This narrative inquiry explores the childrearing practices and expectations for achievement as well as socialization of six African American mothers for their sons and daughters. Using a lens of Black feminism while exploring the positioned childrearing of these mothers, I attempt to deepen understanding of how these unique parenting practices influence the gender gap in achievement for African American students. Guided by in-depth, semi-structured interviewing methods, I engaged in structured conversations with six middle class, African American mothers to convey narratives of their childrearing practices.
Transcription and narrative coding of all interview data, as well as participant and researcher journals, revealed a story of each mother's life growing up, the influence this had on their childrearing practices, how they supported their children with school, and expectations for their sons and daughters. All of the mothers who participated in this study wanted their children to be successful adults. They expected their sons to be "productive members of society" and ultimately grow up to live comfortably providing for their future families. The expectation communicated to daughters was that they would grow up to be women who would be able to take care of themselves and not have to depend on anyone. They each felt the intersectionality of their identity as middle class, African American women, influenced their experiences with involvement efforts at school.
This inquiry provides a counter narrative to the deficit based societal discourse around African American mothers' childrearing practices. Recommendations for policy that inform culturally relevant school practices that support the engagement of African American families as well as suggestions for future research are provided.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Black studies, Educational sociology, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||African-American, Black feminism, Gender gap, Mothers, Narrative inquiry, Parent involvement, Parental expectations|
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