‘A Rough Time, A Rough Transition’: Intersections of Care and Precarity in Peer Mentoring Programs

Authors: Denise Goerisch*, Grand Valley State University
Topics: Higher Education, Qualitative Research
Keywords: higher education, mentoring, care, precarity, care ethics
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

At many predominately white institutions (PWIs), peer mentoring is an essential mechanism of survival for marginalized students, especially students of color. Marginalized students perform care work in order to provide peers with the support needed to navigate through the often hostile campus environment. While there are many mutual benefits, peer mentoring potentially creates or exacerbates systems of oppression for marginalized students across the space of the campus as they take on additional burdens of care and responsibility with little to no support from the university. In doing so, potentially generates more spaces of precarity for marginalized students, rather than producing spaces of belonging and support. Based upon a two-year ethnographic study, this paper focuses on the spatial intersections between care and precarity within peer mentoring programs at a PWI in Wisconsin.

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