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Minoritized RAs
Analysis
In line with constructivist grounded theory, we followed an inductive and iterative path
toward category generation that involved continually engaging with the data (Charmaz,
2014). Data analysis within constructivist grounded theory encourages researchers to
move beyond descriptive trends evidenced by the data to include abstract interpretations
of participants' experiences as a means to reveal invisible structures (Charmaz,
2011). We began this analysis by reading and rereading interview transcripts in order
to generate initial impressions of the data. Next, we met to establish tentative keywords
for initial codes in order to ensure consistency in this phase of the data reduction and
organization process. Then we returned to the transcripts and worked together to develop
focused codes that aimed to provide detail and nuance to the trends observed so
far in the data. Throughout these initial stages, we remained open to the emergence
of new codes and ideas.
After these meetings and rounds of coding, we wrote reflexive and analytic memos
in order to begin building and teasing out categories (Charmaz, 2014). We used research
team meetings to discuss memos and reach consensus about the categories we
developed. During this time, new interviews were still being conducted, which allowed
us to test preliminary categories through what Charmaz (2014) termed theoretical
sampling. This advanced-stage sampling technique served as a strength within constructivist
grounded theory research studies because the technique allowed for a fuller
range of category-building to occur by engaging participants in conversations related to
trends appearing in the data. The focused nature of this theoretical sampling resulted
in data saturation in ways that allowed us to construct rich conceptual categories that
incorporated a range of participants' lived experiences (Charmaz, 2011, 2014; Kassam
et al., 2020).
We situated ourselves within this study as white cisgender researchers with a social
justice orientation and a commitment to honoring the lived experiences of the study
participants. Our perspectives and experiences in higher education are most shaped
and challenged by its enduring heteropatriarchal systems and structures, which were
also felt by many study participants. The iterative and collaborative nature of this research
design allowed us to jointly grapple with our positionalities and identities across
all phases of the present study.
FINDINGS
In approaching our analysis, we recognize that people's lived experiences, shaped by
multiple privileged and minoritized identities, are unique, varied, complex, and nuanced.
While this study synthesizes trends described by participants and consistently
evidenced by the data, we invite readers to further situate research participants' stories
through the lens of intersectionality (see Collins, 2019; Crenshaw, 1991) as a way to
enrich the understandings of participants' experiences and consider underlying power
structures at play.
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