Authentic, Transformational Leadership: A Phenomenological Study of the Experiences of Black/White Biracial Leaders

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-03-29 15:12Z by Steven

Authentic, Transformational Leadership: A Phenomenological Study of the Experiences of Black/White Biracial Leaders

University of Nebraska, Lincoln
May 2013
182 pages

Carmen R. Zafft

Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Major: Human Sciences (Leadership Studies)

This phenomenological study described the racial identity and leadership experiences of eight community, education, and business Black/White biracial leaders. Four central themes emerged relating to the participants’ racial identity choices: (a) family discourse, (b) social networks, (c) appearance, and (d) identity work. Three central themes emerged relating to the participants’ leadership experiences: (a) cultural agility: “Blessed to be flexible”, (b) perceived representation: “I look like them”, and (c) transformational leadership: “I lead so others can grow.” Because the participants were conscious of their identity development experience, all demonstrated a strong sense of self which influenced how they experienced leadership. As a result, the essence of experiencing leadership as a biracial leader was to be authentic and transformational.

Chapter One: Introduction

In an interview for CBS news in 2007, Presidential candidate Barack Obama was asked, “How important is race in defining yourself?” to which he responded, “I am rooted in the African-American community, but I’m not defined by it. I am comfortable in my racial identity, but that’s not all I am” (Kroft, 2007). Historically, a presidential candidate’s racial identity has not to this degree been questioned. This question was due, in part, to his identification as a Black American yet his racial lineage consists of a White, Midwest-American mother and a Black, Kenyan father. Walters (2007) brought attention to the conflict surrounding President Obama’s racial and cultural heritage:

He appeared to be of African descent, but the cultural markers to which traditional American Blacks were exposed presented him as someone born of a White American mother and a Kenyan father and raised in Hawaii. Also, the fact that he had lived for a while in Indonesia complicated the matter further. In short, his identity omitted many of the cultural markers with which Blacks are more familiar to the extent that it has promoted a curiosity of ‘cultural fit’ that in turn has become an issue of political trust. (p. 13)

These “cultural markers” influence how Black Americans make sense of and fit in the world around them. Essentially, these markers have traditionally defined Blackness in America. Though Obama identified as a Black American, his racial heritage and social influences did not fit the cultural markers typical of a Black American male leader. This caused voters, Black and White, to question whose interests Barack Obama was committed to and if they could follow him. For these reasons, Obama’s racial lineage, his cultural influences, his racial identification, and his post-racial rhetoric communicated a welcomed, albeit “mixed message” to the American public.

Despite this mixed message, President Obama’s election signified substantial racial gains for African Americans. Of equal significance is the special attention his biracial parentage brings to this growing population. His election led me to consider how a biracial leaders’ racial identity influences their leadership experiences.

The purpose of this phenomenological study is to describe how biracial leaders identify racially and how they experience leadership. Biracial leaders are defined as an individual with a Black biological parent and a White biological parent who exercises leadership in an organization or group…

Read the entire dissertation here.

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LLS-4910-850: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Course Offerings, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-07 10:14Z by Steven

LLS-4910-850: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America

University of Nebraska, Ohama
Fall 2011

Olga Celle, Visiting Professor of Sociology

This course is a semester long discussion on Mestizaje or racial/ethnic mixing in Latin America. The premise informing the discussion is that race and ethnicity are social constructions—There are no actual races or ethnicities in the world. And yet, people and institutions function as they were real, which make them powerful weapons for oppression, social injury and rebellion. Most Latin Americans define themselves or are defined as Mestizo or mixed blood people. At times, they mean culturally mixed, meaning not totally Western or Indigenous. Other times, they are referring to their attributed racial make up. For this reason, national statistics should be taken with caution because the labeling of citizens is usually done by a census taker who might impose his views unto the individual in order to classify her/him. But the point remains, why does the state needs to classify its citizens according to race and ethnicity? Why do we need to define ourselves and others (sometimes beloved ones) according to race and ethnicity?

Race and ethnicity are powerful coordinates in the network of domination, for both the oppressors and the victims’ contestation in the circuits through which power flows. Race and ethnicity are experienced in a different fashion depending on the individual’s gender and sexuality. Hence this course incorporates gender and sexuality into the discussion.

The questions informing our journey through these complex issues are: How did Latin Americans construct and interpret racial, ethnic and gender identities and ideologies? And how these interpretations and ideologies have been used to formulate an idea of nation? In other words, we will learn about the different ways ethnicity and race have been defined in the Latin America studies (historiography) and the ideologies and practices associated with these categories. Our readings will be drawn mostly from all Latin American countries…

For more information, click here.

