Geographies of Campus Inequality: Mapping the Diverse Experiences of First-Generation Students

ISBN : 9780190848156

Janel E. Benson; Elizabeth M. Lee
232 ページ
156 x 235 mm

In efforts to improve equity, selective college campuses are increasingly focused on recruiting and retaining first-generation students-those whose parents have not graduated from college. In Geographies of Campus Inequality, sociologists Benson and Lee argue that these approaches may fall short if they fail to consider the complex ways first-generation status intersects with race, ethnicity, and gender. Drawing on interview and survey data from selective campuses, the authors show that first-generation students do not share a universal experience. Rather, first-generation students occupy one of four disparate geographies on campus within which they negotiate academic responsibilities, build relationships, engage in campus life, and develop post-college aspirations. Importantly, the authors demonstrate how geographies are shaped by organizational practices and campus constructions of class, race, and gender. Geographies of Campus Inequality expands the understanding of first-generation students' campus lives and opportunities for mobility by showing there is more than one way to be first-generation.


Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: First-Generation Students at Selective Colleges
Chapter Three: Play Hard
Chapter Four: Work Hard
Chapter Five: Multisphere
Chapter Six: Disconnected
Chapter Seven: Connecting to Post-College Life and Locating Success
Chapter Eight: Conclusion
Appendix A
Appendix B


Janel E. Benson is Associate Professor of Sociology at Colgate University. Her research investigates sources of risk and resiliency in the transition from early adolescence to young adulthood to understand how contexts of development in early life shape identity, health, and social mobility. As a first-generation student, she is dedicated to mentoring other students who are first in their families to attend college through the A Better Chance program in Fayetteville-Manlius. ; Elizabeth M. Lee is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Saint Joseph's University. Her research examines class inequality, primarily within higher education settings. Much of her research focuses on how low-income, first-generation, and/or working-class (LIFGWC) college students at selective campuses manage class inequality among their peers through day to day interactions and relationships. Other work focuses on faculty members from LIFGWC backgrounds and on how students interact with their campus structures.