Professional socialization of black women in student affairs administration
Baker, Tonya Elizabeth
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Utilizing narrative inquiry, the purpose of this study was to explore the professional socialization experiences of Black women in student affairs, in particular the influence of racism and sexism on these experiences. Eleven Black female student affairs administrators, each with five or more years of experience overseeing at least one functional area, participated in semi-structured interviews. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: the influence of mentoring relationships on professional socialization, involvement in professional associations, institutional socialization, and salient identities. Although Black feminist thought has identified the intersection of race and gender as comprising the key salient identities for Black women, the model of multiple dimensions of identity reveals other contextual influences to be salient as well. The study offers three implications for professional practice: the need for graduate preparation programs to explore institutional type, the importance of navigating institutional culture, and the significance of cross-cultural mentoring.