Identification with academics and multiple identities: Combining theoretical frameworks to better understand the experiences of minority engineering students

Kelly J. Cross, Marie C. Paretti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Despite many years of focus, diversity remains a challenge across engineering disciplines, particularly with respect to minority students, and these students continue to lack support in many academic settings. Educators have proposed a variety of theories and approaches to address this challenge. One particularly promising explanation for lower rates of retention and academic performance of minority students is lack of identification with academics. Identification is a motivational construct associated with the degree to which individuals value and perceive themselves part of a given domain -in this case, academics, and more specifically, engineering. Identification has been shown to correlate with academic success, and also to vary by racial category. However, we argue here identification may not be sufficient because it does not typically take into consideration the intersection of multiple identities that students bring with them. Multiple identities theory provides a way to examine how individuals' demographic, cultural, social, and personal identities (e.g. race, class, gender, ethnicity, age) intersect; this approach emphasizes that experience is not simply an additive sum of individual identities. In this paper, we highlight key research studies in both domains and argue for brining the two frameworks together.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Publication series

NameASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2153-5965

Other

Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period6/10/126/13/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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  • Cite this

    Cross, K. J., & Paretti, M. C. (2012). Identification with academics and multiple identities: Combining theoretical frameworks to better understand the experiences of minority engineering students. In 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings). American Society for Engineering Education.