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What informs success for African-Caribbean Black-British girls and their mothers in the final year of primary school? Success through resistance

Sangster, Deborah Anne. 2018. What informs success for African-Caribbean Black-British girls and their mothers in the final year of primary school? Success through resistance. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis explores how the understanding of success, held by eight African Caribbean Black British girls in their final year of primary school, supports them to navigate a route to it. Key findings are that, for these girls, success was framed by the societal discourse of meritocracy and despite the contradictions, education was regarded by them as the primary route to success. The strategies the girls use to negotiate a route to success highlight how their relationships; with friends, teachers and their mothers are important to these negotiations. This thesis highlights the gendered, and racialised nature of the society in which African Caribbean Black British girls live. The findings indicate how these African Caribbean Black British girls engage a repertoire of resources to; impact positively on their relationships with their teachers, negotiate meaningful relationships between themselves and their contemporaries and to negotiate a route to success in a hostile environment The girls’ friendships, with other African Caribbean Black British children, are central to their survival in the hostile environment of the school. The mothers support their daughters by monitoring their homework and friendships with other children, particularly African Caribbean Black British children. In addition to monitoring homework and friendships, the mothers also restrict their daughters’ use of Creolized Caribbean Dialect. Upon choosing secondary schooling, some mothers choose to bus their girls to schools outside of the city catchment area to attend predominantly White schools. Despite their concerns about their daughters’ friendships and use of Creolized Caribbean dialect, the mothers encourage their daughters to develop a positive African Caribbean Black British identity in their quest for success. These nuanced negotiations reflect the intersectional positions occupied by these girls and complicate the ideas underlying what success means to them. The conclusions drawn from this analysis confirm the importance of mothers and community in the girls’ orientations towards success and emphasise the areas that schools can address in supporting African Caribbean Black British girls in their move to secondary school.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026100

Keywords:

African Caribbean girls, Education, Mothers, friendships, Primary school, Success, Resistance

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Date:

30 November 2018

Item ID:

26100

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2019 15:00

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2019 05:27

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26100

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