our next presenter is dr. Stephanie fryberg she is the associate professor of American Indian studies and psychology at the University of Washington she focuses on how social representation of race culture and social class influenced the development of self psychological wellbeing physical health and educational attainment she brings to today’s program a much-needed perspective on how culture and culture mismatches play into our work in high demand for her expertise step is one of the hardest-working professors I have ever met so please would you give it up dr. Stephanie fryberg well thank you for having me here today I’m delighted to be here and I want to start by talking just a little bit about what I do in a bigger picture but in part because I want to help situate you and thinking both about what i mean by culture but more importantly and thinking about what it means in the work that you do and the work that i want to do both has a researcher but also as a researcher who likes to implement and so when I think about my work the way that I described what I do is I like to make the invisible visible so i think a lot about situations and how different individuals walk into situations and how we take some things for granted and how that person is met by that situation so as a social psychologist I study the person in situation and most of my work centers on the idea that the problem is not in the individual but in the situation and that when we change the power of the situation right when we acknowledge how powerful this situation is we have the ability to change it in ways that can benefit people who are historically underserved by the good work that we do and so as someone who has spent most of my career focusing in particular on low-income and minority children in schools right there’s so much about school that is such a powerful space there are so many subtle ways in which we push children out and and little mean very little ways these little subtle things that we do and that’s the power of culture and so today I want to start by talking a bit about what i mean by identity safe spaces and then what i mean by culture so an identity safe space is a space that communicates to all people that they belong and that they can be successful in that context they are spaces that promote culture congruent models of often I’m i’m going to define that in a second space is free from stereotypes prejudice and discrimination and some of those prejudices are things that are not obvious to us they’re these little things about how people talk or how people ask questions or how they try to relate to you because people actually walked through the world right they develop a sense of self that defines how they understand connecting with you and then finally spaces that include positive and inclusive representations of diversity and so as a native person right this is something where I think both about what is presented and what’s not presented so as a contemporary native person we are almost always missing from contemporary spaces and yet we’re not missing it’s as though the modern form of discrimination against native people is invisibility we just pretend like we don’t exist we pretend like we existed in the eighteenth and nineteenth century and not now but as the mother of two children i think all the time about what it means for my children to grow up in a world where they don’t see themselves represented and so the power of those representations lies both in how we represent what is good and what’s missing from what is good and so when I talk about culture I’m talking both about the things that we see the things how we dress what we eat those things are features of culture but more importantly it’s the implicit pieces of culture that I’m interested in so culture consists of explicit and implicit patterns of historically derived and selected ideas and their embodiment in institutions practices and artifacts it’s the acknowledgement the culture doesn’t exist in here culture exists in the space between us and as we engage those spaces some spaces and some people have more power to define that space and so as a cultural being I only know what I know so that the background that I have the places i grew up in i can only know what I know and so when I hear a teacher berate a child for not knowing the right way to behave or worse because the child brought chips and a soda for lunch but it was the only thing in their house or then the adult who tells the child oh but you can be so much more than a fisherman but that child’s father was a great fisherman and so when we don’t think beyond right that initial impression we risk telling children you know what your hopes your dreams they don’t matter they’re not important they’re not valued here but what’s amazing is that we do it to adults too and so many of the people in this room i can only assume right have figured out how to how to walk your way through those mainstream cultural context and for some of you they felt right right it matched it with who you were some of you grew up knowing you’d go to college I thought the University of Washington was a football team I’m not joking it was it was what we watched on saturdays in my house and out on the reservation football and sports are everything so that ideal when I got to be 18 that I should go to college wasn’t even a thought I was fifth in my class in Marysville and not even a thought that I should go to college and so right there was sort of an assumption on the part of teachers and counselors that of course i would go to college but again you only know what you know nobody in my family my entire family had ever gone to college and being a native person living on the reservation when I say family i’m talking about a lot of people ok and nobody i had ever known had gone to college so it wasn’t even a thought in my mind that that was a possibility it also wasn’t a thought in my mind that I would go to college and do something for myself so the other big thing as an adult that kept happening is that as I