Microaggressive Hierarchical Intersectionalities

Small Stories of Women of Color in Higher Education

Authors

  • Kathryn Young Metropolitan State University of Denver

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18060/24210

Keywords:

campus climate, intersectionality, equity, diversity, cultural competence, higher education, race, gender, microaggressions, institutional development

Abstract

This article uses methods from narrative analysis to consider how the macro-level experiences of racism and sexism appear in micro-level small stories about hierarchical microaggressive intersectionalities (HMI) in higher education. Small stories shared by university faculty and administrators reveal that microaggressions were simultaneously experienced along the lines of race, gender and role in the institution. Themes emerge that link deprofessionalization, invisibility, and fatigue to these small stories. On a nuanced level, the narratives in this paper demonstrate how broader societal notions of women’s and women of color’s roles in institutions translate into a negative campus climate for those who experience HMI.

Author Biography

Kathryn Young, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Dr. Kathryn Young is a Full Professor in Secondary Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver and served as the Faculty Fellow with the Office of Institutional Diversity at the university. Dr. Young earned a Bachelor of Arts in French Education from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from North Carolina Central University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy from University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Young has worked as an educator for 20+ years with the past 12 years in higher education.

Before becoming a professor she taught French for a year, then English, Math and Science in the Peace Corps, then went on to be a special educator specializing in working with students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities. Her research interests include Disability Studies in Education, Inclusive Education, Cultural Competence, Diversity in Higher Education, and Microaggressions in Education and in the Workplace. Dr. Young is a trained facilitator of the Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI). She is also a leader in embedding Trauma Informed Practices (TIP) into higher education curricula. Dr. Young has 20+ published papers and numerous presentations across her research interests. She has presented numerous times on the topic of microaggressions and workplace bullying. Her newly published co-authored book with Dr. Myron Anderson is Fix Your Climate: A Practical Guide to Reducing Microaggressions, Microbullying, and Bullying in the Academic Workplace.

References

Ahmed, S. (2012). On being included: Racism and diversity in institutional life. North Carolina:

Duke University Press.

Alabi, J. (2014). Racial microaggressions in academic libraries: Results of a survey of

minority and non-minority librarians. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41, 47-53. doi: 0.1016/j.acalib.2014.10.008

Bamberg, M. & Georgakopoulou, A. (2008). Small stories as a new perspective in narrative and

identity analysis. Text & Talk, 28, 377-396. https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.018

Basford, T. E., Offermann, L. R., & Behrend, T. S. (2013). Do you see what I see?

Perceptions of gender microaggression in the workplace. Psychology of Women

Quarterly, 38(3), 340–349. doi:10.1177/0361684313511420

Boysen, G. A. (2012). Teacher and student perceptions of microaggression in college

classrooms. College Teaching, 60, 122-129. doi: 10.1080/87567555.2012.654831

Carter-Sowell, A. R. & Zimmerman, C. A. (2015). Hidden in plain sight: Locating, validating,

and advocating the stigma experiences of women of color. Sex Roles, 73(9), 399-407. doi: 10.1007/s11199-015-0529-2.

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative

analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Christensen-Mandel, E. M., (2019). Rankism in higher education: A critical inquiry of staff

experiences. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Denver]. ProQuest Dissertation Publishing.

Cho, S. K. (1997). Converging stereotypes in racialized sexual harassment. Journal of

Gender, Race, & Justice, 1(1), 177–211.

Cokley, K., Smith, L., Bernard, D., Hurst, A., Jackson, S., Stone, S., & Roberts, D. (2017).

Impostor feelings as a moderator and mediator of the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health among racial/ethnic minority college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64(2), 141-154. doi 10.1037/cou0000198

Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics

of empowerment (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Constantine, M. G., Smith, L., Redington, R. M., Owens, D. (2008). Racial microaggressions

against Black counseling and counseling psychology faculty: A central challenge in the

multicultural counseling movement. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86, 348-355. doi https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6678.2008.tb00519.x

Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist

critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics.

