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You are here: Home / MPRC People / Ruth Zambrana, Ph.D. / Ruth Zambrana Publications / Blatant, Subtle and Insidious: URM Faculty Perceptions of Discriminatory Practices in Predominantly White Institutions

R.E. Zambrana, A.H. Wingfield, B. Davila, L.M. Lapeyrouse, T. Hoagland, and R.B. Valdez (2017)

Blatant, Subtle and Insidious: URM Faculty Perceptions of Discriminatory Practices in Predominantly White Institutions

Sociological Inquiry, 87(2):207-232.

Although modest gains are observed in the number of African American, Mexican American, and Puerto Rican faculty in higher education institutions, systemic issues of underrepresentation and retention remain problematic. This article describes how historically underrepresented minority (URM) faculty in Predominantly White Institutions perceive discrimination and illustrates the ways in which discriminatory institutional practices—such as microaggressions—manifest and contribute to unwelcoming institutional climates and workplace stress. Using a mixed methods approach, including survey data and individual and group interviews, findings show that respondents (n = 543) encounter racial discrimination from colleagues and administrators; experience discrimination differently based on their race/ethnicity and gender; and report difficulties in describing racist encounters. Qualitative data reveal three themes that inform the survey results on perceived discrimination: (1) blatant, outright, subtle, and insidious racism; (2) devaluation of scholarly contributions, merit, and skillset by colleagues and administrators; and (3) the burden of “representing minorities,” or a “racial/ethnic tax.” Propositions for how to change unwelcoming environments and create safe spaces for professional development to reduce the adverse effects of discrimination among URM faculty are discussed.

Zambrana, Social and Economic Inequality, Discrimination
First published: November 28, 2016

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