Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Pathways to college for homeless adolescents
by Gupton, Jarrett T., Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 209; 3368700
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation pertains to the pathways to college for homeless adolescents. Although homeless adolescents are perhaps the most marginalized subpopulation in education, there is little research on homeless youth and postsecondary education. This research project examines the barriers and facilitators to success homeless youth experience along their pathways to college.

Utilizing structuration theory as an interpretive lens, this study focuses on the ways in which the participants' educational pathways were constrained and enabled by social and cultural structures in addition to their own choices. Further, the dissertation considers the ways in which homeless youth might come to form a homeless identity and how it mediates their perspective on education. By employing an interpretive perspective this study moves beyond basic variables (e.g. race, socioeconomic status, and gender). It identifies how homeless adolescents construct their identities and suggests research-based policies to improve the lives of homeless youth.

Methodologically, this study employs qualitative research techniques and presents cultural biographies of each participant to provide a detailed portrait of how homeless youth come to define themselves and how they transverse educational systems to gain access to college. The significance of this study is not simply that it addresses a gap in the literature; rather, it relates to larger socio-cultural issues. By linking the theoretical insight to the narratives of homeless adolescents, this study provides evidence-based recommendations for research and policy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tierney, William G.
Commitee: Cole, Darnell, Ferguson, Kristin, Tierney, William G.
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Public policy, Higher education
Keywords: Access, Adolescents, College, College access, Homelesness, Pathways, Youth
Publication Number: 3368700
ISBN: 978-1-109-29489-7
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