struggled to adjust to the college environment people kept saying to me the problem is i love when people start a statement that way right the problem is that you don’t know what you want you don’t know what you like you have to have goals what do you want but I had grown up in a world where it wasn’t about me I had grown up in a world where it was about fitting in and being part of a larger unit and so in my mind I kept thinking how is this college going to help my community I don’t see the connection and so the unhappiness came from the fact that I was both disconnected from the people that I had had grown up with but disconnected in a more interdependent way when my understanding of what it meant to be a person was to be in relationship and then I couldn’t see how this next step was going to help my community and so right but what people were saying to me it wasn’t helping it kept making me think also I really shouldn’t be here right this is not the place for me and I just kept hanging out maybe I was a little uncertain right I wasn’t really sure but I hung around long enough that at every juncture I found one person who I connected with and because of that person I state and I want you to think about ahead name is intended to to bring that story up but i am trying to connect these really subtle aspects of culture in a way that I want to bring to light for you because in the intervention work we’ve done both with adults and with children it all boils down to these subtleties in the environment and so cultural systems may on one hand be considered as products of action and on the other as conditioning elements of further action so I grew up in a context i learned a particular way of being right so I was a product of the environment that I grew up in but once I act in the world I either reinforce that cultural way of being or I begin to change it now surprisingly few people actually work to change cultural environment because it’s so invisible to us we do what we do and we don’t think about it but that is truly the power of culture and so today I want to talk about the culture cycle and if you come to my workshop this afternoon i’m going to talk about some of the work we’ve done instituting this cultural cycle but when we think about so it’s as a psychologist most of the time what psychologists do is they study this part of the inner individuals sometimes we study interactions but really until pretty recently we didn’t really consider the person in the interaction in the institution that they were currently embraced in and then how that institution was driven by sets of ideas and that’s a powerful understanding especially if you are trying to change an organization a program where because what it tells you is you can’t just change one idea you have to think about how that idea is situated in the practices and policies that make up the institution and how that policies and practices dictate how people interact in that context and how that interaction dictates how people feel and so making change and making it sustainable is always much more difficult than we think fine just don’t say that just don’t do this just don’t wait but the don’ts don’t help it’s truly about then what are you going to embrace to make that difference and so when we think about in the work that we do all of the conceptual pieces that fill that fit in here we really come back to if you start to think about America right those core cultural ideas boil down to things like independence individual rights life liberty the pursuit of happiness the American Dreams those are core ideas that drive often help people think what is good what is right what is moral in this society but right in many ways those are a Creed of what we mean society to be there not a reflection of actually how society works and so we build institutions and we build rules and ways of being so in universities universities are all about making individuals independent we give you more choices than you could ever imagine and we expect you to an act those choices and the longer you spend at a university the idea is the more of an independent individual you will become an independent thinking someone whose self expresses someone who makes choices gives choices right and in fact one of the most powerful pieces of having a college education is not only do you get more choices you get to give more choices and you get to have a voice and all those subtleties we start to take for granted because most people don’t experience the world that way and so as you keep going right you start to see the ways in which all of these features are connected and what I want to talk about some of the small subtle things we can do to make change but I want to end by really focusing on what it means to make that change sustainable so inherent in all of these cultural systems right are set of ideas and images what we refer to as social representations so social representations are systems of values ideas and practices that have a two-fold function they help us to orient ourselves in the world and they help us to communicate with one another now we’re getting to the nitty-gritty right because this is that piece what’s good what’s not good what’s represented what’s not represented and so when we think about all of this right what we’re talking about is social representations up and down the schema and yet most of them taken for granted the Assumption being that they just are good and so I just want to read to a few pages from a children’s book this was one of the most read children’s book in the nineteen seventies I’m going to read you only my favorite pages and i’m going to spare you the rest boys sex things girls need things fixed boys invent things girls use what boys invent right right so upsetting right but here’s the pig when it comes to scientists when it comes to builders there’s still a huge gender discrepancy in this country why is the national science foundation so focused on women and stem because we’re still here we haven’t changed as much as we should have but we