Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Mariela Agrawal Administration and Higher Education Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901 Abstract The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the self-identity and funds of knowledge (fok) of eight Latina faculty in relation to their understanding and conceptualization of academic scholarship. Two broad questions guided this research. First, how do Latina faculty understand and conceptualize academic scholarship, and second, how do perceptions of identity and life experiences influence this conceptualization? The underrepresentation of Latinas in faculty positions and the devaluation of the social capital of Latino communities prompted me to explore the relationship between the participants' ethnic identity, life experiences/funds of knowledge, and scholarship. I collected the data for this study through two interviews with each participant, a focus group, and written narratives. These methods allowed the women in this study to reflect upon their experiences growing up, their obstacles and opportunities in their journeys in higher education, the people who supported and guided them through their academic career, and their experiences with racism and discrimination as people of color. The major findings in this study include the conceptualization of scholarship as an act of intellectual engagement with a purpose and the influence of ethnic identity in faculty's academic scholarship based on discipline. The major implications of this study include the need to distinguish immigrant from non-immigrant Latina faculty in educational research, the importance of support systems outside the family, the importance of role models, and the influence of fok in the success of Latina faculty. As this research is not exhaustive, I recommend extending it to include academic socialization of Latino doctoral students, ethnic identity in relation to classroom pedagogies, and epistemologies of faculty of color that influence academic scholarship.
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