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Being White in America: Development of a Scale

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The identity of Whites, or Whiteness, in U.S. society has affected interaction between the included and the unincluded and stimulated scholarly discourses from various perspectives. In this study, the concept of Whiteness is examined and operationalized via the newly developed, Being White in America Scale (BWAS). The BWAS was developed by the authors for empirically testing differences in the awareness of Whiteness between Whites and non-Whites. Three-hundred and fifty-five White and 270 non-White college students responded to an online survey containing the BWAS. The results provide empirical evidence for the postulation that non-Whites perceive the privileged positionality of Whites more conspicuously than do Whites themselves. Implications for future research using the BWAS are discussed.

Keywords: Being White in America Scale; Whiteness; Whites; non-Whites; race

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10646170490275332

Affiliations: California State University, San Bernardino, California, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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