Committed White Male Teachers and Identifications: Toward Creative Identifications and a “Second Wave” of White Identity Studies

June 2010

Source: Curriculum Inquiry, Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 454–474, June 2010.

Committed White male teachers of inner-city students seeks to supersede previous research on White teacher and other White identities by narrating respondents' “creative identifications” and initiating a “second wave” of White identity studies.

This research reflection articulates complex, viable, and creative White identities, reconceptualized here as creative identifications.
Using life history methodology, this research reflection articulates respondents' identifications as they emerge in life histories. Critiquing, engaging, and extending scholarship on White teachers, this reflection reveals respondents' recodings of White identifications and articulates how these recodings become useful in classrooms. Specifically, respondents recode bounded identifications, at times in progressive ways, using alternative media, illegal drug experiences, process spirituality, and other cultural resources in processes of “self” identification.

This reflection articulates these complex and nuanced White teacher identifications as they relate to classrooms and race visible, rather than color-blind, identifications.

These findings critique activist-interventionist research on White teachers' “false consciousnesses” for its essentialzing tendencies and suggest a move toward creative identifications and a “second wave” of White identity studies illuminating them.
The second wave of White identity studies, which this research exemplifies and calls for, emphasizes respondents' narrative becoming rather than essentialized being as a basis for a continued research on White identities.

Updated: Nov. 23, 2010