Mapping the margins [in mathematics]
Examining the gendered and racialized intersectionality of mathematics experiences among marginalized undergraduate student populations.
Dr. Luis A. Leyva, Recent PhD graduate from Rutgers Graduate School of Education.
Research on gender in mathematics education has undergone significant methodological and theoretical shifts over the years. Despite these advances, there remains analytical space for more nuanced explorations of gender by way of intersectional analyses that consider how other vectors of identity (e.g., race, class, sexuality) shape gendered experiences in mathematics. This presentation reports on findings from a phenomenological case study that examined the mathematics experiences of four first-year African American and Latin@ college women pursuing math-intensive majors at a large, predominantly white university. The study used poststructural theory as well as intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991) from critical race theory to explore the mathematics counter-stories of these four women of color in negotiating their identities with gendered and racial as well as intersectional discourses of mathematics ability. A cross-case analysis documented institutional and interpersonal sources of these discourses as well as the women of color’s strategies in navigating them as mathematics students. Implications are raised for P-16 mathematics teacher educators and STEM support program coordinators to broaden opportunities for African Americans, Latin@s, and other marginalized groups’ construction of positive mathematics identities at intersections of race and gender.