From "middle class" to "trailer trash:" teachers' perceptions of white students in a predominately minority school

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Abstract

This article explores how teachers perceived and interacted with white students in a predominately racial/ethnic minority school in Texas. On the basis of ethnographic data, the author found that different teachers expressed different views of the family and class backgrounds of white students in this setting, which ranged from "middle class" to "trailer trash." These views of social class stemmed from how teachers interpreted the whiteness of students in this predominately minority context and influenced how they reacted to these students academically. An interesting finding was that the black teachers and the white teachers had different perceptions of these white students. The black teachers typically saw the white students as middle class and good students, whereas the white teachers tended to view the students as low income and unremarkable students. The results of this study clarify the processes of teachers' perceptions and white advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-121
Number of pages23
JournalSociology of Education
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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