Latinx College Students’ Strategies for Resisting Imposter Syndrome at Predominantly White Institutions

Raquel Wright-Mair, Delma Ramos, Brittany Passano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditionally, imposter syndrome is defined as feelings of inferiority regardless of one’s accomplishments and experiences. Imposter syndrome is often viewed as an experience that racially minoritized populations in higher education must encounter. But these traditional understandings frame imposter syndrome as a personal flaw rather than a product of structural oppression. Consequently, these limited and deficit focused ideas of imposter syndrome urge scholars and practitioners to disrupt normative conceptualizations of imposter syndrome by examining the phenomenon from a structural lens and to expand the literature on the experiences of Latinx college students at PWIs. As such, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to illuminate Latinx students’ strategies to cope with imposter syndrome within the hostile and unwelcoming environments of predominantly white institutions. Three major themes emerged from the data: a) code-switching, b) consejo de las personas más cercanas, and c) strategic consciousness: committing to survive the toxicity of imposter syndrome at PWIs; these findings highlight three major ways that Latinx students cope with feelings of imposter syndrome. Implications for future research and practice are outlined to further explore how institutions of higher education can dismantle structures, systems, policies, and procedures that perpetuate imposter phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Latinos and Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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