Catching a New Wave?: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Racial Identity Development Theory
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHigher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) graduate programs use outdated identity development models from a primary source (Patton et al., 2016) to teach racial identity development to HESA graduate students and new professionals. Situated in a constructivist paradigm and influenced by the field of psychology, these theories promote life span, stage model approaches to identity which focus more on individuals than context. HESA faculty often teach these courses in the same manner in which they were taught (Harris, 2020), reproducing discourses in the field. Using a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) methodology, this study sought to determine what discourses were reproduced, how they contributed to upholding racial inequity, and how mixed-race identity development models may complicate these discourses. The findings showed that HESA syllabi need refreshing, the theories lack context, and Black, Indigenous, People Of Color (BIPOC) development models lack agency. As a result HESA faculty should use more critical and poststructural theory and engage in further research to examine how a multiracial lens can complicate understandings of race, agency, and authenticity.
Degree ProgramGraduate College