Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Sheffield, Ron

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Powers, Deborah

Committee Member

Powers, Deborah

Committee Member

Byrd-Poller, Lynda

Committee Member

Shull, Daniel

Author's Keywords

racial identity; social power; social awareness; minority; Black


The purpose of this phenomenological study is to examine the influence of power on racial identity and social awareness of minority high schools’ students in Bullitt County, Kentucky. The research will come from the student perspective of those attending high school with students predominantly from another racial background. Using purposeful sampling, 12 students participated in semi-structured interviews, providing insight into three research questions regarding racial identity, social power, and social awareness. Student participants used their voice to share their lived educational experiences attending school with students from another racial background. Interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed using In Vivo and Emotion coding. Six main themes emerged, and thirteen sub-themes emerged based on student data, those themes are:Identity, Cultural Acknowledgement, Racism, Interpersonal Influence, Sense of Belonging, and Coping Mechanism. Each theme was used to address the three research questions regarding social power, racial identity, and social awareness. Findings from this research suggested that while black students have a multitude of experiences during high school with individual from the opposite race, Black students used those experiences to help them understand who they are racially. Additionally, Black students learned how to use their own power to find their voice and being socially aware of others.