Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

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

First Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Second Advisor

Elena Bastidas

Third Advisor

Robin Cooper

Abstract

The central purpose of this study was to explore the conflict within the problematic racialized and gendered construction of black women as primarily sexualized objects. This study examined the impact of media cultural representations of black sexuality on identity formation, migrant integration (ethnic and cultural interactions within and between groups), and perceived social achievements of migrant Ghanaian women in the United States. The goal was to gain in-depth knowledge surrounding how media representations are resisted or internalized among Ghanaian migrant women. This research was designed to discover the conflict resolution process undertaken by Ghanaian migrant women regarding this struggle of resisting or internalizing media representations. This research is a qualitative research operating under the requirements of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and focusing on the population of migrant Ghanaian women. The phenomenon studied was the experience and perceptions of being exposed to media representations of black women. Participants were taken from the DC Metro Area, where a large Ghanaian population exists and is flourishing. Key findings discovered that for the participants studied there exist 3 prominent media representations perceived to directly impact lived experiences: Jezebel, Angry Black Woman, and Poverty/Ignorant representations. It is the researcher’s hope that this research will aid in improving the process of successfully empowering and providing positive integration for future black migrant women.

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