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Title:Articulando Chicana/Latina's critical narratives on their graduate experiences
Author(s):Cortez, Rufina
Director of Research:Darder, Antonia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Darder, Antonia
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Mayo, Cris S.; Lugo, Alejandro; Segura, Denise A.
Department / Program:Educational Policy Studies
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):higher education
Chicana/Latina doctoral students
critical theory
student activism
college persistence
critical narrative
decolonizing methodology
Abstract:This study examines the experiences of seven Chicana/Latina doctoral students and one queer Chicana/Chicano at a large, predominantly White public research university in the Midwest, using qualitative and interpretive research methods. To achieve this, I gathered eight semi-structured narratives with self-identified Chicana/Latina women and one queer Chicana/Chicano, who were doctoral students during the time of the study. Two methodological frameworks are employed in this work: critical narrative research and a decolonizing methodology. Critical narrative research is a methodological approach that incorporates a critical analysis of personal stories, the processes of storytelling, and the relationship between individual narratives and the larger cultural, political and economic conditions that inform their creation. A decolonizing methodology engages with imperialism and colonialism in ways that supports a critical understanding of the assumptions, motivations, and values informing research practices. I incorporated my testimonio as a tool to theorize oppression, resistance, and subjectivity. Homogenization of Chicana/Latina doctoral students recurs in literature, by examining their educational experiences, such as their schooling, class background, political identities, and the manner in which agency is exerted, is challenged by giving voice to these experiences. The narratives provide evidence of the lack of support, the numerous barriers, daily microaggressions, and the resiliency that came from the development of “personal communities” that Chicanas/Latinas experienced in their doctorate programs. I argue that in order to fully understand the experience of doctoral students one must use a “Community” of Theories for Understanding the Underrepresented Graduate Student Experience. These will in turn inform educational policy by providing institutions of higher education with possible areas of intervention to equalize the doctorate experience of Chicana/Latina bicultural students.
Issue Date:2013-05-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Rufina Cortez
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-28
Date Deposited:2013-05

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