The Role of Cultural Introspection in College Teaching
Edited By Susan Diana Longerbeam and Alicia Fedelina Chávez
Chapter Nine: A Mixed-Up History, a Divided Heart
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A Mixed-Up History, A Divided Heart
Accounting University of New Mexico
I am sitting on the floor with the new Sears and Roebuck catalog. My sister and I are picking out wedding dresses, furniture for our first homes, baby things (cribs, changing tables, diaper bags). All the models in the catalog are White and neatly dressed. They all appear happy. Nearby, my parents are reading the Sunday paper from cover to cover, complaining about the Vietnam War. I am eight years old. We live in Boise, Idaho.
This scenario captures much of my deepest identity or what Bourdieu (1980) would call the habitus, which is White, middle-class, heterosexual, and gendered. We speak English in our house and our community. We watch White people speak English on TV. Our teachers are White Americans of European descent. We have no close extended family and are expected to leave home when we go to college, never to return. We are expected to get an education and have careers, but not take them too seriously (my parents would like us to take careers seriously, but in Boise girls get married and have families). We are expected to vote and keep our yards clean.
We are taught that we are individuals responsible for our own lives and actions. We do not ask for help. We are on time. We work...
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