Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Jose W. Lalas, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Christopher H. Hunt, Ed.D.

Richard K. Gordon, Ph.D.


race, social capital, cultural capital, student engagement, African-American males, public school


Educational Leadership


African-American males are not doing as well in public school as other sub groups, which is apparent on various achievement measures. According to previous research, students engagement is an important factor in school achievement. To understand the influences on student engagement for African-American males social and cultural capital along with race may offer useful insights. Applying a conceptual framework based on Bourdieu's concepts of social and cultural capital, this study examines racialized social capital and cultural capital and their influence on student engagement of African-American males. This qualitative study used a semi structured interview protocol and narrative inquiry approach. Using NVivo software, 13 participants' interviews were coded and analyzed for emergent themes in the areas of racialized social capital and racialized cultural capital--12 themes emerged. Racialized social capital theme includes: leadership, academic assistance, two types of parents, connection to African-American history/family, academic help from educators, non-academic care, lack of connections to non-helpful educators, and Black educators. Cultural capital themes included: African-American male student vs. Black male students, courageous conversation, and African-American males, and anchoring themselves in the classroom. The findings from this study suggest that racialized social and cultural capital does influence student engagement, which is apparent in the relationships African-American males have with peers, teachers, family, and the challenges in their school environments. Recommendations for practice are discussed.


© 2016 Rayna K. Prothro

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781369137583