Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cultivando y Transformando: Communities of Women among Latinas in Academia
by Ramirez, Jenesis J., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2019, 398; 13885339
Abstract (Summary)

During its inception in the Colonial Era, higher education was founded for the purpose of educating aristocratic white men (Cohen & Kisker, 2010). Today, men continue to hold the majority of institutional leadership positions and white men surpass the representation of women and men of all other races in professorial positions (Albertine, 2015; NCES, 2018). The founding ideology of white patriarchy continues to prevail and adversely affect the experiences of Latinas in graduate school and in the professoriate (Gonzalez, 2007; Perez Huber & Cueva, 2012; Rodriguez, 2010; The Latina Feminist Group, 2001). Nonetheless, Latinas will be one-third of the population by 2060 and thus one-third of the future of our country lies in Latinas’ hands (Gándara, 2015). The transformation of academia from a white patriarchal to a Latina-engrained place is imperative because Latinas and our outcomes will shape the nation’s future significantly.

The purpose of this research study was to examine Latinas in academia’s communities of women in order to understand how being part of communities of women transforms the journeys of Latinas in academia. The study investigated how Latinas in academia make meaning of their communities of women, the funds of knowledge cultivated in Latinas’ communities of women, and how bodymindspirit is cultivated in Latinas’ communities of women. The design of the study and data collection and analysis were guided by Chicana feminist and mujerista epistemologies. Data was collected through three in-depth phenomenological interviews, along with the collection and examination of artifacts. Research results were presented through first-person narrative profiles (Seidman, 2013) and thematic analysis.

The study revealed that there are foundational elements in Communities of Women of Color including: pre-established conocimiento about el poder y el valor de la mujer; shared space and place; epistemological solidarity; and endurance and evolution through time. Furthermore, transformational experiences that occur in Communities of Women of Color manifest in: bodymindspirit wholeness; reciprocal emotional, academic, and/or professional support; paying it forward; and disrupting patriarchal and oppressive environments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garcia, Gina A.
Commitee: LeBaron Wallace, Tanner, Gonzales Rose, Jasmine, Gunzenhauser, Michael
School: University of Pittsburgh
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher education, Womens studies, Higher Education Administration, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Chicana feminist theory, Latina feminism, Latinas in academia, Latinas in higher education, mujerista epistemology, Narrative inquiry methodology
Publication Number: 13885339
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