haven’t in part because change is hard it’s embedded in little things like a children’s book right i think all the time about my six-year-old daughter right and the messages she gets and how badly I want her to push back against all of those messages because she’s got a double whammy she’s both the girl and native american and so she’s constantly asking me I’m just last night in the car she said mom so we were talking about England and the English people brought they are English the language why do we speak English so try explaining colonization to a six-year-old right but i love that she’s there but I worry that she could get bogged down in it in it and that’s the reality for a young child and so when we think about these representations the piece that I want to share with you today is the way in which they become our model of self so we all have in our head an idea of what it means to be a good moral or right self all of us to the very poor the very rich right what changes is how the environment scaffolds different ways of being and so most of our attention gets focused in in most of our institutions towards that middle-class european american male and I absolutely don’t mean this to make anyone here feel uncomfortable because that’s not actually what it’s about it’s about understanding the ways in which some of those social identities afford you certain social representations so in the same way that my daughter is going to have to look harder for those representations the young boys in her class the young white boys in her class the world looks different to them because we all engage in this process of saying what’s me and what’s not me so let’s talk about how we get these models of self right so these ideas about what’s good they give Foreman direction to individual experience right i gave you the example of this going up on the reservation being a tribal person and my motivation being driven by the idea the expectation that i will give back cultural models exist in the head and in the world right so they are in that space between us there on the wall there literally in the air that we breathe in the ideas and thoughts that we have so there are two common models and what I like about these models is I want you to think for a second about working in diverse environments but one of the difficulties about diverse environment is that we can’t possibly know everything about what it means to be black Latino Native educated native not educated native poor native rich native female native mail native but we can understand is that each of those identities comes with a different understanding of self and when we understand that people have different ways of being and we can learn to legitimate multiple viable ways of being we change the environment that people walk in so the independent model itself is the understanding of self is independent from others in the social context so good actions promote separation from others and individual self expression this is what it looks like if you are independent literally from the time you are born somebody is giving you choices you’re an infant and someone’s holding out a blue ball and a red ball and say do you want red or blue you’re just a baby you don’t know you just want the ball but nonetheless when you take it right this is that mutual Constitution she likes red and then we start buying you read everything right i mean we literally engage in this process of raising children of cultivating a little a gent excel file and this little igenix elf gets choices not real choices right you can sit at the table and eat your broccoli for the rest of the night or you can eat your broccoli have dessert and go watch TV is it a real choice now but the illusion of choice is about developing that sense of agency and so when we think about this child right this child who’s being so carefully cultivated right this child grows up believing that they should have choices that they should speak out that they should speak up if there’s a wrong right so there’s you start to feel this right there’s this independence and with this independence comes the psychological self this is my physical being right here this is me right this is the boundary of who I am this is me this is my space you don’t even have the right to get in my space let’s be certain right getting in my space gives me the right to defend my space that is independence that is an understanding of individual self and way of being that is very much cultivated by american society now other ways of being which actually are much more common around the world including low-income white African American Native American Latino we all do it in different ways but what we know is that the nature of that relationship is different and it changes and even within that right if we think about different like my daughter who’s an eight a girl but has a mother with a PhD she’s not going to look like the other kids on our reservation she could read it for most kids on our reservation don’t have books right we have to read for homework for school every night last night she went an article because we were out shopping she read in the car and article from BBC she’s six that’s having a mother who has a phd who’s read to her every day of her life so that’s an interesting integration of middle-class values and yet she’s very identified with being native how do you take that do you say them that she’s not native know because she also has a very strong interdependent self when she understands that she is in relationship with others and their herself is in some psychological way overlapping with both her tribal community her family right and she can define herself through those people and through those identities in a different way but she is going to be different right my cousin says I’m making her weird okay it might possibly be true but nonetheless right that’s my cousins only lived on the reservation view of my daughter who asked questions about anthropomorphism and no these weird things right but it’s because I’ve always loved