Resurgence of the Spirit: A Qualitative Study of African American Women's Experiences in Doctoral Study




Henry, Genise

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This study explored how spirituality informs the experience and progress of African American women in a doctoral study program. Two graduate students and myself, included as a co-researcher, served as the primary unit of analysis. We developed an ethnodrama to transform the data into living text with the use of participatory research methods, ethnography and social cartography. Our data collection sources reflected the multi-dimensional and complex nature of gathering data that shows the interconnectedness of history, identity and meaning. Sources of data included sister-to sister conversations, reflective journals, artifacts, and spiritual life maps. The contributions of this study include the impact of spirituality on the attrition and retention of African American women in a doctoral study program with implications towards a focus on spirituality within the curriculum, and the research process within an institution of higher education.



Spirituality, Spiritual, African American, Women, Higher Education, Participatory Research, Ethnography, Ethnodrama, Qualitative, Social Cartography, Life Maps, Doctoral Study


Henry, B. G. (2013). Resurgence of the spirit: A qualitative study of African American women's experiences in doctoral study (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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