Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



The manhood constructions and collegiate experiences of twenty-four engaged African American men enrolled across twelve, four-year colleges were explored. The purpose of this study was to inform colleges about the ways in which these men construct their manhood. The manifestations of these constructions in African American college men's behavior, enrollment, and campus engagement were also investigated. The participants, who represented a range of college engagement, were enrolled in colleges that are situated across the nineteen southern and border states of the United States of America. The institutional selection matrix was further disaggregated according to predominant population (HBCU, HWI) and institutional funding type (public, private). A qualitative research approach was used to forward this study. Specifically, a combination of grounded theory, phenomenological, and case study methodologies examined the nexus between African American manhood and collegiate experiences. The combined research methods were applied to data gleaned from face-to-face interviews that lasted over two hours. Six trustworthiness techniques support the following emergent themes of manhood constructions and collegiate experiences: (1) self-expectations (2) relationships and responsibilities to family (3) worldviews and life philosophies (4) double-consciousness (5) institutional recognition (6) constructing faculty/student relationships (7) mentoring and supporting (8) bridging campus and community. Respondents reported differences in the ways in which they were treated and engaged in historically black and white institutions, also reinforcing various manhood constructs. Emerging divergent perspectives informed a grouping of these men into the following manhood typologies: (1) sexualizer (2) transgressor (3) misogynist and (4) self-actualizer. The manhood typologies were presented in this dissertation research to further highlight the complexities, underscore the pressures, and draw attention to the ways in which society, and its sundry contexts, further complicates these men's manhood constructions. Implications are included for the following higher education areas: (1) institutional climate (2) student mentoring (3) faculty development (4) student enrichment (5) contextual cross-pollinations by race and gender. Implications for theory and research are also presented.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Becky Ropers-Huilman



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