American Sociological Association

Exploring the Benefits and Drawbacks of Age Disclosure among Women Faculty of Color

This article is guided by two questions: How is age an important aspect of social location that, when forthcoming about it with students, can be beneficial for pedagogical purposes? and How can women faculty of color—particularly those who appear youthful and/or are younger than most of their colleagues—address the marginality of their actual and/or perceived age while simultaneously operating in a space that is contested for women of color? I highlight four benefits that arose as a result of disclosing my age to students: It (1) enabled me to provide concrete examples that were illustrative of key course concepts, (2) helped students understand how age is relational and contextually significant, (3) facilitated the creation of a safe space for “nontraditional” students, and (4) allowed me to better control the narrative students crafted about me based on their perceptions of me as an instructor.


Alicia Smith-Tran





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