Alexandria Digital Research Library

The Private Side of Public Space: How Black Women Manage Interactions in Inner City Communities

McCurn, Alexis Sharon
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Sociology
Degree Supervisor:
Sarah Fenstermaker and Nikki Jones
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Gender Studies, Women's Studies, African American Studies, Sociology, Individual and Family Studies, and Black Studies
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013

This dissertation examines how Black women and girls navigate distressed urban neighborhoods. Nearly two years of field research among adolescents and adults in the Central East neighborhood of Oakland, California provides an ethnographic account of how young Black women accomplish the routine tasks necessary for basic survival in poor inner city neighborhoods and how the intersections of race, gender, and class shape how Black women and girls interact with others in public. Previous research has examined the experiences of African American men and boys living in disadvantaged communities, whereas my research pays special attention to the experiences of African American women and girls. In particular, few scholars have explored the collective experiences of young women living in the inner city and the innovative strategies they develop to navigate daily life in this setting. My analysis uncovers forms of gender-specific violence, particular kinds of troubled public encounters, as well as the different types of physical and emotional work young women do to negotiate the demands of living in underserved communities regularly exposed to violence. My original analysis of routine public interactions illustrates the lived experiences of poor African American women and girls and the creative strategies they develop to manage these troubling, everyday experiences and survive in this space each day.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (240 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Alexis McCurn
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