Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Dr. Debra Jacobs.

Keywords

White privilege, Racism, Feminist theory, Rhetoric, Composition, Chela sandoval

Abstract

This dissertation seeks to help teachers understand the ways that affect is tied to the dominant ideology of white supremacy in contemporary U.S. society. It argues that affect the complex confluence of feeling and judgmentis bound intricately to racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, etc. In this work I attempt to deconstruct the social construction of affect that fuels dominant white ideology what some scholars call whiteness in the context of white teachers and students in the cultural studies writing classroom. With the lofty yet ultimately empowering goal of effecting anti-racist change in the classroom and in the profession, I trace affective dimensions of whiteness (such as fear, blame, defensiveness, and denial) revealed by white teachers and students. Clinging to the myths of meritocracy, individualism, and the American Dream, white teachers and students often unknowingly perpetuate dominance based on white privilege.

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