Date of Award
Campus Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
Karen L. Suyemoto
Alice S. Carter
From a critical racial consciousness perspective, engaging in antiracist critical reflection and action is an important step for White people towards ally development and racial justice. Models of White racial identity development have posited complex schemas and processes of cognitive, affective, and behavioral characteristics and ambivalence that are affected by one’s other identities and environment. The purpose of this study was to explore models of heterogeneity of White affective and cognitive racial attitudinal patterns among a sample of White Americans (N = 531) using a person-centered statistical approach, Latent Profile Analysis (LPA). This study uses cross-sectional baseline data from a larger intervention study of White ally development (Hochman & Suyemoto, 2020). We used LPA to identify and evaluate latent subgroups and test hypotheses about their differences in demographics, self-reported experiences of oppression, and behavioral engagement in antiracist action using a series of indicators categorized within four thematic domains of White racial attitudes: Empathic Connection in Cross-Racial Relationships, Affective Awareness of White Privilege, Blatant Colorblind Racial Attitudes, and Awareness of Structural Inequality.
Our analysis yielded four profiles of White racial attitudes – Lower Racial Consciousness, Incongruous, Ambivalent, and Higher Racial Consciousness – that represent increasing endorsement of critical reflection around Whiteness and racism. These profiles overlap with existing models of White racial attitudes, including White racial identity theory (Helms, 2020), White racial consciousness (Rowe et al., 1994), White dialectics (Todd & Abrams, 2011), and White ally development (e.g., Broido, 2000). In particular, the Incongruous and Ambivalent profiles indicate evidence for the tensions and internal contradictions White people often experience when relating to their Whiteness and to racism. Furthermore, profiles associated with higher levels of critical racial consciousness contained significantly more women and trans participants, non-heterosexual participants, and participants who had more friendships with people of color. Additionally, profiles associated with higher levels of critical racial consciousness had significantly higher scores on behavioral outcomes and intentions associated with confronting racial discrimination and White privilege. These results suggest possible areas for targeted antiracist intervention, including incorporation of affective components and increased awareness of structural inequality.
Parigoris, Ryan, "Addressing the White Problem Critically: An Exploratory Latent Profile Analysis of Racial Attitudes" (2021). Graduate Masters Theses. 691.