Publication Date

5-2017

Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

3-9-2017

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Major Advisor

John G. McClellan, Ph.D.

Advisor

Tasha J. Souza, Ph.D.

Advisor

Julie Lane, Ph.D.

Abstract

As universities in the United States become increasingly diverse, the problem of “othering” in classrooms becomes an important issue to explore. Othering is the process of treating or perceiving one as different from ourselves, and can result in alienation and other challenges for students succeeding in higher education. Embracing a qualitative research approach, this study explores the experiences of “othering” through the stories of twelve students who have been treated differently than others in the classroom. The findings of this study provide insights into the complex relationships between “othering” and students’ experiences in the classroom, and contributes to more informed understandings of “othering” so that scholars and practitioners can better address this increasingly important issue in the future. Specifically, with inclusive excellence efforts becoming increasingly common on university campuses, the findings of this study inform several strategies for instructors to promote more inclusive classroom climates.

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