Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Type (DCMI Terms)


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Ken Carano

Honors Program Director

Gavin Keulks




This thesis explores perceptions of racist language used in three secondary education social science textbooks. It will look at a textbook from each of the three main publishing companies in the United States. Included in this research is one very controversial textbook that recently came under fire for racist language. The sections in textbooks and their recent adaptations depicting American enslavement will be studied, as it is a topic that is underrepresented in American textbooks. This project will focus on identifying racist, misleading, and problematic language in textbooks and begin to delve into the potential effects of language utilized in secondary education history classrooms. Racism is a topic that is difficult to measure or quantify, therefore experts in the field will be deferred to in order to define perceived racism and other major definitions necessary for this thesis. By analyzing and comparing the language used in these textbooks, attention will be drawn to potentially silent or hidden racism. Also, an intent of this thesis is to inform people that racism is not always hateful or obvious in design. The main aim of this thesis is to draw attention to any racist, misleading, or problematic language found, explain why it may be racist, and discuss the potential impact of the language to people who perceive racism in the textbooks.

Rights Statement

Western Oregon University Library has determined, as of 04/04/2019, this item is in copyright, which is held by the author(s). Users may use the item in accordance with copyright limitations and exceptions, including fair use. For other uses, please ask permission from the author(s). Email contact information can be found on the cover page attached to the front of the downloaded item.



Rights Statement

In Copyright

In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).