Taming The Elephant: An Examination Of The Identity, Coping Strategies, And Educational Aspirations Of Two Adolescent African American Males Who Live And Attend School In A Predominantly White Community
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
This study is a critical ethnography that examines the relationship between the racial-identity, coping strategies and educational aspirations of two African American males who live (and attend school) in a predominantly White community. The participants reside in a Northeastern state where the African-American population is below 3%. Although they live in different parts of the state, symbols like the Confederate flag were regularly seen inside and outside of both high schools.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the primary interpretive framework used in this study. However, theory from educational psychology and sociology were also included. Through semi-structured interviews, on-site observations, and artifact analysis (e.g. high school transcripts, SAT scores, and samples of creative writing), this research advances the understanding of how being Black in a predominantly White community affected the participants' identity, coping strategies and educational experiences. Similar to how any system functions, the participants' identity, coping strategies and educational aspirations were nested and dependent upon each other. This included a number of balancing and re-enforcing feedback loops. Although this study is qualitative and cannot be generalized, the experiences of the participants were similar. The difference was in their coping strategies.
The predominant culture that currently exists in most communities and educational institutions is deeply embedded in racism. This is systemic. It is time all institutions move forward and embrace diversity. Similar to the earth's resources, race relations must be sustained if we are to create a prosperous world for future generations.
Key Words: achievement, acting-White, agency, aspirations, identity, racism, resilience, stereotyping and self-efficacy.
Number of Pages
Beauregard, Jeremy LyDell, "Taming The Elephant: An Examination Of The Identity, Coping Strategies, And Educational Aspirations Of Two Adolescent African American Males Who Live And Attend School In A Predominantly White Community" (2016). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 535.