Ale - i Ropers-Huilman, B. (Ed) (2003). Genderedfi higher...

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Unformatted text preview: i Ropers-Huilman, B. (Ed) (2003). Genderedfi higher education: Critical perspectivesfor change. Albany: State University of New York Press. NOTICE: THIS MATERIAL MAY 9 BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW 7' (TITLE 17 U5. CUBE) Gender, Race, and Millennial Curiosity Ana M. Nlartinez Aleman In this chapter, the significance and importance of a raced deliberation of gen— der in higher education scholarship is considered. The failure of higher educa- tion research and scholarship to explore the many ways gender and race are interdependent and dynamic elements of identity and thus significant for the development of consciousness and conduct are examined. Given the continued and growing participation of all women in postesecondary education, continue ing to disregard gender’s racial details and distinctions in higher education research and scholarship is a dangerous trend for this new millennium. When asked to contemplate for the pages of the New Yoriz Time: Magazine the prospects for the twenty—first century, noted author Stanley Crouch sur— mised that “race, as we currently obsess over it, will cease to mean as much 100 years from today" (Crouch, 1996, p. 271). Crouch speculated that the “interna- tional flow of images and information” would change the realities of lives on the planet, realities that will reflect a material reshaping and ideological recon- struction of race. Crouch rightly predicts (given the demographics of immi- gration, migration, diaspora, exile, interracial births, and the real and virtual collapse of cultural and national borders) that how Americans have come to know and understand race, how our behaviors have been shaped by this con— sciousness, will be a historic curiosity. What is absent from and implied by Crouch’s prognostication is itself a "curiosity" of gendered significance. Crouclfs view of “race,” not unlike those of other writers and scholars of this century, is an experiential Schema free of the complications presented by gender. He submits us to an account of “race,” meaningfully constructed within present and Future politics, that is apparently free of experiential interruptions and that is somehow independent of the ef- fects of gender and gender relations. The realities that will be recast by Crouch’s ideological shift in the twenty—first century appear to have no sexual or gender differences, no positions within consciousness other than the specter of “race.” Implicit in this view, then, is the supposition that “race” is and will be similarly experienced by all, that such an experience is and will continue to be 179 180 GENDER, Race, AND MJLLENLAL Cumosrrv normative, and that experiencing “race” can be independent of all the ways our bodies are conferred, including appropriate gendered meaning. Based on an ex— planation of “race” that obscures or ignores other markers of identity, it is a grossly simple and highly suspect prediction. “Race” consciousness Without a consideration of such behavioral and experiential realities like gender is mis— representative and illusory:1 Such deception, problematic in any examination of Our varied associations, warrants careful scrutiny if post—secondary scholars are to honestly examine how race, or in Crouch’s words, “race consciousness,” will shape the future of higher education. I am confident that the material and ideological realities that Crouch correctly identifies will alter the place and position of race in the col- lege and university of Ainerica’s twenty—first century. But as women of color2 outnumber men of color on college campuses, and as the enrollment of all women in higher education continues to exceed that of men (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1996}, can we in American higher education validly speculatc the fiiture of “race consciousness“ in higher education without ac— counting for gender? If women of color now account for a quarter of all pro~ fessidnal degrees (B abco, 1997), can we accept a configuring of race on campus that does not weigh the significance of gender? But the growing number of women of color on college and university campuses should not be the sole reason for a deliberate inquiry into the inter— section Of race and gender. As systemic arrangements for relations between in— dividuals and betvveen individuals and institutions, race and gender can provide higher education scholars with an example of the varied and complex ways campus life is experienced. How, for instance, as challenges to affirmative ac- tion marked the end of the twentieth century, is African-American women’s access to higher education differently impacted from that of EuropeaneAmer- ican women? If such antiaffirmative measures as California’s Proposition 209 are deemed attempts to decreaSe minority enrollments at selective colleges and universities (Bowen 5c Bok, 1998, p. 32; Burdman, 1997, p. 32), are Black women applicants subject to further discrimination because they are also women? Are such antiaffirmative action policies also inherently sexist? Are women of color “under the doublejeopardy of gender and race discrimination" (Busenberg 8c Smith, 1997, p. 150)? Examining the links between gender and race in higher education also en- ables us to reveal discriminatory practices that WOLle otherwise go undetected. For example, Patricia Hill Collins (1991) notes that within the academy many Black women scholars find their work deemed invalid because their claims challenge both masculinist and racist views. Because this scholarship demands a view of the nexus of race and gender in a way that neither obscures nor as— sumes a static relationship between these two markers of identity, it is often unsupported in academic settings. Scholarship that posits the kinds of ques— tions and explanations that dispute accepted knowledge of Black women’s Ana M. Martinez Aleman 181 realities is often rejected within the academy. in a profession in which profes- sional opportunities and reputations are anchored to the credibility of one’s re— search, the Black woman academic is oftentimes dismissed as an inadequate or irrelevant contributor. Thus, if we as higher education researchers and scholars were to examine a Black academic woman’s presence across faculty ranks, we would necessarily have to ask ourselves how her peculiar position as both raced and gendered researcher impacts her participation. How have we in higher educational research and practice come to under- stand race? Do we assume it to be a universal and essential marker of identity? Has posteseconda‘ry scholarship come to accept a view of race free of the effects of gender and gender relations? RACE AS "HISTORIC Cumosrrv” IN HIGHER EDUCATION In the twentieth century, the view of race in America as universal enabled higher education scholars to think about race as genderAfree. As higher educa- tion scholars, we typically regard “race” as a genderless experience always in bi— nary opposition to whiteness. In other words, when we invoke “race” in our scholarship or research, we do not ordinarily mean whiteness, and we presume no apparent effects from gender. The presumption of a genderless race, how- ever, is inaccurate despite the attempts to universalize its claims. As noted an- thropologist Franz Fanon dictates in “The Fact of Blackness“ (1998), “For not only must the black man be black; he must be black in relation to the white man” (p. 62). “Race” here is gendered but presumes (by implication) no signife icant effect from its gendered status. The “black man” here implies several things. First is that by using the term “man” to include both men and women, Fanon does not believe that gender difference matters when considering race. Fanon’s “race” seems an overarching cultural construct in opposition to white ness and independent of all else. But let us recall that Fanon’s view of race is that of “the black man” in opposition to the “white man" (emphasis mine). 50 is a fact of “race” gender after all? It appears that in Fanon's definition of blackness is a common ontological error regarding gender. Gender difference in a View of race like Fanon's is im* possible because gender difference is rendered irrelevant by either patriarchal or racist predilections, or both. To have “race” is to be not—White and not-female. Fanon’s “black man" is a reflection of societal disregard and discounting of women, a linguistic convention that acts as a social mirror, “reflecting the orga— nization and dynamics of the society of which it is a part” (Adams 5cWare, 1989, p. 470). Situating women's experiences obscurely within men’s experir ences constructs women as men’s derivative, consequently composing women's lives “in essentially male terms, from a male point of view, or with male inter— ests in mind" (p. 472). Such a generic view of our realities resonates with many 182 GENDER, RACE, AND MILLENIAL Cumosrrv cultures’ conceptual views of women, often suggesting an accepted view that it is natural or inevitable. Thus, Fanon’s “black man,” generic and inclusive of Black women, sounds reasonable within patriarchal societies. And within these same societies there will be an understanding and acceptance of “race” as a gen— derless category. A similar ontology can he observed in poet Nikki Giovanni’s (1993) “Black is the Noun.” In response to threats of assimilation she writes that “[t]he noun is “black”; American is the adjective” (p. 122). In saying that “Black is the noun” and that all other objects of its hyphenation are simply its dependent modifiers, Giovanni demands an understanding of race in America that is elemental, bi- nary and gender—free. Such an understanding of race epitomizes what Darlene Clark Hine (1993) argues is the problematic nature of race consciousness in America. Clark Hine asserts that Black identity has been understood in this country as a phenomenon in which “Black11ess”{or the racial difference from Whites) is its subjectivity, leaving no room for such constructs as gender or so- cioeconomic class (p. 351). A consequence of the impact of W’. E. B. Du Bois’ 1903 landmark treatise on race in America, The Soul ofBZat/e Fall, to be “Black” is to'be understood as universal. Du Bois, asserts Clark Hine, “gave the term “Negro” a generic meaning” (p. 338) and in doing so, firmly rooted race con— sciousness (minimally) as genderless and classless. The meanings given to bcing “Black” in America, by virtue of this universal and nonspecific construction of race, have helped to conceal the effects of gender. Du Bois’ “Negro,” according to Clark Hine, allows for the omission of the impact of gender because it rein- forces a uniform construction of race not subject to the sociopolitical forces of sexism, homophobia, and so on. “Black” becomes a noun needing modification, a pure and universal position premised on patriarchal norms. “Black” comes to be understood as inclusive of both men and women, particular to neither but reflecting solely the view of the former. The fact that Black women’s experi- ences may differ from those of Black men is unaccounted for here and, conse— quently, leaves the discourse of race free of the contamination of gender. As African—American feminist Kristal Brent Zook (1995) notes: Many in my generation intuitively understand that black women don’t always think or feel or even look black in the “authentic,” stereotypical sense of the word. We don’t always think or feel or look like “women.” But we are black. We are women. (p. 89) Thus, “race” is considered and investigated in our institutions and social arrangements as a unitary entity, a sterile representation of reality that is false, or at best, partial. Simple and absolute, our consciousness about “race” confines us to facile and inaccurate accounts of existence. These same concerns arise in the writings of Latinasfi Native Indian, and Asian American women. Tracy Lai writes of the specifically gendered realities Ana M. Nlartinez Aleman 183 of Asian American women. Lai (1991) reminds us that all of the forces that shape the experiences of Asians in the United States exact a gendered effect. For example, although Asian men have historically been used as a means of Cheap labor, Asian women were not as desirable because “women would hear children who could legally claim citizenship rights in the United States” (p. 127). T his dubious and racist double standard in labor practice prevented many Asian women from immigrating to, and making economic claims on, America, yet these same views enabled Asian women to immigrate as maile order brides (p. 129). Sold to U. 5. men as docile and subservient, many Asian women fOund themselves in the crosshairs of misogyny and racism, having to endure degradation and sexual humiliation. Simultaneously experiencing their own cultural estimations of the secondary status of their sex and the exoti- cizatiOn of their race by American White men, these Asian women struggled under the accepted cultural renderings of race and gender. Recent Asian refugee women endure a similar reality. Treated as property in their native countries, they may not consider domestic violence as an intolerable offense, and may not report the abuse to authorities for feat of racist and anti—immie grant prejudices (Duhois, 1991, p. 357). Thus, handcuffed by gender and race, these women live at the intersectiOn of sexism and racism. Indian women in the United States, finding themselves at a peculiar in- tersection of gender, race, and colonization, enact performances accordingly. In 1981 Indian and other women gathered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to ad dress the educatiOnal opportunities of lndian girls and women. In these ref search sessions and invited talks, scholars and activists argued for recognizing and addressing Indian girls’ and women’s distinctive race and gender positions. In a discussion of Indian women’s omission from educational textbooks, Rayna Gteen (1981), a Cherokee woman, reminds the audience that Whites perpetuate a gendered view of Indians that, when coupled with their view of Indians as racial other, can be psychically dangerous for Indian women. Green rightly understands that the dominant image of lndian women found in text— books is that of gendered race traitor. lVIuch like the Aztec princess Mali— nitzin, whose historical image is that of a woman who “sells out” her race to the inVading Hernan Cortes, Indian women like Sacajawea and Pocahontas {the only Indian women typically found in schoolbooks) are valued for their contributions to Whites or, better put, for aiding the enemy. Whites construct these images of Indian women that suggest to her that her only worth is her ability to serve them, a demoralizing prospect for her selfeworth. Such a con— ceptualization can leave lndian girls confiased about their worth as Indian women, as tribal women. Her Indianness, coexisting with and inextricably bound to her gender, acquires a contestable quality rendering her gender equally suspect. In this conception, her most salient attributes—her gendered race—(she is only a gender and a race; she is not a personality) acquire perniv cious relevance. 184 GENDER, RACE, AND MLLENIAL CURIOSITY As Green (1981), Lai (1991) and other women of color attest, under standing their lives requires acknowledging the ways their identities are multi- ple, fluid, and dynamic. Employing a “plural consciousness” (Mohanty, 1991, p. 36), these women remind us that their lives require a negotiation of multiple oppressions and relations of power in daily lifc. Positioned as historical identi— ties and thus subject to the mcanings assigned to their bodies and behaviors, these women speak of lives in which no one facet of their identities can ade— quately explain them. Further, each makes it clear that to understand her as a “raced” individual is to locate her within one particular condition in associa— tion with and against other conditions, and not as a generic existence. Even when she can annul racial differenCe by passing as White, she is still a gendered body that “could be beaten on the strect for being a dyke" (Moraga, 1983, p. 29). In other words, these women of color are notjust nouns, “Asian” or “Black,” notjust race. It is evident, then, that these are not lives in which facets of identity are ranked, held in isolation, or considered additive. Race, gender, sexuality, class, and so on, function as concomitant and coexisting attributes that invariably have bearing on identity. Properties of culture implicitly historical, these markers of identity are always relevant and their stratification falsely assumed. Moraga is not ethnicity first, sexuality second. Green is not first a woman and then Indian. Each condition of her identity is never really taken to be independent of any other, despite transitory importance given solely to one. African—American legal scholar Patricia Williams (1991) may subscribe to an Afrocentric critique of legal education in the United States, but the reproach is also gendered: My abiding recollection of being a student at Harvard Law School is the sense of being invisible. I spent three years wandering in the murk of Unreality. I observed large, mostly male bodies assert themselves against one another like football players caught in the gauzy mist of intellectual slow motion. (p. 55) Williams, a Black woman, finds herself in a man’s game (played by both Black and White men), its rules, strategies, and comportment all bearing an alien gender temper. Julia Alvarez’s exiled Dominican protagonist, Yolanda Garcia in How The Garcia Girls Lost Tbcirflrtentr (1992) and its sequel, 1Y0! (1997), crafts an iden— tity within and against a confusing state of simultaneous gender and ethnic de— terminations. Resisting and negotiating the gender and ethnic expectations put on her by two contrasting cultures, Yolanda Garcia must be Dominiramz, woman and Dominican; and amerimnizada, Americanized Latina. Yolanda employs a self—decided and mediated life of gendered expectations and ethnic performances. Never can she exist without the pluralities of ethnicity and gen- der, never can she be “Yo” in cultural or gendered stasis and never can she be Ana 1V1. Martinez Aleman 185 just one thing or just the other.‘ Yolanda, like Moraga (1983) and Williams (1991) know their lives to be about the junctures of imposed and consequential meanings, positions they attend to selectively as well as collectively. Listening to her aunts1 directives that Yo'must adhere to the gendered rules governing the behavior of upper-class Dominican young ladies, Yolanda Garcia, now Amen icanized and critical of these gendered restrictions, ponders her moment of ethnic acquiescence: She sat back quietly, hoping she has learned, at last, to let the mighty wave of tradition roll on through her life and break on some other fe- male shore. She plans to bob up again after the many donth to do what she wants. (Alvarez, 1992, p. 9) Feminist philosopher Elizabeth Spelman (1998) argues that any analysis of race or gender requires not an additive analysis, nor one in which markers of identity are treated in isolation. Rather, writes Spelman (1998), the lives of women must be understood as embodiments of an extensive network of con- crete experiencesThese experiences, historical and cultural, determine identity not by their very existence but by the significance attached to them (p. 30). The significance given to her gender, or her sexuality, or her race is not ordered or tiered to suggest primacy or preference. To engage in such an establishment of hierarchical identities, asserts Spelman (1998), is to believe that “one form of oppression is merely piled up upon another" (p. 27), thus concealing and de- emphasizing the effects that race and gender have on one another (p. 23). For example, Black women, according to Spelman (1998), experience racism not in the same way as Black men experience it and they do not experience sexism in the same way that White women do (p. 27). She writes: How one form of oppression is experienced is influenced by and in- fluences how another form is experienccd. An additive analysis treats the oppression of a Black woman in a society that is racist as well as sexist as if it were a further burden when, in fact, it is a dyfimnt burv den. (p. 27) (emphasis mine) According to Spelman (1998), it is this difference in her“‘burden"S that is the critical issue in theorizing and researching the experiences of women of color, and thus “the crucial question is how the links between them are con- ceived” (p. 23). The intersections of race and gender for women on our cam— puses must also bring about differences in accountability, differences in development, differences in comportment. But do higher education scholars and researchers attend to the confluence of race and gender and its signifi- cance? Do those of us who study and theorize higher education policies and practices engage in appraisals of the concomitant identifications of race and 186 GENDER, RACE, AND MILLENIAL CURIOSITY gender in such a way as to understand the significance of their coexistence? As researchers and scholars, do we miss the significance attached to their intersec- tion and, in doing so, overlook and disregard the difference in this “burden”? GENDER AND RACE IN HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP Since the 1960s, scholars for whom higher education in the United States has been an object of study have investigated race and gender, albeit in problematic ways. The vast majority of literature on higher education in the last 40 years has not attempted to understand how race and gender are linked and conse— quential for the educational lives of women. Rather, the last four decades of scholarly work in the twentieth century have resulted in empirical projects that typically have not been mindful of the importance and consequence of this shifting and vaeillating positionality. The mutual dependence of race and gen— der and their confluence has often been ignored in these studies. When they are the focus of investigation, these sociocultural positions are invariably config- ured as independent constructions. There is little discussion of the influences that race and gender have on each other, nor on how these impact women’s par— ticipation and experience in higher education. There is little inquiry into the fact that the intersection of gender and race presents lived collegiate experi— ences with special and verifiable truths about post—secondary life. The post—secondary research literature of the 19605 began our formal conversation about race and gender in at least two ways. First, this literature discussed White women’s historic place in American higher education. Sec— ond, it considered race framed largely by prognostications about the effects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title Vll’s inclusion of higher education. It was not until the 19705 that we began to see scholarly focus on race and gender, even if solely as factors to be measured in relation to enrollment patterns, at— trition and retention, and financial aid. In this decade, researchers primarily concerned themselves with demographic shifts within the collegiate popula— tion of women and racial and ethnic minorities, and not with environmental factors or affective conditions impinging on women’s and non~White students’ campus experiences. It was not until the later years of the decade and the be— ginning of the 19805 that the discourse of diVersity and multiculturalism, feminism and gender studies suggested that race and gender should be incor— porated into research. Additionally, perhaps reacting to the social and fiscal conservatism of the 19805, researchers and scholars of higher education began to thoughtfully engage in questions about the quality of campus life for women and minority students as a consequence of these policies. For example, the 1987 Commission on Women in Higher Education—spOnsored report, “The New Agenda of Women for Higher Education: A Report of the ACE Ana M. Martinez Aleman 187 Commission on Women in Higher Education," asserted that the 1980s were a time in American history in which “women’s issues" were as “compelling” as they had ever been (1988, p. iii). Experts who contributed to the report were asked to consider how a college or university could “commit itself fully to meeting the educational needs of women” (p. v). These educational needs, the Commission reported, were informed by the sociocultural and economic changes that prevailed in the 19805: the “superwoman” who must be both the nontraditional professional wage earner and traditional mother and Wife; the paucity of women in top leadership roles across all professional fields (the glass ceiling phenomenon); salary inequities; and sexist policies (e.g., mater- nity leave as “disability leave;" sexual harassment). The idea that there was a campus “climate” that could be assessed, espe- cially in relation to the college and university’s new and nontraditional partici— pants, took hold during the 19805 with race and gender remaining separate analytical categories. Hall and Sandler’s (1982) groundbreaking study on “class— room climate” presented higher education with a gendered View of pedagogical experience. Suggesting that as a consequence of preferentially gendered teach ing and curricula the college and university classroom can be a “chilly” one for women students, Hall and Sandler (1982) challengcd higher education re searchers to critically examine the values and assumptions of higher learning. Long—held views about the value of argumentative claserOm speech, the in— dictment of women’s classroom silence, the implicit and explicit communicate tion of expectations for women students on the part of faculty and administrators, curricular exclusion and/ or stereotyping of women’s contribu— tions, and outright hostility toward women’s participation in the intellectual en- terprise were foreground and, consequently, deemed important for research. But despite the impact of the “chilly climate" study and other scholarly crie tiques (e.g., poet and author Adrienne Rich’s [1985] supplication that higher education must take all women “seriously” and Carol Gilligan’s [1982] chal- lenge to the application of masculinist views of developmental progress to women), the study of gender continued to focus on comparative analyses of women’s participation, whether as students or faculty, their academic segrega— tion, professional choices, and the newly articulated “sexual harassment.” In the 1990s researchers expanded their view of the “chilly climate” issue, considering such things as the relationship between power and pedagogy and gender, and the cognitive needs of women. Studies examined women and mentoring, women faculty and tenure, testing and gender, leadership and gender, women students' persistence and aspirations. Feminist scholarship, despite its clear message about the intersection of race and gender, seems not to have made a substantive impact on the research decisions at this time despite the growing acceptance and expansion of qualitative research methodology. “Women,” a subset of the category “nontraditional” student (the others being “minorities,” "foreign," "older," “part~time,” “disabled,” and “academically underprepared”), 188 GENDER, RACE, AND MILLENLAL CURIOSITY was in the 1990s largely conceptualized as a static research variable. It is only in qualitative, naturalistic, or ethnographic studies that participants were asked to also consider their racial or ethnic particularity. Yet even in those studies of the 19905 that presented the intersection of race and gender, the critical examina— tion of that epistemological position was an infrequent exercise. Often our qualitative studies in the 19905 acknowledged the intersection of race and gen— der in particular phenomena, but rarely did we as researchers engage in episte— mological scrutiny of the meanings inherent in those intersections. Like studies on gender, the research on race in the 1970s attended to en- rollment, attrition, and retention patterns with little concern for the affective variables that makes race salient in American society. It was not until the 1980s that studies On the implications of race were guided by the possibility that in- stitutional cultures may thwart the progress of its non—White students and fac— ulty. The rise in enrollment of non-White students and its consequent anxieties over support services, curricular relevance, and organizational policies also trig- gered an investigative interest in race. Trend analyses such as Daryl Smith's (1989), The Challenge g‘DicJerriry.-Inmloement arfllz'endrimz in rbeflraderrry, were representative of the research of the era. Framed as a response to the challenges that racial and ethnic minorities and women were bringing to higher education, the principal objectives of studies like this were often organizational and func tional. They were not attempts to understand race in any subjective way. The challenges to the neutrality of knowledge brought to academic research by critv ical, postmodern, and feminist theories found limited expression in race studies in higher education and as a consequence, race remained presumed as static and as singular as gender. Even in the decade of the 19905 when we in post-sec- ondary research concerned ourselves with the relationship of race to campus cli— mate and student satisfaction, we often failed to systematically scrutinize race from other than dominant epistemological paradigms. Studies that considered the transmission of tacit knowledge and its relationship to college success, stud— ies that tried to understand the role of race in postesecondary socialization, like the studies of gender, failed to render the category dynamic, multidimensional, and epistemologically politicized. Even in our aggressive attempts to combat the antiaff1rmative policies of the late 19905, higher education researchers and scholars invoked race as a stable and generic condition. It did not occur to us to wonder if policies such as California’s Proposition 209 exacted a uniquely tangi- ble effect on women of color and how their educational lives were modified. In the decades since 1960, American post-secondary scholarship on race and gender reveals that the principal research concerns have been enrollment, persistence, and the participation patterns of women and minorities as separate categories of analyses or as categories to be compared to men or Whites. Whether considered as variables in quantitative analyses or as dimensions of experience in qualitative research, race and gender are most often either com- pared to the referent group7Whites or men—or methodologically brought to— Ana NI. Martinez Aleman 189 gether as finite categories momentarily coexistent. It is methodology that forces the intersection, implying that their concrete coexistence matters only as a cone sequence of methodological manipulation, that a simultaneously raced and gendered reality is not a formal or guiding unit of analysis. It is as if to say that the moment of being both raced and gendered holds no important research consideration. In part this is largely due to the governing epistemological posi- tions that place race and gender as derivative categories. As variables for analy sis, race and gender are each set in comparison to the usual or the normative type, White (implicitly not raced) and men (inherently not gendered). Conse- quently, their concomitant peculiarity is rendered subordinate and dependent on the referent. Race and gender become succeeding terms in a proposition in which maleness and whiteness are the benchmark events. Take, for example, Nora, Cabrera, Hagedorn and Pascarella’s (1996) im- portant investigation of precollege factors and their impact on college petsis— tence “across different ethnic and gender groups” (emphasis mine). Nora, et al. (1996) set out to better understand <rfactors affecting student retention” (p. 428) through a framework that is both comprehensive and integrated. These re- searchers rightly point to the limitation of the conceptual model of persistence used in prev10us research, a model that “would not be the same for different groups of students (e.g., males versus females, minorities versus nonminori- ties)” (p. 431). Despite its critique of previous conceptualizations of persistence that may not have taken into account race and gender factors that affect student reten— tion, this study stays the course in the conceptualization of the categories themselves. Here, race and gender remain discrete and detached rcalities of personhood coming together Only in comparative or disaggregate analyses or “across” each other. As variables, they come into contact only at the moment of disaggregation, a statistical move that suggests that the variables are under stood as isolated, removable from other variables, and deliberately brought back into contact through conditional manipulation. Not only are gender and race not problematized in any significant way by the researchers, but even in the brief moment when the intersection of gender and race is deemed signif- icant—when minority status has a positive effect on maleness (p. 445)—it is maleness, the normative variable, that is given value. The same sort of analy— sis is absent when the researchers note that interaction wirh faculty is signifi- cant for the educational persistence of women (p. 446). Here they caution that faculty are predominantly male, thus rationalizing the likelihood of signifr cance. What one wonders is whether the faculty’s race, together with their gender, would exert significant effects on Black women students and White women students, and so on. If the researchers had conceptualized the faculty as simultaneously raced and gendered, would their interactions with women, also concurrently raced and gendered, yield significance? Would an analysis that understood faculty and student interaction as complex and dynamic race 190 GENDER, RACE, AND MILLENIAI. CURIOSITY and gender performances change the prescriptive results of the study, and as a result would we as researchers see, assess, and manage onr contact with Stir dents in more comprehensive and meaningful ways? Even noteworthy projects like those sponsored by the American Educa— tional Research Association (AERA) and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University that sought "to examine the existing professional knowledge in higher education research regarding race relations and make explicit the underlying assumptions and theories" (Chang, WittvSandis, ScHakuta, 1999, p. 12) fail to critically address the fact that gen- der is embedded and often disregarded by many race studies, and that it could be a consequential factor. Although the project correctly understands the issue of fairness and race in the affirmative action debate, it neglects to speculatc whether anything in addition to “racism in various forms is still prevalent among individuals and institutions in the United States’I (p. 13). Are individu— als and institutions free of sex discrimination and gender bias? Thc National Education Association (NEA) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), in an effort to describe “key features” of effective mentor— ing pfograms for minority students and faculty, also ignore the impact of gen— der in their “Mentoring Minorities in Higher Education: Passing the Torch" report (Leon, 1993). Here, though defining mentoring as usually involving “two persons with similar backgrounds, interests and perspectives” (p. 18), the authors discuss women as a correlate of minority status because they “suffer the effect of similar prejudices,” and “this includes minority women" (p. 19). Al— though this last qualification is an important one, little else is said about the distinctive condition of being both female and a racial or ethnic minority in higher education. The simultaneity of being female and racial other seems only important as it relates to sexual harassment and not to such things as motiva- tion, persistence, and relational factors, contingencies one would normally deem important in a prescription for effective mentoring. Generally, in higher education research we have not effectively conceptu- alized faculty, administrators and students as simultaneously raced and gen— dered, but there are signs of change. Inspired in part by the infusion of feminist critiques and naturalistic methodologies, higher education scholars arc begins ning to struggle with the messy research considerations of gendered race, or raced gender. Recently, for example, I reviewed two research proposals for the major educational research annual conference and was happily surprised at the deliberate investigation of the intersection of race and gender. The most significant changes to our research will come from the psychoe logical and developmental research on identity. Exploratory studies such as Shorter—G ooden and WashingtOn (199 6) that seek to establish the intersection of race and gender as an ego domain in the identity construction of African— American women in college warn about the limitations of quantitative analysis in this area. Markus and Kitayama (1991) supply us with an understanding of Ana M. Martinez Aleman 191 race and ethnicity as critical variables in the development of self—worth and positive identity construction among women and men of color. Phinney and Alipuria (1990) note that racial identity is a discernible and primary condition of racial and ethnic minority college women’s identity, a phenomenon i, too, uncovered in research that explored the value of their female friendships. In this qualitative investigation of the cognitive value of female friendship among women of color, race and/or ethnicity played a principal developmental role (Martinez—Aleman, 1999). On a campus at which the salient features of their identities are race and/ or ethnicity, these women appeared to require a soro- ral “relationship familiarity largely determined by those very features” (p. 138). Unlike their White counterparts, women of color in this study engaged in self development and identity construction with a peer who was acquainted with and aware of the stresses, pressures, and anxieties that are the consequence of race and/or ethnicity. Yet, I was stymied by my inability to adequately conceptualize the bearing of the gender-race dynamic on the identities and collegiate relation‘ ships of these Latinas, and African and Asian American women. STUDYING RACE AND GENDER IN HIGHER EDUCATION: METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS How can we in higher education begin to critically theorize and research the links and intersection of race and gender? How can researchers and scholars begin to conceptualize “race—gender” so that its effects on collegiate popula— tions can be analyzed far more accurately? Attinasi and Nora (1996) argue that the “extreme diversity of today's coir lege students cannot be studied adequately through the use of the structured survey alone,” that alternatives to quantitative analyses are needed (p. 545).The researchers survey their own work on the persistence of Hispanic students and conclude that students’ racial and ethnic diversity requires researchers “to be sensitive to diverse frames of reference, many of which may be different from the investigator’s own” (p. 552). Attinasi and Nora (1996) assert that the ins creasing number of racial and ethnic minority students on our colleges and unis versities require college student researchers to question and assess the epistemological assumptions and positions of the survey instruments em- ployed. These positions, the authors correctly insist, can result in data that do not adequately represent “the experiences of diverse students in institutions of higher education” (p. 5 47). Attinasi and Nora (1996) call for a research strategy that combines naturalistic and quantitative approaches. They submit that by in- tegrating these two approaches the “unexplained variance in quantitative mod— els" can be addressed (p. 552). On the surface the proposition that Attinasi and Nora (1996) offer seems appropriate for our desire to understand the dynamic of race and gender, or 192 GENDER, RACE, AND MILLEMAL CURIOSIT’Y “race-gender,” but a careful inspection of the hypothesis reads differently. The combination of methods proposed is one of unscrutinized amalgamation. Ethnography is presented as the form of naturalistic inquiry that will infuse quantitative analyses with the necessary relational data between factors. Ethnography, and in particular, Wolcott’s (1988) version, is presented as methodology uncomplicated by the very thing that concerns the authors, access to the “diverse frames of reference” (p. 552) often in opposition to those of the researchers’. Could Attinasi and Nora’s (1996) comfort with ethnography as the epistemological plug for quantitative survey instruments be the consequence of their inability to consider that other “diverse frame of reference,” gender? ls male bias in ethnography ignored here? Feminist critiques of ethnography shed some light on this issue. In her ex- amination of gender in the context of the student uprisings in Tiananmen Square in 1989, Rey Chow (1991) reminds us that the Western tradition of ethnography, whether feminist or not, can render the analysis suspect because of the power imbalance between West and East, between the colonized and the colonizer (p. 93). Chow (1991) echoes feminist anthropologist Ruth Behar’s (199“3) claim that “the ethnographic relationship is based on power” (p. 6) and as such, the researcher must be aware of the privileges of his or her authorial position whether “constituted hy gender, sociohistorical background, and class origins, or lately class Diaspora" (p. 338). What both Ruth Behar (1993) and Rey Chow (1991) raise is the matter of representation as a function of epistemological perspective, a position that could furnish a view of identity that is unitary, fixed, coherent, and singular. If the ethnographic view of women of color on our college and university cam— puses is such that we will only “see” what is the result of the consciousness of the researcher—his or her subjectivity—and if that subjectivity is an atomistic consciousness, then we will be asked to “see” race as simply, universally and es- sentially race, and gender as somehow purely, wholly and only itself. If, on the other hand, we investigate questions of identity with a view of consciousness on both the part of the researcher and the informants as “plural or collective" (Mohanty, 1991 , p. 37), then our view is one in which the “multiple” and “often opposing ideas and knowledges” (p. 36) that are the embodiment of simultane— ously raced and gendered selves could be made evident. To effectively research the intersection of race and gender, then, is to un— dcrstand subjectivity as it is: nonunitary, collective and relational. If the post- secondary community desires an accurate understanding of how Asian women negotiate the demands of tenure, or how Black women students choose acade— mic majors and careers, then as higher education researchers we can not persist in analytical practices that separate identities into component parts, parts as- sumed homogeneous prior to analysis. Nor can we assume that their unequiv— ocal analytical separation tells us the whole story. Race and gender may not be epistemologically eligible for dependent or independent variable status. Race Ana M. l‘vlartinez Aleman 1 9 3 and gender may not be eligible for an unprohlematized and uncontested inter- dependence in naturalistic inquiry. Race and gender, as collective and relational subjectivity, may in the end be best understood as an “epistemological commu- nity" (Nelson, 1993, p. 121), a community in which how a person knows and how she or he behaves is derivative of “multiple, historically contingent, and dynamic“ evidence with “fuzzy overlapping boundaries" that “evolve, dissolve, and recombine” (p. 125). GENDER, RACE, AND MILLENNlAJ. CURIOSITY Stanley Crouch’s (1996) prediction of race as a “historic curiosity” is more cor- rectly an event that cannot transpire without the eradication of the Signifi- cance of gender on subjectivity and thus on consciousness. Before race can talce on its millennial multiplicity and consequent insignificance, it is impera— tive to first tend to the tangible and unresolved matters of gender. As higher education researchers and scholars, we need to theorize and then empirically represent raceegender both as a force that affects the development of Con— sciousness and motivates a stable yet variable subjectivity, and as an embodi- ment that though produced through elaborate and involved historical realities, is salient and comprehensible. _ Race—gender or gender—race (I do not mean to give either category episte— mological preference or priority) needs to be understood not as a hybridity or consolidation but as a hyphenation of mutuality It is the hyphen, in my View, that may give us a way to empirically understand the “fuzzy overlaps” that func- tion to produce a consciousness and subjectivity that is powered by its very multifariousness. The hyphen, as a purely symbolic tool, directs the researcher not to a depiction of college and university lives that are artificially raced and gendered at the moment of disaggregate analysis or naturalistic description. In- stead, the representative hyphen enables us as researchers to see the relevance of gendered understanding in race and the consequence of race consciousness in the gendered actualities of post-secondary life. The hyphenation may help us see and comprehend the multiplicity of identities and their consequent perfor- mances as tangible and unmistakable, as truthful and undismissable. Let us return to Stanley Crouch’s claim that the twenty-first century will be a century in which how Americans have thought about race will become “historic curiosity,” that “race” will become a trifling interest, a matter of no concern. It seems to me that if the scholarship and research on higher educa- tion is reflective of the knowledge necessary to reach a consciousness in which the matters of race in America are insignificant, We as a community of postv secondary researchers and scholars are far from achieving that consciousness. In fact, to achieve Crouch’s consciousness ideal, we would pay much more atten- tion to race matters at the outset, at those times when race and ethnicity does 194 GENDER, Race, mo lVIILLENIAL CURIOSITY matter. The history of our curiosity about race on campus tells us that we have not paid careful attention nor given care to many of the details of race, in par- ticular the detail of gender. Our lack of curiosity about the constituent nature of race, especially with regard to gender, has confined us to old questions and uninspired research. One of the most important goals of higher education scholarship and re- search is to inform practice. Student affairs professionals, campus administra— tors, and state and federal policymakers look to higher education scholars to provide them with ever-expanding knowledge about students. As more and more women of color enter higher education and challenge the norms of aca— demic culture, higher education professionals need knowledge borne of re- search that reflects these identities. Research on higher education that does not talce into account the gendered nature of race or the raced nature of gender can limit the scope of post—secondary policy and practice. For example, one could stipulate that the Usefulness of recent post-secondary research on women’s par- ticipation in science, mathematics and engineering curricula for faculty and ad- ministrators is in its ability to suggest positive change as a consequence of evidence (Sax, 2001; Colbeck, Cabrera, 8cTererizini, 2001). But in cases such as these, the conceptual framework and inadequate