The Margin as a Space for Reflection, Thought, and Possibility in Academia

Jerry L. Parker, Elizabeth R. Hornsby, Yazmyn C. Smith, Taneshia Drake


Institutions of higher education have historically operated as Eurocentric, male-dominated, and elitist systems created to maintain existing power structures (Bennett, 1988; Bloom, 1987; Hirsch, 1987). However, throughout the 21st century, as society has changed its perspective on the necessity of a college degree, it also has changed its views on who can obtain such credentials and who is afforded the luxury of offering them. As hooks (1990) notes, “education for critical consciousness is the most important task before us” (p. 5). In essence, the global community has advanced toward a more progressive understanding of who and how individuals can access higher education under the guise of liberty, justice, and fairness for all. As the classroom is seen as a radical space of possibility in the academy, the entire institution and its place within society is seen as a radical site of progress and upward mobility for all. As such, this special issue aims to further contribute to the idea of structural change in American higher education by bringing scholars from diverse backgrounds together to investigate the relationships of power, equity, and equality, through an analysis of lived experiences in higher education throughout the United States of America.


multicultural education; bell hooks; higher education; critical theory

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