I loved words i love them so when she asks a word like what’s in eight unlike all that’s a great word right her mom is a nerd she is going to be different this model allows for that difference it doesn’t take away from you i want you to see her as native i want you to see where she’s coming from but it allows us to think about people in a different way so understanding of cell-free as interdependent with others in the social context in relationship independence requires the relationships I want you to be really careful here you don’t get choices without someone giving you choices so both require a relationship they are different relationship styles and ways of being so good actions promote connection to others and attentions to others product preferences so when we think about creating identities safety today I’m going to show you one study with university administrators and what I want to show you is the way in which our administrators across the country acknowledge the cook the cultural norms that we set up and universities how that influences first-generation college students and i’m also going to do a little section on Native Americans because I could do Latinos I could do african-americans but I want to focus in part because of the invisibility and yet in Washington Washington has the fifth largest population of mates we are not a tiny group here and so I would like to just make sure that that stays in your mind when you leave today ok so American Indian and European American so here’s what we get we did a study where we asked university deans and administrators to write about what were the norms culture like that are supported by the university we also gave them some examples of what we put independence and interdependence in contrast and made them choose so 71 percent of university administrators characterize the university as purely independent 20-percent characterize them is equally independent and interdependent and when we broke that down by people of color that happen to be more people of color administrators and then nine percent characterize their university as interdependent and those were largely people of color and so in the second study and and I’m gonna go through this fairly quickly because i think the story is easy to follow but we looked at this independence and interdependence of native american and european american high school students attending the same high school and what we were interested in is how their model of self related to their performance in school and so right we use the independents interdependence measure we used a trust measure in part because native-like trust is a big issue and that helps to define the kinds of relationships you would have and then we measured grades and so just quickly show you write some of the things we expected for American Indians they were higher in energy dependence and independence and what was really exciting about this right you might think that’s problematic not for me because we actually looked closer at the scale independence for natives the questions are knowing who you are and part of being native is knowing who you are and that part of independence for natives actually connects to interdependence but just as we would have expected for European Americans they were much higher an independent than interdependence now what’s interesting is across the board european-americans high school students were more trusting of every domain that’s not surprising but what’s interesting is that the model holds so the best predictor of grades for european american high school students was how independent they were so so the better job your parents did making you this independent self guess what the better you did well guess what the these students are in the same environment but the opposite model holds for natives they need to be interdependent the more interdependent they were the better they did which actually in this case also meant if they were female and native they did better there wasn’t a place for a relationship for native men therefore they didn’t feel the interdependence they didn’t have it supported in that environment and they did not do well and then trust was a big factor so we started playing with these could we do little things to change it for natives and so one of the things we played with were just these cultural reframing and I’m gonna be honest i got the idea from a teacher so there was a teacher who said to me Stephanie I have these students that I love these native kids and I tell them all the time how much education will help them in the future and it just doesn’t motivate them and I said what happened if you told him it would motivate it would help their family or their community so we’ve tried i’m just going to show you one example where we reframe education in a study for native kids so they’re always given a gender relevant role model right so it I’m sorry yes meaning that when they’re given the role model they’re always the same gender so we’re holding gender consistent but they’re either white or native and they’re either told that getting an education is good for you are getting an education is good for your community and we get almost a 25-percent bump in motivation right these are little things right this is just a reframing of the environment it’s how you talk to someone is how you understand them so we do the same kind of thing right and here you can kind of see all the benefits for European American european americans of being that independent self right it’s a tool to get ahead in life developing autonomous thinkers individual competition and achievement are valued right so all these ways help them well for Native students across the literature what we find is that education is a tool to help family community learning occurs in interaction with others social support role models mentorship are important parts of that trusting relationship well guess what this holds the same for first-generation college students so first of all we know that first generation college students right have