The purpose of the study was to describe both the nature of racism as experienced by adolescent self-described victims in the province of New Brunswick and their response to the perceived racist incidents. A qualitative methodology based on the constructivist paradigm was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with non-White adolescent victims of racism and with parents of victims. Although the study was initiated in response to an eruption of publicity about teenage racial violence, the findings indicate that racist incidents were not a new phenomenon for the participants. They described a low-key but long-term problem that had begun when they entered the public school system. Name-calling was by far the most common form of racism identified and it played a part in most of the other incidents described; dismissed as harmless by authority figures, it appeared to have long-term consequences for its targets. The participants' response to racism was found to have three phases: splintered universe, spiralling resistance, and disengagement. The results suggest that nurses working in the field of school health should address issues of racism among children and adolescents.
ReprintIn: Can J Nurs Res. 2009 Mar;41(1):108-2619485048