Got Solidarity?: Challenging Straight White College Men to Advocate for Social Justice

1st Edition

Jörg Vianden

Routledge
Published November 26, 2019
Textbook - 208 Pages
ISBN 9781138654839 - CAT# Y229131
Series: New Critical Viewpoints on Society

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Summary

The 21st Century in the United States continues to be marked by persistent disparities between members of different classes, races, genders, and sexual orientations. Influencers of this society seem bent on polarizing citizens along their diverse identities, often blaming those already disadvantaged for the nation’s apparent plights. Elite white men still benefit from a political, economic, and social hegemony and some ardently resist an egalitarian society. Preserving American democracy rests in the hands of young Americans committed to equity and social justice.

In Got Solidarity?, Jörg Vianden reports the results from the Straight White College Men Project, a nationwide qualitative study of how heterosexual white college men experience or perceive campus and community diversity issues. In college, few white men tend to engage in majors, discussions, or courses on diversity, inclusion, equity, or social justice. Indeed, many white men say that they have "no place" in these discussions, and more commonly assert that "diversity is not about them." Using a sociological perspective, the author chronicles their upbringing in families and schools, their perspectives on race, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as their trepidations on challenging oppression they notice taking place around them. Their stories lead to a renewed understanding of how white disengagement constrains progress toward a just society. This book offers strategies for enhancing college teaching and learning, adds to the body of research on identity development theory, and provides implications for improving campus climates, fostering social justice advocacy, as well as re-designing programs promoting understanding of human differences.

Written especially for straight white male college students, as well as for educators at all levels, this book underscores the critical need for whites to raise consciousness, activate empathy, and build solidarity with members of minoritized social groups. Given the current American predicament, Got Solidarity? makes a timely contribution to our understanding of masculinity and endeavors to create a just society.

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