more difficulties in college they get lower grades they have higher dropout rates they have smaller academic gains the first year they experience less satisfaction in the environment lower feelings of belonging uses fewer close relationships right future relationships with professors well guess what right we also know that one of the things that’s different about them as they come from working class backgrounds they often when we look at the Rose work right they lack middle-class capital and they only lack it because you only know what you know right and so they engage in cultural models itself that do not match so we did this study right and just so you know we define first gens where both parents do not have a college degree so when you look at some of the economics you the biggest gain you see in scaffolding happens when you have one parent who has a college degree so first gens have neither parent has a college degree ok so compared to middle-class people with working-class context have make lower incomes have less geographic mobility in part because you don’t move if you don’t have like you go to call it you move then you get a job and you move right people who’s who don’t go away to college often stay and so they have more interactions with their family they also engage in different parenting styles so in willow in working-class families you’re more likely to teach your child to fit in and to engage but you do it because here’s the thing if you don’t have money you don’t have a safety net so your kid gets in trouble how are you going to protect that kid an upper-class middle-class kid gets in trouble you hire a good lawyer you have ways to protect them so there’s a lot of fear engaged in parenting when you are a poor parent right but the idea is also different of parenting right there is this concerted cultivation that goes into middle-class parenting when micromanaging children for working-class parents that story looks very different it’s not about it there’s more of a sense of you’re going to fit in you’re going to be part of things and there’s nothing wrong with that i mean more and more we’re looking at all the advantages that brings to help people think about getting along in the world so you have jobs with limited autonomy ok so what I want to show you is that we did what we collected data from all students entering Stanford before they arrived on the college campus it was a unique opportunity and in Stanford had just developed a policy where they guaranteed tuition so we had a lot more first-generation college students who could come to Stanford because Stanford would cover their tuition so we had 262 first-generation college students and what we did is we collected information about what motivates them to go to college and so what we found is that free for first continuing generation students the types of things that motivated them were more independence based becoming an independent thinker exploring potential learn more about interests and so on right and for the first gens they also express that value just not as much as continuing Jen’s did but what they did express much more was to bring honor to my family to be a role model to also others we can do well give back to the community well in fact we followed these students for two years and their motives held and predicted their grades two years later so the more independent their motives were coming into Stanford predicted their grades two years later so then we worked with Stanford to see if we could actually manipulate their welcome letter so the original welcome letter for Stanford is very independence based sounds a lot like this i’m delighted that you have decided to attend Stanford University and that you think Stanford is the right place for you for the next few years you will have many opportunities to explore new areas and to learn from our superb faculty and from your own personal exploration and individual experience as a student well we change the letter to add interdependence right I’m delighted that you and your family have decided that you should attend and for the next few years together with the Stanford community you will have many opportunities to explore right so we included that sense we have them do so we we actually did this to resident life so we told them that you know this is an activity we often have students do and here’s what’s interesting is that when we included interdependence the achievement gap changes for first-generation college students not only did they perform better but they experience the task is being less difficult and so let’s do you think this is a Stanford phenomenon we then did it with University of Arizona and guess what we have exactly the same finding and they also experience the task is easier and so I’m gonna end by saying that people sometimes take for granted the subtle ways in which learning and working environments are set up for example many environments privilege individual motivation even when a team of collaborative focus motivation would be more advantageous a work environment that focuses on independence advantages some and it inadvertently disadvantages others these environments can easily be changed and integrating interdependence and the environment has advantages for groups that are traditionally underrepresented in workspaces but most importantly they do not disadvantaged the people who are already there right so it’s not a a giver take you no one wins the other doesn’t and so I’m so now I’m I’m over time so I want to stop to honor the Q&A time but you know I just want you to keep in mind that in the work that you do it is very important to understand that there is no one kind of person people are products of the environment they grow up in cultures change over time please get that because I’m not an 18th or 19th century native I don’t live in a longhouse I don’t you know I didn’t buy these clothes just to come here today right and and we have to allow for differences in ways of being and so most importantly judged lightly and slowly thank you