Tag: academia

May 23, 2012 / / education

by Guest Contributor Daily Chicana, originally published at The Daily Chicana

From the San Antonio Express News

This past weekend, I came across “Latinas blaze path to doctoral degrees” (12 May 2012), an article that tells the story of the three gorgeous Latinas pictured above, who are newly minted Ph.D.s in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. First and foremost, I want to send out my congratulations to them and to wish them all the best as they continue their academic careers! I hope I will have the chance to meet these new colleagues in person one day. For now, I’ll just look forward to sharing their story with my students, who I know will be tremendously inspired by the challenges these women have overcome.

The nature of the challenges–and particularly the numbers and statistics behind them–are ones that I lose sight of all too easily, even though I myself was a first-generation doctoral graduate. The caption of the image above begins to hint at the rarity of what Dr.s Portales, Cantu-Sanchez and de Leon-Zepeda have achieved. Latina/os (note: the term “Latina/o” includes people whose origins extend to any Latin American country, not just Mexico) comprise 15% of the US population, yet according to the National Center for Education Statistics, we received only the following in 2009:

  • 8% of bachelors degrees
  • 6% of Master’s degrees
  • 3% of Ph.D.s.
  • Moreover, Latina/os comprise just 4% of college faculty. (By way of comparison, whites received 71.% of bachelors degrees, 64% of Master’s and 63% of Ph.D.s. and make up 75% of faculty.) Read the Post Latina/os in academia: A look at numbers

    May 28, 2009 / / academia
    May 1, 2009 / / academia

    by Latoya Peterson

    Hey readers!

    I’m out here at Texas A & M University at the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute Symposium on Race, Ethnicity, and (New) Media:

    The Race & Ethnic Studies Institute at Texas A&M University convenes a symposium every other year, and the proposed theme for the 2008-2009 year is Shifting Terrains: Inequalities in the 21st Century, and the symposium itself is to focus on Race, Ethnicity, and (New) Media. The explosion of work on New Media (including the Internet, mobile devices, Web 2.0) and the juxtaposition and overlap between ‘old’ media (radio, television, film, and mass-print media) and New Media is a rich field of cultural production and scholarly research in which scholars of race and ethnicity have not been particularly well-represented. However, there are cutting edge scholars who do indeed explore various aspects of race/ethnicity and (New) Media (including audience/fan studies, representations of racial and ethnic identities in a variety of media, identity-focused online communities, etc.).

    I’m here to present a keynote on “Talking About Race In Digital Space” and present an academic* paper titled “Eww, WTF?!?! You Got Your Social Justice In My Video Game.”

    In the meantime, I’m here with some amazing people. Dr. Lisa Nakamura spoke last night, with a keynote titled: ʺDonʹt Hate the Player, Hate the Game: The Racialization of Virtual Labor in Virtual Worlds.ʺ

    I’ve been really excited about this conference – you’ll see why when you read the program, after the jump. Read the Post Racialicious at the RESI Symposium

    October 22, 2008 / / academia
    September 9, 2008 / / academia

    by Guest Contributor G.D., originally published at Post Bourgie

    Okay, so we know we pick on The Root a lot around here. It’s not that it always sucks, just that it routinely offers up some real head-scratchers.

    Por ejemplo. In today’s edition, Delece Smith-Barrow offers her rationale in deciding to go to a predominantly white university. Seems pretty innocuous, right? I mean, most black college students/grads claim ‘white schools’ as their alma maters. But just in case you don’t think so, Smith-Barrow has some some preemptive and completely unsolicited defensiveness for that ass.

    At my private, predominantly white high school, I was one of eight African-American students in my graduating class. After that, the idea of being in an all-black academic setting seemed overwhelming. I would have to go from one end of the racial spectrum to the other, and after four years of all-white, all the time, I was tired of extremes. While the idea of going to school with more people who looked, acted and even sounded like me was definitely alluring, the idea of various shades of humanity co-existing within the parameters of one campus intrigued me much more. I wanted to be a part of that experience. I wanted to teach others about my race while also learning about theirs through everyday interactions, dynamic classroom discussions and events that promoted mixing and mingling across color lines.

    Get it? See, she was ‘tired of extremes,’ and so opted for an environment that was most like the one she was leaving. Annoyed yet? No? Okay. Here’s more.

    We could teach other races an important lesson on what it means to be black and nix some erroneous, preconceived notions about our race. For the white student whose only knowledge of black people has come from BET, we could show him that we don’t all aspire to be rappers. This learning experience could also go both ways and prove to blacks that not all white people are The Man.

