Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Master of Arts in Communication
Kelly Rossetto, Ph.D.
John McClellan, Ph.D.
Christina Ivey, Ph.D.
In this thesis I explore the different stories students of color draw from and internalize to understand their identities in relation to oppression and resilience. Through reviewing critical race theory (CRT) and critical whiteness literature, I identify what I call the “oppression narrative”, in which students of color are often discussed as being oppressed and disadvantaged. Stories are powerful, and in many ways the stories we hear and believe about ourselves make us who we are. Eight narrative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with students who attended a predominately white institution (PWI) and identified as black or Latinx. Seven themes emerged as influential in how these students chose to identify themselves, and how their stories reflected oppression and/or processes of resiliency in making sense of and navigating their world: external/internal identity tension, not leading with challenges, claiming privilege or support, denying a deficit, identity as an anchor, using community, and reframing circumstance and highlighting victories. These eight students’ stories rejected the oppression narrative and their narratives reveal the many ways in which they engage in processes of resiliency through difficult circumstance.
Ellis, GerDonna J., "Critical Race Theory and the Impact of Oppression Narratives on the Identity, Resilience, and Wellness of Students of Color" (2020). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 1680.