matters: T h e soc ia l construct ion of whi teness. Minneapol is : Universi ty of M inneso ta P ress . Freire, P. (1970). P e d a g o g y of the oppressed . N e w York: T h e Cont inuum Publ ish ing Company . Gabr ie l , J . (1996). W h a t do you do when minority means Y o u ? Falling Down and the construct ion of "Whi teness" . Sc reen . 37(2). 129-151. G h o s h , R. (1996). Redef in ing multicultural educat ion. Montreal : Harcourt B race & Company C a n a d a , Ltd. G i lman, S . L. (1985). Dif ference and pathology: Stereotypes of sexuali ty, race, and madness . Ithaca: Corne l l University P ress . Giroux, H. A . (1993). L iv ing dangerously : Mult icultural ism and the polit ics of difference. N e w York: Peter Lang Publ ish ing, Inc. Granatste in, J . L. (1998, Ju ly 1). T h e one hundred most important C a n a d i a n s in history. M c L e a n ' s 111(26). 14-57. Habermas, J . (1994). Struggles for recognit ion in the democrat ic const i tuional state. In C . Taylor, Mult icultural ism: Examin ing the polit ics of recognit ion. Pr inceton, N .J : Pr inceton Universi ty P ress . Habermas, J . (1992). Postmetaphvs ica l thinking, translated by W . M. Hohengar ten. Cambr idge, M a s s : MIT P ress . Habermas, J . (1989). T h e new conservat ism: Cul tural cri t icism and the histor ian's debate, t ranslated by S. W . N icho lsen. Cambr idge, M a s s : MIT P ress . 210 Hal l , S . (1992). New ethnicit ies. In J . Dona ld & A . Rattansi , 'Race ' , culture and difference. London: S a g e Publ icat ions. Hayes , E. (1994). Deve lop ing a personal and professional a g e n d a for change. In E. Hayes & S . A . J . Co l in (Eds.) , N e w direct ions for adult and cont inuing educat ion: Confront ing rac ism a n d sex ism. 6 1 . 77-89. Helms, J . E. (1992). A race is a n ice thing to have. Topeka , K S : Content Communicat ions. Helms, J . E. (Ed.). (1993). B lack and white racial identity: Theory, research, and pract ice. Westport , C T : Praeger . Henry, F. and Tator, C . (1992). T h e ideology of rac ism - 'Democ ra t i c racism'. Harvard Educat iona l Rev iew. 62(1). 1-14. hooks, b. (1992). Representat ions of whi teness in the B lack imaginat ion. In B lack looks: R a c e and representat ion, (pp. 165-178) Boston: South E n d P ress . hooks, b. (1989). Ta lk ing back: Think ing feminist, thinking black. Boston: South E n d Press . Hughes , D. R. & Kal len, E. (1974). The anatomy of rac ism: C a n a d i a n d imens ions. Montreal : Harvest House . Jackson , S . & Sol is , J . (Eds.) . (1995). B e y o n d the z o n e s in mult icultural ism: Confront ing the polit ics of privi lege. Westport , C T : Berg in and Garvey . J a m e s , C . E. (1994). T h e paradox of power a n d pr iv i lege: race, gender and occupat ional posit ion. C a n a d i a n W o m a n Studies. 14(2). 47 -51 . J iwani , Y . Understanding R a c i s m Workshop , M O S A I C . (1994). Med ia ted R a c i s m . [Handout]. Vancouver : J iwani , Y . Katz, J . H. (1978). Whi te awareness . Ok lahoma: Universi ty of Ok lahoma Press . Khayatt, D. (1994). The boundar ies of identity at the intersection of race, c lass , and gender. C a n a d i a n W o m a n Studies. 14(2). 6-12. Kive l , P. (1996). Uproot ing rac ism: How white people can work for racia l justice. Gabr io la Island, B C : N e w Society Pub l ishers . t Kvale, S . (1996). Interviews: A n introduction to Qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks : S a g e Publ icat ions 211 Laczko , L. S . (1994). C a n a d a ' s plural ism in comparat ive perspect ive. Ethnic and Rac ia l Studies. 17(1). 20-41 . Lather, P. (1991). Gett ing smart - Feminist research and pedagogy with/in the post-modern. N e w York: Rout ledge. L i , P. (Ed.). (1990). R a c e and ethnic relat ions in C a n a d a . Toronto: Oxford Universi ty P ress . L incoln, E. G . & G u b a , Y . S . (1985). Natural ist ic inguirv. Bever ly Hil ls: S a g e . Lopez , B. H. (1986). Arct ic dreams: Imagination a n d des i re in a northern landscape. Toronto: Bantam Books . Marchak, M. P. (1988). Ideological perspect ives on C a n a d a . Toronto: McGraw-H i l l Ryerson Ltd. Marsha l l , C . & R o s s m a n , G . B. (1995). Des ign ing qualitative research ( 2 n d ed.). Thousand Oaks : S a g e Publ icat ions. McCar thy , C . & Cr ichlow, W . (Eds.). (1993). R a c e , identity, and representat ion in educat ion. N e w York: Rout ledge. Mclntyre, A . (1997). Mak ing meaning of whi teness: Explor ing racial identity with white teachers. A lbany: State Universi ty of N e w York P ress . Mc in tosh, P. (1995). Whi te privi lege and male privi lege: A personal account of coming to s e e cor respondences through work in women 's studies. In M. L. Ande rson & P. H. Co l l ins (Eds.) , R a c e , c lass , and gender: A n anthology ( 2 n d ed. , pp. 76-87). Belmont: Wadswor th . McLa ren , P. L. (1997). Revolut ionary multiculturalism. Boulder, C O : Wes tv iew Press . McLe l l an , J . & R ichmond, A . H. (1994). Mult icultural ism in cr is is: A postmodern perspect ive on C a n a d a . Ethnic and racial studies. 17(4). 662-683. McMi l lan , J . H. & Schumacher , S . (1997). R e s e a r c h in educat ion: A conceptual introduction (4 t h ed.). Don Mi l ls: Longman. Merr iam, S. (1988). C a s e study research in educat ion: A Qualitative approach . S a n Franc isco : J o s s e y - B a s s Publ ishers . Mezirow, J . (1991). Transformat ive d imens ions of adult learning. S a n Franc isco : J o s s e y - B a s s Publ ishers . 