Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2015 Issue »

    The Shaping of Postcollege Colorblind Orientation Among Whites

    Residential Segregation and Campus Diversity Experiences

    UMA M. JAYAKUMAR
    In this article, Uma M. Jayakumar investigates the cumulative impact of experiences with segregation or racial diversity prior to and during college on colorblind ideological orientation among white adults. An analysis of longitudinal data spanning ten years reveals that, for whites from segregated and diverse childhood neighborhoods, some experiences in college may increase colorblind thinking, while others may facilitate a greater understanding of the racial context of US society. Segregated white environments, or white habitus, before, during, and after college are associated with whites’ colorblind ideological orientations, with negative implications for racial justice. Campus racial diversity experiences can play a role in diminishing the influence of white habitus but are not necessarily doing so. In other words, the challenges of addressing colorblind orientation are greater for white students from segregated neighborhoods and high schools who also tend to choose segregated white campus environments and are less likely to engage across race lines while in college. This study speaks to the need for more direct interventions addressing colorblind ideology among white college students. The findings suggest that racial diversity and integration are potentially disruptive but insufficient conditions for unlearning harmful colorblind frames.

    Subscribers, click here to access this article. 
    Uma M. Jayakumar is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, where she cofounded the Higher Education and Student Affairs master’s program. Her scholarship and teaching address racial justice and policy issues in higher education, with a focus on how institutional environments such as campus climates and cultures shape college access and outcomes and how students experience and resist barriers to inclusive engagement. Jayakumar’s research has been generously supported by postdoctoral fellowship awards from the National Center for Institutional Diversity (2008–2009), the National Academy of Education/Spencer (2013–2014), and the Ford Foundation (2014–2015). Her work has been featured in Educational Researcher, Journal of Higher Education, Harvard Educational Review, Diverse Magazine, and numerous amicus briefs submitted to the Supreme Court in favor of the University of Texas in Fisher v. University of Texas. After completing her doctoral work in Higher Education and Organizational Change at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jayakumar received the 2007 Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education. More recently, she was honored with the 2015 Dr. Carlos Vallejo Memorial Exemplary Scholarship Award from the Multicultural/ Multiethnic Education special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. 
  2. Share

    Winter 2015 Issue

    Abstracts

    The Risks We Are Willing to Take
    Youth Civic Development in “Postwar” Guatemala
    MICHELLE J. BELLINO
    Cultural Capital and Transnational Parenting
    The Case of Ghanaian Migrants in the United States
    CATI COE AND SERAH SHANI
    Toward Disciplinary Literacy
    Dilemmas and Challenges in Designing History Curriculum to Support Middle School Students
    LESLIE DUHAYLONGSOD, CATHERINE E. SNOW, ROBERT L. SELMAN, AND M. SUZANNE DONOVAN
    The Shaping of Postcollege Colorblind Orientation Among Whites
    Residential Segregation and Campus Diversity Experiences
    UMA M. JAYAKUMAR
    Black Male College Achievers and Resistant Responses to Racist Stereotypes at Predominantly White Colleges and Universities
    SHAUN R. HARPER

    Book Notes

    Learning to Improve
    Anthony S. Bryk, Louis M. Gomez, Alicia Grunow, and Paul G. LeMahieu

    How Did You Get Here?
    Thomas Hehir and Laura A. Schifter