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Abstract

This article uses the lens of critical race theory to examine the experiences of minority students in and outside of the social work education classroom. Research has not critically analyzed the structures, policies and practices of graduate education programs and how they influence the socialization experiences of students. Qualitative interviews with 15 African American and Latino students reveal that their experiences are often characterized by marginalization and conflict. They suggest that certain aspects of the professionalization process create and support forces that reproduce stratified social relations. These problematic relations have a negative impact on minority students threatening their persistence and professional development. The perspectives of minority students in their own voices provide critical insights into actions graduate programs can take to change the quality of student life in predominantly White institutions.

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