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Yakaboski, Tamara

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This constructionist phenomenological dissertation study explored stories from nine working class, first generation college students, specifically how middle class socialization on a four year university campus located in the Mountain West region of the United States impacts the relationships with their parent(s)/guardian(s). My primary research question was: How does attending college at a 4 year public university influence first generation, working class students’ relationships with the ir parent(s)/guardian(s)? My sub research questions were: What role does middle class socialization that occurs on a 4 year public university campus play in impacting this relationship? And what role does online learning/remote learning during this COVID 19 period play in impacting this relationship? I used Yosso’s ( Community Cultural Wealth theory and Hurst’s ( 2010) Loyalist, Renegade, and Double Agent study as the two main theoretical frameworks for this study. For data collection, I use semi structured interviews, a researcher diary, and a panel of experts from the research site. My data analysis revealed eight significant shared stories amongst the participants. This manuscript style dissertation offers a deep dive into two of the findings, space and work ethic. Space was revealed as a class influenced value. Space showed up as geographical space between family, privacy, such as having a private bedroom, and consistently sharing space with family to do chores together. Additionally, being a strong worker to be valued by both the student and their parent(s)/guardian(s), but difficult to demonstrate demonstrate through coursework. The working--class parent(s)/guardian(s) defined working hard as physical labor.. It was difficult for their student to demonstrate that they are working hard when their work does not require physical exertion. My conclusion chapter includes a brief description of the remaining six shared stories: Being successful in college to make sure their parent(s)’/guardian(s)’ sacrifices were worth it, particularly if the parent/guardian immigrated to the United States; starting to value mental health; religious parent(s)/guardian(s) being nervous about their child being away from the church; transitioning from a strict household to an environment that encourages freedom of choice; transitioning from a high school where most of the students are of color to a predominantly white institution; and lastly, I found it significant that every participant was able to identify a specific program or service on campus that helped them be successful. Reflection questions and programmatic recommendations for higher education professionals are provided in the two manuscripts.


170 pages

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