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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7020021

Discourse from #TheRealUW: What Tweets Say about Racial Concerns at a Predominately White Institution

Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract

In March 2016, after a series of hate crimes victimized students of color on campus, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison started #TheRealUW movement against racism on campus. In order to exemplify racism on campus, students of color took to social media to share personal experiences and opinions on racism, affixing “#TheRealUW” to their posts. In this article, we analyze what students of color on the social media site, Twitter, spoke about and took issue against. The plurality of #TheRealUW tweets centered primarily on instances of subtle or explicit verbal racism. These experiences had impacted a variety of aspects of students of color’s lives, including mental health, housing, access to spaces, and overall quality of education. Students also discussed isolation, marginalized representation in the University’s decisions, and their relationship with authority. The many tweets clearly demonstrate the breadth of racism at predominately white institutions and indicate that inequality of peer and faculty social resources, opportunities, and experiences is a significant perpetuator of a variety of forms of racial inequality at predominately white institutions, but that racism in institutional and systemic forms is also an area of concern for students. View Full-Text
Keywords: race; race relations; higher education; predominately white institution; students of color race; race relations; higher education; predominately white institution; students of color
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Vachuska, K.; Brudvig, J. Discourse from #TheRealUW: What Tweets Say about Racial Concerns at a Predominately White Institution. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 21.

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