The role of social identity in the academic experiences of African American college students
When it comes to who is responsible for the academic gap, there is significant debate. Based upon the literature, both the psychological and social factors that made up and maintain a society should be held accountable. Social identity theory and self-determination theory provide conceptual frameworks to explore perceptions and experiences related to social identity and academic achievements among undergraduate college students enrolled at a historically White institution. Together these theories consider the influence social identity has on African American students’ academic experiences and motives to achieve academically. The purpose of this study is to explore perceptions and experiences related to social identity and academic achievement among undergraduate African American college students enrolled at a historically White institution. Seven volunteers who met the selection criteria participated in this study. For this particular qualitative research project, I utilized an approach called qualitative interviewing. There were a total of 6 demographic questions and 8 primary interview study questions. Findings from this study add to the paradigm shift of African American students being aware of the stereotypes affiliated with African American students and using the pressures of disproving stereotypes as motivation to achieve academically.