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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis qualitative study uses in-depth interviewing to illuminate the experiences of nineteen faculty and build on my own experiences “teaching up” – teaching as faculty from a traditionally marginalized group(s) about privilege – to understand how faculty experience these situations and make meaning of them. Findings revealed racialized gender differences with regard to student resistance. Men of color reported more subtle resistance from students while women, particularly women of color, faced disrespect, harassment, and even death threats. Impression management was particularly salient for faculty of color and most important at the beginning of their career. Racialized gender differences emerged in terms of faculty preferences for how students addressed them and whether feminist pedagogy was appropriate. For Black faculty it was important to bring their culturally authentic selves to the classroom. This was expressed in multiple ways including modeling culturally authentic dress and modes of speaking and sharing reflexively about their own privilege and oppression. The literature on teaching about privilege is written primarily by Whites for Whites. This study addresses that gap by adding marginalized voices as well as moving beyond the one-dimensional current focus of race-based White privilege. Most research emphasizes race, but by utilizing a more multi-dimensional intersectional analysis, this study expands our understanding about teaching about privilege beyond concepts of race to discuss gender, sexual orientation, and ability. It further exposes the inherent racial bias in feminist pedagogy. This study also adds to the research on marginalized faculty by specifically focusing on teaching and classroom experiences from an intersectional perspective. It extends the concepts of controlling images (Collins, 2000) and circumscribed agency (Deil-Amen & Tevis, 2009) by illuminating how they operate in the lived experience and teaching practices of marginalized faculty. Additionally, I add to the funds of knowledge literature by shifting the focus from the students to marginalized faculty and asserting that instead of a deficit-based approach, institutions should focus on the specific funds of knowledge that marginalized faculty have to offer. Finally, I offer a framework for understanding how faculty academic identity is shaped for marginalized faculty who work within hegemonic academia. I show how controlling images are used as a mechanism to reinforce hegemonic ideas, how faculty’s hyperawareness of those controlling images leads to a sense of double-consciousness (DuBois, 1903), and how that awareness is relevant to the ways they attempt to enact agency by shaping their impression management techniques and their faculty academic identity. This study provides concrete suggestions for faculty in terms of classroom management, personal demeanor, teaching about privilege, institutional context, and dealing with student resistance. I propose expanding the funds of knowledge framework to include the unique perspectives and life experiences traditionally marginalized faculty bring to the classroom. I propose that a focus on the funds of knowledge offered by marginalized faculty will allow them to express more freely their culturally authentic selves, model a multiplicity of ways of being a professional academic, and allow them to create holistic faculty academic identities. Finally, I posit a paradigm shift from the innumerable pedagogies being offered in various disciplines to a focus on an intersectional andragogy.
Degree ProgramGraduate College