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Abstract

The understanding of identities is an important component to understanding students and their experiences in educational contexts, especially in postsecondary education. There is limited information about the identities of college students from rural areas because this student population is often neglected as a distinct group in higher education literature. This article details a study utilizing narrative inquiry to explore the identities of three college students who graduated from high schools in rural areas. The findings suggest that these students’ races and ethnicities, genders and biological sexes, and sexual orientations were their salient social identities. Rurality was not a prominent identity, but their perceptions and experiences were shaped by their rural backgrounds. Rural students’ places of origin and their multiple identities, therefore, should not be ignored within P-20 education.

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