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ERIC Number: ED546306
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 246
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-2214-3
From Radical Reconstruction to Jim Crow: Education, Nation-Building, and the Making of a New Racial Order
Smith, Christi Michelle
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
Drawing on recent theories of boundary processes, status and ethnicity, I investigate processes of group-making in the post-Civil War era (1865-1905) when Americans were faced with two daunting political projects: rebuilding the nation, and creating a new racial order to replace the abolished system of bond slavery. Although scholars have extensively studied both processes, and the connections between them, few have appreciated the significance of the role played by educational institutions--particularly institutions of higher education--in these intertwined projects. The analyses are based on rich primary source documents from seven archives--including correspondence, organizational and promotional materials--and three national newspapers. First, I analyze news media to trace shifting priorities in nation-building and the discourse of the attempted racial projects. This reveals the path to convergence on education as a primary solution to disunion. Second, I use archival materials and news media to analyze debates by education reformers over the appropriate delineation of boundary distinctions between groups and evaluations of appropriate educational forms by status. Finally, I use archival materials and news media to analyze case-specific challenges of building and maintaining racially integrated colleges--Berea, Oberlin and Howard. This study examines how constructions of race, national-belonging and education were redefined by non-state actors through discursive strategies, as well as the challenges faced in attempting to forge new understandings of the symbolic value of different groups in Southern society. Most broadly, this dissertation emphasizes that categorization is a fundamental social process, and a host of possibilities for reorganizing social hierarchies and determining the political and symbolic salience exist: social orders need not be based on race or ethnicity any more than they are necessarily determined by religion or divine right. By examining group formation during a time of regime change, I address fundamental sociological questions pertaining to the meaning and construction of groups and, more specifically, the meanings of race. The cases in this dissertation provide an important portal for understanding how the production of cultural meanings of groups can usurp legal and political designations. [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; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Kentucky; Ohio