Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Claire M. Rice

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Toran Hansen


Since the election of the first African American president in 2008, race relations have deteriorated in the United States. In May 2017, the emergence of the “alt-right” movement advocating for white nationalism caused further polarization between the races. This transcendental phenomenological research examined how white adult males’ exposure to racist ideologies influenced their perceptions towards African Americans, and how they emancipated from environments that promoted racist tenets. The study was guided by three research questions: How have white males been impacted by their exposure to racial antipathy and discrimination? What events or circumstances have white males experienced that led them to denouncing negative racial stereotypes and/or participation with hate groups? And, what efforts have they made to reconcile with individuals or groups they have harmed in the past? The literature review revealed racial conflict is a social phenomenon evolving from historical narratives posited by fear, social class, and white superiority. By employing qualitative data analysis, interviewing eight participants, and applying the theoretical lenses of critical race theory, social Darwinism, hate theory, and regenerative justice, the primary essence of the phenomenon acknowledged individuals are mentally and emotionally affected by negative historical narratives about racism. Six major themes evolved: 1) Familial Influences, 2) Southern White Experience, 3) Education and Race Relations, 4) Spiritual Convictions, 5) Immersion into the African American Experience, and 6) Physical and Mental Emancipation. The findings in this study contribute to the field of conflict resolution by advocating for advanced exploration into socio-psychology, racial reconciliation, and restorative justice.

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid OR email address and create an account for NSUWorks.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the Free My Thesis button.

  Contact Author