Discovering the Privilege of Whiteness: White Women's Reflections on Anti-racist Identity and Ally Behavior


  • This research received grant funding from the Faculty Research Support Fund of the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Kim Case, University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area, Boulevard #35, Houston, TX 77058 [e-mail:]


In the discussion group White Women Against Racism (WWAR), participants engaged in dialogue promoting self-examination of white privilege and anti-racist social action. Through qualitative analyses of field observations of group meetings and interviews, this study explores their engagement in the deconstruction of white privilege, white identity, and the challenges of anti-racist action for social change. The women examined whiteness through a lens of white privilege that opened new avenues to anti-racist white identity and activism. Participants also explored the influence of multiple identities and intersections with whiteness as sources of influence on their own anti-racism. The women conceptualized struggles with everyday anti-racist action as intertwined with privilege and social norms of silence. Although white privilege research typically focuses on classroom instruction or gaps in awareness, this study emphasizes the voices and experiences of White women to analyze white privilege awareness in relation to white anti-racist identity development and ally behavior.