212 Mezi row, J . & Assoc ia tes . (1990). Foster ing crit ical reflection in adul thood: A guide to transformative and emancipatory learning. S a n Franc isco : J o s s e y - B a s s Publ ishers . Mohanty, C . T. (1997). Dangerous territories, territorial power, and educat ion. In L. R o m a n & L. Ey re (Eds.) , Dangerous territories: St ruggles for di f ference and eguali tv in educat ion (pp. ix- xvii). N e w York: Rout ledge. Moodley, K. (1995a). Evolv ing concept ions of mult iculturalism and immigration in C a n a d a and Germany. Presented at the International Con fe rence Encounter ing Strangers: Re fugees and Cul tural Confrontat ion in Sweden , Lund University. Mood ley , K. (1995b). Mult icultural educat ion in C a n a d a : Histor ical development and current status. In J . A . Banks (Ed.), Handbook of research on multicultural educat ion (pp. 801-820). Toronto: Prent ice Hal l International. Morr ison, T. (1992). P lay ing in the dark: Wh i t eness and the literary imagination. Cambr idge , M A : Harvard Universi ty P r e s s . Ng, R. (1993). R a c i s m , sex ism, and nation bui lding in C a n a d a . In C . McCar thy & W . Cr ich low (Eds.) , R a c e , identity, and representat ion in educat ion (pp. 50-59). New York: Rout ledge. Omi , M & Winant , H. (1993). O n the theoret ical concept of race. In C . McCar thy & W . Cr ich low (Eds.) , R a c e , identity, and representat ion in educat ion (pp. 3-10). N e w York : Rout ledge. O 'Ne i l , P. (1996, March 20). Ant i -As ian back lash feared. Vancouve r S u n , p. A 1 . Pate l , D. (1980). Dea l ing with interracial conflict: Po l icy alternatives. Montreal : Institute for R e s e a r c h on Pub l i c Pol icy . Porter, J . (1984). D i lemmas and contradict ions of a multi-ethnic society. In J . R. Ma l l ea & J . C . Y o u n g (Eds.) , Cul tural diversity and C a n a d i a n educat ion: Issues and innovat ions (pp. 69-81). Ottawa: Car l ton Universi ty P ress . Porter, J . (1979). Melt ing pot or mosaic : Revolut ion or revers ion? In J . Porter (Ed.), T h e measure of C a n a d i a n society: Educat ion, egualitv, and opportunity (pp. 139-162). Toronto: G a g e Publ ish ing. Razack , S . H. (1998). Look ing white peop le in the eve : Gender , race and culture in courtrooms and c lassrooms. Toronto: Universi ty of Toronto P ress . Re inharz , S . (1992). Feminist methods in soc ia l research. N e w York: Oxford Universi ty P ress . 213 Rei tz , J . & Breton, R. (1994). The i l lusion of dif ference: Real i t ies of ethnicity in C a n a d a and the Uni ted States. Toronto: C D . Howe Institute. Rinehart, D. (1994, January, 14). Opposi t ion to newcomers on the r ise, analysts say. The Vancouve r Sun , p. A 7 . Ristock, J . L. & Penne l l , J . (1996). Communi ty research a s empowerment: Feminist l inks, postmodern interpretations. Toronto: Oxford University P ress . R o c c o , T. S . & Wes t , G . W . (1998). Deconstruct ing privi lege: A n examinat ion of privi lege in adult educat ion. Adult Educat ion Quarterly. 48(2). 171-184. Rodiger, D. R. (1994). Towards the abol i t ion of whi teness: E s s a y s on race, polit ics and working c lass history. London: Verso . Roman , L. G . (1993). Wh i te is a color! Wh i te de fens iveness , postmodernism, and anti-racist pedagogy. In C . McCar thy & W . Cr ich low (Eds.) . (1993). R a c e , identity, and representat ion in educat ion, (pp. 71-88) N e w York: Rout ledge. Roman , L. & Eyre, L. (1997). T h e usua l suspects : Struggles for dif ference and equali ty in educat ion. In L. R o m a n & L. Eyre (Eds.) , Dangerous territories: Struggles for dif ference and eguali tv in educat ion (pp. 1 -20). N e w York: Rout ledge. Satzewich , V. (1994). R a c e relat ions or rac ism: Unravel l ing the new race d iscourse in C a n a d a . In L. Samue l son (Ed.), Power and res is tance: Cri t ical thinking about Canad ian soc ia l i ssues (pp. 39-51). Hali fax: Fernwood Pub l ish ing. Satzewich , V (Ed.). (1992). Deconstruct ing a nat ion: Immigration, mult iculturalism, and rac ism in 90 's C a n a d a . Halifax: Fernwood Publ ish ing. Sawyer , J . (1989). Internalized dominance. Quarter ly Interchange. (1 )4 . 16-23. Scha tzman , L. & St rauss, A . (1973). F ie ld research : Strategies for natural socio logy. - Eng lewood Clif fs: Prent ice-Hal l . Sleeter, C . E. (1996). Mult icultural educat ion a s soc ia l act iv ism. A lbany : State University of N e w York P ress . Sleeter, C . E. & McLa ren , P. E. (Eds.) . (1995). Mult icultural educat ion, crit ical pedagogy, and the pol i t ics of dif ference. A lbany : State Universi ty of N e w Yo rk P ress . Stat ist ics C a n a d a (1996). C a n a d a C e n s u s -1996. [On-line]. Ava i lab le : www.statcan.ca/engl ish/census/nov4/ table1/htm 214 Stein, J . (Ed.). (1980). T h e Random house dictionary. New York: Bal lant ine Books . Strauss, A . L. (1987). Qual i tat ive ana lys is for soc ia l scient ists. N e w York: Cambr idge Universi ty P ress . Sykes , J . B . (Ed.). (1976). The conc ise Oxford dictionary. (6 t h ed.) Oxford: Oxford Universi ty P r e s s . Taylor, C . (1994). Mult icultural ism: Examin ing the polit ics of recognit ion. Pr inceton, N .J : Pr inceton Universi ty P ress . Thompson , A . (1998). Not the color purple: B lack feminist l essons for educat ional car ing. Harvard Educat iona l Rev iew. 68(4). Winter 1998, 522-554. T isdel l , E. (1993). Interlocking sys tems of power, privi lege, and oppress ion in adult higher educat ion c l a s s e s . Adul t Educat ion Quarterly. 43(4). 203-226. Trend, D. (1996). Democracy 's cr is is of meaning. In Trend, D. (Ed.) Rad ica l democracy: Identity, c i t izenship and the state. N e w York: Rout ledge. Walcot t , R. (1990). Theor iz ing anti-racist educat ion: Decenter ing white supremacy in educat ion. The Wes te rn Canad ian Anthropologist 7(2). 109-120. W a r e , V. (1992). Beyond the Pa le . Whi te women, rac ism and history. London: Verso . Whi taker, R. (1991). Canad ian immigration pol icy s ince confederat ion. Ottawa: C a n a d i a n Histor ical Assoc ia t ion , Government of C a n a d a . Wi ldman, S . (1996). Pr iv i lege revea led: H ow invisible preference undermines Amer ica . New York: New York Universi ty P ress . W o n g , L. L & Netting, N. S . (1992). Bus iness immigration to C a n a d a : Soc ia l impact and Rac i sm. In Satzewich , V . (Ed.) Deconstruct ing a nation: Immigration, mult iculturalism. and rac ism in 90 's C a n a d a . Hali fax: Fe rnwood Publ ish ing. Y e m m a , J . (1997, December 23). 