A phenomenological study of queer and trans students of color
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Queer and trans student experiences are understudied in higher education, quantitatively and qualitatively alike. Despite the number of studies growing on queer and trans students, numerous studies (e.g. Abes,2011; Bonner, Marbley, and Howard-Hamilton, 2011; Dilley, 2002; Dilley, 2005; Messinger, 2009;Nicolazzo, 2015; Pattison, 2010; Renn, 2007, 2010; Rhoades, 1997; Stoddard, 2012) call for a further studying of queer and trans populations, thus highlighting the large gaps in the literature. As LGTBQ+resources on college campuses can pose a barrier for queer and trans students who do not fit neatly into the media-generated image of the LGBTQ+ community (Bonner, Marbley, and Howard-Hamilton, 2011) and QTSoC face a lack of representation in gay and lesbian rights activism (Swank and Fahs, 2012), studies understanding QTSOC's experiences on college campuses are needed. Similarly, campus sense of belonging is not fully understood as no studies have particularly looked at how subcultures for diverse students offer a sense of belonging independently from main campus. This study explores the relationship between campuses, students, and campus subcultures through three semi-structured interviews. Byutilizing a (re)conceptualized queer theory, this study seeks to find how queer and trans students of color experience sense of belonging at a predominantly and historically white campus. Through interpretive phenomenology, this paper seeks to find how students construct sense of belonging in relation to campus subculture, while also challenging traditional research methods. This paper emphasizes the importance of studying marginalized populations in higher education, particularly the importance of subculture for marginalized populations in a largely homogenous campus. This paper is guided by asking, how do queer and trans students of color experience sense of belonging in relation to their identities? What role does a queer and trans student organization play in these students' lives?
Access is limited to the University of Missouri--Columbia