The Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural"

dc.contributor.authorThompson, Joy Janettaen
dc.contributor.committeechairHarrison, Anthony Kwameen
dc.contributor.committeememberPrecoda, Karl R.en
dc.contributor.committeememberSamanta, Suchitraen
dc.contributor.departmentSociologyen
dc.date.accessioned2019-12-01T07:00:33Zen
dc.date.available2019-12-01T07:00:33Zen
dc.date.issued2018-06-08en
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study is to analyze and understand why some Black women in Greensboro, North Carolina have made the decision to wear their hair naturally, in its original kinky, curly, non-straightened form. I’ve chosen this topic because “in our society, long straight hair has generally been considered the gold standard for attractiveness” (Rosette & Dumas, 2007, p. 410) and by deviating from that gold standard, Black women are affected, personally and politically. In my perspective, it is important to understand why a woman would opt to make this choice, knowing the potential backlash she faces (i.e. losing her job, rejection in a romantic relationship, or school suspension). To facilitate this purpose, the guiding research inquiries included 10 questions about the woman’s hair journey, at different stages of her life: before perming, while perming, and going natural. In speaking with 10 women from three different generations, I found that the process of going natural is at once complex and simple, is simultaneously gradual and instant, both terrifying and liberating. Ultimately, I learned that even though various factors play a part in this process, “going natural” is a decision mostly directed and determined by the woman standing in the mirror.en
dc.description.degreeMSen
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:15029en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/95891en
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectBlack girl magicen
dc.subjectAfricana Diasporaen
dc.subjectNatural Hairen
dc.subjectNatural Beautyen
dc.subjectBlack Hairen
dc.subjectGoing Naturalen
dc.subjectBlack womenen
dc.subjectGreensboroen
dc.subjectNorth Carolinaen
dc.subjectPermsen
dc.subjectRelaxersen
dc.titleThe Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural"en
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.disciplineSociologyen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.nameMSen

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