Navigating Life Experiences: Voices of African American Women Pursuing a College Degree After Incarceration
1 online resource (142 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This study examined the experiences of African American women pursuing college degrees after incarceration despite systemic barriers. The conceptual framework used to ground the research was Feminist Standpoint Theory (FST) through the lens of Black Feminist Thought (BFT). The participants of the study consisted of nine African American women who had been incarcerated. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from the participants that identified as African American, woman and enrolled in a two or four-year college. Interviews were conducted face-to-face, over the telephone, and through Google Hangout Video. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was the approached used to provide insight to the lived experiences of the participants. The emergent themes of the participants, African American women who had experienced incarceration, were found through an inductive approach using manual coding and computer software. There were two main themes with three subthemes each. One of the main themes was perseverance of self with subthemes of agency, overcoming barriers, and support. The other main theme was affirmation of self with subthemes of accomplishments, aspirations, and faith. The findings of the study suggested that African American women who were formerly incarcerated were focused on their personal growth and development during pursuit of a higher education degree. The women took ownership of their lives to determine their future and did not place a huge emphasis on what institutions were not doing for the but looking at what they need to do for themselves to have the opportunities they desire.
AffirmationAfrican American WomenBarriersFormerly IncarceratedHigher EducationPerseverance
Butler, BettieMennicke, AnneliseMerriweather, LisaMiller, Ryan
Thesis (D.Ed.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2019.
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