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The Ivory Tower

A Note on the History and Biases of Scholarship

Much of the scholarly literature available today represents both the voice and experience of one group: white, cis, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle-class men. While this is changing, the foundations will always be there and we must acknowledge that history.

Intersectionality, first coined by Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw in 1991, can be used as a lens to build upon dominant models for identity development in an effort to be more representative of diverse populations. The term refers to the interconnectedness of different aspects of identity such as race, class, or gender. These intersections are important in recognizing how different systems and structures are set up to benefit certain groups and oppress others. 

We know that identity development is multifaceted, non-linear, super messy, and never actually done.


The below frameworks are drawn from different disciplines and then presented through a lens of intersectionality, using the student-activist as a model. 

Pause & Reflect

How does it feel to see your experience reflected in a model like this? Do you feel more or less connected to others?

Image by Chris Henry
Image by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona
Image by Markus Spiske
Image by Arun Anoop

Chickering presents seven non-sequential vectors that are seen as tasks rather than stages (unlike the more traditional adolescent development model coined by Erickson). These tasks arise in our interactions with others that inform our sense of self and relationship to the world

A theoretical approach to understanding how college students' civic identity (encompassing their knowledge, attitudes, values, and actions regarding civic engagement) develops through their time on campus.


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