'Wh i teness studies ' an attempt at heal ing. The Boston G l o b e [On-line]. Ava i lab le : http://ftp.sltrib.com/97 /mar/030297/nat ion_w/3293. htm Y iu , G . (1997, Apr i l 2). The sceptre of rac ism hangs over our heads . T h e Vancouve r S u n , p. A 1 3 . Append ix A : Ethics Rev iew 217 P a g e 3 of 9 12. Summary of Methodology and Procedures. Note: If your study involves deception, you must also complete page 7. the 'Deception Form'. My approach to this research involves setting up a collaborative process of investigation among interviewees and the student researcher. The data collection process will consist of two tape-recorded interviews with each participant. Codes will be used to ensure the confidentiality of all data. Pseudonyms will be used for any reference made to individuals participating in the study. The tapes, transcripts and all correspondence will be identified only by code, kept in a locked filing cabinet, and accessed exclusively by the student researcher and ner advisory committee. Participants will be asked to consider "white" culture and privilege and what it means within the context of their personal and professional experiences. The first interview (1.5 hours) will focus on a discussion of participants' diversity training experiences, Canadian social norms, and participants' interpretations of and experiences with "white" culture and privilege. The second interview (1 hour) will take place after each participant has received his or her respective transcript and taped copy of the interview to verify and comment upon. The purpose of the second interview is to encourage critical reflection, by both participants and the interviewer, on the interview process and topics; to clarify the ideas shared and explore questions that have arisen. Copies of the tape and transcript of the second interview will be sent to each participant for verification and feedback. Following each interview the researcher will record her questions, observations, and feelings about the interview process and content in a short journal entry. She will encourage participants to do the same but this will not be a requirement. Written reflection creates an opportunity for personal debriefing and can provide valuable feedback. During the second interview the researcher and participant will have the opportunity to discuss their reflections which can give the researcher insight to participant interpretations of the discussion and enhance the authenticity of her representation of participant contributions. Once a preliminary analysis of all the data has been completed participants will receive this information and will be encouraged to offer feedback, comment, and questions. Participation in this study will require from three to five hours of participants' time, depending on the extent of involvement in the study desired by each participant. A summary of the result of the study will be provided to each participant. Description of Population 13. How many subjects will be used? 10 How many in the control group? N/A • 14. Who is being recruited, and what are the cnteria tor their selection? Adult educators of English-speaking European ancestry involved in providing diversity training within the lower mainland. 15. What subjects will be excluded from participation? Those who don't meet the criteria. 16. How are the subjects being recruited? If the initial contact is by letter or if a recruitment notice is to be posted, attach a copy. Note that UBC policy discourages initial contact by telephone. However, surveys which use random digit dialing may be allowed. If your study involves such contact, you must also complete page 8, the 'Telephone Contact' form. I will recruit lower mainland diversity trainers networking and snowball sampling. I will identify potential participants through my own knowledge of the field and through suggestions from others working in the field. Once a potential participant has been identified I will send a letter introducing myself, outlining the study and themes to be covered in the interviews, and inviting the potential participant to contact me if be/ she is interested in participating in the study. I will follow up with a telephone call to answer any questions about participation in the study, arrange to sent him/ her the informed consent form, and set up convenient interview times and places. 17. If a control group is involved, and their selection andVor recruitment differs from the above, provide details: N/A Append ix A : Ethics Rev iew 218 P a g e 4 of 9 Project Details ' 16. Where will the project be conducted (room of area)? V a r i o u s locat ions 19. Who will actually conduct the study and what are their qualifications? The student investigator will conduct the study. She has completed graduate course work in research methodology which has involved conducting interviews and analysis. 20. Will the group ol subjects have any problems giving informed consent on their own behalf? Consider physical or mental condition, age, language, and other barriers. N/A 21. If the subjects are not competent to give fully informed consent who will consent of their behalf? N/A 22. What is known about the risks and benefits of the proposed research? Do you have additional opinions on this issue? There are no anticipated risks involved in participating in this study. I can even suggest there may be benefits to participants by engaging in the process. 23. What discomfort or incapacity are the subjects likely to endure as a result of the experimental procedures? Exploring the notions of "white" culture and privilege may be uncomfortable for some participants. This should be diminished however by the researcher being dear about the topic of study and themes to be discussed during the interviews prior to the participants consenting to become involved in the study. During the interviews every effort will be made to create a respectful and trusting environment. The researcher will be available to discusss further any thoughts, questions or concerns that may arise out of the process. 