Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Jose M. Castillo, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Black, Ph.D.


multiculturalism, school psychology, critical psychology, social justice


Although there is an increase in publications on the topic of cultural responsiveness in school psychology, the research literature does not interrogate the discourse around cultural responsiveness and the modes of practices it enables. Using a preexisting dataset featuring interviews with 15 school psychologists, I analyzed the discursive formations characterizing the talk about cultural responsiveness. Data analysis using the critical discursive psychology framework illuminated the presence of cognitivism in participant talk. Critical discourse analysis drawing on Foucauldian theory of power effects revealed the ways in which cognitivism both enabled and constrained the discursive production of ‘culture’ and ‘cultural responsiveness’. Culture became a primarily cognitive concept (beliefs, values, and tendencies of various groups), and cultural responsiveness came to be a rational non-discriminatory form of decision making process oriented toward individualistic and micro-level forms of practices that had institutional sanction. Implications and recommendations for further research are discussed.