Whiteness and Racism in Post Colonial British Children's Literature in England

By Rohan Jowallah.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The issues of whiteness is absent from most contemporary debates in England. There is the claim by many leaders, that England has a diverse society. This paper seeks to explore issues of racism and whiteness in post colonial British texts, used within school and the home. Taxel (1992, p.8) suggest that, ‘…there is a selective tradition in children’s literature favoring the perspectives and world view of the dominant social group’. This paper utilizes the ‘Critical Race Theory’ and incorporates the tenets of ‘Critical Literacy’ to explore a child’s reading materials within the home and incorporates the Case Study research approach. In order to employ the critical literacy approach, three mini lessons were used to explore reading texts selected by a class teacher. Bourdieu’s (1992, p.18), work is also cited in this paper, as his theory of ‘habitus’ underpins the historical issues and ongoing social issues that can influence the readers and writers in the coding and decoding of texts. The findings revealed that critical literacy can be used to highlight issue of whiteness and racism; however, there are specific issues that need to be considered before using this approach within the home.

Keywords: Whiteness, Racism, Critical Literacy

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.135-142. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 569.864KB).

Dr. Rohan Jowallah

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Early Childhood Studies and Special Needs and Inclusion, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall, West Midlands, UK

I am presently a senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton in England in the areas of Early Childhood Studies and Special Education and Inclusion. Presently, I am pursuing my EdD programme at the University of Sheffield. My research interests are in Critical Literacy, Inclusion, Diversity, Policy and Practice. I have over fifteen years of teaching experience and I have taught in Jamaica, England and United States. This has given me invaluable knowledge of the various educational systems.

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