Making diversity 'Everyone's Business': A discourse analysis of institutional responses to student activism for equity and inclusion

Garrett D. Hoffman, Tania D. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Student activism has long been a mainstay on college campuses. Student activist efforts continue to demand administrative accountability around issues of equity and inclusion on campus. These movements demand engagement and support from administrators to honor the students' experiences and efforts as well as to respect institutional commitments to advance equity and inclusion. This paper presents a case study of 1 activist movement at a large public institution. Using discourse analysis of textual data and interviews with student leaders and activists and campus administrators, we present an analysis of administrative responses to 1 student activist movement and their impact on students. We employ Ahmed's (2012) work on institutional diversity as a conceptual framework and find that, by invoking diversity language, the administrative responses to student activists recenter majority culture, place systemic problems back on minoritized students, and create a discursive context wherein action to address activist concerns is stifled. We also present a reconceptualization of how administrators can respond to student activists seeking equity and justice for minoritized populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • discourse analysis
  • equity and diversity
  • student activism

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