The Lived Intersectional Experiences of Privilege and Oppression of Queer Men of Color in Counselor Education Doctoral Programs: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Open Access
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The advent of the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (Ratts, Singh, Nassar-McMillan, Butler, & McCullough, 2016), the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics (2014), and a more comprehensive emphasis on multiculturalism and social justice (Haskins & Singh, 2015; Ratts, 2009, 2011; Ratts & Pedersen, 2014; Smith & Okech, 2016) within the counseling profession highlight a movement towards examining practices and social identities grounded in a formative understanding of intersectionality. The institutionalization of intersectionality emerges from a longstanding history of feminist scholars (Collins & Bilge, 2016; Hancock, 2016) critiquing misconstrued gaps and revolutionizing the meaning of multiple social identities and social justice movements (Anzaldúa, 1987; Collins, 1986, 1990, 2004; Crenshaw, 1989, 1991; hooks, 1981, 1984, 1989; Lorde, 1984; Moraga & Anzaldúa, 1983). Although intersectionality has richened the possibilities of social justice praxis, its theoretical connection has been largely absent in the context of empirical investigations. This current study utilized an intersectionality paradigm and methodological strategies of interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009; Pietkiewicz & Smith, 2014) to examine the lived intersectional experiences of privilege and oppression of Queer Men of Color in Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral programs. Three participants were interviewed across nine interviews approximately consisting of 90 minutes in length. Findings indicated six superordinate themes emerging from the data analysis: (a) Multiple Dimensions of Privilege; (b) Multiple Dimensions of Oppression; (c) Context/System; (d) Complexities of Intersections; (e) Critical Incidents/Conflict; and (f) Congruity/Change for the Future. The discussion considers the themes emanating from the participants in light of previous forms of implementation utilizing intersectional approaches. Implications broadly for the counseling profession, the social context of counselor education and doctoral education, and the praxis of pedagogy are explored. Future directions for research and limitations of the study are also explicated.