Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



Committee Chair

Celia Rousseau Anderson

Committee Member

Susan Nordstrom

Committee Member

Angiline Powell

Committee Member

Laurie MacGillivray


The spread of Islamophobia in the U.S. positioned Muslims as different and inferior to American society and racialized their experiences by subjecting them to narratives of prejudices and stereotypes. This postcolonial interview study examined how Muslim American high school students conceptualized and negotiated their racialized identities within the context of Islamophobia and how the negotiation processes informed their learning in school, particularly the construction of their mathematics identity. The study built on postcolonial theorists, mathematics research, and decolonizing approaches to research to interrogate and (un)settle traditional and predetermined interviewing practices. Participants included six high school students (2 males and four females) ages 15-17 years old who attended public high schools in the city of Windson (pseudonym) in the Mid-Southern region of the U.S. Using critical discourse analysis (CDA), this dissertation interrogated the Eurocentric discursive practices and the dominant socio-political discourses that informed Muslim American students' positionalities and their mathematics identities within the social and the educational contexts they navigated.Findings suggest the broader sociopolitical discourses inform and shape Muslim American students negotiation of their Muslim American identities. Within these negotiation processes, Muslim American youth constructed subcultures to within the spaces they inhabited to foster a sense of belonging and counter discourses of Islamophobia. Furthermore, the dominant Eurocentric educational discourses and practices in public schools that privileges Western knowledge constructed a sense of separation and further othered Muslim American youth. The instruction of Mathematics is constructed within the Western thought as a value and culture-free subject which also aided in marginalizing the Muslim American population as well as other minorities. Dominant discourses such as grading and tracking informed the construction of a fragile mathematics identity and fostered unfavorable views of mathematics.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest