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Critical Multicultural Perspectives on Whiteness

Views from the Past and Present


Edited By Virginia Lea, Darren E. Lund and Paul R. Carr

Whiteness is a narrative. It is the privileged dimension of the complex story of "race" that was, and continues to be, seminal in shaping the socio-economic structure and cultural climate of the United States and other Western nations. Without acknowledging this story, it is impossible to understand fully the current political and social contexts in which we live. Critical Multicultural Perspectives on Whiteness explores multiple analyses of whiteness, drawing on both past and current key sources to tell the story in a more comprehensive way. This book features both iconic essays that address the social construction of whiteness and critical resistance as well as excellent new critical perspectives.

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17. Academic Advising and the Maintenance of Whiteness in Higher Education (Geneva L. Sarcedo and Cheryl E. Matias)


Chapter 17

Academic Advising and the Maintenance of Whiteness in Higher Education

Geneva L. Sarcedo and Cheryl E. Matias


Academic advisors engage with college students in both formal and informal ways through information sharing, advice giving, degree planning, counseling, mentoring, and even teaching (Allen & Smith, 2008). However, advising is not solely conducted by professional academic advisors; adjunct staff, faculty, and even peers can enter the domain of “advising,” and the ways in which this advising take shape can vary widely, even within the same institution. With its reach into college students’ academic, personal, social, and professional lives, “the role of the academic advisor is critical to student retention” (Lowe & Toney, 2010, p. 95) such that academic advising has long been regarded as a contributing factor to student success in higher education (Young-Jones, Burt, Dixon, & Hawthorne, 2013). Kuh (2008) argues that “academic advisors can play an integral role in promoting student success by assisting students in ways that encourage them to engage in the right kinds of activities, inside and outside of the classroom” (pp. 68–69). Plainly, the formal and informal roles of academic advisors are extremely important to the experiences of college students and their success in higher education.

But how do academic advisors determine the right kinds of activities to direct students toward an enriched college experience? In this chapter, we posit that what have been traditionally deemed as the right kinds of activities,...

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