    Ah, there we go. That good problematic, served up piping hot. Now, one of the problems with debunking stereotypes is that, well, there’s no real way to do so. Whenever a white teacher told me I ’spoke well,’ I was never operating under any assumption that this ‘compliment’ would spur some reevaluation of her ideas regarding the intellectual capacities of Negros in general — in her mind, I was just not like the rest of them. If you’re a Jewish person who also happens to be a spendthrift, to the bigot who lazily clings to that stereotype, you’re just the exception to the rule. Read the Post Picking at The Root. (Again).

    August 26, 2008 / / academia

    by Guest Contributor Tami, originally published at What Tami Said

    In its current issue, Greater Good magazine ponders “Are we born racist?” and in the article “Look Twice,” Susan T. Fiske, Ph.D., Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology at Princeton University, offers some bad news and good news:

    Most people think they’re less biased than average. But just as we can’t all be better than average, we can’t all be less prejudiced than average. Although the message—and the success so far—of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign suggests an America that is moving past traditional racial divisions and prejudices, it’s probably safe to assume that all of us harbor more biases than we think.

    Science suggests that most of us don’t even know the half of it. A 20-year eruption of research from the field of “social neuroscience” reveals exactly how automatically and unconsciously prejudice operates. As members of a society with egalitarian ideals, most Americans have good intentions. But new research suggests our brains and our impulses all too often betray us. That’s the bad news.

    But here’s the good news: More recent research shows that our prejudices are not inevitable; they are actually quite malleable, shaped by an ever-changing mix of cultural beliefs and social circumstances. While we may be hardwired to harbor prejudices against those who seem different or unfamiliar to us, it’s possible to override our worst impulses and reduce these prejudices. Doing so requires more than just good intentions; it requires broad social efforts to challenge stereotypes and get people to work together across group lines. But a vital first step is learning about the biological and psychological roots of prejudice.

    Modern prejudice

    Here’s the first thing to understand: Modern prejudice is not your grandparents’ prejudice.

    Old-fashioned racism and sexism were known quantities because people would mostly say what they thought. Blacks were lazy; Jews were sly; women were either dumb or bitchy. Modern equivalents continue, of course—look at current portrayals of Mexican immigrants as criminals (when, in fact, crime rates in Latino neighborhoods are lower than those of other ethnic groups at comparable socioeconomic levels). Most estimates suggest such blatant and wrongheaded bigotry persists among only 10 percent of citizens in modern democracies. Blatant bias does spawn hate crimes, but these are fortunately rare (though not rare enough). At the very least, we can identify the barefaced bigots.

    Our own prejudice—and our children’s and grandchildren’s prejudice, if we don’t address it—takes a more subtle, unexamined form. Neuroscience has shown that people can identify another person’s apparent race, gender, and age in a matter of milliseconds. In this blink of an eye, a complex network of stereotypes, emotional prejudices, and behavioral impulses activates. These knee-jerk reactions do not require conscious bigotry, though they are worsened by it.

    Read the Post The elephant in the living room

    August 14, 2008 / / Uncategorized

    by Latoya Peterson

    I love Sudhir Venkatesh but I am starting to fucking hate the Freakonomics blog. Especially when they decide to touch race.

    Mixed race people, step right up to be essentialized into neat little patterns of behavior!

    In a recent paper I [Steven D. Levitt] co-authored with Roland Fryer, Lisa Kahn, and Jorg Spenkuch, we look at data to try to answer that question. Here is what we find:

    1) Mixed-race kids grow up in households that are similar along many dimensions to those in which black children grow up: similar incomes, the father is much less likely to be around than in white households, etc.

    2) In terms of academic performance, mixed-race kids fall in between blacks and whites.

    3) Mixed-race kids do have one advantage over white and black kids: the mixed-race kids are much more attractive on average.

    The really interesting result, though, is the next one.

    4) There are some bad adolescent behaviors that whites do more than blacks (like drinking and smoking), and there are other bad adolescent behaviors that blacks do more than whites (watching TV, fighting, getting sexually transmitted diseases). Mixed-race kids manage to be as bad as whites on the white behaviors and as bad as blacks on the black behaviors. Mixed-race kids act out in almost every way measured in the data set.

    Holy bucket of stereotypes, Batman! Number three is really killing me though – how the fuck did they measure that? By panel survey? Researchers opinion on hotness? Comparison to a eurocentric beauty standard? (According to the study, the person doing the at home interviews was the sole judge of hotness.)

    I was wondering what economic theories they used to get to this point, but surprise – there ain’t none!

    We try to use economic theory to explain this set of facts. I can’t say we are entirely successful. If we had to pick an explanation that best fits the facts, it would be the old sociology model of mixed-race individuals as the “marginal man”: not part of either racial group and therefore torn by inner conflict.

    Read the Post Freakonomics: “The Plight of Mixed Race Children”