Lindsay Olson, PsyD, is a 2021 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.
Jude Bergkamp, PsyD, Committee Chair
Margaret Hagerman, PhD, Committee Member
Caryn Park, PhD, Committee Member
whiteness, dysconsciousness, racial-ethnic socialization, early childhood, relational, parenting, grounded theory
During an amplification of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, white children and parents have faced multiple interruptions to their protective territory of dysconscious whiteness—an uncritical approach to a structural status quo that favors white lives. Through semi-structured activities and interviews with ten children ages 3 to 9 and nine of their parents who observed these activities, I discovered a parent–child subsystem of dysconscious whiteness. White children and parents revealed aspects of this subsystem by grappling with dysconscious whiteness (grappling) as they struggled to avoid implicating skin color in resource inequality. Through grounded theory analysis of the process of grappling, I uncovered six tenets of a curriculum of whiteness, two parenting assumptions, and two parenting myths that motivated and stabilized children’s behavioral strategies for solving a problem of resource inequality. The relational interaction of children and parents affected the psychological tension between children’s strategies and parents’ reactions to those strategies. This relational dynamic is particularly salient to understanding white racial/ethnic socialization and children’s social cognition about race and whiteness during early childhood.
Olson, L. E. (2021). "The Candy Problem, Solved!": White Children and White Parents Grappling With Dysconscious Whiteness. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/742