Exploring Urban Students' Constructions About School, Work, Race, and Ethnicity

  • Blustein D
  • Murphy K
  • Kenny M
 et al. 
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This qualitative study is an exploration of 32 urban high school students' narratives about the connection between school, work, and societal expectations of their future success related to their racial and ethnic background. The sample varied along 2 contextual dimensions: participation in a psychoeducational intervention (Tools for Tomorrow) and developmental status (i.e., half the sample were 9th-grade students and the other half were 12th-grade students). Using consensual qualitative research, the narratives revealed 3 major domains: future orientation; students' perceptions of society's expectations based on race and ethnicity; and students' perception of the role of their race and ethnicity in future success. Results reveal that the majority of students endorse a connection between school and work, believe that society holds low expectations for them based on their racial and ethnic background, and cannot predict their future success based on their background.

Author-supplied keywords

  • career development
  • future orientation
  • race
  • school engagement
  • urban education

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  • David L. Blustein

  • Kerri A. Murphy

  • Maureen E. Kenny

  • Maryam Jernigan

  • Leyla Pérez-Gualdrón

  • Tani Castañeda

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