The method of avoidance: Niceness as whiteness in segregated Chicanx schools

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3 Scopus citations


This qualitative study examines Chicanx students’ accounts of teachers’ (in)activity in classrooms regarding issues of racism and whiteness. Contextualised within the study of Arizona’s anti-immigration law SB 1070, it draws from individual interviews, focus groups, and observational field notes to describe students’ emotional responses to avoidance of studying SB 1070 and its related racial/ethnic issues. Findings include that students perceive teachers’ silence and avoidance to be a function of (1) teachers’ lack of experience or (2) teachers’ desires to maintain order. This order depends on avoiding discussions that disturb the emotional tranquillity of teachers and students who are at ease. However, this method of avoidance foregoes offering consolation to those students who are already troubled by oppressive actions. This dichotomy is analysed using the notion of the niceness of whiteness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-145
Number of pages18
JournalWhiteness and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • Avoidance
  • Chicanx
  • student perceptions
  • whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Demography


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