Date of Award

12-15-2014

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Gloria Boutte

Second Advisor

Tambra Jackson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to interpret, investigate, and analyze how race, racism, and power are embedded and intertwined not only in society but also in the education system and in homes and communities. Specifically, through parent and student engagement during a series of book club meetings, I investigated how parents’ racial identities impacted how they created critical dialogue pertaining to issues of race, racism, and power with their children. Guided by critical race pedagogy, critical race theory (CRT) and CRT methodology, this study used race as a critical analytic lens to examine the lives and work of people of color and Whites as well as the roles their homes, schools, and communities played in the development of their racial and cultural identities. I conducted in-depth reflexive interviews and focus groups with high school freshmen and their parents to investigate their experiences as they maneuvered race-related processes and discourses in society, schools, home, and communities. Drawing from interviews, memos, field notes, and other forms of research data, I created composite characters, and I presented the findings of this study through a dramaturgical performance. Findings showed that parents created dialogues with their children about social and equity issues in “episodic” moments (our memory of experiences and specific events in time in a sequential form). Furthermore, because of their involvement in the book club parents and students gained a deeper critical understanding of race and racism as evidenced by the findings and reoccurring themes from the data. Throughout the book club, some of the students and parents possessed a colorblind approach when it came to race. Furthermore, implications are provided to support educators, policy makers, researchers, parents, and students in challenging and overturning racial practices in various social institutions such as homes and schools as we begin to address and challenge the perplexity and the systemic effects of racism while taking different approaches to foreground an anti-racist agenda.

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