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Title:Remembering where we’re from: Community and individual predictors of college students’ White privilege awareness
Author(s):Blevins, Emily Jade
Advisor(s):Todd, Nathan R
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):racial attitudes
ecological systems
socioeconomic status
Abstract:Awareness of White privilege is associated with greater support for affirmative action and greater engagement in racial justice action (Pinterits et al., 2009; Yi et al., 2020). With notable exceptions (e.g., Spanierman et al., 2009), research has typically investigated White privilege awareness as an individual-level variable, though evidence suggests that residential environments may also influence racial attitudes (Brittian Loyd & Gaither, 2018; Glaser, 1994; Hagerman, 2020). In this study, we combine survey and U.S. Census data to explore both individual- and community-level predictors of White privilege awareness. With a sample of 1,285 White college students, we found that gender, modern racism, social dominance orientation, and subjective socioeconomic status (SES) significantly predicted White privilege awareness. After accounting for these individual-level variables, we found that some characteristics of students’ hometowns (defined by zip code) continued to predict White privilege awareness. More specifically, greater income inequality was associated with higher White privilege awareness, while greater White racial homogeneity was marginally associated with lower White privilege awareness. There was a significant interaction between community-level White racial homogeneity and individual-level subjective SES, such that students with high subjective SES and low White racial homogeneity had the highest White privilege awareness. This study highlights the importance of examining how different facets of ecological context matter in relation to White Americans’ racial attitudes.  
Issue Date:2020-07-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Emily Blevins
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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