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Black College Students: Racial Identity, Class Identity, and Worldviews in the Process of Upward Mobility

This study attempts to fill a gap in the literature about the experience of upward social mobility for Black Americans from those who are currently working towards it. While cultural differences between the black poor and the black middle class are documented, we understand little about how those changes happen along the mobility pathway. Utilizing a cultural toolkit approach, this study aims to answer the following research questions: How do black higher education students make sense of the purpose of college as a mobility enhancing mechanism? How does their social class background and their understanding of their racial identity shape those worldviews? How does the institutional context of two distinct universities shape the way these worldviews change over time? Qualitative interviews will be conducted with 60 black college students from two universities to answer these questions.

Duties to be performed by Undergraduate:

Undergraduate students will help many phases of the qualitative research process. Students will help to find and review relevant literature, data transcription, coding, and data analysis.

Supervising Faculty Member:
Dr. Alford A. Young, Jr.

Graduate Student:
Kennedy A. Turner

Contact Information:

Approximate Hours of work per week:
3-12 hours
Range of Credit Hours:
1-4 hours

Number of positions available: