Diversity Ethnography – D. Torres

Ahmed used qualitative empirical research methods, such as structured interviews and textual analysis of institutional artifacts (i.e. policies) to better understand diversity practices.  Her overall ethnographic research design employed a black feminist theory towards analyzing systems of power, prestige, and privilege impacting higher education diversity efforts at research and institutional levels.  Ahmed’s positionality to higher education and diversity efforts required that she re-adjust herself  to  look “at” university diversity efforts instead of “from” points of view.

There’s a direct pathway towards applying similar methods in order to better understand CUNY’s military-veteran related institutional practices.  As a staff member looking at CUNY’s policies, I would use my insider knowledge to speak to faculty and staff that directly or indirectly interact with military-veteran specific policies.  This would assist in the triangulation of overall efforts pertaining to the support of its 3,000 veterans and military connected student population.  Inductive reasoning leads one to believe that following paper around campus would span across both academic and non-academic related departments. Thus leading to interviews specifically with University Director of Veterans’ Affairs and campus program directors.  A snowball sampling method would assist in the identification of additional interviews due the lack of organizational uniformity across the CUNY campuses. Applying a critical ethnographic approach would address the status quo and hegemony of student veteran research practices.

1 thought on “Diversity Ethnography – D. Torres

  1. Matt Brim

    Your post raises an interesting set of questions for me: do military-veteran services at CUNY understand themselves within a diversity framework? How are military-veteran services positioned (or not) as part of the diversity mission of CUNY? To what extent do university diversity workers, including faculty, engage with military-veteran services as part of their diversity work? My own experience with military-veteran services at CSI (a top “military friendly” school) comes from working on the LGBTQ Resource Center Advisory Board with the former head of the veterans services office, so I know such intersections exist. It would be interesting to read a study of whether and how military-veteran services overlap with other diversity work at CUNY.

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