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Protecting white privilege a legal historical analysis of desegregation in Kansas, 1881-1951 /

by (Jamie Beth), 1964- Lewis

Abstract (Summary)
This legal history of desegregation in Kansas traced how a social movement working toward the attainment of equal educational opportunities was replaced by a discourse of desegregation. It addressed the following research questions. (1) How were educational practices and policies related to the schooling of African Americans produced in Kansas from 1850-1949? (2) How was a social movement working toward the attainment of equal educational opportunities replaced by a discourse of desegregation? (3) How did legal discursive practices protect white privilege in the struggle to desegregate education? This study found that the simplification of the struggle for equality of educational opportunity into the issue of desegregation neglected the contingent foundations on which the legitimization of power is constructed and failed to take into account the shifting and contested terrain of the ideological battle regarding identity politics in the United States. Additionally, legal discursive practices operated in ways that controlled the parameters of the Kansas Supreme Court decisions as a result protected white privilege. The legal “both/and” space created by the Brown II decision provided a mechanism through which the hegemonic practices of white privilege could be reinvented in ways that both satisfied the legal mandates of desegregation, and protected “white” power and privilege. Finally, the discourse of desegregation protected white privilege by allowing it to sidestep how race, class and gender intersect and impact equal educational opportunities and focus on numbers , not quality of education. As a result, many impoverished children and children of color are left behind pleading for an equal education.
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School:The University of Georgia

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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