Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Glass, Jennifer

First Committee Member

Bianchi, Alison

Second Committee Member

Butler, Amy

Third Committee Member

Heimer, Karen

Fourth Committee Member

Sauder, Michael


Higher education has been linked to upward mobility in recent decades. Higher education has particularly served as a road to upward mobility for disadvantaged racial and gender groups. While United States colleges and universities strive to make their institutions, programs, and departments more diverse, students who are racial minorities still experience racism and those who are women still experience sexism. Colleges and universities are often considered bastions of progressive liberalism that will challenge racism and sexism; however, the seeds of American racism and sexism that were planted at the country's inception and that were sustained by the blatant subjugation of people of color and women continue to generate race and sex based oppression within present-day American society and within America's academic institutions. Therefore, residual racism and sexism are important to explore, since their presence in educational institutions serves to reify racial and gender based boundaries in achievement and well-being.

To this end, research has inadequately determined the prevalence of overt and covert oppression within academic institutions. Using a sample of college students at a predominately white institution in a Midwestern college town and a diverse institution in a large urban area I will: 1) examine the prevalence of covert and overt racist and sexist experiences among college students and develop models of their occurrence by gender and race; 2) test double jeopardy and multiple jeopardy theory by finding out if women of color experience more racism and sexism than other groups; 3) examine the prevalence of racist, post- racist, sexist and post-sexist beliefs among college students and develop models of their origins by race and gender, 4) examine how environmental context impacts student's experiences and beliefs by comparing college students at a predominately white institution and at a diverse institution; and 5) conduct a path analysis in order to test the causal relationships between demographic factors (race, gender and institution type), experiences (racist and sexist victimization) and attitudes/outlook (racist, post-racist, sexist, post-sexist, campus climate and stress).


Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, Microaggressions, Multiple Jeopardy, Racism, Sexism


xiv, 280 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 262-277).


Copyright 2013 Charisse Camilla Levchak

Included in

Sociology Commons