Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Arab Americans: Striving for an Identity at Illinois
Author(s):Jammal, Daria
Fall 2009
EPSY 490
Abstract:On the US Census form, persons of Arab American or Middle Eastern descent are asked to check the “Not Hispanic, White” box. Although some Arab Americans do identify as white, many do not. This study investigated how two Arab American students at Illinois self-identify racially, what they think about their racial identity, and how they feel about checking the “White” box. The findings included three major themes: mixed feelings toward what to check for demographic purposes, positive perceptions of Arabs who identify as white, and a strong tie to the Arab American community and culture.
Issue Date:2009
Course / Semester:Educational Psychology 490
Developments in Educational Psychology: Whiteness and the University
Lisa Spanierman
This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary critical whiteness studies literature and addresses concepts such as white privilege, white racial identity development, and white anti-racism. It also focuses on various qualitative research methods that scholars use in the empirical investigation of whiteness. Throughout the course, we will consider the ways in which the various content and methods may apply to understanding whiteness at predominantly white universities.
As part of the Ethnographic University Initiative, we will work together to establish a collegial research community in the class. Thus, as you develop your independent research projects we all will have opportunities to give and receive feedback throughout the semester. My hope is that you will strengthen your understanding of the research process and your self-efficacy as researchers. By effectively investigating some aspect of whiteness at the University of Illinois, we will contribute in meaningful ways to understanding how whiteness operates in one of the contexts in which we live.
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-17

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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