The experiences of diverse-gender tertiary students : structural discrimination and microaggressions
Powell, Catherine; Gremillion, Helen
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Citation:Powell, C., and Gremillion, H. (2018). The experiences of diverse-gender tertiary students: Structural discrimination and microaggressions, Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 4(2), 10–30. Unitec ePress. Retrieved from: http://www.unitec.ac.nz/epress
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4466
The following objectives framed the study: 1. To examine whether diverse-gender students experience discrimination related to their gender identities within tertiary settings in New Zealand and, if so, to identify the ways in which this discrimination occurs. 2. To identify strategies that support the inclusion of diverse-gender students within tertiary settings. This paper documents forms of discrimination that students with diversegender identities face within the New Zealand tertiary environment, and reports on students’ suggestions for strategies to support the normalisation of gender diversity. Findings from this qualitative study are based on data collected via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with seven participants. They indicate that although participants did not generally experience discrimination through direct attacks or violence, the negative effects of gender-normativity and of administrative processes that were not suitable, as well as a lack of staff awareness about the needs of diverse-gender students, comprise discrimination through ever-present microaggressions. Findings also highlight the resilience of diverse-gender students and their ability to develop personal strategies to manage their experiences of being part of a marginalised group. Strategies that participants identified to help create authentic inclusive tertiary environments include increasing the visibility of diverse-gender identities within policies, processes and curricula, and developing educational programmes for staff on the unique needs of the diverse-gender population. This paper evidences structural discrimination that pervades most of society in relation to gender diversity, and suggests that it could be addressed fairly easily within the tertiary sector by those who manage its systems, pending education and awareness.
Keywords:New Zealand, tertiary education, diverse gender students, tertiary students, transphobia, heteronormativity, queer students, campus climate, perceptions, gender identity, minority stress, microaggressions, LGBTQIA+
ANZSRC Field of Research:130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education
Copyright Holder:Unitec ePress
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Copyright Notice:The experiences of diverse-gender tertiary students: Structural discrimination and microaggressions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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