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ERIC Number: ED522524
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 235
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-5354-4
The Effects of a Working-Class Background on Community College Faculty: A Critical Ethnography
Dole, Susan McLaughlin
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston
Fields of inquiry intent on making social class differences visible and relevant in higher education and society at large are newly developing. Researchers continue to identify significant obstacles to degree attainment and hence to social mobility for working-class and low income students. A college student's social class background can significantly impact retention, completion, and transfer rates. This study asked fifteen full-time, doctoral trained, liberal arts community college faculty members from working-class backgrounds to reflect on their experiences in higher education and the intersection between their working-class and their new professional identities as academics. The following definition of working class was used: high school or less as the educational attainment level of both parents, parent(s) in blue-collar occupations, and/or grew up in low-income households. The conceptual frame that guided this investigation was based in social capital theory and focused on the following constructs: habitus/class habitus, language and voice, border-crossing, and power, politics and positionality. Using these constructs, the study explored the faculty participants' understanding of how their social class of origin affected their decision to enter the professoriate, informs their pedagogical approach with students, and shapes their experiences in the academic workplace. The findings indicate that participants recognized that the base of their identities is firmly entrenched in their working class backgrounds. They also recognized and were able to articulate where the dimensions of their past and present class status intersect and impact each other. They reported a strong commitment to assisting students in demystifying the text of higher education and to recognize and overcome the barriers to their success. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A