24. If monetary compensation is to be offered to the subjects, provide details of amounts and payment schedules. N/A 25. How much time will a subject have to dedicate to the project? 3-5 hours due to participant convenience 26. How much time will a member of the control group, if any, have to dedicate to the project? N/A Append ix A: Eth ics Rev iew 219 P a g e 5 of 9 Data [ 27. Who will have access to the data? The student investigator, faculty advisor, and graduate thesis committee. 28. How will the confidentiality of the data be maintained? The data collection process will consist of two tape-recorded interviews with each participant Codes will be used to ensure the confidentiality of all data. Pseudonyms will be used for any reference madeto-individuals participating in the study. The tapes, transcripts and aU correspondence will be identified only by code, kept in a locked filing cabinet, and accessed exclusively by the student researcher and her graduate thesis committee. 29. What are the plans for the future use of the raw data beyond that described in this protocol? How and when will the data be destroyed? Once the thesis and other publications, for example journal articles, have been completed the researcher's copies of the transcripts and coding links will be shredded, as well computer files, disks and the tape recorded interviews will be erased. 30. Will any data which identifies individuals be available to persons or agencies outside the University? No 31. Are there any plans for feedback to the subject? Each participant will receive transcripts and tapes of his or her respective interview material, both interviews one and two, as well as a preliminary analysis of the data. Once the thesis is complete and approved by the graduate thesis committee a summary of the findings of the study will be sent to each participant 32. Will your project use: EH Questionnaires (Submit a copy); ^ Interviews (Submit a sample of questions); I I Observations (Submit a brief description); n Tests (Submit a brief description) Appendix A: Ethics Review 2 2 0 Page 6 of 9 33- Funding Information Agency / Source of Funds: N/A r~l Internal O External Funds Administered by: • UBC • V H H S C • S P H • B C W H • B C C H • B C C A U B C or Hospital Account Number: Status: CD Awarded Q Pending Peer Review: • Yes • No Start Date (YY-MM-DO): Finish Date (YY-MM-DO): Informed Consent 34. Who wil consent?. S Subject I I Parent or Guardian. (Written parental consent is always required for research in the schools and an opportunity must be presented either verbally or in writing to the students to refuse to participate or withdraw. A copy of what is written or said to the students should be provided for review by the Committee.) D Agency Officials. 35. In the case of projects carried out at other institutions, the Committee requires written proof that agency consent has been received. Please specify below: I I Research Carried Out at a Hospital - Approval of hospital research or ethics committee. I 1 Research Carried Out at a School • Approval of school board and/or principal. Exact requirements depend on individual school boards. Check with Faculty of Education committee members for details. I I Research Carried Out in a Provincial Hearth Agency - Approval of Deputy Minister. D Other • Specify: N/A Questionnaires (Completed by Subjects) 36. Questionnaires should contain an introductory paragraph or covering letter which includes the following information. Please check each item in the following list before submission of this form to insure that the instruction contains all necessary items. • U B C Letterhead. • Title of Project I 1 Identification of the Investigators, Including a phone number. I I A Brief Summary that Indicates the purpose of the project. 1 j The Benefits to be derived. I 1 A FuD Description of the Procedures to be carried out in which the subjects are involved. I I A Statement of the Subject's Right to Refuse to Participate or Withdraw at any time without jeopardizing further treatment, medical care or class standing, as applicable. Note: This statement must also appear on explanatory letters involving questionnaires. 1 I The Amount of Time required of the subject \ 1 The Statement that if the questionnaire is completed it win be assumed that consent has been given. This is sufficient if the research is limited to questionnaires; any other procedures or interviews require a consent form signed by the subject I I An Explanation of how to return the questionnaire. 1 I Assurance that the Identity of the subject will be kept confidential and a description of how this will be accomplished; e.g. "Don't put your name on the questionnaire*. PI Fnr C i i t v . * * .-in-iilat«H mail » r m wf t h . . v n l a n a t n r v l . t t . r a< »» a r . r » n l t h . n i i x t i n n n a i r . 221 Append ix A: Eth ics Rev iew P a g e 7 of 9 Consent Forms 37. UBC policy requires written consent in all cases other man tnose limned to questionnaires wnich are completed by the subject. (See item #36 for consent requirements.) Please check each item in the following list before submission of trrts form to ensure that the written consent form attached contains all necessary items. If your research involves initial contact by telephone, you do not need to fill out this section. _3 UBC Letterhead. 13 Title of tne Project ffl Identification of investigators, including a telephone number. Research for a graduate thesis should be identified as such and the name and telephone number of the faculty advisor included. £3 Brief but complete description in lay language of the purpose of the project and of aD procedures to be carried out in which the subjects are involved. Indicate if the project involves a new or non-traditional procedure whose efficacy has not been proven in controlled studies. £3 Assurance that the identity of the subject will be kept confidential and description of how this will be accomplished, i.e. describe how records in the principal investigator's possession will be coded, kept in a locked filing cabinet, or under password if kept on a computer hard drive. ffl Statement of the total amount of time that will be required of a subject. ffl Details of monetary compensation, if any. to be offered to subjects. £3 An offer to answer any inquiries cortcerning the procedures to ensure that they are fully understood by the subject and to provide debriefing, if appropriate. r™J A statement that rf they have any concerns about their rights or treatment as research subjects, they may contact Dr. Ricnard Spratley, Director of the UBC Office of Research Services and Administration, at 822-8598. ^ A statement of the subject's right to refuse to participate or withdraw at any time and a statement that withdrawal or refusal to participate will not jeopardize further treatment, medical care or influence class standing, as applicable. Note: This statement must also appear on letters of initial contact. For research done in the schools, indicate what happens to children whose parents do not consent. The procedure may be part of classroom work but tfte collection of data may be purely for research. ffl A statement acknowledging that the subject has received a copy of the consent form including all attachments for the subject's own records. ffl A place for signature of subject consenting to participate in me research project, investigation, or study and a place for the date of the signature. I ] Parental consent forms must contain a statement of choice providing an option for refusal to participate, e.g. *l consent /1 do not consent to my child's participation in this study." Also, verbal assent must be obtained from the child, once the parent has consented. ^ If mere is more man one page, number me pages of the consent, e.g. page 1 of 3. 2 of 3. 3 of 3. Attachments 38. Check items attached to this submission, it applicable. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. £<] Letter of Initial Contact. (Item 16) . - , I I Advertisement for Volunteer Subjects. (Item 16) Subject Consent Form. (Item 37) I I Control Group Consent Form. (If diferent from above) I I Parent / Guardian Consent Form. (If differenct from above) I I Agency Consent (Item 35) Questionnaires. Tests. Interviews, etc. (Item 32) I I Explanatory Letter with Qestionnaire. (Item 36) I I Deception Form, including a copy of transcript of written or verbal debriefing. I I Telephone Contact Form. I-! Other - Specify . Append ix A : Ethics Rev iew 222 P a g e 8 of 9 DECEPTION FORM If your study involves deception, complete Hems 1 lo 3. if not, skip lo the next page. Deception undermines informed consent. Indicate (a) why you believe deception is necessary to acnieve your research objectives, and (b) wny you believe that the benefits of the research outweigh the cost to the subjects N/A 2. Explain why you believe there will be no permanent damage as a result of the deception N/A 3. Describe how you will debrief subjects at the end of the study. N/A Append ix A : Ethics Rev iew 223 P a g e 9 of 9 T E L E P H O N E C O N T A C T F O R M If your study involves telephone contact, complete items 1 to 4. If not, you are at the end of the forms. • 1. Telephone contact makes it impossible for a signed record of consent to be kept Indicate why you believe that such contact is necessary to achieve your research objectives: N/A 2. Include a copy of the proposed front end* scnpt of your telephone interview. Please check each item on the following lis* before submission of request for review to ensure that the front end covers as much as possible of the normal consent procedures: 0 Identification of fieldwork agency, if applicable. r~1 Identification of researcher. | 1 Basic purpose of project. [ I Nature of questions to be asked, especially if sensitive questions are to be asked. [~1 Guarantee of anonymity and confidentiality. 1 I Indication of right of refusal to answer any question. I I An offer to answer any questions before proceeding, (see below, item 3) ("I A specific inquiry about willingness to proceed. . 3. Indicate how interviewers will be trained to answer respondents' questions. Investigators should prepare and submit "scnpted replies', which may cover, but are not necessarily limited to: (a) The means by which respondent was selected. (b) An indication of the estimated time to be required for the interview. (c) The means by which guarantees of anonymity and confidentiality will be achieved. (d) An offer to provide the name and telephone number of a person who can verify the authenticity of the research project. This person shall not be the Research Administration Officer or any person in the Office of Research Services and Administration. (Note: Investigators should be prepared, should potential respondents request it. to provide the name of a person outside the research group, as required by section 9 of the SSHRC guidelines.) 4. Sensitive Subject Matter: Respondents should be forewarned of such questions. It is not always practical to do so as part of the interview's front end. Warnings can be placed later in the interview and can take a naturalistic form as long as their content specifkaally refers to the sensitive matter. Indicate how you propose to deal with sensitive items, if any. in your interview. 