University of Chicago Legal Forum.

Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence

against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43, 1241-1299.

Crenshaw, K. (September 24, 2015). Why intersectionality can’t wait. Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/09/24/why- intersectionality-cant-wait/

Delgado Bernal, D. & Villalpando, O. (2002). An apartheid of knowledge in academia: The struggle over the “legitimate” knowledge of faculty of color. Equity & Excellence in Education, 35(2), 169–180. https://doi.org/10.1080/713845282

Dey, E. L. & Associates. (2010). Engaging diverse viewpoints: What is the campus climate

for perspective-taking? [Report]. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges

& Universities. Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/core_commitments/documents/

Engaging_Diverse_Viewpoints.pdf

Dill, B. T. (2009). Intersections, identities, and inequalities in higher education. In B. T.

Dill & R. E. Zambrana (Eds.), Emerging intersections: Race, class, and gender in theory,

policy, and practice (pp. 229–252). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Dyer, J., & Keller-Cohen, D. (2000). The discursive construction of professional self through

narratives of personal experience. Discourse Studies, 2(3), 283–304. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445600002003002

Fairclough, N. (1993). Critical discourse analysis and the marketization of public discourse: The universities. Discourse & Society, 4, 133–168. doi 10.1177/0957926593004002002

Fairclough, N. (2013). Critical discourse analysis and critical policy studies. Critical Policy Studies, (7)2, 177-197. https://doi.org/10.1080/19460171.2013.798239

Ford, K. A. (2011). Race, gender, and bodily (mis)recognitions: Women of color faculty

experiences with white students in the college classroom. The Journal of Higher Education, 82(4), 444-478. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-014-0275-8

Fuller, R. W. (2003). Somebodies and nobodies: Overcoming the abuse of rank. British

Columbia, Canada: New Society Publishers.

Garvey, J. C., & Drezner, N. D. (2013). Advancement staff and alumni advocates: Cultivating

LGBTQ alumni by promoting individual and community uplift. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 6, 199-218. doi: 10.1037/a0033452

Gee, J. P. (2000-2001). Identity as an analytic lens for research in education. Review of Research

in Education, 25, 99-125. https://doi.org/10.3102/0091732x025001099

Georgakopoulou, A. (2008). Reflection and self-disclosure from the small stories perspective: A

study of identity claims in interview and conversational data. In D. Schiffrin, A. De Fina, & A. Nylund (Eds.), Telling stories: Language, narrative, and social life (pp. 123-134).

Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Gilmore, A. D. (2003). It is better to speak. In A. K. Wing (Ed.), Critical race feminism: A

reader (2nd ed., pp. 114–119). New York: New York University Press.

Glaser, B. G. & Strauss, A. (1976). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative

research. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.

Gover, M. R. (2003). The narrative emergence of identity. Retrieved

from https://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~goguen/courses/275f00/gover-narr.html

Griffin, K. A., & Reddick, R. J. (2011). Surveillance and sacrifice: Gender differences in the

mentoring patterns of Black professors at predominantly white research universities. American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1032-1057. doi:10.2307/41306377

Gurney, L. J. & Grossi, V. (2019). Performing support in higher education: Negotiating

conflicting agendas in academic language and learning advisory work. Higher Education Research & Development, 38, 940–953. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2019.1609916

Gutiérrez y Muhs, G., Flores Niemann, Y., González, C. G., Harris, A. P., & Gonzalez, C. G.

