Sandra Howard

Sandra Howard

Metropolitan State College of Denver

Sociology


1996

Mentor: Phyllis Abell, Ed.D. - Instructor of Women's Studies

The Study of the Social Mobility Process of African American Women Through Oral History

Due to the unequal status of African American women in the United States, a lag in the distribution of rewards has been created. This lag affects the social mobility of African American women. Social mobility is defined as the upward vertical movement within the social structure which is measured through the increase of rewards such as prestige and money.

My goal has been to create an instrument design for using oral history to identify the factors that affect the social mobility of some African American women in the United States. Oral history is the method of inquiry I have chosen for this study, because it allows my research to be specific in nature, and unintrusive, taking information participants wish to give. Respecting the personal information shared by these African American women, this research can produce an instrument to address the social mobility processes of some black women; specifically the assets and obstacles presented to African American women in their daily lives, addressing examples such as; economics, family, marriage, health, and self concepts.

I will began this exploratory research in the New England area, using government documents, such as census, surveys, and secondary research, to create a quantitative analysis. Qualitative data, was collected by speaking to scholars, professionals and others related to the objectives of this project. Likewise current journal publications, literature, and oral history processes, were researched. Consequently, through speaking directly to a population that is affected by unequal status new ideas can be generated to assist in establishing a social system that is more inclusive of its members to develop and implement effective programs and policies.

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