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Chapter 8 Advocacy in the Hyphen: Perspectives from Latina Junior Faculty at a Hispanic-Serving Institution

Women of Color in Higher Education: Turbulent Past, Promising Future

ISBN: 978-1-78052-180-0, eISBN: 978-1-78052-169-5

ISSN: 1479-3644

Publication date: 18 August 2011

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore how our backgrounds as mixed-heritage Latinas influence our work as junior faculty members at a four-year public Hispanic-serving institution (HSI). Drawing on the conceptual lens of intersectionality, we address the question: how do our multiple social identities affect our identity development and socialization as faculty members?

As part of a critical mass of junior Latina scholars studying educational issues pertinent to the Latina community, we build a sense of community in what can be an isolated environment for women faculty of color. Using our own examples, we examine how two faculty members who might be considered “outsiders within” the Latina/o community draw on their Latinidad as a source of strength to employ their academic work in advancing social justice for Latina/os. Our identities have influenced us to take into account multiple social categories and social contexts in the study of educational phenomena. Serving as faculty within the institutional context of an HSI has distinctively influenced our socialization as new faculty.

We believe that this examination has implications for understanding how people can build cross-cultural collaborations and identify productively with communities that may not necessarily recognize them as “authentic.” Our exploration also offers insights for building a more inclusive academy, particularly for junior scholars from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Based on the themes identified in this research, we draw recommendations for university personnel interested in the recruitment and retention of Latina junior faculty. More broadly, this research has implications for developing support systems for faculty members who have been historically underrepresented in their fields and those who study marginalized populations.

Citation

Nuñez, A.-M. and Murakami-Ramalho, E. (2011), "Chapter 8 Advocacy in the Hyphen: Perspectives from Latina Junior Faculty at a Hispanic-Serving Institution", Jean-Marie, G. and Lloyd-Jones, B. (Ed.) Women of Color in Higher Education: Turbulent Past, Promising Future (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 171-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3644(2011)0000009013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited