Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs ed. by Fred Bonner II, Aretha F. Marbley, and Mary F. Howard-Hamilton (review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Campus Life, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2013-10-12 00:51Z by Steven

Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs ed. by Fred Bonner II, Aretha F. Marbley, and Mary F. Howard-Hamilton (review)

The Review of Higher Education
Volume 37, Number 1, Fall 2013
pages 122-124
DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2013.0074

John A. Mueller

Scott E. Miller

Bonner II, Fred A., Aretha F. Marbley, and Mary F. Howard-Hamilton, eds., Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs (Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2011).

In a pithy and direct manner, the introduction to Diverse Millennial Students in College makes it clear that the book “eschews the tendency to force students into constraining frameworks” (p. 1) that overly simplify college populations. In doing so, the editors challenge the utility and relevance of the defining traits of millennial students (Howe & Strauss, 2000) in describing students of color, multiracial students, and LGBTQ students. The editors and chapter authors also analyze how the Howe and Strauss “generational framework underestimates the potential of these students” (p. 113). After nearly a decade of the ubiquitous “millennials” in student affairs literature, conferences, and coursework, along comes a book that critically examines how diversity impacts generational status.

This book is structured around paired chapters that address particular diverse constituencies of millennial college students: African American, Asian American, Latino/a, Native American, LGBTQs, and bi/multiracials. While this is a fitting approach, the editors do not provide a rationale for their choice of chapter topics, nor do they forecast for the reader the content of each chapter in light of the book’s objective.

Chapter 1 is an extension of the introduction and, as the title suggests, tests our assumptions about generational cohorts. The author points out similarities among all millennials, such as the defining moments that have shaped their lives, their increased focus on social justice and service, and a significant increase in parental influence, among others. The author also identifies ways in which millennial students may experience college differently based on generation status and identity.

Part 2 focuses on African American millennials. Chapter 2 presents data on the differences between today’s African American students and previous generations of African American students with respect to enrollment, financial affluence, and levels of academic achievement. Taking a less quantitative approach, the authors of Chapter 3 provide a narrative analysis of an African American male who grew up in a small, rural town in Georgia from elementary school through graduate school. This narrative illustrates the challenges faced by African American students of rural backgrounds attending a predominantly White institution in a larger city.

Part 3 examines Asian American millennial college students. Chapter 4 presents research that compares Asian American millennial students to both their millennial counterparts and to Asian American students from previous generations. The author also outlines a number of current social and political trends in the United States that are likely to have an impact on Asian American millennials and their experience in higher education.

Chapter 5 expands on the previous chapter and homes in on three specific trends with respect to Asian American millennials: an increase in the diversity of Asian Americans in higher education (i.e., diversification); an increase in the use of technology, particularly among Asian American millennials (i.e., digitization); and the degree to which Asian American millennials are connected to national and global events and to Asian American and Asian communities (i.e., globalization).

The authors in Part 4 examine the Latino/a experience in higher education. In Chapter 6, the authors provide demographic data regarding the increase in the Latina/o population in the United States and compare and contrast this generation of students with those before it across different categories, such as enrollment, parents’ education, family structure and size, religion, technology, motivation, goals and aspirations, career objectives, and civic engagement.

In Chapter 7, the authors use the Howe and Strauss (2000) framework to demonstrate how findings from two studies on Latino/o college students parallel and diverge from the seven characteristics of millennials. In addition, they offer useful insights on how generation status (from an immigrant perspective) can be more useful than generational theory as a predictive theory.

Part 5 focuses on Native American millennial college students. Chapter 8 documents the challenges that Indigenous students face in higher education: a lack of academic preparation, inadequate finances, few higher education faculty as role models, cultural differences between their native home and the university setting, and institutional barriers. Chapter 9 places the millennial generation of Native American college students in a historical context. Examined in some depth are the boarding school era, tribal colleges, and Native American students’ entrance into predominantly White institutions. Complementing this history are…

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Navigating Multiple Identities: Race, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles ed. by Ruthellen Josselson and Michele Harway (review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2013-06-13 03:33Z by Steven

Navigating Multiple Identities: Race, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles ed. by Ruthellen Josselson and Michele Harway (review)

The Review of Higher Education
Volume 36, Number 4, Summer 2013
pages 565-566
DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2013.0038

Sarah Rodriguez

In their edited book, Navigating Multiple Identities: Race, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles, Ruthellen Josselson and Michele Harway explore the ways in which individuals navigate across their multiple identities and achieve personal integration in the context of our increasingly complex, globalized world. Josselson, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University, along with her co-editor Michele Harway, Faculty Research Specialist in the School of Psychology at Fielding Graduate University, bring to the table extensive experience in examining human development in the areas of research and practice, particularly regarding issues of gender development and the intersection of multiple identities.

The book is intended to examine how individuals balance changes in their personal and social location, while integrating and balancing various aspects of their personal and social selves. Approaching their topic from a psychological standpoint, the authors are particularly interested in the personal psychological processes in which individuals engage in order to shift from or transition between multiple identity intersections. Although Josselson and Harway’s explicit interest is in the personal processes of identity navigation, the various authors recognize the significant impact of the social world on internal dialogues and subsequent development across multiple identities. The authors are transparent regarding their positionality on identity as a fluid, socially constructed idea that reflects the social and historical context of our world. These constructs, which were salient across all chapters of the book, serve as a way to connect the wide spectrum of explorations of development that unfold within this text.

