Immigrant Women, Academic Work, and Agency: Negotiating Identities and Subjectivities with/in the Ivory Tower

By Brandi Lawless and Yea-Wen Chen.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 30, 2015 $US5.00

The authors explore first-person stories, narratives, and discourses from self-identified immigrant women faculty members across intersecting subject positions (e.g., race, class, immigration status, etc.) regarding how they negotiate their subjectivity within the U.S. academe. Data includes interviews from 21 female faculty members from several universities across the United States. Participants immigrated from a total of 13 different countries, spanning four continents, and representing multiple disciplines. The authors utilized critical discourse analysis (CDA) to link individual experiences with wider societal ideologies. This study reveals findings regarding the simultaneous navigation of the citizenship discourses/processes and multilevel experiences with micro-aggressions. We suggest several implications regarding the treatment of “difference” in global education systems and the challenges for international faculty who participate in such systems. Based on these findings, we offer participants’ recommendations for successfully navigating these challenges and affirming the value of diversity in educational contexts.

Keywords: Immigration, Discourse, Higher Education, Body Politics, Micro-aggressions, Ideologies

The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 14, 2014, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 30, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 494.108KB)).

Dr. Brandi Lawless

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Dr. Yea-Wen Chen

Assistant Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA