Term of Award

Fall 2021

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.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Delores Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Meca Williams-Johnson

Committee Member 3

Joanna Schreiber

Committee Member 3 Email




The purpose of this study was to examine how second-generation, nonimmigrant African high school graduates culturally identify, what type of curricular experiences inform their self-identity, and how that influences their social behavior and academic performance. The significance of this study is the attention it brings to the unique educational experience of second-generation, nonimmigrant African students and how that experience influenced their identity construction. My dissertation draws upon a wide array of works such as double consciousness (DuBois, 1903); Black racial identity development (Cross, 1991), and Postcolonial theory (Said, 1994; Bertens, 2007, Noye, 2019). I used digital ethnography (Pink et al, 2016) to become digitally immersed into their cultural activities and interviewed the participants as a means to examine the experiences of six second-generation, nonimmigrant high school graduates who are American born of African born parents. This study concentrated on answering three research questions: (1) How do second-generation, nonimmigrant African high school graduates culturally identify? (2) What are the thought processes that lead second-generation, nonimmigrant African high school graduates to identify themselves as being either African, African American, or American? (3) What kind of curriculum experiences informs how second-generation, nonimmigrant African High School graduates culturally identify? Five findings emerged from this inquiry which pertain to how the participants identify at various times periods throughout of their life, based on: (1) factors unique to the individual (i.e., familiarity, assimilation, rebellion); (2) their parents’ backgrounds, their American birthplace, and their interaction with Americans; (3) their peers; (4) influences that form their cultural identities, and (5) their view of cultures.

Research Data and Supplementary Material