Storying Our Experiences: Caribbean Students at U.S. Universities
Popova, Dyanis Aleke
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In this qualitative research project, I explore the daily lived experiences of five Caribbean students studying at a rural university in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I investigate the personal challenges encountered by young adult Caribbean students and focus on their perspectives and coping strategies as they negotiate the racial binary and sociocultural norms found in the United States. I present my research here in two manuscripts. In manuscript one, Transcultural Adaptations: Caribbean Students at U.S. Universities, framed both by my use of testimonio as method (Haig-Brown, 2003; Pérez Huber, 2009) and the composite lens formed by my use of bricolage (Kincheloe, 2001; Kincheloe, 2004; Kincheloe, McLaren, and Steinberg, 2012), I look at how all these factors influence their academic experiences and their perception and performance of the Self. In doing so, I highlight key aspects of the community experience and add to the conversation surrounding the adaptation of international students to U.S. universities. In manuscript two Interrogating Whiteness: The View from Outside, I delve more deeply into one aspect of their adaptation by interrogating one participant's perspectives on whiteness. I use critical autoethnography (Boylorn and Orb, 2014; Tilley-Lubbs, 2016), and the call-and-response tradition (Hebdige, 1987; Toussaint, 2009) common in Trinidad and Tobago and in the African diaspora to present my exploration of his perspectives. I present his perspectives using the third person voice, followed by an examination of my own ways of knowing, to highlight the questioning and internal conflict that emerged as a result of these conversations on whiteness. I share my epiphanic experience (Denzin, 2013; 2014) in the hopes of establishing discourse and resonance with my reader in this deconstruction of my way of understanding the world.
- Doctoral Dissertations