ERIC Number: ED410779
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Black Female Graduate Students in the Academy: Re-Moving the Masks.
Ward, Wanda Grady
This study examined the sustaining traits of black female doctoral candidates within predominantly white research universities. Four students attending major research universities in the southwestern United States participated in the study. Data were collected through semistructured interviews, participant observations, and document analysis. The study employed Collins' (1991) outsider-within theory and Willie's (1981) theory of marginality. Collins' outsider theory was delineated into the dimensions of self-definition, safe spaces, voice, and visibility. The findings indicated that the participants sustained themselves in the environment by wearing "masks" to protect their inner self. Specific sustaining traits included self-definition, visceral detachment, knowledge of self as a subordinate in the environment, a culture of dissemblance, and the continuous recalling of familial schooling epistemologies. It is concluded that the findings support Collins' theory of the black woman as the outsider-within and illuminate the necessity of wearing the mask. (Contains 22 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: Black Students, Doctoral Programs, Educational Attitudes, Females, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Interpersonal Relationship, Psychological Patterns, Racial Attitudes, Racial Bias, Racial Factors, Research Universities, Self Concept, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Social Cognition
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 1997).