ERIC Number: ED281947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Dec-4
Racelessness as a Factor in Black Students' School Success: Pragmatic Strategy or Pyrrhic Victory?
This paper examines the complex relationship between black adolescents' ethnic identity, school performance, and the effect of the larger social structure on the interaction of these phenomena by reference to the concept of racelessness. This concept captures the endemic tensions and conflicts experienced by black Americans as they seek to define their relationship to the dominant society. Despite the growing acceptance of ethnicity and ethnic identity in the larger American society, a strong ethnic identity in the school context appears to be negatively sanctioned among black adolescents. The paper is divided into four sections. The first, presenting the theoretical model undergirding the proposed analysis, describes the structure of the shared cultural system--fictive kinship--existing in the black community as background data. The second section reviews existing research literature and autobiographical data on the efficacy of racelessness as a strategy for academic excellence and vertical mobility. The third part reviews research suggesting that black students must develop a raceless persona to achieve academic success. The fourth and final section concludes with implications and suggestions for minimizing the need for racelessness as a strategy for social mobility and academic excellence among black adolescents. A six-page reference list is appended. (LHW)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (85th, Philadelphia, PA, December 3-7, 1986). For related documents, see UD 025 503-504.