White Women Teachers and the Possibilities of Harm Reduction
Daniels, Julia R.
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This dissertation explores the potential of harm reduction principles to illuminate and mitigate the harmful effects of Whiteness on public schooling. More specifically, this project explores the potential of harm reduction to allow White women teachers to engage the harmful effects of Whiteness in their majority-student-of-Color public secondary school classrooms. I employ critical understandings of Foucauldian power and Whiteness in order to articulate the effects of Whiteness and power – even as I rely on post-structuralist understandings of subjectivity and discourse to illuminate the ways that Whiteness and power can be neither surmounted nor overcome by individual subjects. I draw from literature on teacher identity, Critical Whiteness Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, Foucauldian understandings of power, and Hall’s framing of ideology and articulation to reimagine our theoretical and embodied understandings of White teachers’ Whiteness. In the tradition of Participatory Action Research, this project relied on an intensive yearlong collaboration with four White female public high school teachers in majority-student-of-Color classrooms. By engaging directly, collaboratively, and critically with Whiteness, this project offers new vocabularies and possibilities for educational equity and racial justice.
- Education - Seattle