Identifier

etd-11042014-144333

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

My own past experiences and my doctoral work form the origin from which I have chosen to examine the relationship that exists between race-based experiences and gender identity experiences within women faculty members in higher education. Multiple studies that examine faculty members’ experiences related to race and gender-related issues were identified; however, these studies were specific to non-white women. I was unable to locate studies that are inclusive of race and gender experiences of white women, and I am interested in gaining a parallel sense of understanding of the relationship that exists between race and gender in order to draw similar patterns and trends between myself and the faculty members. This study is informed by scholarship that describes an intersectional approach. I am interested in exploring women faculty members’ perceptions of race and gender intersections and the way in which they view these intersections through their own identities as faculty members in a higher education setting. In addition, I also consider the agency of race and its role in education, white privilege, and feminism as informing factors framing this study. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to gather data from women faculty members. On a quantitative level, a questionnaire consisting of items related to faculty’s race and gender experiences was distributed. Based on responses from the questionnaire, six faculty members were chosen, and classroom observations were conducted. Finally, qualitative methods were utilized as interviews were held with the faculty members to fully address the ways the faculty members perceive race and gender intersections. Findings revealed while experiences among the faculty members are very similar, their perceptions vary about race and gender. Conversations consisted of topics such as race discussions in the classroom, white privilege, multiple perspectives of an African American female, defining the American Dream, and juggling motherhood and academia. This study is significant because, specific to race and gender and the way in which these characteristics interconnect, it carefully considers how experiences shape individual perceptions which can broadly progress a sense of diversity, equity, and justice within the setting of higher education.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland W

Included in

Education Commons

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