Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Conscientization of Silent Voices: An Interpretive Case Study Exploring the Experiences of Assimilation and Acculturation on American-Raised, First Generation and Second Generation Ethiopian Women Academic Achievement, Self-Identity Development and Perception of Beauty
by Wynn, Adrienne L., Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2018, 165; 10749863
Abstract (Summary)

Acculturation for Ethiopians in America systemically require adaptation to the dominant culture. Prior research findings illustrate that acculturation mechanically progress towards assimilation, an absorption of a foreign culture’s psychological, sociological, and cultural characteristics. In this sense, this case study explores the impact of assimilation and acculturation on Ethiopian women academic achievement, self-identity development and perception of beauty in America. American systems promote the dominant structure ideologies through oppressive symbols, themes, and cultural dissonance of Blacks. However, the construct of race contributes to the discourse that affect Ethiopians in America by categorizing the group with Blacks based on skin color. Therefore, cultural exclusion legitimizes Ethiopians navigation of American structural practices based on issues of colorism that lends to a silencing of Ethiopian voices. Critical-race-feminism provides the framework and lens to critically analyze the underlying issue of race, and impact of assimilation and acculturation. Critical pedagogy supports the synthesis of Ethiopian women academic achievement. Congruently, case study interviews provide qualitative data to evaluate the life experiences of Ethiopian women, and ascertain information to investigate participants’ academic and social experiences navigating American culture. The following six themes emerged from the narrative data: (1) Family Centered Social Structure, (2) Maintaining Ethiopian Traditions/Customs in America Matters, (3) Struggle of Independence as a Woman vs. Family-Interdependence as a Woman, (4) Identifying as Ethiopian and Black vs. African-American, (5) School Impacts Culture When Isolated, and (6) Afrocentrism Standard of Beauty. Findings suggest Ethiopians in America have formulated structural supports inter-ethnically to safeguard culture, Ethiopians, and Afrocentric views. Findings further illustrate that Ethiopian culture promotes strong identity development, lending to increased academic achievement and the application of Afrocentricism towards constructs of beauty. The study concludes with recommendations for policy makers, educators, and community activist for future support and research on Ethiopians in America.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wiggan, Greg
Commitee: Campbell-Whatley, Gloria, O'Brien, Chris, Wang, Chuang
School: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Department: Curriculum & Instruction
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, Womens studies, Education
Keywords: Acculturation and assimilation, Afrocentricity, Critical pedagogy, Critical race feminism, Ethiopians, Identity development
Publication Number: 10749863
ISBN: 978-0-355-85492-3
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