The study suggests that the influence of peer culture on African American schooling may have a significant impact on African American academic attainment. Fryer & Torelli found that for white teens better grades equaled greater popularity, with straight-A students having far more same-race friends than those who were B students, who in turn had more friends than C or D students. However, they found that Black and Hispanic teens who attend public schools with a mix of racial and ethnic groups, the pattern was reversed: The best and brightest academically were significantly less popular than classmates of their race or ethnic group with lower grade point averages. Thus, the consensus is that popularity-conscious young blacks reject the idea of doing well in school. Moreover, many researchers affirm that some African American students view their peers who make good grades, read books, or have an interest in the fine arts as “acting white”. Thus, these findings indicate that the pursuit of academic excellence may be perceived as a characteristic contrary to their ethnic and/or racial identity. Another explanation for African American academic malfunction is presented by who theorized that many students of color have an understanding of and some have internalized negative images of their race. Thus, these negative images, promoted by the larger society, affect how they perform in school. Similarly, Steel, posit that African American students might not perform well on standardized tests due to “stereotype threat”. This is a phenomenon whereby a student's test performance is thought to be impaired out of fear of confirming a negative racial stereotype. In addition, White & Johnson note that early in their lives minority youth become aware of the fact that they do not inherit the same educational and career choices as non-minority students. This results in these youth not identifying with academics and seeking other means of demonstrating competency and achievement. Moreover, Hoberman writes that the media prominence on African American athletes relative to other professions encourages a de-emphasis on academic achievement.
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The report covers the next: ethnic identity and self-esteem; its effects on education; racial identity development models: nigrescence, multidimensional model of racial identity, acculturation theory; the common African American stereotypes; stereotypes and intelligence; the media and stereotypes and so on…
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