Coping techniques and strategies for pursuing anti-racism within academe: A Collective autoethnographic account from minoritised academics in the UK

Anita Garvey*, Reem Refaat Talhouk, Benjamin Olusola Ajibade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: Drawing upon the authors’ experiences as minoritised academic scholars within leadership roles of a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network in the United Kingdom (UK) academe, the authors explored the research question “In what ways do racially minoritised academics use coping techniques and strategies to counter racism and inequality in the higher education environment”. Design/methodology/approach: The authors used a collective autoethnography approach accompanied by storytelling, underpinned by a qualitative interpretative process, supported by inductive, data-driven theorising. The authors’ approach is supplemented by the usage of content analysis (Schrieier, 2012) to analyse the data and generate findings. Findings: The research findings specifically highlight (1) collectivism, solidarity and belonging, (2) knowledge expansion and critical consciousness, (3) disarming approaches and emotional labour, (4) resistance through setting boundaries and (5) intersectionality and BAME men allyship, as specific approaches for taking forward anti-racism. Research limitations/implications: Autoethnographic research has encountered challenges around verification, transparency and veracity of data, and issues have been debated due to its subjective nature (see Jones, 2010; Keeler, 2019; Méndez, 2013). Additional complications arise regarding neutrality and objectivity associated with the researchers' identities and experiences being represented in autoethnographic accounts. The authors acknowledge that the accounts provided are subjective, and have influenced the research process and product. Originality/value: Research on the experiences of minoritised academics leading staff equality networks constitutes a research gap. This article offers an original analysis through outlining the authors’ lived experiences in leadership positions of a BAME Network and hope to other minoritised employees undertaking anti-racist work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal
Early online date6 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Nov 2023

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