Understanding Campus Space and Whiteness as Ontological Expansiveness
Keywords:Campus space, whiteness, urban institution, ontological expansiveness
This paper discusses findings of a quantitative, causal-comparative study that sought to determine if a statistically significant difference existed between a rural predominantly White institution and an urban minority serving institution in terms of their White American male students’ perceptions of Whiteness as ontological expansiveness. As the demographic makeup of the United States of America continues to become more diverse, so too are the colleges and universities that support students of all backgrounds. Given this shift, and understanding the need for social justice awareness, it is important to grasp how White students understand and take part in this shift. The study found low effect sizes and statistically significant differences between the two institutions as assessed by the study instrument, finding minority serving institution’s White American male students are slightly more accepting of their White racial identity and have a slightly higher affinity for social equality. Higher education institutions can utilize this data to assist in improving campus-based student activism as a rejection of the assumptions of Whiteness within the ivory tower. Thus, there is a pressing need for critical interrogations of Whiteness in higher education.
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