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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A study of first-generation African American and Latino undergraduates developing sociopolitical consciousness in introductory sociology classes
by Castillo-Montoya, Milagros, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2013, 301; 3590255
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the development of first-generation African American and Latino college students' sociopolitical consciousness in the context of their learning of sociology as a component of their liberal education studies. Given the paucity of research on how college students develop sociopolitical consciousness, this study addresses: (1) the nature of first-generation undergraduate African American and Latino students' sociopolitical consciousness at point of entry to college-level study of introductory sociology, (2) college students' sociopolitical consciousness prior to (or early in) their interaction with sociological ideas, (3) changes that may occur in these students' sociopolitical consciousness as they interact with sociological ideas, (4) classroom activities that may be related to changes experienced by the students, and (5) acts, reflective of sociopolitical consciousness, in which the students engage.

Conducted at an urban university with high racial and ethnic diversity, the study featured documentation and analysis of 18 focal students' learning in two sections of a sociology class. The study relies on interviews with the focal students about their learning and thinking in and out of class, interviews with instructors and administrators, class observations, analysis of students' written work and other class materials including textbooks, and review of institutional and curricular documents.

Study findings portray undergraduates' sociopolitical consciousness as comprised of awareness and understanding of sociopolitical forces. Students' awareness and understanding may vary by degree (amount of) and topic. College students enter the classroom already in possession of some sociopolitical consciousness which may be viewed as part of their prior knowledge. Study findings indicate that students' sociopolitical consciousness intensifies and at times is transformed as students encounter sociological subject matter. Two aspects of the classroom may contribute to developing undergraduates' sociopolitical consciousness: (1) in-class discussions and (2) professors offering examples during their teaching relevant to students' interests. The study suggests that students' acts of analysis and/or critique, and their acts of involvement, can contribute to their sociopolitical capacity—an amalgamation of consciousness and acts. Implications and ideas for future research follow.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Neumann, Anna
Commitee: Bartlett, Lesley, Campbell, Corbin, Stuart Wells, Amy
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
Department: Organization and Leadership
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Social studies education, Hispanic American studies, Higher education
Keywords: African-American, First-generation students, Latino, Learning, Sociology, Sociopolitical consciousness
Publication Number: 3590255
ISBN: 978-1-303-29669-7
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