To explore the navigation of multiple identities, this book centers on individuals who are navigating across five identity structures: (a) racial minority status and majority status, particularly as it relates to life in the United States; (b) cultures with different values of collectivism versus individualism (or other culturally related values), with examinations of both internal and external conflict; (c) gender identities, including the masculine, feminine, and transgender experiences; (d) roles, particularly as they are related to socially constructed ideas of gender; and (e) cultural expectations versus individual definitions and how those two are often pitted against each other throughout one’s identity development.

The 13 chapters of the book are organized into three loose thematic sections. The first section, consisting of Chapters 2 and 3, considers development both theoretically and phenomenologically in order to address the ways in which current theory can be utilized to understand the navigation of multiple identities. The second section of the book, Chapters 4-8, illuminates the identity navigation process through examples of several groups within the United States, particularly focusing on issues related to masculine and feminine experiences and the multiple identities of women and transgender individuals as well as the duality experienced in Japanese American identity development. Given the background of the authors in issues of gender development, I was not surprised by the heavy influence of gender that can be seen in these chapters and elsewhere within the book.

Chapters 4 and 7, particularly, are important given the growing interest in examining the intersectional nature of masculine and transgender experiences. Section 3, Chapters 9-13, considers a series of cross-cultural populations, including areas relating to Black identity, mixed identity in the context of long-term committed relationships, intersectionality of immigrant males, discourse analysis of multiple identities, and transnational development.

Overall, the text is written from a predominantly psychological approach and is intended as an introduction to multiple identities—€”perfect for graduate students studying identity development in a variety of fields. It has the potential to be used in such fields as psychology, social work, gender studies, and higher education. The authors write in an inviting, easily accessible style, and the editors have organized the material lucidly. Although it is an edited book, it remains true to the theme throughout, even though the theme of navigating multiple identities is very loose and often lends itself to diffused exploration. I appreciated the diverse nature of identities presented in this book, which included race, gender, culture, nationality, and roles. This text provided…

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Patterns of Situational Identity Among Biracial and Multiracial College Students

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2011-01-28 03:41Z by Steven

Patterns of Situational Identity Among Biracial and Multiracial College Students

The Review of Higher Education
Volume 23, Number 4 (Summer 2000)
pages 399–420
E-ISSN: 1090-7009, Print ISSN: 0162-5748
DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2000.0019

Kristen A. Renn, Associate Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education
Michigan State University

Using qualitative grounded theory framed by postmodern racial identity theory, the author explored the experience of 24 bi- and multiracial students at three postsecondary institutions. Five patterns of racial identification emerged, with peer culture and campus demographics as the major determinants of students’ identity. These findings, with insights into multiracial students’s experiences, can model how to explore other areas of socially constructed identity. It also introduces a conditional model for how students create new identity-based space on campus.

Despite significant and increasing numbers of biracial and multiracial students, almost nothing is known about their development and interactions in the college environment. This topic has special relevance to higher education at a time when multiraciality has become a matter of political and popular interest. A political movement of mixed-race people emerged in the last decade, demanding attention to mixed-race students in K-12 education and changes in data collection by racial group membership on the U.S. 2000 census (Schnaiberg, 1997; Yemma, 1997). For the first time, census respondents will be offered the option of selecting one or more racial categories (Baron, 1998; U.S. Office, 1997).

Prior to the October 1997 change in the census guidelines, studies showed that less than 2% of the population claimed to belong to more than one of the government’s existing racial categories (Schmidt, 1997). While this number is not very large compared to the general population, a change in how these individuals indicated their racial group categorization on the census could significantly influence racial group statistics used to enforce various civil rights laws (Baron, 1998). In the ongoing battle over access, equity, and affirmative action policy in higher education, racial statistics matter. At present there is no accurate count of multiracial students and no systems in place to deal with the new check-as-many-as-apply option.

This study does not attempt to develop such a system, but it begins to explore how multiracial students might see themselves in the context of higher education. While raising larger questions about the use of racial categories in higher education, this study focused on how campus peer culture influenced the ways in which multiracial students made meaning of their racial identity in college. Using qualitative grounded theory framed by postmodern racial identity theory, I explored how multiracial students’ interactions with peers, involvement in activities, and academic work influenced the kinds of identity-based spaces they chose to occupy and what caused them to create new, multiracial spaces on the monoracially defined campus landscape. Among 24 students at three institutions who identified themselves as biracial or multiracial, five patterns emerged in how students occupied existing identity-based spaces on campus or created new, multiracial spaces. The major determinants of students’ identity choices were campus racial demographics and peer culture. I developed a conditional model to explain the construction of public multiracial space on campus and ask how it might be applied in other situations.

The results of this study provide insight into the experience of multiracial students and can be used as a model to explore multiracial students’ lives at other institutions, as well as to explore other areas of socially constructed identity (gender, sexuality, class) on campus. The study builds on the multiracial identity development literature and fills a gap in college student development literature. It does not claim to represent the lives of all multiracial students, but it raises issues and questions that transcend institutional boundaries: How do students choose, create, and occupy public space on campus? How does peer culture mediate these choices? How might higher education address the needs of a growing population of multiracial people through programs, services, and policies?…

Read the entire article here.

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