Working Our Way Out of Privilege: Lessons from South Africa on Preparing White Americans for a National Transitional Justice Process

Main Article Content

Susan Wysor Nguema

Keywords

social work, whiteness, truth and transformation, reconciliation, racial injustice

Abstract

This study utilized difference-in-differences analysis to determine likelihood of confidence in four major public institutions over three periods of time in South Africa and the United States, two prior to South Africa’s transitional justice process and one after.  Results indicate that Black South African confidence rose while White South African confidence dropped drastically.  American confidence levels, for both races, remained relatively consistent over all three time periods.  The drastic drop in White South African likelihood of confidence points to possible feelings of loss related to power and privilege.  These results provide insight for social workers interested in addressing racial injustice in the United States, particularly for White social workers seeking to prepare White individuals for what a transitional justice process may look like and the resulting feelings of loss from the creation of a more equitable state.

Abstract 41 |

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