A Chicana's testimonio of the graduate school experience: an intersectional and standpoint anaysis

The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of how Chicanas experience graduate school, given their historical underrepresentation in higher education. Chicanas’ educational experiences in academia can provide a qualitative glimpse of the larger trends on college campuses across the United States. I explore the question: How have race, class, and gender inequalities shaped my experience as a Chicana graduate student? I use the method of testimonio to analyze my own experiences in graduate school while attending California State University, Sacramento. This narrative approach can inform and contribute to quantitative and qualitative research on Chicanas’ graduate school experiences that analyze the effects of race, gender, and class inequities in higher education. Although testimonio is not a common research method in sociology, testimonio is a critical Latin American oral tradition that is a source of knowledge, empowerment, and political truth. This study employs the qualitative approach of testimonio to explain my graduate school experiences, and the data collected comes from documented and undocumented memories. I relate my primary data with empirical studies and theoretical frameworks to analyze my graduate school experiences.