224 Append ix B: Letter to Potential Part ic ipants P a g e 1 of 2 (Oficial Educational Studies Lettrhead) Introduction to the Study Project Title: Exploring "White Culture and Privilege'' Principal Investigator: Dr. Shauna Butterwick Assistant Professor of Adult Education University of British Columbia Student Investigator: Deborah MacNiel MA (Adult Education) Candidate University of British Columbia June 15,1998 Dear Multicultural education, diversity training, anti-racism training, cross-cultural communication all are attempts to increase our understanding of and involvement in the multicultural society in which we live. Exploring "White culture and privilege" is a look into one aspect of our society, which may contribute to this understanding. My name is Deborah MacNiel and I am a graduate student at the University of British Columbia pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Adult Education. I am researching conceptions of "white" culture and privilege. The study of "white culture" is emerging as an important topic in both the United States and Britain, yet there is limited exploration of this within a Canadian context The purpose of this study is to explore meanings and understandings of the notions "white" culture and privilege through interviews with English-speaking educators of European ancestry, who are associated with the broad area of diversity training. As a diversity trainer, ESL teacher and adult educator, and woman of European ancestry, I am interested in exploring with other similarly situated educators, notions of white culture and privilege through a collaborative process. Through analysing these interviews, my own personal experiences and understandings, and the literature, the project will contribute to a deeper understanding of conceptualisations of "white culture", and the emancipatory potential of relatively privileged educators who are concerned with issues of diversity and social justice. Participants in this study will be approached with respect for their personal identities, life experiences and professions. Their curiosity and willingness to engage in the exploration of this topic is highly valued. It is hoped that this process will offer an opportunity to both the participants and researcher to engage in an interactive process of mutual learning and reflection. I am interested in discussing this study with you and would like to invite you to contribute to developing our understanding of these notions and their implications for educating adults. Below I have briefly outlined the research process. My approach to this research involves setting up a collaborative, respectful process of investigation among interviewees and the student researcher. The data collection process will consist of two tape-recorded interviews with each participant Codes will be used to ensure the confidentiality of all data. 226 Appendix C: Letter to Study Participants, Consent for Research Participation Page 1 of 2 (Oficial Educational Studies Lettrhead) Consent for Research Participation Project Title: Exploring "White Culture" and Privilege July 13 1998 Dear My name is Deborah MacNiel and I am a graduate student at the University of British Columbia pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Adult Education. I am researching conceptions of "white" culture and privilege. The study of "white culture" is emerging as an important topic in both the United States and Britain, yet there is limited exploration of this within a Canadian context The purpose of this study is to explore meanings and understandings of the notions "white" culture and privilege through interviews with English-speaking educators of European ancestry, living in Canada - specifically the BC lower mainland - who are associated with diversity issues/training. Your curiosity and willingness to engage in the exploration of this topic is highly valued. I hope that this process will provide us with an opportunity to engage in an interactive process of mutual learning and reflection. Following, I have outlined what this research process will entail. My approach to this research involves setting up a collaborative, respectful process of investigation among interviewees and myself, the student researcher. The data collection process will consist of two tape-recorded interviews with each participant Codes will be used to ensure the confidentiality of all data. Pseudonyms will be used for any reference made to individuals participating in the study. The tapes, transcripts and all correspondence will be identified only by code, kept in a locked filing cabinet and accessed exclusively by myself and my thesis advisory committee. Participants will be asked to consider "white" culture and privilege and what it means within the context of their personal and professional experiences, the following themes are some of the topics we will discuss during the first interview (1.5 hours): Your interest and involvement in addressing the challenges of multiculturalism and/or diversity training; Identity; Interpretations of and experiences with "white" culture and privilege; Canadian society, racism and issues of power; The value of investigating "white culture". The second interview (1 hour) will take place after you have received your transcript and taped copy of the first interview to verify and comment upon. The purpose of the second interview is to share our critical reflections of the interview process and topics, to clarify and/or expand upon the ideas discussed and explore any questions that have arisen. A copy of the second interview tape and transcript will be sent to you for verification and feedback. Following the interviews I will record my reflections, questions, observations, and feelings about the interview process, and content in a journal entry. You may prefer to keep a written record of your 228 Append ix D: Out l ine of Interview Quest ions P a g e 1 of 3 Purpose: To investigate "White" diversity trainers' conceptions of "White culture" and privilege, and the implications of these concepts for adult anti-racism education. THEME I. YOUR DIVERSITY TRAINING EXPERIENCES 1. You have been involved in work that may fall under the umbrella term "diversity training", I'm interested in what you do? 2. What initially motivated you to pursue this work? 3. How would you describe your philosophy or approach to your work? 4. What do you think about the notion of "unlearning racism"? 