Unequal Socialization: Interrogating the Chicano/Latino(a) Doctoral Education Experience

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Abstract

This article examines the experiences of Chicano/Latino(a) doctoral students at a research-intensive doctorate-granting institution. Based on in-depth qualitative interviews with 24 Chicano/Latino(a) doctoral students across social science, humanities, education, and science disciplines, this qualitative investigation analyzed how disciplinary affiliation mediated the professional socialization experiences of Chicano/Latino(a) doctoral students. Guided by intersectionality and social capital theories, the findings reveal systemic inequities in the doctoral socialization process. Unequal access to professional development opportunities and faculty mentorship were among the most salient challenges experienced by Chicano/Latino(a) doctoral students. On the other hand, supportive peers and faculty mentors served as key socializing agents for respondents. Overall, findings suggest that institutionalized racism, sexism, and classism in the doctoral training process play a significant role in Chicano/Latino(a) doctoral socialization and professional career preparation experiences.

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