The Socialization of Victimization: How White Male College Students Come to See Themselves as Racial Targets
Nolan Cabrera

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Arizona

Primary Discipline

Ethnic Studies
It has been extensively documented that White people in general, and White men in particular, believe that anti-White bias (i.e., “reverse racism”) is more prevalent than anti-Black. It is not understood how these perceptions form. Using a combination of Hurtado et al.’s (2012) Diverse Learning Environment framework and Feagin’s (2010) White Racial Frame, this research examines how White male college students are socialized to see themselves as racial victims. I will conduct semi-structured interviews with 50 White male students at the University of Arizona focusing on the roles the following play in this process: racial and masculinity ideologies, diverse interpersonal interactions, race-conscious programming, virtual space (e.g., Facebook), and Arizona’s racial politics. I will specifically focus on Arizona because it is a unique locale given the anti-Latina/o racial politics of 2010 (e.g., SB1070) that played off racial fears among the electorate and are still being contested. Frequently, proclamations of reverse discrimination derail discussions about creating inclusive campus environments. Thus, these perceptions represent key barriers to creating healthy campus racial climates, and understanding the socialization of victimization will illuminate methods of transforming it. This can help foster greater campus racial inclusion that increases the cognitive, emotional, and democratic learning for all students.
About Nolan Cabrera
Nolan L. Cabrera is an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. His primary research interests include Whiteness, racism, and racial dynamics in the college campus. Additionally, Dr. Cabrera is deeply involved in the controversy surrounding the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program. Specifically, he led the research team assessing the relationship between taking the classes and increased student achievement. Dr. Cabrera graduated from UCLA with his PhD in Higher Education and Organizational Change. Prior to that, he was a Director of a Boys and Girls Club in the San Francisco Bay Area. He completed his undergraduate work at Stanford University where he studied Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with and Education focus.

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