Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


The role of marginalized discourses in constructing the white identity of preservice teachers Public Deposited

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  • This research addresses the complexities of White racial identity development in the lives of five elementary and middle school preservice teachers during their graduate teacher education program at a private Christian Pacific Northwestern university. Using a poststructural framework, this research investigated three questions: 1) How do the aspects of subjectivation (the relationship one has with oneself) "play out" in performing White racial identity in a multicultural context? 2) How does the role of the Other impact how White racial identity is performed and changed in a multicultural context? 3) How is White racial identity performed and changed in the relationships and practices of White preservice teachers as a result of race-based discourses in a course on multiculturalism? Data for this research were collected over three months and were taken from three main sources: reflection journals, observational notes in a researcher's journal, and face-to-face interviews. Modes of naturalistic inquiry and Foucauldian discourse analysis were used to analyze and interpret the data. The validity of this research was addressed using poststructural concepts of multiple perspectives and socially constructed knowledges. The results indicated that the White racial identities of the preservice teachers were continuously influenced by their subjectivities, and were constantly being created by their surrounding discourses. Dominant discourses were also at play constituting their subjectivities throughout this process. These discourses were varied and produced mixed results as the preservice teachers made battle at the site of subjectivity between the form of subjectivation and the race-based discourses that bombarded the preservice teachers throughout the duration of the semester. Their shifting White racial identities were demonstrated through the multiple discourses, positions, and practices they used during the course and in their student teaching practicum experiences. The research also indicated the power of the Other as a means for continued identity destabilization.
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