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ERIC Number: ED581740
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 243
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-3552-6974-1
Living in/between Two Worlds: Narratives of Latina Cultural Brokers in Higher Education
Lando, Jennifer Rose
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
The purpose of this narrative study was to explore how Latina cultural brokers understand their role in translating and interpreting complex, adult situations for their families, called cultural brokering, and how that background shapes their collegiate experiences. While much of the higher education literature in recent years has focused on the access, retention, and unique experiences of underrepresented students, little is known about the unique experiences of cultural brokers and their college processes. Methodologically, narrative inquiry was conducted through semi-structured interviews and multiple modes of coding and analysis. Ten Latinas from a large, predominantly white institution in the Midwest discussed the stories of their background and everyday experiences. Each distinct narrative was presented individually to preserve the women's voices and emphasize the students' unique lived experiences. The findings of this study were analyzed through four central themes: familial engagement, sense of independence and self-efficacy, seeking "The College Experience," and giving back. Additionally, Spanish language performance was seen as a cultural marker; cultural brokering was both advantageous to the family and to the broker, as well as a burden to the broker. As students prepared for or entered the college environment, familial engagement was a factor as students made decisions. In college, their cultural brokering background emerged, as students utilized what they gained in terms of utilizing the acquisition of authority, being a speaker or advocate, with a sense of accomplishment, independence and self-efficacy, and giving back, as they navigated college-going processes and sought "The College Experience." As a result, many of the participants stated that they often felt as if they lived "in" or "between" two worlds. This phenomenon of living in/between two worlds was compared to Gloria Anzaldua's (1987) "Borderlands." This is a new consciousness with a tolerance for ambiguity as students both maintain their ethnic identity and adapt to the college environment. A model of Cultural Brokering In/Between Two Worlds was presented, suggesting that navigating between the two worlds both overlaps and is fluid, which does not require students having to choose between multiple identities, ideologies and cultures. The results of the study may be beneficial for informing institutional policy, particularly in terms of academic programs, admissions, engaging parents, financial aid, and support services as well as behavioral and psychological aspects of campus climate. Additionally, since cultural brokers are living in/between two worlds, their ability to adapt to an otherwise unwelcome environment, with the support and engagement of their families, is a significant benefit. The students themselves have a set of experiences that foster a sense of independence, accomplishment, and self-efficacy that is not always present in traditionally aged college students. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A