Critical Connections in Race, Sexuality, and Community: A Spotlight on Undergraduate Student Research

Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 - Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Critical Connections in Race, Sexuality, and Community: A Spotlight on Undergraduate Student Research

Transnational Feminist Approaches to the Identities and Experiences of Asian TCK Women at Cal
Jinoh Ryu (Kahn), Gender and Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Studies

Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a term that refers to “a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture.” TCKs accompany their parents across national borders and into different societies before they build a coherent sense of cultural identity and “home.” Given their early exposure to multiple norms that may conflict with one another, Third Culture Kids carry a distinct consciousness and multifaceted subjectivity.

My research examines how UC Berkeley students who identify as Asian TCK women interpret and negotiate with their transcultural identities and experiences. I use transnational feminist approach in the intertextual analysis of 15 interviews. The study focuses on how global capitalism, neocolonialism, and neoliberalism as TCKs’ initial agents for highly mobile childhood may have affected their un/conscious cultural identification with or inclination toward (honorary) Whiteness. I also hope to find out how Berkeley politics of and education on diversity and the diverse sociocultural environment of San Francisco have possibly enabled Asian TCK women to reevaluate hegemonic Whiteness and to embrace their unique cultural backgrounds.


The Conditions of Power in Community Health: Gender, Race, and Harm Reduction at the Berkeley Free Clinic

Ariana DeNevi Weckstein, Interdisciplinary Studies
My research project is an investigation of the conditions in which power operates within STI (sexually transmitted infections) counseling sessions at the Berkeley Free Clinic. I intend to analyze the conditions in which the implementation of harm reduction during these appointments reinforces dominant bio-political norms around sexual health, as well as the conditions in which the implementation of harm reduction refigures and transforms these bio-political norms. I will attempt to address the ways in which these conditions are constructed in relation to a client’s gender and race within the relatively short time duration of these appointments, and I ultimately hope to highlight ways in which a client’s marginalized position and nonconforming subjectivity might allow the STI counselor to “queer” their implementation of harm reduction and refigure dominant bio-political norms of sexual health within these appointments.

A Qualitative Study on the Intersection of Higher Education and Incarceration in African-American and Latino/a Households

Wendy Melissa Hernandez, American Studies
This study aims to analyze how two opposing institutions in California affect Latino/a and African American family ties. These two racial groups occupy the majority of the prisons in California, and are also two of the least represented racial groups in higher education. Additionally, recent studies surface familial incarceration as having negative schooling outcomes in the household (Loper 2014). Contrarily, this study is investigating the population of students that contradict the latter claim, as they are all university students. More specifically, it asks, what are the strategies that Latina and African-American womyn with incarcerated male family members have used to access higher education, despite the obstacles their families face due to familial incarceration? How do they overcome the negative stigma correlated with incarceration, financial and cultural obstacles to achieve higher education? And, does the presence of an incarcerated member in the home play a significant role in family dynamics? This work is approached through a critical race theory and restorative justice framework as the methodology is the collection of oral stories. The goal of this study is to identify policy reforms for the carceral and public education systems, by paying special attention to university womyn with incarcerated male family members.

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