review of the sociological and psychological research literature render the research findings ineffectual. Research designed to consider student confidence and self—esteem, as these two studies are, needs to formally consider how gender and race are interdependent variables and how this interdependence is both manifested and addressed on campus. Simply saying (almost as an investigative afterthought) that “being non-White had a negative effect” (Sax, 2001, p. 164) serves no fruitful purpose given the realities of campus life and, ironically, the desired goal of such research: to inform practice. Studies of this sort are typical in higher education—typical in that they lack the theoretical and cross-disciplinary literacy to truly enlighten practice. For example, rarely does post—secondary research and scholarship draw on the extensive psychological literature on race—gender and identity formation that can help reconceptualize design and methodology to more aCcurately reflect the realities of students’ lives. Our research habits in higher education often limit the breadth of our literature reviews so that we are often unaware of the ad— vanced and forward—looking scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. Our research literacy in higher education often reflects how we are uninformed by and unacquainted with the complex, critical and challenging theoretical work on gender-race done in philosophy, feminist theory, and cultural studies. As a result, much of our research and scholarship in higher education is staid, unexciting and uninspiring, and consequently of limited value to the profess sions we seek to serve. In the twenty—first century our research and scholarship on higher educa- tion should be informed by the curiosities of race, gender, sexuality, class, and Ana M. Nlartinea Aleman 195 so on.These are the curiosities that matter on college and university campuses; these are the curiosities that shape our behaviors and that populate our class- rooms. In 1993, the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred on Hispanic women experienced a 131% increase, compared to the 83.8% increase for 1—115- panie men. That same year, both AfricaneAmerican and ASiantAmericap women also outpaced their male counterparts in the attainment of bachelor 5 degrees from American post—secondary institu tions, In 1995, nearly-two-thirds of Black students enrolled in college Were women, while of the Hispanic un- dergraduates, 53% were, women (National Center for Education Statistics, 1999). The following year saw the number of Asian women in higher educae tion climb to 51% of the total Asian enrollment (Chronicle, 1999, p. 24), yet only 36% of the doctoral degrees granted to Asian Americans belqnged to Asian-American women (p. 32). Latinas made up only .8% of the full—time faculty in 1992 (p. 36), and in 1995, of the 2,610 Latinas who were full-time tenure-track faculty, 63% were at the rank of assistant professor (p. 38). In all, approximately 4% of the post—secondary teaching faculty in the United States are women of color (Busenberg 5:. Smith, 1997, p. 162). In 1995, the mean earned income for Black women graduates from selective colleges and univer- sities was $20,300 less than their Black male counterparts, and $37,200 less than White men (Bowen (ScBok, 1998, p. 124). How curious is that? NOTES 1. I do not mean to imply that gender is the only such experiential reality to be absent from this discourse. The effects of sexuality, economic class, and so on are also integral in the consideration of racial realities. 2. 1 will use this designation to refer to women whose racial and/or ethnic idcntity fall within the “non—White” categories listed by the US. DOE. The categories are the following: Black, non-Hispanic; Hispanic; Asian or Pacific Islander; and American ln— dian or Native Alaskan. 3. it is important to note here that the term “Latina’1 is explicitly gendered. A characteristic Romance language, Spanish requires gendered forms and assumes 1that masculine versions represent both men and women. Thus, when we say “Latinos, we can assume that either we are speaking solely about Latin men or about both Latin men and Latin women. - . - a n ,_ . _ 4. It is worth mentioning the significance of the name Yo forJuhaAlvarezs pro - - u i), - -, , tagonist. In Spanish, the word “yo” is the personal pronoun, l , it is also used to mean “ego” and “self”. 5. I do not mean to imolv that racial or ethnic difference from \Nliites or that gen- der difference from males is essentially burdensome and oppressive. Nor do 1 think that - - - n -r Spelman believes this to he the case. To assign the characterization “burden to racml and/or gender difference reifies a racist and sexist meaning. 196 GENDER, RACE, AND MILLENIAL CURIOSI’I‘Y REFERENCES ACE Commission on Women in Higher Education. (1988). The 1987 Commission on l'Vomen in Higher Education Special chort Commission on Khmer: in Pligher Edwation. Washington, DC. Adams, K. L., 5CWare, N. C. (1939). Sexism and the English language: The Linguistic implications of being a woman. In]. Freeman (Ed) Women (4th ed.) (pp. 470—484). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. Alvarez, (1992 How the Garcia girls lost their accents. New York: Plume Books. Alvarez, (1997). (Yo! New York: Plume Books. Attinasi, In, L. C., 8c Nora, A. (1996). Diverse students and complex issues: A case for multiple methods in college student research. In C. Turner, M. Garcia, A. Nora, St. L. Rendon (Eds) Racial nndethnit dioersity in higher education (pp. 545—554). ASHE Reader Series. New Yorlc Simon 8c Schuster. Babco, E. I... (1997). Prcy‘essional women and mirwritiesmiI total human resources data com- pendium, 12th edition. Washington, DC: Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. Behar, R. (1993). 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Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges. Lai, T. (1991). Asian American women: Not for sale. In Whitehorse Cochran, D. Langston, (Sc C. Woodward (Eds) Changing ourpower (pp. 126—133). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt. Leon, D. (1993). Mentoring minorities in higher education: PaSsing the torch. National Education Association, Office of Higher Education, Washington, DC. Markus, H. R., 8c Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. PythologicalRe-view, 98, 224-253. Martinez-Aleman, A. M. (1999). Race talks: Undergraduate women of color and female friendship. Reeliew ofHILg’her Education, 23(2), 133*152. Mohanty, C. T. (1991). Cartographies of struggle: Third World women and the poli- tics of feminism. In C.T. Mohanty, A. Russo, &L.Torres (Eds) Third World women and thepolitics offiminism (pp. 1—50). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Moraga, C. (1983). La gfiera. In C. Moraga 5c G. 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