The Doctoral Level Cultural Dance

The Doctoral Level Cultural Dance

The other day, in our Post Doctorate Network zoom support weekly meeting, one of our members raised an issue that they are having with friends and colleagues since they have earned their doctoral credentials. Their close friends and family, people who knew them before they started their doctoral program are now accusing them of being arrogant, putting on air, and calling them "Doctor" in a condensing tone. In other words, their familiar support system is now rejecting them.


My response to him was to say "...I really understand what you are saying, I noticed the same type of treatment when I finished my doctoral degree. But you know what? I felt isolated because I was educated to a level of which 90% of the people I represent (people of color) had no clue of the work it takes to write a dissertation and complete a doctoral program. I also felt isolated from the majority population in the ivory towers, who only knew about the people I represent from statistics and books, not from first hand knowledge.


It took some time but I came to realize that my doctoral training changed me in a good way. I see things through a different lens. Although, I can relate to family and friends, I have learned not to bring my research or ivory towers work into our conversation. I also am careful not to bring topics I discuss with family and friends into discussions with colleagues. In a sense it is like a cultural dance, with me being couched between two cultures that do not blend well together.


What are your thoughts on this topic?

Dr Nancy

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Nancy Greer Williams

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Nancy Greer-Williams
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