“Epistemic exclusion and research biases: How scholarly elitism limits scholarly innovation and relevance”
Abstract: Disciplinary norms are established by those who hold epistemic power and prestige due to their success working within the dominant discourse. Epistemic exclusion occurs when certain types of scholarship are defined as falling outside of a discipline’s dominant discourse. Such research is seen as violating disciplinary norms and both the research and those that study these topics are marginalized as a result. Dotson (2012, 2014) and others have argued that this type of disciplinary gatekeeping has a disproportionately negative impact on faculty of color because they are more likely to study non-traditional topics within a given field. Thus, epistemic exclusion is a way to non-accidentally marginalize faculty of color within academia because beliefs about who has subject matter expertise and what subjects are worthy of study are linked to prejudices about certain social groups. In this talk, I use data from 118 faculty interviews, 3 faculty focus groups, and a large faculty survey to illustrate formal and informal ways in which epistemic exclusion operates, and the consequences it has for the psychological well-being, job outcomes, and career trajectories of faculty of color.
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