Transformational resistance and social justice: American Indians in Ivy League universities

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83 Scopus citations


In this article, I focus on the experiences of two Ivy League graduates to examine the notion of transformational resistance. Combining data from a two-year ethnographic study with follow-up interviews over a decade, I analyze how students acquired skills and credentials that enabled them to serve their tribal communities. Strategies of resistance through education are used to achieve autonomy and self-determination and are important for American Indians because of their unique political and legal status. I also argue that those individuals who engage in transformational resistance often incur serious personal costs while the community benefits from their actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-211
Number of pages19
JournalAnthropology and Education Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • American Indians
  • Higher education
  • Transformational resistance
  • Tribal self-determination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology


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