Contextualizing Black Boys' Use of a Street Identity in High School

Publication Date:
Jan 2009
Project Programs:
Cultural Contact

This participatory action research project worked with four street-life-oriented black men to document how a community sample of street-life-oriented black adolescents between the ages of sixteen and nineteen frame street life as a site of resiliency inside schools based on 156 surveys, 10 individual interviews, and 1 group interview. Data collection took place primarily in Paterson, New Jersey, and Harlem, New York City. Findings reveal that the adolescents overall hold negative attitudes about their educational experiences within two dominant themes: student-teacher interactions and preparation for economic and educational opportunities. Results can be used to understand how the adolescents' street identities are adaptive inside schools.


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