Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

There Is No Place Like Home: The Lived Experience of Military Brats of Color in College
by Peralta, Alicia M., Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2019, 284; 27547446
Abstract (Summary)

Military children of color live in various cultural contexts, often outside of mainstream U.S. society, leading to questions about their experiences as young people of color in college settings. To this end, this dissertation asks: What is the lived experience of military brats of color in college? This dissertation explores the experiences of seven military children of color in college settings as they navigate leaving their unique military context, encounter identities they did not know they had, and individuate from their families and the military context. The phenomenological questioning of identity coupled with conceptions of home and belonging shine a light on the bittersweet experience of the military brats of color feeling like strangers in their own country. These experiences are uncovered using Gadamerian (1975/2004) horizons and Heidegger’s dasein (1927/2008b) in addition to O’Donohue’s (1997, 1998) philosophical writings on belonging and home. The thematizing process brought forth experiences of attempting to forge an identity in the midst of preconceived ideas about who and what you should be as a person. The process of forging identity includes the transition from the military community to college; a settling into college; and a choosing of identity. Pedagogical insights include a critique of identity and how it is constructed, specifically because military children of color are never of a place, but move with and in spaces. I also consider concepts of home, and how higher education practitioners can work with military students of color while respecting their lived experience.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hultgren, Francine, Fries-Britt, Sharon
Commitee: Espino, Michelle, Kleykamp, Meredith, Griffin, Kimberly
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Department: Education Policy, and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 81/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Ethnic studies, Educational sociology
Keywords: Department of Defense Education Activity, Identity development, Military children, Race, Students of color
Publication Number: 27547446
ISBN: 9781392755129
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