Harper, Shaun R.

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Peer Support for African American Male College Achievement: Beyond Internalized Racism and the Burden of "Acting White"
    (2006-10-01) Harper, Shaun R.
    Theorists posit that the social reinforcement of racially oppressive assumptions eventually works its way into the psyche of African Americans and negatively shapes the way they see themselves and others within their race. Some scholars have attempted to prove and others have subsequently disputed the idea that school achievement within African American peer groups is seen as "acting White." In this study, internalized racism and Fordham and Ogbu's (1986) Acting White Hypothesis were explored among high-achieving African American male undergraduates at six predominantly White universities. Findings from individual interviews contradict the hypothesis and reveal ways through which peer support for leadership and achievement were negotiated within African American peer groups on the six campuses. There was no evidence of internalized racism in the domains of academic achievement and African American male leadership. Instead, the participants attributed much of their college success to the support offered by their same-race peers.
  • Publication
    Reconceptualizing Reactive Policy Responses to Black Male College Achievement: Implications from a National Study
    (2006-11-01) Harper, Shaun R.
    Tariq Dixon and Bryan Barnhill II, both juniors at Harvard University, share a variety of common characteristics, including race and gender. The two black male undergraduates maintain 3.6 cumulative grade point averages, are extremely active on campus and hold leadership positions in multiple student organizations, and aspire to attend law schools upon completion of their bachelor's degrees. Perhaps more interesting are the circumstances from which they emerged. Some may erroneously assume that all Harvard students come from privileged socioeconomic backgrounds and high resource preparatory schools, which is far from true.
  • Publication
    Gender Differences in Student Engagement Among African American Undergraduates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
    (2004-05-01) Harper, Shaun R.; Karini, Robert M; Bridges, Brian K; Hayek, John C
    Differences in student engagement between women and men at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are examined in this study. Data were collected from 1,167 African American undergraduate students at 12 four-year HBCUs that participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement. Controlling for several factors that might obscure gender differences, the results counter previous research regarding gender gaps on HBCU campuses by illustrating that African American women enjoy an equally engaging experience as their same-race male counterparts.
  • Publication
    Are They Not All the Same? Racial Heterogeneity Among Black Male Undergraduates
    (2008-04-01) Harper, Shaun R.; Nichols, Andrew H
    An erroneous assumption is often made that Black men, one of the most stereotyped groups on college and university campuses, all share common experiences and backgrounds. Using Celious and Oyserman's (2001) Heterogeneous Race Model as a conceptual framework, we explored within-group differences among Black male undergraduates at three private institutions. Data collected from 39 participants reveal insights into the origins and characterizations of diversity among Black men, as well as the stereotypes, competition, and social distance associated with racial heterogeneity. Implications for Black male solidarity on campuses where few are enrolled and expanding conceptualizations of interacting "across difference" are offered at the end of this article.
  • Publication
    Student Organizations as Venues for Black Identity Expression and Development among African American Male Student Leaders
    (2007-03-01) Harper, Shaun R.; Quaye, Stephen John
    Ways in which membership in student organizations, both predominantly Black and mainstream, provide space for Black identity expression and development were explored in this study. Based on individual interviews conducted with African American male student leaders at six predominantly White universities, findings reveal a nexus between Black identity status, the selection of venues for out-of-class engagement, and the use of student organizations as platforms for racial uplift and the advocacy of racial/ethnic minority student interests. Moreover, the acquisition of cross-cultural communication skills, the development of care for other disenfranchised groups, and the pursuit of social justice via leadership and student organization membership were reported by the participants and are connected to racial identity development theories in this article.