Cultural Barriers To Higher Education Essay

1516 Words4 Pages

Jamiree Harrison, Deisy, Group 2, 8/19/2015
Academic and Cultural Barriers to Higher Education Higher education is not easy to achieve. Many obstacles barricade the path to a college degree. These obstacles are referred to as barriers. Barriers can be cultural, academic, systemic, or personal obstructions that impede success. In Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks ' provides a personal account of the institutional barriers faced while pursuing higher education, just as Rendón did in From the Barrio to the Academy. Douglas Massey et al. discussed how the theories of capital deficiency, stereotype threat, and critical theory serve as barriers in The Source of the River. Derald Wing Sue 's barrier of micro-aggressions is discussed in …show more content…

Rendón writes, “I was told that I was one of the most marketable Hispanic females in the field of higher education. I sometimes wonder how I merit such praise.” (Rendón, 317). In “The Manifestation of Racial, Gender, and Sexual-Orientation Micro-aggressions”, Sue shares an anecdote about black students in a philosophy class who experienced micro-aggressions from their professor. The professor said to one of the black students in the class who was not pleased with the lack of diversity in the coursework, “Justin, I appreciate your exceptionally thoughtful and intelligent observation. You are a most articulate young man with good conceptual and analytical skills. This is the type of nonjudgmental analysis and objectivity needed for good dialogues” (Sue, 54). Although both of these comments may seem like praise on the surface, there is subtext to be discussed in the word choice used to praise these individuals. By saying that Rendón is “one of the most marketable Hispanic females in the field of higher education” may imply that she is marketable, but only for a Hispanic female. A more inclusive form of praise would be to say that Rendon is one of the most marketable people in the field of higher education. In the case of Sue 's anecdote, the black student has been attempting to assimilate to the classroom that has been set up by the institution, and by the professor. Due to his attempt at assimilation, the …show more content…

Racial battle fatigue results in a diminished sense of belonging for students at their respective educational institutions (Garcia et al, 68). hooks describes her perspective about the type of environment in which she earned her education as one that did not promote academic enjoyment for minorities. She writes, “Too much eagerness to learn could easily be seen as a threat to white authority.” (hooks, 3). Here, hooks recognizes that the learning environment makes her feel as though she cannot be eager to learn without being a threat to the structure of dominance. hooks feels out of place at this point because of the racial battle fatigue that she is experiencing. Racial battle fatigue can also be felt due to institutions allowing the perpetuation of stereotypes through racially-themed parties. Racially-themed parties are social events where guests are invited to show up dressed representing racial stereotypes or to mock any racial or ethnic group (Garcia et al, 62). According to Garcia et al., racially-themed parties contribute to negative learning environments. Garcia et al. Writes, “By deconstructing these parties using the above definitions of race, racism, and racial microaggressions, we are able to recognize their insidious nature and acknowledge that they have the ability to disrupt the learning environment and

Open Document