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Mexican American Faculty in Research Universities: Can the Next Generation Beat the Odds?

Mexican American Faculty in Research Universities: Can the Next Generation Beat the Odds? Mexican Americans represent the largest Latina/o subpopulation and have the lowest levels of educational attainment in the United States. Mexican Americans are underrepresented in all professional fields, including academia, and thus warrant attention. The purposes of this study are to describe the experiences of early and mid-career Mexican American faculty, emphasizing key sources of inspiration, support, and mentoring, perceived discrimination, and their coping responses; assess the ways in which these factors influence their careers; and examine differences by gender and maternal education. Mixed methods were used to obtain information from 133 Mexican American faculty who participated in a larger national study of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty at research universities. Five major findings emerged: (1) early life course support sustained and encouraged educational aspirations, (2) mentorship from significant others provided valuable advice in developing social capital throughout higher education and early faculty experiences, (3) female respondents were more likely to report inadequate mentoring and higher levels of distress due to recurrent experiences of racially gendered discrimination, (4) strategies of resistance reveal high levels of emotional labor as respondents deconstruct the hidden curriculum to perform effectively in environments that are imbued with implicit bias, and (5) maternal education contributed to improved mentoring experiences and active resistance strategies. The findings suggest that expanding social capital–driven strategies and increasing understanding of persistent anti-Mexican social policy that leads to misidentification and implicit bias are key in retention and professional success for Mexican American faculty. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

Mexican American Faculty in Research Universities: Can the Next Generation Beat the Odds?

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2017
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649217716473
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mexican Americans represent the largest Latina/o subpopulation and have the lowest levels of educational attainment in the United States. Mexican Americans are underrepresented in all professional fields, including academia, and thus warrant attention. The purposes of this study are to describe the experiences of early and mid-career Mexican American faculty, emphasizing key sources of inspiration, support, and mentoring, perceived discrimination, and their coping responses; assess the ways in which these factors influence their careers; and examine differences by gender and maternal education. Mixed methods were used to obtain information from 133 Mexican American faculty who participated in a larger national study of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty at research universities. Five major findings emerged: (1) early life course support sustained and encouraged educational aspirations, (2) mentorship from significant others provided valuable advice in developing social capital throughout higher education and early faculty experiences, (3) female respondents were more likely to report inadequate mentoring and higher levels of distress due to recurrent experiences of racially gendered discrimination, (4) strategies of resistance reveal high levels of emotional labor as respondents deconstruct the hidden curriculum to perform effectively in environments that are imbued with implicit bias, and (5) maternal education contributed to improved mentoring experiences and active resistance strategies. The findings suggest that expanding social capital–driven strategies and increasing understanding of persistent anti-Mexican social policy that leads to misidentification and implicit bias are key in retention and professional success for Mexican American faculty.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2017

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