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Transcultural Transformation: African American and Native American Relations

Posted in Anthropology, Dissertations, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2011-08-26 02:27Z by Steven

Transcultural Transformation: African American and Native American Relations

University of Nebraska
November 2009
139 pages

Barbara S. Tracy

A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The intersected lives of African Americans and Native Americans result not only in Black Indians, but also in a shared culture that is evidenced by music, call and response, and story. These intersected lives create a dynamic of shared and diverging pathways that speak to each other. It is a crossroads of both anguish and joy that comes together and apart again like the tradition of call and response. There is a syncopation of two cultures becoming greater than their parts, a representation of losses that are reclaimed by a greater degree. In the tradition of call and response, by denying one or the other something is lost. Claiming the relationship turns transcultural transformation into a powerful response. Working from Henry Gates’ explanation of signifying combined with Houston Baker’s description of blues literature, I examine signifying, call and response, and blues/jazz elements in the work of three writers to discover the collective lives of African Americans, Native Americans, and Black Indians. In the writing of Black-Cherokee Alice Walker, I look for the call and response of both African and Native American story-ways. I find these same elements in the writing of Spokane/Coeur d’Alene writer Sherman Alexie, in his blues writings and his revision of Robert Johnson’s and other stories. In the work of Creek/Cherokee Craig Womack, I examine a Creek/Cherokee perspective of Black Creeks and Freemen. In all of these works, I find that the shared African American and Native American experience plainly takes place in these works in a variety of ways in which the authors call upon oral and written story, song, and dance, and create a response that clearly signifies the combined power of these shared experiences. This is a fusion of shared traditions with differences that demonstrate the blending of voices and culture between two peoples who have been improvising together for a long time.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Speaking of Things Yet Unspoken: Native Americans, African Americans, and Black Indians
  • 1. The Red-Black Center of Alice Walker’s Meridian: Asserting a Cherokee Womanist Sensibility
  • 2. Crossroads: The African American and Native American Blues Matrix in Sherman Alexie’s Reservation Blues
  • 3. “Red is Red”: Transcultural Convergence and Craig Womack’s Drowning in Fire
  • Conclusion: Common Ground: Let the Music Start
  • Works Cited

Read the entire dissertation here.

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The Missing Box: Multiracial Student Identity Development at a Predominately White Institution

Posted in Campus Life, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2011-04-22 02:51Z by Steven

The Missing Box: Multiracial Student Identity Development at a Predominately White Institution

University of Nebraska, Lincoln
May 2011
153 pages

Ashley Michelle Loudd

A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts

The purpose of this study was to add to the growing body of research aimed at deciphering the unique identity development experiences of multiracial college students. In doing so, this particular study sought to explore the process for self-identified multiracial students attending a Mid-western predominately white institution. Personal interviews and a focus group were utilized to delve into the students’ stories, and the participants’ pathways through negotiating their racial identities were linked with Renn’s (2004) ecological identity development patterns. The result was an in-depth and critical understanding of how a predominately white institution places multiracial students in an unsupportive environment, where they are often forced into racial identities that they might not have otherwise chosen for themselves.

