Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Phenomenological Reflections: Positive Life Outcomes of African American Men
by Flynn, James H., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 164; 3536046
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to investigate the reflections and underlying meanings of lived experiences, beliefs, perceptions, and judgments of 14 adult African American males on ways they overcame a low socioeconomic childhood experience. Data gleaned from literature supported the notion that low socioeconomics contributed to family dysfunction and underachievement in education. Many African American males residing in jails and prisons cited the lack of a complete education as a major reason they were incarcerated. Some school systems disproportionately labeled African American boys as learning disabled or impaired and placed them into special classes outside of regular academic classroom settings rather than reengineering new teaching methods to help them succeed. Low socioeconomics was negatively identified with wealth accumulation, employment, self-esteem, health care, two-parent households, and income. Why the study participants were able to overcome the effects of growing up in low socioeconomic households provided key insights into their eventual positive life outcomes. Participants were recruited primarily from the greater Washington, DC, area using non-random purposeful sampling techniques. The participants' experienced firsthand, numerous disparities and societal inequities while growing up that were prevalent for many families of African descent. Study results revealed crucial relationships the participants experienced with mentors and role models and how they maximized opportunities that prepared them with usable life skills. The participants reflected on wholesome character-building activities such as scouting, sports, and religion that likely contributed to their eventual life achievements. Opportunity for future research to expand upon the results of this study is evident. Suggested topics might include the effects of urban versus rural environments by geographic region; racial makeup or homogeneity of neighborhoods, schools, churches, and businesses; recreation activities; and family immigrant status.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gordon, Brett
Commitee: Scott, Robert J., Jr.
School: Northcentral University
Department: Public Administration
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Business administration, Black studies, Public administration
Keywords: African-American, Men, Mentor, Positive life outcome, Poverty, Role model, Socioeconomic status (SES), Violence
Publication Number: 3536046
ISBN: 978-1-267-91066-0
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