White university students' racial affect: Understanding the antiracist type

Kathleen S. Kordesh, Lisa B. Spanierman, Helen A. Neville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Prior quantitative research using the Psychosocial Costs of Racism to Whites scale (PCRW; Spanierman & Heppner, 2004) identified five racial affect types among White undergraduate students. To better understand the Antiracist type, the most racially aware and sensitive among the five types, the authors of the present study conducted two focus groups. One group comprised White students (n = 5) whose scores reflected the Antiracist racial affect type, whereas the other comprised White students (n = 6) who did not score as Antiracist. Using a modified version of the consensual qualitative research method (Hill et al., 2005; Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997), analysis revealed six topic domains: (a) manifestations of racial awareness, (b) experiences with diversity while growing up, (c) experiences with diversity at the university, (d) emotional responses to racial issues, (e) perceptions of the racialized mascot of the university, and (f) expressions of racism. Providing additional validation for the PCRW, findings indicated that White students in the Antiracist group differed in important ways on each of the six domains from those in the non-antiracist group. Moreover, the students classified in the Antiracist affect type demonstrated a number of similarities to how White antiracist activists have been described in the broader interdisciplinary literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-50
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychosocial Costs of Racism to Whites scale
  • White racial attitudes
  • antiracism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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