NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED549094
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 174
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-5187-6
Women of Color Navigating the Academy: The Discursive Power of Professionalism
Castro, Corinne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Temple University
This project examines the professional experiences of women of color faculty to uncover less visible mechanisms of inequality in the academy. It is a mixed-methods study with both qualitative and quantitative components. I address the limitations of past research by revealing how even despite the relative successes of women of color in academia, they continue to struggle daily with professional legitimacy and belonging. My main research question is: "How do women of color faculty at selected public research universities engage with discourses and practices of professionalism?" Professionalism refers to the taken-for-granted and seemingly neutral norms that guide workers in various institutions and organizations such as the university. Researchers have found that professionalization is both a gendered and raced process, where "doing" professionalism often requires one to perform both masculinity and whiteness. Professionalism only recently has been given attention in the literature regarding minorities' experiences of work, but little has been written about either the unique experiences of women of color or how professionalism functions at the university. Ultimately, this dissertation research uncovers two major paradoxes for women of color in relation to discourses of professionalism: first, although women of color are increasingly being incorporated into universities, specifically to fulfill the rhetoric of inclusion, they are structurally denied legitimacy as scholars and educators due to the fixed and immutable norms of professionalism. Second and related, although women of color faculty often successfully signal professionality through vigilant control of their dress, emotions, and demeanor, they nevertheless fail to garner professional legitimacy due the systemic invalidation of their professional priorities. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A