The purpose of this study was to examine the social impact black cultural centers have on African American athletes at predominately white institutions. A mixed-method approach was used, which included both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis using participant's responses to the Cultural Congruity and University Environment Scales. In the quantitative section, the participants were divided into three groups based on the type of neighborhood they grew up in; "mostly black," "mixed," or "mostly white." There was a significant statistical difference in how the participants answered items on the Cultural Congruity scale based on their neighborhood; however, there was no significant statistical difference in responses to items on the University Environment scale. Using the Bronfenbrenner Ecological Theory, the researcher attempted to examine how a child's development based on their environment could help shape their experiences as an adult. All the participants were African American female basketball student-athletes from one of the Power 5 Conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC-12, or SEC). In the qualitative section, a semi-structured interview was performed with directors of black cultural centers to determine the role they play in the social development of minority students. As a result, five themes emerged from the study; (1) challenges and roadblocks, (2) working relationship with athletics, (3) outreach for minorities, (4) social development, and (5) ethnic specific cultural centers versus multicultural centers. It was clear that the relationship with the cultural centers and the athletic department could improve, but there was no clear direction on how this could be done. One suggestion was to have a former student-athlete serve as a liaison between the two departments. A policy should be created that will encourage all sports to bring their minority recruits to the center for a visit. The overall perception from the directors is that a working relationship with athletics could help African American student-athletes become more involved in the cultural center, which could help with their overall sense of belonging and ethnic identity.
|Commitee:||Abernathy, Edwin, Pickens, Jeffrey, Reese, Craig|
|School:||St. Thomas University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Black cultural centers|
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