A historical and phenomenological examination of African American mothers in special education in a Southern school district: examining race, gender, and the politics of containment

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
April Y. Ruffin-Adams (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: This study explores African American mothers' special education decision making process and how their decisions are influenced by the politics of containment--racist power structures embedded into American society which seek to monitor, classify, and control--and how they endeavor to resist these power structures. Specifically, I am interested in how some African American mothers are included or excluded from the decision making process and what implications this inclusion or exclusion may have on the disproportionate representation of African American children in special education. This study relies on phenomenological, qualitative research methodology based on a conceptual framework with roots in black feminist theory, critical race theory and Foucault's theory on power. Combined, these theories address how the politics of containment influences African American mothers' experiences making decisions for their children in special education. In order to thoroughly examine the social, political, cultural, and historical contexts of this phenomenon, this includes historical, theoretical and empirical components. Taken together, the data presented here suggests that in spite of their advocacy efforts African American mothers receive limited power in the special education decision making process.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
African American mothers, Black feminist theory, Critical race theory, Parent involvement, Special education, Winston-Salem
Special education $z North Carolina $z Winston-Salem
African American children $x Education $z North Carolina $z Winston-Salem
Discrimination in education $z North Carolina $z Winston-Salem
Mothers of children with disabilities $z North Carolina $z Winston-Salem

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