Race-Evasiveness among Camp Staff
Keywords:critical whiteness studies, summer camp, race-evasiveness
Camp staff have hope that summer camp plays a role in helping youth bridge differences. Educational research, though, raises concerns about preparing youth workers to combat racism (Jupp, Berry, & Lensmire, 2016). This study draws on prior school research and critical Whiteness studies to examine race-evasiveness among camp staff. Grounded theory analysis resulted in two major thematic categories of discursive strategies by which camp staff evaded critical engagement with antiracist discussion. First, camp staff upheld dominant racial understandings by invoking discourses of colorblindness and humanist caring. Second, they prioritized White comfort by neglecting youth of color and employing self-protective emotional tools of Whiteness (Picower, 2009). The research suggests areas of attention for scholars and camp staff trainers with regard to White staff’s race-evasiveness.
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