(2012). Presumed incompetent: The intersections of race and class for women in academia. St. Lake City: Utah State University Press

Hassouneh, D., Akeroyd, J., Lutz, K. F., & Beckett, A. (2012). Exclusion and control: Patterns

aimed at limiting the influence of faculty of color. Journal of Nursing Education, 51, 314 –325. doi:10.3928/01484834-20120323-04

Hardy, C., Harley, B., & Phillips, N. (2004). Discourse analysis and content analysis: Two

solitudes?. Qualitative Methods, 2, 19-22. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.998649

Harlow, R. (2003). “Race doesn’t matter but…”: The effect of race on professors’ experiences

and emotion management in the undergraduate college classroom. Social Psychology

Quarterly, 66(4), 348–363. https://doi.org/10.2307/1519834

Hill, M. (1994). `They are not our brothers’: The disability movement & the black disability

movement. In N. Begum, M. Hill, & A. Stevens (Eds.), Reflections: The views of Black disabled people on their lives and community care. London: CCETSW.

Hirt, J. B. (2006). What do we really know about student affairs work? Where you work matters:

Student affairs administration at different types of institutions (pp. 1-17). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Holling, M. A. (2019). “You intimidate me” as a microaggressive controlling image to discipline

womyn of color faculty. Southern Communication Journal, 84(2), 99-112. doi:

1080/1041794X.2018.1511748

Hurtado, S., & Carter, D. F. (1997). Effects of college transition and perceptions of the campus

racial climate on Latino students' sense of belonging. Sociology of Education, 70, 324–345. doi:10.2307/2673270

Hurtado, S., Arellano, L., Griffin, K. A., & Cuellar, M. (2008). Assessing the value of climate

assessments: Progress and future directions. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(4), 204-221. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014009

Ingram, P. D. (2006). Commentary: The ups and downs of the workplace. Journal of Extension,

Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2006june/comm1.php

Janks, H. (1997). Critical discourse analysis as a research tool. Discourse, 18, 329–342.

1080/0159630970180302

Jean-Marie, G., & Lloyd-Jones, B. (Eds.). (2011). Women of color in higher education:

Changing directions and new perspectives. Bingly, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.

Jones, S. R. (1997). Voices of identity and difference: A qualitative exploration of the multiple

dimensions of identity development in women college students. Journal of College

Student Development, 38, 376–386.

Jones, S. R., Kim, J. C., & Skendall, K. C. (2012). (Re-)framing authenticity: Considering

multiple social identities using autoethnographic and intersectional approaches. Journal of Higher Education, 83, 698–724. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2012.11777263

Jones, T. B., Wilder, J. A., & Osborne-Lapkin, L. (2015). Beyond sisterhood: Using shared

identities to build peer mentor networks and secure social capital in the academy. In B. L. H. Merina (Ed.), Mentoring away the glass ceiling in academia: A cultured critique (pp. 143-159). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Kelan, E. K. (2009). Gender fatigue: The ideological dilemma of gender neutrality and

discrimination in organizations. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 26, 197–210. doi: 10.1002/cjas.106

Lewis, J., Mendenhall, R., Harwood, S., Huntt, M. B. (2013). Coping with gendered

racial microaggressions among Black women college students. Journal of African

American Studies, 17, 51–73. doi:10.1007/s12111-012-9219-0

Liebow, E. (2002). Tally’s corner: A study of street corner men. New York: Rowman &

Littlefield.

Lilienfeld, S. O. (2017). Microaggressions: Strong claims, inadequate evidence. Perspectives on

Psychological Science, 12(1),138–169. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691616659391

Lutz, K. F., Hassouneh, D., Akeroyd, J., & Beckett, A. K. (2013). Balancing survival and

resistance: Experiences of faculty of color in predominantly Euro American schools of nursing. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 6(2), 127-146.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032364

Mahtani (2004). Mapping race and gender in the academy: The experiences of women of colour

faculty and graduate students in Britain, the US and Canada. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 28(1), 91-99. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309826042000198666

McClure, E., & Rini R. (2020). Microaggression: Conceptual and scientific issues. Philosophy

Compass, 15, e12659 https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12659

McGee, E. O., & Kazembe, L. (2015): Entertainers or education researchers? The challenges

associated with presenting while black. Race Ethnicity and Education, 19(1), 96-120. doi: 10.1080/13613324.2015.1069263

Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San

Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Meyer, B. (2002). Extraordinary stories: Disability, queerness and feminism. NORA, 3, 168-73.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook.

Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Montoya, M. E. (2003). Máscaras, Trenzas, y Grenas: Un/masking the self while un/braiding

Latina stories and legal discourse. In A. K. Wing (Ed.), Critical race

feminism: A reader 2nd ed. (pp. 70–77). New York: New York University Press.

Nadal, K. L. (2013). That’s so gay! Microaggressions and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and

transgender community. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Nicol, D., & Yee, J. (2017). “Reclaiming our time”: Women of color faculty and radical self-

care in the academy. Feminist Teacher, 27(2-3), 133-156. doi:10.5406/femteacher.27.2-3.0133

Nixon, M. L. (2017). Experiences of women of color university chief diversity officers. Journal

of Diversity in Higher Education, 10(4), 301–317. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000043

Nowell, L. S., Norris, J. M., White, D. E., & Moules, N. J. (2017). Thematic analysis: Striving to

meet the trustworthiness criteria. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406917733847

Ong, M. (2005). Body projects of young women of color in physics: Intersections of gender,

race, and science. Social Problems, 52(4), 593–617. doi: 10.1525/sp.2005.52.4.593

Pérez Huber, L. & Solórzano, D. (2015). Racial microaggressions as a tool for critical race

research. Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 18, 297-320. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2014.994173

Pierce, C., Carew, J., Pierce-Gonzalez, D., & Willis, D. (1978). An experiment in racism: TV

commercials. In C. Pierce (Ed.), Television & education (pp. 62–88). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Pittman, C. T. (2012). Racial microaggression: The narratives of African American faculty at a

predominantly white university. Journal of Negro Education, 8, 82-92. doi: 10.7709/jnegroeducation.81.1.0082

Rockquemore, K. A. & Laszloffy, T. (2008.) The Black academic’s guide to winning tenure –

Without losing your soul. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Ropers-Huilman, R. & Winters, K. T. (2011). Feminist research in higher education.

The Journal of Higher Education, 82(6), 667-690. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2011.11777223

Runyowa, S. (Sept 18, 2015). Microaggressions matter: They may not always be ill-intentioned,

but the slights illuminate deeper problems in America. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/microaggressions-matter/406090/

Sanchez-Parkinson, L., Grim, J. K., Chavous, T. M., & Ting, M. (2018). The experiences of

academic diversity officers in schools/colleges. Paper presented at The American Educational Research Association. New York City.

Shields, S. (2008). Gender: An intersectionality perspective. Sex Roles, 59, 301–311.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-008-9501-8

Smedley, A. & Faye Hutchinson, J. (2012). Racism in the academy: The new millennium.

Commission on Race and Racism in Anthropology. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256441934_RACISM_IN_THE_ACADEMY_Toward_a_Multi-Methodological_Agenda_for_Anthropological_Engagement

Smith, W. A., Allen, W. R., & Danley, L. L. (2007). Assume the position... you fit the

description: Psychosocial experiences and racial battle fatigue among African American male college students. American Behavioral Scientist 51(4), 551-578. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764207307742

Smith, W. A., Yosso, T., & Solórzano, D. (2006). Challenging racial battle fatigue on historically

white campuses: A critical race examination of race-related stress. In C. A. Stanley (Ed.), Faculty of color teaching in predominantly white colleges and universities (pp. 299-327). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

Solórzano, D. (2018). Why racial microaggressions matter? How I came to answer that question

and why I do the work I do. In L. Perna (ed.), Taking it to the streets: The role of scholarship in advocacy and advocacy in scholarship (pp. 92-99). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Solórzano, D. G., Ceja, M., & Yosso, T. (2000). Critical race theory, racial microaggressions,

and campus racial climate: The experiences of African American college students. Journal of Negro Education, 69, 60–73. doi: 10.17763/haer.79.4.m6867014157m707l

