Expanding Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth to Intercollegiate Athletics

Molly Harry – University of Arkansas

Strengths-based perspectives are becoming increasingly common in higher education for historically minoritized groups of students. However, one student group has yet to be centered in these discussions: college athletes. This article proposes expanding strengths-based perspectives of athletes of color from low socioeconomic (SES) backgrounds based on Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth model. CCW consists of aspirational, linguistic, familial, social, navigational, and resistant capital. An integrative literature review process was used to examine previous athlete development literature employing strengths-based perspectives of athletes via CCW. A synthesis of the college athlete development and experience literature demonstrated a host of ways college athletes of color from low SES backgrounds also bring with them and cultivate CCW. Expanding CCW to college athletes provides a new lens to enhance theory and praxis and understanding of the experiences of this unique student population. Practical recommendations include implementing and fostering CCW via athlete development programming based on this expansion. The conceptual implications of this research shift epistemological understanding of college athletics and athletes.