Date of Award

Fall 1-10-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

First Advisor

Peggy Albers, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tisha Y. Lewis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jodi Kaufmann, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Kimberly Glenn, Ph.D.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

WORDSMITH: EXAMINING THE ROLE HIP-HOP TEXTS

PLAY IN VIEWING THE WORLD

by

Crystal LaVoulle

Originally the voice of a silenced group of inner city Black males, hip-hop culture contains a historical road map that chronicles the experiences of its members. This study attempted to examine hip-hop through the stories of adults who incorporateaspects of hip-hop culture into their daily lives. Specifically, this study investigated, “How is hip-hop a critical element in the lives of poets, artists, and educators who are actively and intimately involved in its music and culture?” Additionally, this study will explore the following sub-questions: (1) What does it mean to be a member of the hip-hop community? (2) How does hip-hop inform the view of the world for participants in this study?

This qualitative research study, framed by critical literacy, attempted to fill the void in the scholarship of hip-hop texts. Data collection included in-depth individual interviews, photo-elicited interviews and music-elicited interviews, a group interview, and cultural artifacts. Narrative inquiry and analysis served as both the process and product used to describe the participants’ lives as members of the hip-hop community. Narrative analysis allowed the construction of cipher-styled presentation of the data collected. Using participants’ lived experiences, their individual stories are molded into a concise narrative. This narrative, told by members of the hip-hop community, may provide a context for other researchers seeking to understand the influence of hip-hop on everyday people around the world.

Available for download on Sunday, December 07, 2014

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