Cherie Bridges Patrick, Ph.D. is a 2020 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick at her Dissertation Defense.
Clockwise: Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Chair, Dr. Donna Jeffery, Committee Member, Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Member
- Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Donna Jeffery, Ph.D., Committee Member
Critical Discourse Analysis, Antiracism, Race, Racial Discourse, Racial Dominance, Racial Justice, Racism, Racism Denial, Social Work, Willful Blindness, Whiteness, Helping Professions, Social Justice Leadership, Willful Avoidance
This thesis explored social worker discourses to learn what they could reveal about professional workplace practices and experiences with race and racism. The study traced the subtle and elusive racism often found in everyday professional conversations that are not considered racist by dominant consensus. Using tools of thematic and critical discourse analysis (CDA), and van Dijk’s (1993, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2011) general theory of racism and denial (1992, 2008), data from 14 semistructured interviews and one focus group with a racially diverse group of social workers was analyzed in two ways. First, thematic analysis offered a horizontal or flat exploration that illustrated various manifestations of racism, denial, and whiteness. The second, vertical critical discourse analysis took a sociocognitive approach to examine underlying discourse structures that hold racism and whiteness in place. Findings suggest the presence of subtle and nuanced racism and whiteness in social worker discourses, and I discuss how these forces work in tandem to produce dynamics that preserve hegemonic structures and support dominant status. This power analyses brought attention to often overlooked forms of counter-power and resistance embedded in participant narratives. Inferences from focus group discourse illustrated four interpersonal capacities that supported constructive racial dialogue. Findings revealed vastly different racial experiences between Black, biracial, and White social workers in their professional settings. Implications for social work (and more broadly the helping professions) education, training, and leadership and change practices are provided. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Bridges Patrick, C. (2020). Navigating the Silences: Social Worker Discourses Around Race. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/560