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Cultivando y Transformando: Communities of Women Among Latinas in Academia

Ramirez, Jenesis J. (2019) Cultivando y Transformando: Communities of Women Among Latinas in Academia. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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During its inception in the Colonial Era, higher education was founded for the purpose of educating aristocratic white men (Cohen & Kisker, 2010). Today, men continue to hold the majority of institutional leadership positions and white men surpass the representation of women and men of all other races in professorial positions (Albertine, 2015; NCES, 2018). The founding ideology of white patriarchy continues to prevail and adversely affect the experiences of Latinas in graduate school and in the professoriate (Gonzalez, 2007; Perez Huber & Cueva, 2012; Rodriguez, 2010; The Latina Feminist Group, 2001). Nonetheless, Latinas will be one-third of the population by 2060 and thus one-third of the future of our country lies in Latinas’ hands (Gándara, 2015). The transformation of academia from a white patriarchal to a Latina-engrained place is imperative because Latinas and our outcomes will shape the nation’s future significantly.

The purpose of this research study was to examine Latinas in academia’s communities of women in order to understand how being part of communities of women transforms the journeys of Latinas in academia. The study investigated how Latinas in academia make meaning of their communities of women, the funds of knowledge cultivated in Latinas’ communities of women, and how bodymindspirit is cultivated in Latinas’ communities of women. The design of the study and data collection and analysis were guided by Chicana feminist and mujerista epistemologies. Data was collected through three in-depth phenomenological interviews, along with the collection and examination of artifacts. Research results were presented through first-person narrative profiles (Seidman, 2013) and thematic analysis.

The study revealed that there are foundational elements in Communities of Women of Color including: pre-established conocimiento about el poder y el valor de la mujer; shared space and place; epistemological solidarity; and endurance and evolution through time. Furthermore, transformational experiences that occur in Communities of Women of Color manifest in: bodymindspirit wholeness; reciprocal emotional, academic, and/or professional support; paying it forward; and disrupting patriarchal and oppressive environments.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ramirez, Jenesis J.jenesis.ramirez@gmail.comjjr79
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGarcia, Gina A.ggarcia@pitt.eduggarcia
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.edumgunzen
Committee MemberLeBaron Wallace, Tannertwallace@pitt.edutwallace
Committee MemberGonzales Rose, Jasminejrose@pitt.edujrose
Date: 26 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 February 2019
Approval Date: 26 June 2019
Submission Date: 7 May 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 397
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Latinas in academia; mujerismo; Latina feminism; Latina feminist theory; Chicana feminist theory; communities of women; bodymindspirit; funds of knowledge; narrative inquiry; Latinas in higher education; mujerista mentoring
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 19:07
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2019 19:07


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