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ERIC Number: ED514445
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 151
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-9861-9
Exploring the Connection between Same-Sex Friendships and the Development of Self-Authorship in Black Undergraduate Women
Costello, Jamie Glanton
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College
Against a backdrop of increasing diversity in the United States, the number of Black women undergraduates enrolled at predominantly white institutions across the country is growing. Yet while colleges and universities are eager to diversify their campuses, often the climate of these campuses has not changed in ways that support the success of Black women. Experiences of discrimination, social isolation and hostility are commonplace, leading these women to feel as if they are guests at the institution. This research project sought to explore how same-sex, same-race friendships among Black women helped them toward developing self-authorship. Self-authorship involves the development of internal mechanisms for self-worth and decision-making. Typically, achievement of self authorship occurs after the undergraduate years. This phenomenological research study was conducted at a large religiously-affiliated university in the Northeast. Black undergraduate women were interviewed to identify their important friendships, the issues they deal with on campus, and their developmental stage of self-authorship. Findings showed that these women were dealing with racism and microinequities on campus every day. The women in this study turned to their Black women friends for support and advice to navigate the sometimes-hostile campus environment. Ethnicity related to national origin was an important factor in identity and friendship group composition. Study participants showed significant progression towards self-authorship prior to graduation. In addition to the strong positive role of same-race friendships, their experiences as Black women on campus encouraged them to become activists. Activism, in turn, enhanced their empowerment and self-authorship. This research shows that encouraging diversity on campus does not guarantee institutional climate change to meet the unique needs of these Black women. Implications from this study include the need for women of color to have opportunities for mentorship, leadership, and same-race, same-ethnicity residential environments. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A