Contesting and Negotiating Social Space in the Classroom: A Case Study that Examines and Explores Power in Two Communication Classrooms at One University




Walter, Rebecca A.

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This dissertation examines and explores the negotiation of hegemonic power structures in two Communication classrooms. This project, an exploratory case study, investigates the classrooms of two professors of different marginalized identities. Both educators employed critical and engaged pedagogy in their classrooms that enabled students to engage, and allowed for deep and ethical listening that valued students and the stories they shared. The author engaged in an activist researcher role that contributed to a particular scaffolding of knowledge and learning, broadened the theoretical and experiential canon from which to draw, and worked in partnership and ally-ship contributing to each learning community, taking the necessary risks in order to interrupt status quo narratives that emerge in the classroom and other socio-political structures in U.S. culture.



Critical pedagogy, Engaged pedagogy, Identity negotiation, Classroom social space, Transformational teaching, Contesting classroom