Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

12-31-2018

Type (DCMI Terms)

text

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Ken Carano

Honors Program Director

Gavin Keulks

Language

eng

Abstract

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.

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