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Abstract

This chapter serves as an exploration into the multifaceted journeys of first-generation students who pursue doctoral studies in education. Many candidates entering postgraduate programs are expected to already carry the cultural and social capital required to navigate graduate school successfully. The nascent experiences of those who are the first person in their families to pursue a university education—and to continue to graduate school—are particularly unique. While some higher education institutions are increasing access to diverse candidates, a patriarchal and hegemonic ethos prevails in academia. The experiences of those pursuing a doctorate in education who are from marginalized sociocultural and economic backgrounds are further complicated by having to navigate these structures. Understanding the experiences of doctoral students from various education programs globally, and of those who advise doctoral students (some of whom are first-generation graduates themselves), is essential for creating an inclusive, democratic, and critical space for the study of education. It involves examining the tensions and opportunities in various doctoral education programs. This collection of narratives cultivates intricately detailed viewpoints concerning the doctoral journey. More significantly, it endeavors to chart a course for dismantling the persistent barriers ingrained within academia, thereby engendering an atmosphere that is truly inclusive, democratic, and imbued with a critical spirit for the advancement of educational exploration.

In: First-Gen Docs
In: First-Gen Docs
In: First-Gen Docs
Personal, Political, and Intellectual Perspectives from the First-Generation Doctoral Experience
This collection is an inspiring compilation of personal narratives that delve into the remarkable journeys of first-generation doctoral graduates in education. It unveils their struggles, triumphs, and transformations as they navigate academia, driven by passion and a commitment to breaking barriers. Their stories depict resilience, resistance, and the pursuit of excellence as they confront the challenges of being the first in their families to embark on the rigorous, intellectually demanding path of obtaining a doctoral degree. From diverse backgrounds, cultures, and disciplines, some of these first-gen docs now serve as advisers to the next generation of doctoral students.

Readers will be captivated by narratives of sacrifice, courage, and academic identity formation, shedding light on the transformative impact on families and communities. First-Gen Docs: Personal, Political, and Intellectual Perspectives from the First-Generation Doctoral Experience underscores the role of mentors, allies, and inclusivity, inspiring future generations in academia and beyond.

Contributors are: Nur Diyanah Anwar, Miguel Baique, Nina Bascia, Kathy Bickmore, Jinny Menon, Elizabeth Montaño, Newton Asakhulu Mukolwe, R. Nanre Nafziger, Yecid Ortega, Crystena A. H. Parker-Shandal, Rosaisela Rodriguez, Janel Janiczek Smith and Zora Wolfe.