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Reflective Essays

Vol. 25 No. 2

Problematizing the Relationship Between Cultural, Social, and Political Capital and Graduate Student Participation in a Community Engagement Professional Association

December 3, 2019


The Graduate Student Network (GradSN) brings together emerging scholars who have an interest in research on service-learning and community engagement (SLCE). In this reflective essay, we problematize the relationship between social, cultural, and economic capital and graduate student participation in the GradSN, specifically the GradSN chair role. To begin, we share the origins, process, and initial findings of a collaborative autoethnographic study that involved a group of seven past, present, and incoming chairs. Participation in this study led us to question what barriers exist for graduate student participation in the GradSN, resulting in this reflective essay. Second, we share the critically reflexive practice the three of us engaged in to interrogate our identities in relation to our chair role. Finally, we discuss the concept of full participation as a way to disrupt current structures in the GradSN, concluding with ideas for future inquiry and action.