In the name of morality: Moral responsibility, whiteness and social justice education

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31 Scopus citations


This paper argues that the 'traditional conception of moral responsibility' authorizes and supports denials of white complicity. First, what is meant by the 'traditional conception of moral responsibility' is delineated and the enabling and disenabling characteristics of this view are highlighted. Then, three seemingly good, antiracist discourses that white students often engage in are discussed - the discourse of colour-blindness, the discourse of meritocracy and the discourse of individual choice - and analysed to show how they are all grounded in the 'traditional conception of moral responsibility'. The limitations of these discourses are drawn and how these discourses work to conceal white complicity is established. Finally, implications for social justice education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-290
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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