5. What comes to mind when you think of the particularly challenging aspects of your work? What feelings arise from these experiences? 6. What do you find to be the most rewarding aspects of your work? 7. What do you see as the primary results of your work? What difference do you think it makes? For participants? For yourself? For Canadian society? 8. Where do you get your inspiration to continue your work in diversity training? THEME II. PERSONAL IDENTITY 9. If you consider your identity, how would you describe yourself? 10. How would you describe your ethnicity? 11. Consider times when you became aware of your colour? What stories come to mind when your think of these situations? Can you recall the feelings you experienced at those times? THEME III. WHITE CULTURE 12. Is white a colour? 13. Sometimes we use rather generic terms when speaking of broad groups of people, for example Blacks, Natives, Chinese. Some people who don't consider themselves to be white may talk about "You white people". Who are white people? 14. Do you think there is a hierarchy within "whiteness"? Can some people be "more white" than others? 15. What is the influence of class in defining whiteness? 16. What other factors influence who is considered to be "white"? 17. What does the term "white culture" mean to you? 18. How would you consider yourself to be located within "white culture"? 19. What is privilege? What are the characteristics of it? 20. What is the relationship between whiteness and privilege? 21. What are the effects of applying the terms "white", "white culture", and "privilege" to a group of people? 229 Appendix D: Outline of Interview Questions Page 2 of 3 THEME IV. CANADIAN SOCIETY 22. Often newjmmigrants are anxious to learn about Canadian culture. What would you tell someone about Canadian culture? How would you describe it? 23. What challenges do new immigrants face in fitting into Canadian society? 24. What gets rewarded in Canadian society? 25. Is there a dominant set of beliefs, values, practices or norms that are considered to be Canadian? 26. How do these beliefs persist? Who's included and who's not? 27. What is the relationship or difference between the terms "white culture', "dominant culture", and "mainstream society''? 28. In discussions I have had with people about the dominant society in Canada, many people have made the following comment "Dominance exists within every society around the world, look at-China for example, or most societies throughout history. If one group doesn't dominate another will. So why shouldn't we protect our privilege and power?" What do you think about this response? How might you reply to it? THEME V. RACISM 29. Power has emerged as an important issue within anti-racism education. How does power relate to the idea of whiteness and white culture? What are your thoughts on this? 30. Who do you see as being most affected by issues of power? 31. Who is most involved in addressing these issues in Canada? THEME VI. WHY INVESTIGATE WHITE CULTURE? 32. What is the value or liability of addressing "white culture" in Canada? 33. In the literature I've been reading there are two major perspectives on addressing whiteness. One focuses on the importance of making whiteness visible, the other opposes this saying that by making it visible we are reinforcing the divisions we're trying to breakdown. In your opinion what are the pros and cons of highlighting the concept of "white culture" within Canadian society? 34. "Whiteness" and "White culture" are focal topics in the United States and Britain. How does the Canadian context of these terms differ from those of the United States and Britain? THEME VII. IMPLICATIONS FOR DIVERSITY TRAINING 35. What thoughts and feelings do you have about the issues raised here and your practice within diversity training? 36. Why should/shouldn't we make issues of whiteness/dominance central to multicultural/anti-racism education in Canada? 37. How can such an endeavour contribute, or not, to antj-racism education in Canada? 230 Appendix D: Outline of Interview Questions Page 3 of 3 CONCLUSION 38. Are there areas within your field you wonder about or feel there are gaps in your learning or knowledge in combating racism in Canada? 39. What other issues or questions would you suggest that I explore? 40. What has this been like for you, having this conversation? 232 Append ix E: Cove r Letter for Transcr ipt Rev iew P a g e 2 of 3 Purpose: To investigate "White" diversity trainers' conceptions of "White culture" and privilege, and the implications of these concepts for adult anti-racism education. THEME I. YOUR DIVERSITY TRAINING EXPERIENCES 1. You have been involved in work that may fall under the umbrella term "diversity training", I'm interested in what you do? 2. What initially motivated you to pursue this work? 3. How would you describe your philosophy or approach to your work? 4. What do you think about the notion of "unlearning racism"? 5. What comes to mind when you think of the particularly challenging aspects of your work? What feelings arise from these experiences? 6. What do you find to be the most rewarding aspects of your work? 7. What do you see as the primary results of your work? What difference do you think it makes? For participants? For yourself? For Canadian society? 8. Where do you get your inspiration to continue your work in diversity training? THEME II. PERSONAL IDENTITY 9. If you consider your identity, how would you describe yourself? 10. How would you describe your ethnicity? 11. Consider times when you became aware of your colour? What stories come to mind when your think of these situations? Can you recall the feelings you experienced at those times? THEME III. WHITE CULTURE 12. Is white a colour? 