Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the Final Dissertation of

Ashley Payne

for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

March 30, 2018 at 1:00 PM in Room 205, Ball Hall

Advisor: Dr Denise Winsor

"Can you hear me now?": Hip-Hop, Identity Development, and Personal Epistemological Worldviews of Black Girls

ABSTRACT: Hip-hop has been shown to be a significant force of identity, knowledge, and cultural development, particularly for Black youth (Brown, 2009; Emdin, 2010; Hill, 2009; Love, 2012). Building on research surrounding identity and knowledge development within hip-hop, this Black/hip-hop feminist research study seeks to understand the role that hip-hop plays in the lives, identity and personal epistemology of Black adolescent girls. The following research questions will be answered: (1) What role does hip-hop (i.e., rap, dance, and graffiti) play in the lives of black girls? (2) How does hip-hop inform gender identity for Black girls? (3) How does hip-hop inform racial and gendered identity for black girls? (4) How do black girls negotiate their gender identities through hip-hop? (5) How does hip-hop inform black girl's personal epistemologies and worldviews? This study includes 6 Black girls from an urban city in the mid-southern region of the United States. Pre-post semi-structured interviews, non-participant observations, and researcher journals were collected and analyzed using thematic analysis (Saldana, 2016). Results showed evidence for the following themes: hip-hop as a coping mechanism, hip-hop as a critique of hegemonic ideologies of Blackness and Black girl/womanness, hip-hop as community, and hip-hop as negotiating knowledges. This research study demonstrates the importance of hip-hop in promoting resiliency, challenging/critiquing/creating racial and gender identities, and using hip-hop as a community for learning.