- Men of Color in Higher Education: New Foundations for Developing Models of Success ed. by Ronald A. Williams
Ronald A. Williams (Editor)
Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2014, 159 pages, $32.50 (softcover)
Although students of color have experienced gains in college access, men of color continue to be underrepresented at US postsecondary institutions. Efforts to address these concerns have focused primarily on Black men, which has resulted in at least three unintended outcomes: a dearth of research about other men of color, the premature assertion that Black women are achieving more favorable educational outcomes, and essentialism regarding the plight of students of color. Men of Color in Higher Education addresses these concerns by introducing readers to feminist theories and asset-based perspectives aimed at ensuring that all men of color—Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Black, Latino, and Native American—succeed in college. This book makes a substantive contribution to discourse about men of color in higher education.
In the opening chapter, Gordon and Henery provide the underlying theoretical framework for this book by re-theorizing how patriarchy undermines men of color in the United States. Whereas patriarchy is “the force that has claimed masculinity as the sole property of the male body and how it should be expressed and lived . . . patriarchal masculinity encompasses a set of White heterosexual capitalist values, orientations, and expectations that men [of color] negotiate” (p. 7). Stated differently, patriarchal masculinity intersects with racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression to structure the lives of men of color and our understanding of this population. These authors illuminate how patriarchal masculinity situates Black men in competitive relationships of dominance and subordination with women as well as other men. Their analyses of the crises facing Black men reveals how the problems men of color face in society stem from patriarchal masculinity and how concerns about Black women are often dismissed.
The next two chapters focus on AAPI and Native American men, populations that have received less scholarly attention, with the exception of a report published by The College Board (2010). In chapter 2, Teranishi and Pazich critique the categorization of men of color as a monolithic community and emphasize the need for research that addresses the heterogeneity among AAPI males. Contrary to other men of color, specifically Blacks and Latinos, AAPIs are often characterized as model minorities because of their perceived success in the United States. The authors use intersectionality as a theoretical lens to deconstruct this stereotype by analyzing census data on the educational attainment of AAPI students. Their critical analysis illuminates disparities among AAPI students based on gender, ethnicity, and generational standing. In addition to debunking the model minority stereotype, they draw attention to AAPI ethnic groups, such as Cambodians and Laotians, in need of further support in higher education.
Bitsóí and Lee, in chapter 3, interrogate the role ahistoricism plays in concealing the deleterious effects of colonialism, patriarchy, and genocide on Native Americans. Similar to AAPI populations, ahistoricism has perpetuated stereotypes about Native Americans, which [End Page 309] have contributed to a lack of awareness of indigenous histories. These factors partially explain why Native Americans continue to be one of the most underrepresented, misunderstood, and underserved student populations in higher education. Recognizing the value of indigenous perspectives, Bitsóí and Lee draw on Tribal Critical Race Theory and Native feminist scholarship to explore how Native American men cope with heteronormative patriarchy and intergenerational trauma. Although the authors present a sobering historical portrait, they highlight the potential of Native American Studies, organizations such as the National Indian Youth Leadership Project, and Tribal colleges and universities in educating young men and reconstructing the Native American community.
Before deploying feminist methodologies in the study of Latino male collegians in chapter 4, Sáenz and Bukoski revisit existing notions of masculinity. They provide an overview of feminist movements, acknowledging the significant contributions of Black and Chicana feminists, and juxtapose these movements with the masculinist movement. Although Sáenz and Bukoski acknowledge the risk inherent in using feminism in men’s studies, they illustrate how theories such as materialism and...