Privilege as a Blind Spot to Understanding Struggle
- 300 Downloads
In this chapter, I analyze privilege as the defining context for my experience as a struggling student. As a critical higher education scholar, I had a good understanding of educational inequality prior to my experience as a struggling student. Being a student, however, gave me deeper insight into how privilege mitigates academic struggle. I came to understand the largely invisible ways phenomena like slack, the time wealth that allows some students the time and space to slow down and concentrate, account for discrepancies in students’ capacity to overcome academic challenges. I identify how privilege manifested in my educational journey prior to and including my experience in the TEFL program as well as the autoethnographic process that allowed me to discover this finding.
KeywordsAutoethnography Privilege Slack Sensemaking Identity
- Blum, S. (2017). “I love learning; I hate school”: An anthropology of college. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Carnevale, A. P, Smith, N., Melton, M., & Price, E. W. (2015). Learning while earning: The new normal. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Retrieved from https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/Working-Learners-Report.pdf.
- Clark, K. (2016, October 26). College prices hit new record highs in 2016. Money Magazine. Retrieved from http://time.com/money/4543839/college-costs-record-2016/.
- Denzin, N. (1984). On understanding emotion. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Denzin, N. (2013). Interpretive autoethnography (Vol. 17). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Denzin, N. (2016). Interpretive autoethnography. In S. H. Jones, T. E. Adams, & C. Ellis (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of autoethnography (pp. 123–143). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- DiAngelo, R. (2011). White fragility. The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 3(3), 54–70.Google Scholar
- Erpenbeck, J., & Bernofsky, J. (2017). Go, went, gone. New York, NY: New Directions Books.Google Scholar
- Kirsch, N. (2017). The richest 3 Americans hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the country, study finds. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/noahkirsch/2017/11/09/the-3-richest-americans-hold-more-wealth-than-bottom-50-of-country-study-finds/#626d98043cf8.
- Mullainathan, S., & Shafir, E. (2014). Scarcity: The new science of having less and how it defines our lives. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.Google Scholar
- Nader, L. (1972). Up the anthropologist: Perspectives gained from studying up. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 065 375). Retrieved from October 12, 2017, from EBSCOHost ERIC database.Google Scholar
- Reeves, R. V. (2018). Dream hoarders: How the American upper middle class is leaving everyone else in the dust, why that is a problem, and what to do about it. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
- Roberts, T. (2014). Negating the inevitable: An autoethnographic analysis of first-generation college student status. In R. Boylorn & M. Orbe’s (Eds.), Critical autoethnography: Intersecting cultural identities in everyday life. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Walker, A. J. (2009). A feminist critique of family studies. Handbook of feminist family studies. In S. Holman Jones, T. Adams, & C. Ellis Jones (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of autoethnography (pp. 18–27). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Weick, K., Sutcliffe, K., & Obstfeld, D. (2005). Organizing and the process of sensemaking. Organization Science, 16(4), 409–421.Google Scholar
- Yep, G. (2002). Navigating the multicultural identity landscape. In J. Martin, T. Nakayama, & L. Flores (Eds.), Readings in cultural contexts (pp. 60–66). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.Google Scholar