Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Member

Dr. Travers Scott, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Joseph Mazer

Committee Member

Dr. Lori Pindar

Abstract

There has been a vast amount of research that has focused on inclusion, diversity, and multiculturalism within institutional settings (Cuyjet, Howard-Hamilton, & Cooper, 2012). Researchers such as Schedler, Glastra, and Kats (1998) have focused on the positive benefits of having a diverse population of people in a particular setting. How to best integrate these groups in a multicultural setting has been the focus of many researchers (Milem, Clayton-Pederson, Hurtado, & Allen, 1998). Despite the prior research dedicated toward inclusion, there are certain areas that remain neglected due to the complexities of multicultural identities, as well as institutional reluctance to address inclusionary practices in a timely fashion. One such area of neglect is research into the lived experiences of those targeted for inclusion within an institutional setting (Carillo, 2016). Often, research of inclusion has been positioned from an external perspective that looks in at institutional cultures, policies, and procedures (Milem, Clayton-Pederson, Hurtado, & Allen, 1998). While research into this type of perspective is crucial for understanding inclusion at an institutional setting, it does not take into account the perspectives of individuals who, in many ways, are the subjects of these policies and procedures. This thesis presents a critical-cultural research project that explores the experiences of Latinos and LGBTQ individuals who are targeted with institutional discourse of inclusion. Using the research method of a case study, these two identities can be examined in how they are socially constructed and situated within a higher educational setting. University emails containing messages of inclusion were used as stimuli during in-depth interviewing of members of these two specific marginalized groups, who are often targeted for inclusion. This findings suggests that, although a predominantly white institution (PWI) may conduct discourse of inclusion on campus, others factors on campus and in the administration can prevent full inclusion of minority students from actually occurring. It is important to understand how these groups interpret discourses of inclusion within an institutional setting, as well as listen to their suggestions on how to improve inclusion on campus. Keywords: discourse, inclusion, LGBTQ, Latinos, case study, PWI, social construction, identity, tempered radicals.

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