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Park Publishes on Privilege and Marginalization in Female East Asian English Teachers

Gloria Park, assistant professor of English and director of the M.A. TESOL program, recently had her article “Situating the Discourses of Privilege and Marginalization in the Lives of Two East Asian Women Teachers of English” accepted for publication in 2013 in Race, Ethnicity, and Education, an international refereed journal focusing on the dynamics of race, racism, and ethnicity in education and policy. The journal is published by Taylor & Francis.

The article addresses how issues of privilege and marginalization intersect by discussing Bourdieu’s forms of capital/privilege for women and demystifying the model minority ideology using Kumashiro’s concept of oppression/marginalization. The end result is that—for the women in this article and perhaps elsewhere who come from similar educational, cultural, and social backgrounds—there are dimensions of privilege and marginalization that coexist in their lives, and it is the responsibilities of faculty and educators to raise awareness of such coexistence. This consciousness-raising can be done via conducting research with our students as well as through reconceptualizing courses and restructuring the teacher education/TESOL programs that continue to admit international students.

Ryuko Kubota, professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of British Columbia, states that “juxtaposing privilege and marginalization as a conceptual focus is groundbreaking in the field of second language education, which tends to soley focus on the oppression of second language speakers. Dr. Park compellingly demonstrates how these women’s economic and cultural capital, which they gained in their home country, is not converted into cultural capital in a new social environment where whiteness and/or standard language speakerness prevail as the norm.”

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