White British Parents’ Perspective on Talking to Children about Race

Prof Doc Thesis

Payne, L. 2021. White British Parents’ Perspective on Talking to Children about Race. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89z0w
AuthorsPayne, L.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

In the United Kingdom there has been an increase in racially motivated hate crimes, overt racism and far right organisations. This comes after the divisive Brexit vote and an increase in awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. There continues to be educational, social and health inequalities experienced by Black and Asian communities. These inequalities and experiences of racism can impact the emotional wellbeing and mental health of racialised communities. This raises the question of how racism continues with previous research exploring what White individuals are being taught regarding race to form prejudice opinions.
Research in the United States has explored how White parents socialise their children to individuals from different backgrounds including how parents speak about race to their children. Most research has found that White parents are unlikely to have conversations with their children and frequently adopt a colour-blind approach that believes in order to prevent racism we should not be acknowledging or noticing race. This approach has come under criticism as researchers have found that this can perpetuate racism and does not stop children from developing discriminatory beliefs.
The political climate in the UK is different to that of the US and therefore this research aimed to explore whether White British parents are having race related discussions with their children, how they are approaching these conversations and what the barriers to these discussions are.
Fourteen semi-structured interviews took place with White British parents. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the results. The four themes highlighted influential factors to race discussions, three different approaches to these discussions, and the barriers and potential impacts of having these conversations.
Professional implications, limitations of the study and further research are discussed.

Keywords Racial and Ethnic Socialisation; Parenting; White Parents
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89z0w
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online12 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted08 Sep 2021
Deposited12 Nov 2021
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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