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Examining Hometown Environments and University Experiences

Title: Examining Hometown Environments and University Experiences: A Qualitative Study of Gay Latino College Students' Identity Challenges at Two Predominantly White Institutions.
Name(s): Peña-Talamantes, Abráham E., author
Ueno, Koji, professor directing dissertation
Schwartz, Robert A., university representative
Schrock, Douglas P., committee member
Reynolds, John R., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, degree granting college
Department of Sociology, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (166 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Using grounded theory methodology to analyze in-depth interviews, participant-taken photographs, and written reflections, this dissertation examines the hometown environments and university experiences of twenty-five gay Latino-identifying college students enrolled at predominantly white institutions in two separate US locations. This study finds that the participants’ hometowns influence their ability to explore, develop, and make meaning of the intersection of their sexual and ethnic identities prior to their transition to college and inform the motivations and expectations they have of the college experience. Upon arrival at the university, the participants find themselves in an unwelcoming campus climate and encounter situations that serve as barriers to fulfilling their original expectations of the college experience, including (1) the risk of discrimination and marginalization, (2) the limited ability to disclose sexual orientation, and (3) threats toward participants’ self-acceptance and self-worth. In seeking sexuality resource centers and Latino student organizations, the participants realize that the focus of these campus resources lies solely on one aspect of their identities – either sexuality or ethnicity – and that their services and programming do not take into consideration the compounding effects of their identities as gay Latino men. Given that previous work on identity and place has been primarily situated in ecology, environmental psychology, and geography, the findings of this dissertation extend our current understanding of hometown locations as sites of identity development and as social contexts that may be useful in helping us understand what types of challenges gay Latino college students may face in their current environments. Further, the qualitative examination of gay Latino experiences at predominantly white institutions and the benefits of campus resources for marginalized student populations is an important contribution to the literature given the dearth of research that currently exists in these two areas.
Identifier: FSU_FALL2017_PenaTalamantes_fsu_0071E_14245 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sociology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2017.
Date of Defense: November 8, 2017.
Keywords: Gay Latino College Students, Hometowns, Identity Challenges, Qualitative Methods, Sexual Identity, Social Contexts
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Koji Ueno, Professor Directing Dissertation; Robert A. Schwartz, University Representative; Douglas P. Schrock, Committee Member; John R. Reynolds, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Sociology
Education, Higher
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Peña-Talamantes, A. E. (2017). Examining Hometown Environments and University Experiences: A Qualitative Study of Gay Latino College Students' Identity Challenges at Two Predominantly White Institutions. Retrieved from