Intersectional Imposter Syndrome: How Imposterism Affects Marginalised Groups

Hewertson, Helen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6930-3796 and Tissa, Faith (2022) Intersectional Imposter Syndrome: How Imposterism Affects Marginalised Groups. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 19-35. ISBN 978-3-030-86569-6

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This chapter provides an overview of imposter syndrome and how it is not just a personal feeling, but has much wider socio-political implications for marginalised groups especially those with intersectional oppressions. Culture of power (Delpit in Harvard Educational Review 58:280–299, 1988) and intersectionality (Crenshaw in University of Chicago Legal Forum 1:39–52, 1989) theory are used to explore the embodied experiences of marginalised people, which feed into an internalised feeling of imposter syndrome that is culturally conditioned. The process of marginalisation is ascribed onto people’s bodies and within their identity. Drawing on a student survey, this chapter looks at widening participation and foundation entry programmes in Higher Education that enable access to the culture of power. It concludes with teaching recommendations that help increase confidence and alleviate imposter syndrome in marginalised groups.

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