Stuart, O. (1992). Race and disability: Just a double oppression? Disability & Society, 7, 177-

https://doi.org/10.1080/02674649266780201

Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life: Race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A. M. B., Nadal, K. L., &

Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62, 271–286. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.62.4.271

Sulé, V. T. (2011). Their rightful place: Diversity narratives, women of color agency and

transformation of the academy. In G. Jean-Marie & B. Lloyd-Jones (Eds.), Women of color in higher education: Changing directions and new perspectives (pp. 135–161). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3644(2011)0000010011

Sung, K. (2015). ‘Hella ghetto!’: (Dis)locating race and class consciousness in youth

discourses of ghetto spaces, subjects and schools. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 18(3) 363-395. doi: 10.1080/13613324.2013.792799

Taylor, C. (1992). Multiculturalism and “The Politics of Recognition.” Princeton, NJ:

Princeton University Press.

Thomas, C. (1999). Female forms: Experiencing and understanding disability. Philadelphia:

Open University Press.

Thomson, R. G. (1997). Extraordinary bodies. Figuring physical disability in American culture

and literature. New York: Columbia UP.

Thompson, G. L. & Louque, A. C. (2005). Exposing the "culture of arrogance" in the academy;

A blueprint for increasing Black faculty satisfaction in higher education. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Torres-Harding, S. R., Andrade, A. L., Jr., & Romero Diaz, C. E. (2012). The racial

microaggressions scale (RMAS): A new scale to measure experiences of racial

microaggressions in people of color. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority

Psychology, 18, 153–164. doi:10.1037/a0027658

Turner, C. S. V. (2002). Women of color in academe: Living with multiple marginality. Journal

of Higher Education, 73(1), 74-93. Retrieved from JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/stable/1558448

Turner, C. S. V., González, J. C., & Wong, K. (2011). Faculty women of color: The critical

nexus of race and gender. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 4, 199–211. doi:10.1037/a0024630

Turner, C. S. V., González, J. C., & Wood, J. L. (2008). Faculty of color in academe: What 20

years of literature tells us. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(3), 139–168. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012837

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated

Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). (2017). Headcount faculty, staff, students. Received by internal email on 9.17.2020.

van Dijk, T. A. (2008). Critical discourse analysis. In D. Schiffrin, D. Tannen, & H. E.

Hamilton (Eds.), The handbook of discourse analysis (pp. 352–371). Oxford: Blackwell.

Walker-Canton, R. (2013). Living thinkers: An autobiography of Black women in the ivory

tower. New York: Women Make Movies.

Watson, C. (2007). Small stories, positioning analysis, and the doing of professional identities in

learning to teach. Narrative Inquiry, 17(2), 371–389. https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.17.2.11wat

Wendell, S. (1996). The rejected body: Feminist philosophical reflections on disability.

New York: Routledge.

Winkle-Wagner, R. (2009). The unchosen me: Race, gender, and identity among Black

women in college. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Witherspoon Arnold, N., Crawford, E. R., & Khalifa, M. (2016). Psychological heuristics and

faculty of color: Racial battle fatigue and tenure/promotion. The Journal of Higher Education, 87(6), 890-919. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2016.11780891

Wong, G., Derthick, A. O., David, E. J. R., Saw, A., & Okazaki, S. (2013). The what, the why,

and the how: A review of racial microaggressions research in psychology. Race and

Social Problems, 6, 181-200. doi: 10.1007/s12552-013-9107-9

Young, K. & Anderson, M. (2018). Microaggressions in higher education:

Embracing educative spaces. In C. M. Capodilupo, K. L. Nadal, D. P. Rivera, D. W. Sue, & G. C. Torino (Eds.), Microaggression theory – Influence and implications. Hoboken, NJ.: John Wiley & Sons.

Young, K., Anderson, M., & Stewart, S. (2015). Hierarchical microaggressions in higher education. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 8(1), 61-71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038464

Downloads

Published

2021-02-15