This study explores the difficulties of first-generation African-American college students and how they use communication strategies to find a sense of comfort and belonging on a predominantly white campus. This study is grounded in Sandra Harding and Patricia Collins’ Standpoint theory and draws upon data from ethnographic interviews and autoethnography. This study extends the scholarship done in this field in regards to African-American students’ unique experiences on a predominantly white campus. The findings reveal that the usage of mentors on campus provide students with a great sense of comfort, while family and the attainment of the American Dream served as key motivating factors for success and remaining on campus. This study provides essential information and insight on first generation African-American students; thus, administration and staff of predominantly white institutions may be enabled to cater to and serve this population more effectively.


Boser, Beth

Second Advisor

Atay, Ahmet


Communication Studies


first generation, African-American, standpoint theory

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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