Racial arrested development: A critical whiteness analysis of the campus ecology

Nolan L. Cabrera, Jesse S. Watson, Jeremy D. Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


This paper analyzes the campus ecology (Renn, 2003, 2004) literature from the perspective of Critical Whiteness specifically problematizing perceptions of safety and inclusion on the college campus. Relying upon Sullivan’s (2006) ontological expansiveness, Mills’s (1997) epistemology of ignorance, and Leonardo and Porter’s (2010) Fanonian interpretation of racial safety, we argue that there is too high a premium placed on social comfort during the undergraduate experience which actually leaves White students at predominantly White institutions in perpetual states of racial arrested development. We conclude that intentional, targeted racial dissonance is necessary for both White students to develop their racial selves while concurrently being aware of the ugly realities of contemporary racism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of College Student Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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