Intersecting Roles of Authority and Marginalization

International Teaching Assistants and Research University Power Dynamics




identity, international teaching assistants, intersectionality, marginalization, power dynamics


The higher education community often views international students through a homogenous lens. To challenge the cultural norms set by the dominant group, researchers need to explore how these norms affect international teaching assistants (ITAs). The following questions guided the current study: (a) How do ITAs construct intersecting identities of teacher and learner that reflect the presence of dominant cultural norms within a predominantly White institution? (b) What strategies do ITAs use to navigate cultural and linguistic power dynamics within a predominantly White institution as they seek to establish authority? We conducted a case study through an intersectionality framework. Findings revealed participants’ marginalization, authority, and strategies to overcome oppression. We offer recommendations about power dynamics that require increased institutional support.

Author Biographies

Veronica Jones, University of North Texas, USA

VERONICA JONES, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at the University of North Texas. Her major research interests lie in the areas of male students of color, student engagement and activism, and critical discourse analysis to study how language affects marginalized student communities.

Yughi Kim, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, USA

YUGHI KIM, PhD, is a Program Director at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Her research interests include corequisite models of developmental education and community college student success

Wonsun Ryu, University of Texas at Austin, USA

WONSUN RYU, MEd, is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at The University of Texas at Austin. His major research interests lie in the area of financial aid policy, college access, and degree completion.


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How to Cite

Jones, V., Kim, Y., & Ryu, W. (2020). Intersecting Roles of Authority and Marginalization: International Teaching Assistants and Research University Power Dynamics. Journal of International Students, 10(2), 483–500.



Research Articles (English)