Community Colleges as Cultural Texts

Qualitative Explorations of Organizational and Student Culture

Edited by Kathleen M. Shaw, James R. Valadez, and Robert A. Rhoads

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Frontiers in Education
Paperback : 9780791442906, 224 pages, September 1999
Hardcover : 9780791442890, 224 pages, September 1999

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Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables


Chapter 1
Community Colleges as Cultural Texts: A Conceptual Overview
Kathleen M. Shaw, Robert A. Rhoads, and James R. Valadez

Chapter 2
Cultures of Support for At-Risk Students: The Role of Social and Emotional Capital in the Educational Experiences of Women
Dennis McGrath and William Van Buskirk

Chapter 3
The Struggle for Mobility in the Contact Zone of Basic Writing
Stanford T. Goto

Chapter 4
Navigating the Raging River: Reconciling Issues of Identity, Inclusion, and Administrative Practice
Marilyn J. Amey

Chapter 5
Preparing for Work in a Post-Industrial World: Resistance and Compliance to the Ideological Messages of a Community College
James R. Valadez

Chapter 6
The Politics of Culture and Identity: Contrasting Images of Multiculturalism and Monoculturalism
Robert A. Rhoads

Chapter 7
"Be a Name, Not a Number": The Role of Cultural and Social Capital in the Transfer Process
Armando Trujillo and Eusebio Diaz

Chapter 8
Defining the Self: Constructions of Identity in Community College Students
Kathleen M. Shaw

Chapter 9
Celebratory Socialization of Culturally Diverse Students Through Academic Programs and Support Services
Berta Vigil Laden

Chapter 10
Toward a New Vision of the Multicultural Community College for the Next Century
Laura I. Rendón



Suny series, Frontiers in Education

Questions whether, and how, community colleges confront the challenges of diversity and provide real opportunities for upward mobility.


Community colleges are positioned to play a critical role in the process of upward mobility in American society. Yet despite the "open door" accessibility of these institutions, the question remains as to whether or not community colleges enhance the social mobility of working class and minority students.

The contradictory and often paradoxical nature of research on community colleges suggests that making generalizations about the sector as a whole is perhaps misguided. This book takes an important step toward developing a more nuanced understanding of the rich and varied cultures inherent in community colleges. The contributors approach this task by examining community colleges as "cultural texts," using critical qualitative frameworks to address the question of whether, and how, community colleges confront the challenges of diversity and provide real opportunities for upward mobility.

[Contributors include Marilyn Amey, Eusebio Diaz, Stanford T. Goto, Berta Vigil Laden, Dennis McGrath, Laura I. Rendón, Robert A. Rhoads, Kathleen M. Shaw, Armando Trujillo, James R. Valadez, and Bill Van Buskirk. ]

Kathleen M. Shaw is Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Temple University. James R. Valadez is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington and the coauthor, with Robert A. Rhoads, of Democracy, Multiculturalism and the Community College: A Critical Perspective. Robert A. Rhoads is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University and the author of Community Service and Higher Learning: Explorations of the Caring Self, also published by SUNY Press.


"A well-written and integrated collection, this volume presents the strongest and most cogent argument for the importance of the development of social, cultural, and emotional capital among community college students that I have read. Researchers, commentators, policymakers, administrators, staff, and faculty concerned with community colleges and their students will find this newer dynamic-interactionist view to be a challenge to the static-structural view they are likely to hold. " — Mark Oromaner, Hudson County Community College