13. Sometimes we use rather generic terms when speaking of broad groups of people, for example Blacks, Natives, Chinese. Some people who don't consider themselves to be white may talk about "You white people". Who are white people? 14. Do you think there is a hierarchy within "whiteness"? Can some people be "more white" than others? 15. What is the influence of class in defining whiteness? 16. What other factors influence who is considered to be "white"? 17. What does the term "white culture" mean to you? 18. How would you consider yourself to be. located within "white culture"? 19. What is privilege? What are the characteristics of it? 20. What is the relationship between whiteness and privilege? 21. What are the effects of applying the terms "white", "white culture", and "privilege" to a group of people? THEME IV. CANADIAN SOCIETY 22. Often new immigrants are anxious to learn about Canadian culture. What would you tell someone about Canadian culture? How would you describe it? 233 Appendix E: Cover Letter for Transcript Review Page 3 of 3 23. What challenges do new immigrants face in fitting into Canadian society? 24. What gets rewarded in Canadian society? 25. Is there a dominant set of beliefs, values, practices or norms that are considered to be Canadian? 26. How do these beliefs persist? Who's included and who's not? 27. What is the relationship or difference between the terms "white culture", "dominant culture", and "mainstream society"? 28. In discussions I have had with people about the dominant society in Canada, many people have made the following comment "Dominance exists within every society around the world, look at China for example, or most societies throughout history. If one group doesn't dominate another will. So why shouldn't we protect our privilege and power?" What do you think about this response? How might you reply to it? THEME V. RACISM 29. Power has emerged as an important issue within anti-racism education. How does power relate to the idea of whiteness and white culture? What are your thoughts on this? 30. Who do you see as being most affected by issues of power? 31. Who is most involved in addressing these issues in Canada? THEME VI. WHY INVESTIGATE WHITE CULTURE? — 32. What is the value or liability of addressing "white culture" in Canada? 33. In the literature I've been reading there are two major perspectives on addressing whiteness. One focuses on the importance of making whiteness visible, the other opposes this saying that by making it visible we are reinforcing the divisions we're trying to breakdown. In your opinion what are the pros and cons of highlighting the concept of "white culture" within Canadian society? 34. "Whiteness" and "White culture" are focal topics in the United States and Britain. How does the Canadian context of these terms differ from those of the United States and Britain? THEME Vll. IMPLICATIONS FOR DIVERSITY TRAINING 35. What thoughts and feelings do you have about the issues raised here and your practice within diversity training? 36. Why should/shouldn't we make issues of whiteness/dominance central to multicultural/anti-racism education in Canada? 37. How can such an endeavor contribute, or not to anti-racism education in Canada? CONCLUSION 38. Are there areas within your field you wonder about, or feel there are gaps in your learning or knowledge in combating racism in Canada? 39. What other issues or questions would you suggest that I explore? 40. What has this been like for you, having this conversation? 234 Appendix F: Letter to Participants, Understanding of Transcript Acceptance Page 1 of 2 (Official Educational Studies Letterhead) Re: MA Thesis "White Culture" and Privilege October 21,1998 Dear' As 'Murphy' would have it things always take longer than one expects. Such is the case with my thesis. This summer I transcribed the interviews (a long process) and sent them out for verification and feedback. In the meantime I have been analyzing and coding (an even longer process!). At this point I haven't received feedback from people so I am assuming you are satisfied the transcript is an accurate account of our conversation (typos aside). If this is not the case please contact me, or if you have feedback to send I'd love to receive it. Thank-you very much for your participation in the interview and for taking time to review the transcript Earlier I had suggested that participants who were available and interested might meet to discuss my research further in a focus group. At this time I won't pursue this. But I will send you a summary of my analysis and a copy of my bibliography if you would like to add your comments, questions etc. before my thesis is complete. I do hope we may meet as a group to celebrate the end of this process some time in the not too distant future. Sincerely, Deborah MacNiel 235 Append ix F: Letter to Part ic ipants, Understanding of Transcr ipt Accep tance P a g e 2 of 2 Your Name: ' Date: 1. Did you receive the transcript of the interview? Yes No 2. Are you satisfied that it is an accurate transcription of the discussion we had? Yes No 3. What comments, clarifications, or elaboration would you like to make regarding any part of the discussion? (Please cite page and paragraph numbers for specific references.) 4. What suggestions do you have regarding topics, themes, terms etc. that I should explore further or to which I should pay particular attention? 5. Clarification for references to works and/or people cited in the transcript (spelling, titles) would be very helpful: Your suggestions for any further readings/references that may enhance my exploration of "White Culture" and Privilege in Canada would be appreciated. 6. Do you have any questions or other comments? Please feel free to attach any additional pages, portions of the transcript or other material you would like to include. Your Signature: Date: 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share