Perception of Racism and Colour Research Proposal

Pages: 8 (2840 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race


[. . .] However, this was far from the truth. The popularization of Jim Crow laws which permitted racial segregation was approved in many local and state governments in 1865; the same year slavery was abolished. Furthermore, even with the ratification of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendment, Black/African-Americans and other minorities were still treated as second class citizens and oftentimes refused the right to vote.

In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that de jure segregation (racial segregation) was legal in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Plessy, who was seven eighths White, was refused a seat in the "Whites only" section of a train car in Lousiana, and was arrested for his resistance. The Supreme Court approved the separation between Whites and minorities in public and private facilities. The separate-but-equal doctrine conceded that equal treatment was given to all when substantially equal facilities were provided for all, even when these facilities were separate. In actuality, the facilities were not substantially equal.

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More cases like Mendez v. Westminster School District (1946), disputing segregation in schools, appeared in courts. In the Mendez case, Mexican-Americans fought segregation in southern California schools, and in this particular case, segregation was found to be illegal... More minorities wanted equal facilities and education. In the well-known case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954), Black/African-American students were denied access to White schools. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ruling from the Plessy (1896) case and deemed the separate-but-equal doctrine unconstitutional. Ten years after the ruling in 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. The Act prohibited discriminatory acts based on "race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin." However, modern subtle forms of racism, often times harder to trace, seemed to take rise.

Modern Racism

According to Sydell and Nelson (2000), a modern racist has four core beliefs:

Research Proposal on Perception of Racism and Colour Assignment

1. Discrimination no longer exists because minorities can work among Whites in the business world and be able to enjoy their livelihood.

2. Minorities are too impelled to change the environment around them.

3. Methods that minorities use to change the environment are not fair.

4. The gains minorities have attained are thus unfair because minorities are receiving more consideration than they should.

The first belief is common among many individuals, both minorities and Whites. As discussed in the previous chapter, the term colour blind racism (Zamudio & Rios, 2006; Neville, Worthington, & Spanierman, 2001; Ponterotto et. al, 2006, p. 39) was coined because of the belief that a colour blind society existed. Despite its subtlety, racism and discrimination does in fact exist. It is because racism and discrimination still occur that the first belief is illogical.

The fourth belief is still very controversial. It is epitomized by the well-known case of the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), where affirmative action was questioned and the racial quota system was found unconstitutional. In this particular case, Bakke, a White male, charged the Regents of the University of California with reverse discrimination. A Black/African-American male with the same qualifications18was accepted into the medical school, instead of Bakke. He believed that he was not accepted into the medical school because he is White, and thus not a minority

Types of Racism: Laissez-Faire, Ambivalent, Aversive, Colour-blind, White Privilege.

Laissez-Faire racism (Ponterotto, 2006, p. 38) is referred to the beliefs that Whites may have about minorities in regards to their economic and political situations. Whites disregard historical and social factors that attribute to the poor economic situation many minorities live in. Rather, they attribute the poverty of minorities to their own inferiority (Ponterotto, 2006, p. 38; Hunt 2007). Ambivalent racism (Walker, 2001; Ponterotto, 2006, p. 38) is referred to the contradictory beliefs that Whites may have towards minorities. For example, Whites may believe that minorities are capable of doing one thing, like being accepted into a prestigious university, and incapable of doing another, like performing well in a particular job, or vice versa. Aversive racism (Ponterotto, 2006, p. 38) is referred to the conscious or subconscious belief that Whites are superior to minorities. Colour blind racism (Zamudio & Rios, 2006; Ponterotto, 2006, p. 39) refers to the belief, both Whites and minorities may have, that racism is no longer in existence, and race relations are no longer an issue. White privilege is oftentimes the unacknowledged benefits that Whites receive over minorities. As stated by McIntosh (1989) White privilege includes unearned entitlements and conferred dominance. Unearned entitlements are advantages that Whites receive over minorities. These entitlements can be complex as not having to represent one's entire racial or ethnic group at a given situation, or as simple as not getting harassed by a salesperson when entering a business. Conferred dominance refers to the concept that White individuals are ranked above minorities in most, if not all aspects. In fact, most elected U.S. government officials and corporate leaders are White males.


The research study will be based on the previous academic research. Aimed at exploring the academic experiences of students of colour, this study will also explore the previous literature on middle school culture and the academic experiences of immigrant students. Racism in schools, as well as racial identity development, will also be explored in.

The researcher will use these keywords to search the literature; immigration, academic experiences of immigrant students, immigrants and quality of education, racism, racial identity and development, and critical race theory. The researcher intends to use Education Resources Information Centre, ebrary, Education Research Complete, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, PsycINFO, Teacher Reference Center, Psychiatry Online, SAGE Journals Online, EBSCO, and Academic Search Complete found in the Walden Library to articles filed under education and psychology, dating from year 1995 to 2010.


Alon, S. & Tienda, M. (2007). Diversity, opportunity, and the shifting meritocracy in higher education. American Sociological Review, 72(4), 487-511.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

Cancian, M. (1998). Race-based verses Class-based affirmative action in college admissions. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 17(1), 94-105.

Dee, T.S. (2004). The race connection: Are teachers more effective with students who share their ethnicity? Education Next, 4(2), 52-59. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Donaldson, K.B. (1996). Through students' eyes: Combating racism in United States schools. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group

Hunt M.O. (2007). African-American, Hispanic, and White Beliefs about Black/White Inequality, 1977-2004. American Sociological Review, 72(3), 390-415.

Hunt M.O. (2007). African-American, Hispanic, and White Beliefs about Black/White Inequality, 1977-2004. American Sociological Review, 72(3), 390-415.

Massey, D., & Fischer, M. (2005). Stereotype threat and academic performance: findings from a racially diverse sample of college freshmen. Du Bois Review, 2(1): 45-67. doi: 10.1017/S1742058X05050058

McIntosh, P. (1989). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible backpack.

Mendez v. Westminster, 64 F. Supp. 544 (S.D. Cal. 1946).

Neville, H.A., Worthington, R.L., & Spanierman, L.B. (2001). Race power, and multicultural counseling psychology: Understanding White privilege and colorblind racial attitudes. In J.G. Ponterotto, J.M. Casas, L.A. Suzuki, & C.M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural counseling (2nd ed., pp. 257-288). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Nora, A., & Cabrera, A.F. (1996). The role of perceptions of prejudice and discrimination on the adjustment of minority students to college. The Journal of Higher Education, 67(2), 119-149.

Patcher, L.M., Bernstein, B.A., Szalacha, L.A. & Coll, C.G. (2010). Perceived racism and discrimination in children and youths. Health and Social Work, 35(1), 61-69.

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).

Ponterotto, J.G., Utsey, S.O., & Pedersen, P.B. (2006). Preventing prejudice: A guide for counselors, educators, and parents (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978).

Ponterotto, J.G., Utsey, S.O., & Pedersen, P.B. (2006). Preventing prejudice: A guide for counselors, educators, and parents (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978).

Suarez-Orozco, C., & Suarez-Orozco, M.M. (1995). Transformations: Immigration, family life, and achievement motivation among Latino adolescents. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Sydell, E.J., & Nelson, E.S. (2000). Modern racism on campus: A survey of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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