Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

Department

Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Rosusan D. Bartee

Second Advisor

Lori Wolff

Third Advisor

Stacy R. Niemeyer

Abstract

This study, The Acting White Phenomenon: An Examination of Existing and Emerging Implications for African American Students in Rural Schools in Mississippi, examines the impact the Acting White Phenomenon has on the academic and social development of African American adolescents in rural schools of Mississippi. This study uses various analytical methods and presents research conclusions, discussions and implications to guide future work in minimizing the effect and maximize the benefits to African American adolescents in rural high schools in Mississippi. Studying African American seniors in rural high schools in multiple locations, this mixed methods study gathers both quantitative and qualitative data in an effort to answer two research questions: (1) In what ways, if any, does the Acting White Phenomenon exist among African American senior students in rural high schools in Mississippi? (2) How do African American senior students experience in the Acting White Phenomenon in rural schools in Mississippi? The study demonstrated how African American students in this study are resilient and resourceful, finding means by which to address, deter, redirect, or ignore those accusing them of Acting White and continue their academic pursuits. The study also demonstrated how detrimental the Acting White Phenomenon can be to one’s mental and emotional well-being. Thus, educators must be more deliberate in how to address the Acting White Phenomenon with students, teachers, administrators, school boards, and community stakeholders.

Concentration/Emphasis

Emphasis: Education Leadership (K-12)

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