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“Where are you really from?” Female BME students’ narratives of encountering racial-microaggressions in their everyday university experiences

Bangert, Melina (2018) “Where are you really from?” Female BME students’ narratives of encountering racial-microaggressions in their everyday university experiences. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The dominant liberal conception of the university is as an institution that is simultaneously a-political and socially enlightened – a bastion of objective, unprejudiced learning and teaching. However, in the light of recent high-profile on-campus protest movements such as Rhodes Must Fall (#RhodesMustFall) and campaigns such as the National Students Union supported ‘Why is My Curriculum White?’ the question of whether universities in the United Kingdom are institutionally racist has become an increasingly salient subject of analysis. Embedded within a critical race theory perspective, this thesis therefore explores and seeks to understand the everyday experiences of female British BME students at a leading UK university. Drawing data from in-depth biographical narrative interviews and focus group discussions with nine female Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students from Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black British Caribbean ethnic backgrounds, this research identifies and details three related phenomena: (i) institutional microaggressions; (ii) inter-personal microaggressions; and (iii) racialised aggressions. The findings of this research analysis demonstrate the subtle but powerful manner in which racial microaggressions can manifest within the university setting, and the strategies of resistance via which minoritised students subsequently navigate the institution on a daily basis. While similar analyses have previously been undertaken within the context of the US higher education system, analyses of racial microaggressions within the UK university sector remain, as yet, embryonic. As such, the thesis aims to contribute to this important, nascent UK literature. Keywords: racial microaggressions; critical race theory; higher education; BME students; Whiteness

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.755289
Depositing User: MS Melina Bangert
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2018 15:38
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2019 10:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21917

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