College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Communication Studies Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Communication Studies



Primary Advisor

Leslie Nelson, College of Liberal Arts, Communication Studies Department


Utilizing the Narrative Paradigm (Fisher, 1984) and thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) the present study seeks to explore and further understand the ways in which first-generation students of color navigate, and thus make meaning, of their race and class identities at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). Through qualitative interviews with 14 first-generation students of color (henceforth, FGSOC), themes that emerged included: (1) being used to “it”, (2) financial differences cause a clash with belonging, and (3) cultural spaces bring welcoming feelings. Findings were consistent with previous research regarding barriers faced by first-generation students of color. The current study adds to the growing body of research on intersectionality within the Communication discipline. Theoretical and practical implications are offered. Study limitations and directions for further research are discussed.