Article Summary

by VictoriaRosauri on November 14, 2016 - 8:43am

Nathan R. Todd, Elizabeth A. McConnell and Racheal L. Suffrin’s (2014) study examined the link between the awareness and attitude of White privilege and religious beliefs, and how it affects social justice through cross-sectional data, observational, and empirical research. In addition, the authors wanted to find evidence in colorblind racial attitudes and modern racism. The main hypothesis of this study was that there was a correlation between white privilege awareness and religion with an interest in social justice such as distribution of wealth, opportunity and privilege within a society (Todd, McConnell, & Siffrin, 2014, p. 110). The researchers asked 500 undergraduate white Christian students in an Introductory psychology course at DePaul University to participate for course credits. The authors analyzed multiple dependant variables such as white privilege awareness, social justice and religious conservatism to properly distinguish the relationship between people with white privilege and social justice as well as the relationship between religion and social justice. They used gender as the independent variable. While previous research focused on an older range of participants, Todd, McConnell, and Suffrin focused on students with an average age of 19.88 years old; 78.56% being woman. Once retrieving the results, each category was further broken down to properly assess a conclusion to the study. White privilege showed patterns of willingness to confront the privileges faced.  Although, white privilege awareness had a negative association with religious conservatism which further resulted in an indirect social interest through religion. Moreover, social justice positively linked to the willingness to confront white privilege whereas religious conservatism negatively linked to awareness of White privilege. With that said, being willing to confront white privilege is one step further to develop a non-racist identity. Religious beliefs about racial inequality are shaped through spiritual rather than factual ideologies (et al., 2014). Due to this statement, researchers concluded that that was the reason why the religion variable resulted in a reduced interest in social justice. Further studies involving religiously white Christian students will eventually be taking place to better understand the relationship between religion and social justice for racial equality.



Work Cited

Todd, R. Nathan, Elizabeth A. McConnell, & Racheal L. Suffrin (2014). The Role of

Attitudes Toward White Privilege and Religious beliefs in Predicting Social Justice Interest and Commitment. American Journal of Community Psychology 53, 109-121. DOI 10.1007/s10464-014-9630-x.


Response to Academic Research Article

            After reading “The Role of Attitudes Toward White Privilege and Religious Beliefs in Predicting Social Justice Intest and Commitment” by Nathan R. Todd, Elizabeth A. McConnell, and Racheal L. Suffrin, my knowledge grew on the topic of racial inequality and the factors that contribute to peoples’ attitudes toward white privilege. As we saw in class, white privilege is tied to the idea of having advantages granted as well as gained that results in being placed in a superior position in society. Throughout the read, the information regarding the variables being studied was clearly state. I enjoyed the fact that different domains such as religion (focusing on spirituality) and social aspects such as “race” were examined to demonstrate different views of social justice. This was eventually related to what racial inequality actually meant from the 500 white skin coloured participants. Although, I found that the study lacked clarity in explaining how they actually got the results. It was stated that the researchers used observational studies to gather information with surveys but it was difficult to understand how they followed through with this type of data collection. In sum, this research article really broadened my knowledge on this topic as it related the variables of this study with various life categories and challenged spirituality with science as well as sociology.

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