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A popular but burdensome commonality amongst minorities is the seemingly universal experience of bearing some mental or emotional burden as a result of our identities and membership in said minority group, where expectations are made of us to educate, endure, and explain culturally relevant issues. Amado Padilla (1994) initially coined this experience with the term “cultural taxation,” but specifically in relation to faculty of color and ethnic scholars who did double the work their White colleagues did in respective fields. As much past research on cultural taxation and identity taxation (Hirschfield & Joseph, 2012) has been conducted largely on faculty and through qualitative means (interviews, etc.), there is yet to be quantitative analysis done on marginalized students’ experiences of cultural taxation. This study aims to tentatively measure cultural and identity taxation in college students in the United States and see how it correlates with stress, being measured using the Perceived Stress Scale. Past research has shown how taxing the many additional burdens, which individuals are either consciously aware of or not, are to marginalized groups, and how they have self-reported being very stressed as a result. I hypothesize that students who report experiencing more cultural taxation through the scale will also have higher scores on the Perceived Stress Scale, showing a positive correlation and relationship between the two. Data collected from 147 students found a significant positive relationship between PSS scores and cultural taxation scores. Exploratory analyses found that within White participants, there was also a positive significant correlation, but none for other racial subgroups or all BIPOC grouped together. They also found a positive significant relationship for cisgender individuals, but none for non-cisgender, heterosexual, or non-heterosexual subgroups. These findings provide evidence for the idea that students who feel more culturally taxed will also experience higher levels of stress.
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Chowdhury, Sherry, "Cultural Taxation and College Students: Undergraduate College Students and Their Experiences With Unfair Cultural and Identity Taxation" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 155.
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