An Analysis of White Women Literacy Instructors at Texas Postsecondary Institutions Near the U.S. Southern Border




Finau, Stephanie M.

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This qualitative case study with added autoethnography investigated how White women literacy instructors conceptualized their professional roles, responsibilities, and identities while teaching in Texas postsecondary institutions near the U.S. southern international border. Postsecondary institutions in Texas continually serve a growing number of students of color; although, those located near international borders have higher numbers of students of color with declining numbers of retention and graduation rates. While these U.S. border institutions continued to enroll highly diverse student bodies, said that was not the case for instructors, who were over 70% White (Espinosa et al., 2019; National Center for Education Statistics, 2022). According to prior research, this lack of a diverse proportional student-to-instructor ratio had been cited as a potential factor in the lack of retention and graduation of students of color (Hagedorn et al., 2007; Marx & Goff, 2005; Stout et al., 2018). Further, the greater numbers of White faculty teaching in diverse spaces increased the chances of maintaining and (re)producing White westernized and global-north standards and ideologies throughout these educational institutions (Bhattacharya, 2021). Findings indicated that while White literacy faculty perceived themselves as actively working to de/colonize their respective postsecondary spaces, coexisting colonizing language and behaviors throughout the findings indicated reproduction and maintenance of White westernized and global-north standards and ideologies. These findings were directly connected to the study's theoretical framework and prior research as colonizing and de/colonizing structures were simultaneously occurring from White faculty serving high numbers of diverse students (Alexander, 2004; Bhattacharya, 2009; Hagedorn et al., 2007; Marx & Goff, 2005; Stout et al., 2018).



postsecondary literacy instruction, diverse, hegemony, postsecondary education, community colleges, four-year universities, border state institutions, westernized and global-north ideologies, colonization, woman, white


Finau, S. M. (2024). An analysis of white women literacy instructors at Texas postsecondary institutions near the U.S. southern border (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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