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Stubborn RootsRace, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. and South African Schools$
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Prudence L. Carter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199899630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199899630.001.0001

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The More Things Change, the More Threatening They Feel

The More Things Change, the More Threatening They Feel

White Youths' Attitudes on Equity

(p.119) 5 The More Things Change, the More Threatening They Feel
Stubborn Roots

Prudence L. Carter

Oxford University Press

Chapter Five focuses on the perspectives of white students who are the numerical “minority” in the U.S. and South African schools; yet, their racial groups maintain economic (and political—in the case of the United States) dominance within the contemporary era. This chapter compares American and South African white students' attitudes about race relations and opportunity; and it shares findings about their anxieties and fears and how they grapple with the tensions between their beliefs in equality and their disagreement with specific equity-minded educational practices. Findings reveal a significantly higher level of anxiety about economic prospects for White South African youth. Still, in both the United States and South Africa, White students were significantly more likely than Black and Asian students to believe that Whites experienced some educational discrimination and less likely to believe that Blacks experienced such discrimination. Chapter five raises some pressing philosophical questions about the interplay between institutional and collective wills regarding issues of educational equity and equality of opportunity for all members of a society.

Keywords:   attitudes, beliefs, equity, equality of opportunity, minority, South Africa, United States, white students

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