Term of Award

Fall 2010

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

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

John Weaver

Committee Member 1

Ronald Bailey

Committee Member 2

Grigory Dmitriyev

Committee Member 3

Saundra Nettles

Committee Member 3 Email



This study explores the African-American males' perspectives of whether his identification with the hip-hop culture affects his academic achievement. Many Black males have embraced the popular culture of hip-hop with its glamour and style, but many also continue to fall behind in school or dropout. The use of qualitative analysis allows the participants in this study to speak of their experiences with hip-hop and education. Glesne (1999) writes, "Critical Race Theory as a theoretical framework allows the ability to listen well to others stories and to interpret and retell the accounts [which is] is part of the qualitative researcher's trade" (p.1). It also permits the counter narratives of these Black males' perspectives of the quandary of his educational experience to be heard. Sixteen Black males from age 14 to 21 participated in a random questionnaire that measured their level of their identification with hip-hop. Six of the participants also participated in a focus group and individual interviews to discuss in depth their experiences with school and hip-hop. The following themes were prevalent in this study: hip-hop culture is a lifestyle but there are those who try to emulate the style; Their definition of hip-hop consists of rap music and style of dress, along with speech or how they talk; hip-hop is not a passing fad; hip-hop is viewed as a mood regulator; hip-hop culture means money or making money; the hip-hop image affects educator's perceptions; Hip-hop is all they know. The study will enlighten educators as to African American male's perception that how they look affects the treatment they receive in school.

Research Data and Supplementary Material