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ERIC Number: ED516896
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 257
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-6828-2
Negotiating Identity: Elite Institutions, Low-Income First Generation College Students, and Their Parents
Rondini, Ashley C.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Brandeis University
The U.S. Department of Education reports that students who are the first in their families to pursue an undergraduate education comprise a minority of the student population at public four-year educational institutions, and comprise an even smaller percentage at elite, private four-year institutions (Engle, Bermeo, and O'Brien 2006). This dissertation examines social meanings of higher education as they are constructed and experienced both by low income first-generation college students who matriculate at elite, private four-year institutions, and by parents of these students. I explore, through the analysis of qualitative data, how these students reconcile and negotiate their relationships to their families and communities of origin with their acquisition of membership into the culture of elite private educational institutions as they undertake their academic careers. I also examine how parental educational attainment level and socioeconomic status intersect to inform students' experiences of the structural inequalities embedded within academic, social, and cultural milieu of elite university environments. Finally, I address the ways that parental expectations and perceptions inform the social meanings of post-secondary education for these students. Throughout the process of synthesizing my findings, I analyze the ways in which racial and cultural identities and/or family immigration histories are seen by participants as salient to the development of interpretive schema through which the meanings of higher education are conceptualized. My research draws from and expands upon the work of scholars who have contributed to the existing qualitative and quantitative research on policies and programs related to education and social mobility. My dissertation synthesizes and cross-examines interview data from both first generation college students and their parents to illustrate the lived experiences of educational opportunities, institutions, and polices vis-a-vis the construction of social meanings of education within families. My work provides insight into the intersecting macro-level social and economic forces, institutional practices and cultural norms, and family-level systems of meaning that converge to inform familial experiences of educational mobility. The findings of my study will contribute to the development of effective policy and program design needed to support academic success for low-income first generation students. [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