Understanding internalized oppression in African American young adult women
Robinson, Christa F.
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This dissertation is structured in a non-traditional format enabling the researcher to seek journal publication in an effort to increase awareness and add to the scholarship related to young adult African American women’s lived experiences. Chapter One is the introduction. Chapter Two is a stand-alone conceptual article/manuscript with a comprehensive literature review. Chapter Three is a stand-alone qualitative study/manuscript including a review of the literature, findings, and references. Chapter Four contains an examination of researcher reflexivity, implications for future research with African American young adult women using a phenomenological method with a Critical Race theoretical lens. A phenomenological approach was used to document African American young adult women’s experiences and personal narratives related to how their self-concepts are shaped by how they manage the pressures that lead to internalized oppression. Using Critical Race Theory as the analytical framework, the researcher sought to understand the social and psychological effects of the phenomenon that is internalized oppression as it relates to the personal perspectives of African American young adult women. Critical Race Theory addresses the intersectionality of various forms of subordination like race and gender and challenges dominant ideologies (Solorzano & Yosso, 2001). The researcher examined the associations attributed to internalization of oppression and how it might navigate self-conceptualization in African American emerging adult women. This study was a response to the lack of scholarship that reveals, in their words, how African American young adult women digest the negative images, messages, and associations they are fed in this society. Even more, additional research in this area could increase awareness and the social injustices associated with race and gender that prompt psychological strains in African American women would be eradicated and the need to bandage and soothe wounded lives and spirits would diminish.