This study explored how five self-identified multiracial students’ experiences attending a predominately white institution led to Renn’s (2004) ecological patterns of multiracial identity development through the completion of five interviews and one focus group. The following sub-themes emerged from the analysis of the participants’ connection to Renn’s (2004) five ecological patterns of multiracial identity development: “I think diversity is important,” “I am proud of my heritage,” “I’ll switch back and forth between my identities,” “Identifying as ‘x’ and ‘y’ – that’s key,” “Why can’t you be both,” “I classify for ease, but this is who I really am,” “People like me only happen in America,” “I’m racially ambiguous,” “Too Black to be White, too White to be Black,” and “The amount of non-White people is very low.” The results from this qualitative study indicated that the process of identity development for multiracial students attending a predominately white institution is highly influenced by the environment, leaving them little agency in determining how they racially identify and forcing them to enter situational modes of identity. Implications for multiracial student identity development, as well as, student affairs practitioners are provided. Additionally, recommendations for future research are reviewed.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 – Introduction
    • Context
    • Purpose Statement
    • Significance of Study
    • Research Questions
    • Research Design
    • Definition of Terms
    • Delimitations
    • Limitations
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 2 – Literature Review
    • Introduction
    • The Culture of Predominately White Institutions
    • The Student of Color Experience at Predominately White Institutions
    • Racial Identity Development Models
      • Helms’s People of Color and White Racial Identity Models
      • Cross’s Model of Black Identity Development
      • Ferdman and Gallegos’s Model of Latino Identity Development
      • Kim’s Asian American Identity Development Model
    • Theoretical Approaches Exploring the Multiracial Experience of Identity Development
      • The Problem Approach
      • The Equivalent Approach
      • The Variant Approach
    • Foundational Theories and Models of Multiracial Identity Development
      • Integrated Identity
      • Multiracial Identity
      • Positive Alterity
    • Summary of the Literature
    • Theoretical Framework
      • Student holds a monoracial identity
      • Student holds multiple monoracial identities, shifting according to situation
      • Student holds a multiracial identity
      • Student holds an extraracial identity by deconstructing race or opting out of identification by U.S. racial categories
      • Student holds a situational identity, identifying differently in different contexts
    • Looking Ahead
  • Chapter 3 – Methodology
    • Introduction
    • Study Rationale
    • Research Questions
    • Methodology Rationale
    • Epistemology and Theoretical Perspective
    • Participants
    • Research Site
    • Data Collection
      • Interviews
      • Focus Group
    • Data Analysis
    • Validation Techniques
    • Researcher Bias and Assumptions
    • Limitations
    • Strengths
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4 – Findings
    • Introduction
    • Introduction to the Participants
    • Overview of Emergent Themes and Sub-themes
      • Theme 1: Monoracial Identity
        • “I think diversity is important.”
        • “I am proud of my heritage.”
        • Ecological Analysis
      • Theme 2: Multiple Monoracial Identities, Shifting According to Situation
        • “I’ll switch back and forth between my identities.”
        • “Identifying with ‘x’ and ‘y’ – that’s key.”
        • Ecological Analysis
      • Theme 3: Multiracial Identity
        • “Why can’t you be both?”
        • “I classify for ease, but this is who I really am.”
        • Ecological Analysis
      • Theme 4: Extraracial Identity
        • “People like me only happen in America.”
        • “I’m racially ambiguous.”
        • Ecological Analysis
      • Theme 5: Situational Identity, Identifying Differently in Different Contexts
        • “Too Black to be White, too White to be Black.”
        • “The amount of non-White people is very low.”
        • Ecological Analysis
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5 – Discussion
    • Introduction
    • Summary of Findings and Link to Theoretical Perspective
      • Research Sub-question 1
      • Research Sub-question 2
      • Research Sub-question 3
      • Overall Implications
    • Implications of the Current Study for Student Affairs Practitioners
    • Recommendations for Future Research
    • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Participant Demographic Information
  • Table 2: Qualitative Research Validation Techniques
  • Table 3: Research Themes and Sub-themes

List of Appendices

  • Appendix A: Informed Consent Form
  • Appendix B: Recruitment E-mail to Potential Participants
  • Appendix C: Reminder E-mail to Participants
  • Appendix D: Participant Demographic Sheet
  • Appendix E: Semi-Structured Interview Protocol
  • Appendix F: Un-Structured Focus Group Protocol
  • Appendix G: Transcriptionist Confidentiality Agreement
  • Appendix H: Example of Coded Participant Transcript

Read the entire thesis here.

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Strategies Multiracial College Women Use to Navigate Monoracial Systems

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2010-04-16 03:46Z by Steven

Strategies Multiracial College Women Use to Navigate Monoracial Systems

Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS) Open Access Theses and Dissertations from the College of Education and Human Sciences
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
May 2009
248 pages

Minisa Michiko Chapman-Huls
University of Nebraska – Lincoln

A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

An exploration of the college experiences of multiracial women uncovered the strategies they used to navigate the monoracial system of predominately white institutions. A purposeful sample of 18 women who were multiracial was chosen. Data was collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Participants’ stories represented multiracial experiences at thirteen different undergraduate institutions. A participant’s precollege experiences, identity and the college’s peer culture impacted how she approached social situations in the highly homogenous and monoracial setting at college. Participants took on the roles of pacifist, non-conformist, and activist to successfully navigate college environments and social scenarios. The findings also support prior study on the identity development of multiracial college students. Childhood experiences shaped the racial identity of participants that was affirmed and challenged, but not changed by college factors and experiences. Significant factors to the identity development of participants at college were academic courses, faculty and peers. Implications of the findings and limitations of the study are discussed.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Introduction
Significance of research
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the study
Limitations and delimitations

CHAPTER 2: Review of Literature
Identity Development of Multiracial Individual
Psychological Studies of Impact of Multiracial Identity
Racial Categorization of Mixed-race Persons
Racial Attitudes towards multiracial Individuals
Experiences of Multiracial College Students

CHAPTER 3: Methods
Characteristics of Qualitative Research
Research Design
Data Collection
Managing and Recording Data
Data Analysis Strategies
Ethical Considerations
Particiment Vignettes

CHAPTER 4: Foundations for Success: Development of Strategies to Successfully Naviage Monoracial Systems
Racial Identity and formation
Childhood Experiences

CHAPTER 5: The College Experience: Test of Strategy
Challenges to identity
Resources for support

CHAPTER 6: Strategies for Success
Playing the role of Pacifist
Playing the role of NonConformist
Playing the role of Activist

CHAPTER 7: Thoughts and Suggestions
Further Research


Appendix A: Participant Consent Form
Appendix B: E-Mail Invitation to Participants
Appendix C: Interview Protocol

Read the entire dissertation here.

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