John W. White and I recently had the following paper published in the Review of Higher Education.
White, J. W., & Lowenthal, P.R. (2011). Minority College Students and Tacit “Codes of Power”: Developing Academic Discourses and Identities. Review of Higher Education, 34(2).
This paper examines an often-overlooked contributing factor to minority student collegiate attrition: students’ limited knowledge of—and sometimes resistance to—the kinds of academic discursive practices they need to become “full participants” (Lave & Wenger, 1991) in the university setting. Adopting a Vygotskian view of sociolinguistics, we also posit that linguistic and communicative dissonance from the discourse community of the university prohibits the development of a collegiate academic identify. Rather, because language is so strongly rooted to culture and identity, some minority students openly resist the adoption of the very discursive skills they need to survive and thrive at college.