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Title:Success Oriented Strategies Employed by Middle-Class African American Families: A Focus on Positive Racial Identity Development and Socialization
Author(s):Carter-Black, Janet D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Haight, Wendy L.
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to identify the parenting practices and child-rearing strategies employed by African American families that facilitate the development and socialization of children in ways that promote achievement and success outcomes, with a primary focus on those strategies that foster positive racial identity development and socialization. Employing a qualitative ethnographic case study approach, including oral histories, this study draws on participant observations and transcribed and coded data collected through in-depth audio-taped individual semi-structured interviews with members of six middle-class African American families (twelve parents and sixteen children) including three extended kinship family members, five social work practitioners and one social work graduate student each of whom were able to provide auxiliary information pertaining to parent/child relationships and parenting strategies within the black community, and three elders of the Champaign-Urbana black community. These elders shared valuable information regarding their experiences growing up and subsequently raising their own children in the Champaign-Urbana black community and added an intergenerational perspective to the developmental and socialization processes involved in parenting successful African American children. The findings suggest consensus among and across all categories of informants. Achievement and success were measured in terms that reflect internal processes and intrinsic virtues (achieving personal goals, acquisition of new skills, putting forth one's best effort) as opposed to external circumstances or tangible elements (status, recognition, power, prestige, material wealth, or possessions). Further, the most salient child-rearing strategies that promote achievement and foster success outcomes were categorized as follows: the importance of education, "selective exposure", family and family activities, responsibility and respect for self and others, religion and spirituality, the protection of children, child discipline, and positive racial identity development and socialization. Contested racial authenticity (challenged as not black enough) emerged as a yet unresolved dilemma that illuminates the manner in which sociopolitical and cultural contexts influence variations in intra-cultural group responses to matters of race and racism both within and across generations. This study has implications for developing culturally relevant practice with racial/ethnic minority families and dismantling erroneous conclusions about African American family life based on research designs that employed archaic deficit models.
Issue Date:2005
Description:273 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3202070
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2005

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