New Study Finds Widespread Racism Among White College Students

New Study Finds Widespread Racism Among White College Students

A study by Joe R. Feagin of Texas A&M University and Leslie H. Picca of the University of Dayton has found widespread racial prejudice among white college students. The sociologists analyzed 626 journals kept by white college students during the 2002-03 academic year at colleges and universities across the United States. Their analysis of content found that whites frequently use the word “nigger” when referring to blacks when they are alone with their white friends. Racial stereotypes about blacks being prone to criminal behavior, having hyperactive sex drives, and being lazy were commonplace in journal entries.

The researchers found that white college students are polite to their black peers to their face and when adults are in earshot. But in the safety of their inner circle of white friends, racist statements and behavior are not much different than they were generations ago.

The findings will be released in a new book entitled Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage published this spring by Routledge.

4 thoughts on “New Study Finds Widespread Racism Among White College Students

  1. I’m really curious about the details of this. Did the students write about these conversations in the journal? How do the data collectors know about these conversations? And I wonder what the results would be if non-white, non-black students were analyzed. This isn’t a suprise to me, but I also wonder how often this is due to white kids appropriating black slang (as in “my n****,” “n**** please,” etc). That is SO much more common and socially accepted than an overt racial slur (another byproduct of “colorblind racism”). I think it is also the case that many white people feel comfortable sharing that sentiment with not just other white people, but with non-white, non-black people (because they assume they’ll agree, and I’m sure that they’re often right).


  2. I look forward to reading the book. I am curious too. Did the journals reference conversations or were the students candid about their views. People like to pointto the fact that African Americans use the N-word as an excuse for why so many whites insult us with it. But trom my anecdotal experience (even in liberal Cali) of being called the N-word, or hearing from racially ambiguous black people who have caught their friends saying some racist joke or racist remark, I don’t think it is appropriating the N-word. “Racial stereotypes about blacks being prone to criminal behavior, having hyperactive sex drives, and being lazy were commonplace in journal entries.” I also don’t think racist white people have a problem sharing their racist sentiments with another non-white person that may have adopted racist views in order to uphold their model minority status. Many times non-white ethnicities, especially immigrant groups, claim to have special license to be racist because they are “not white.” But this is another conversation: immmigrant black divide and how do we overcome it.


  3. I believe it. I’m sure my dh was under the impression that AA had over active sex drives before he married me. The other day I had a pimple on my face and I never get them and I asked him, “how many times have you known me to have a pimple?” He said, “never, maybe you are a late bloomer.” Then he stoped, enthusiastically looked at me and said, “hey maybe you will become like a horny teenager! That usually goes along with pimples”. ROFL!!!


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