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"Let Them Speak their Peace": A Retrospective Critical Race Exploration of Adolescent Black Male Social and Schooling Experiences, Identity Development, and Educational/Life Outcomes in Pittsburgh

Quigley, Michael (2013) "Let Them Speak their Peace": A Retrospective Critical Race Exploration of Adolescent Black Male Social and Schooling Experiences, Identity Development, and Educational/Life Outcomes in Pittsburgh. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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How adolescent black males make meaning of their social and schooling experiences affects the development of identities that can serve as risk-factors for acedemic engagement, achievement, and life outcome. Although research on racial and ethnic identity among youth of color has flourished during the last two decades, little of that research has directly examined the relationship between identity, achievement, and life trajectory. There has been no research examining these relationships specifically in Pittsburgh, a city with historically deep racial educational and economic disparities. In order to better understand how identity influences academic engagement, educational outcomes, social choices, and life trajectories in Pitsburgh specifically and the U.S. more broadly, in-depth phenomenological interviews were conducted from a sample of 10 black men who attended Pittsburgh Public Schools. This exploratory study used the retrospective recollections of these men to examine the social and schooling experiences of adolescent black males in this context. Three respondents were selected from this sample and their respective interview data were crafted into narrative profiles. Critical race theory (CRT) was the primary paradigmatic lens through which these experiences were examined and the interview data analyzed and reported on.
Findings showed four salient themes of respect, internalized racism, the power in words and names, and the CRT construct whiteness as property at work in their adolescent experiences.
Two meta-themes of multiple interpretations of black masculinity, achievement, and race, and differend cut across all of the narratives. In a researcher reflection on the power of voice, the counter-story telling construct of CRT is discussed, revealing the positive affect and healing capacity it holds for black males. This discussion is a defense for maintaining the differend and is situated within an argument for the utility of CRT as an appropriate methodological and analytical tool to examine and disrupt the pervasive academic struggles of black males. Implications for the schooling of black males; why it is important to listen to what black men have to say about their schooling; new possibilities for educational policy and practice; and new ontological possibilites and ethical responsibilities for adults in schools are discussed as well.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Committee MemberBickel, Williambickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberGallagher, Jeregal@pitt.eduGAL
Committee MemberHopson,
Committee MemberTaylor, Jerometaylor@pitt.eduTAYLOR
Date: 30 August 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 May 2013
Approval Date: 30 August 2013
Submission Date: 19 August 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 295
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescent Black Males, Urban Education, Identity Construction, Critical Race Theory
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2013 19:12
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:15


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