Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Kymberly Harris

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Meca Williams-Johnson

Committee Member 3

Joshua Murfree

Committee Member 3 Email



Research examining the persuasive powers contained within hip-hop is critical to the understanding of how black male adolescents understand and display masculinity. Many black males have embraced the hip-hop culture, with its bravado, swagger, and style, however, many experts contend that it is this involvement with hip-hop that leads to anti-social behavior and poor academic performance. Using Possible Selves theory as a theoretical framework, this study provides a praxis in which to understand in what ways black male adolescents use, and more importantly, do not use commercialized hip-hop in crafting their masculine identities. Additionally, this study will fill the gap in research by qualitatively analyzing the opinions of black male adolescents, from varying backgrounds, regarding commercialized hip-hop and its influence academics as well as on their definition and development of possible selves. Using a basic qualitative research design, five adolescent black males between the ages of 11-14 participated in structured and unstructured interviews as well as a focus group. Their responses in these settings were audio recorded and transcribed. Codes and themes from the transcribed data were developed using a four-step method described by Krueger & Casey (2015). Findings suggest that although the participants in this study self-identified as being heavily immersed in the hip-hop culture, hip-hop culture did not significantly influence their beliefs on masculinity, academics, or their possible selves.

Research Data and Supplementary Material