Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


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

First Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Robert A. Jones, III


Black/African American U.S. Marine Corps Officers, Cognitive Adaptation and Institutional Racism, Cognitive Dissonance and Institutional Marginalization, Dueling Dual Consciousness and Structural Violence, Harmful Psychophysiological Responses, Institutional Conflict Resolution and Transformational Leadership


In the United States of America (U.S.), institutional marginalization and racial discrimination remains an arguably difficult subject to understand, both conceptually and pragmatically. Regarding governmental sectors, U.S. Armed Forces are institutions where discrimination must be critically explored in an attempt to provide an understanding of the reality faced by those who actually serve. This study involved the examination into racism within a specific elite governmental sector that emphasizes a philosophy of a unified oneness of all its members. Using a phenomenological approach, the study delved into the actual impact of racism within the Marine Corps, on the lives of individual members of a historically marginalized populace, African American/Black. The research explored and analyzed the life stories of three male members of the aforementioned population group, hence seeking to answer the research question: How has Integrated Racial Diversity in the Armed Forces Impacted Experiences of Discrimination Antagonistic to Male African American/Black Marine Corps Officers as Members of a Population Historically Marginalized and Discriminated against in the United States of America? Theories incorporated in the research offered meaning to the experiences of the individual participants. Discoveries illustrated the necessity of adaptation by the individual in coping with the impact of racially charged hostilities in an environment supposedly operating with an objective of oneness of its members. Through the findings, a theory of socio-psycho-bio dissonance was developed by the researcher. This research provides recommendations on practical ways to transformatively address and seek probable resolution in conflict – institutionally.