I've Got a Story to Tell: Critical Race Theory, Whiteness and Narrative Constructions of Racial and Ethnic Census Categories
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Radhika Gajjala (Advisor)
Charles Kanwischer (Other)
Michael Butterworth (Committee Member)
Lynda Dixon (Committee Member)
This study examines the embedded nature of whiteness in the use of racial and ethnic categories on U.S. census forms. Specifically, this study focuses on people’s perceptions of racial and ethnic categories, how those categories have been historically used on U.S. census forms, and the relationship between this discourse on racial and ethnic categories and elements of whiteness. Like (Nobles, 2000), in this study, I argue that the rhetorical construction of race and ethnicity on census forms is not a trivial matter since the way that we structure these words and categories significantly influences how we understand them. Thus, this study practices critical rhetoric (McKerrow, 1989) and employs the use of critical race theory (Delgado & Stefanic, 2001) to investigate the relationship between the 20 counter narratives and the larger master narrative about racial and ethnic categorization in this country. Throughout this dissertation, I use Omi and Winant’s (1994) racial formation and racial projects to highlight several themes that emerge in the master narrative and counter narratives. By focusing on these themes, this analysis explores past, present, and future racial projects that may emerge in relation to the use of racial and ethnic categories on census forms and elements of whiteness.
LeFlore-Munoz, Candice J., "I've Got a Story to Tell: Critical Race Theory, Whiteness and Narrative Constructions of Racial and Ethnic Census Categories" (2010). Media and Communication Ph.D. Dissertations. 117.