Journal Article: Reassessing the "Burden of 'Acting White'": The Importance of Peer Groups in Managing Academic Success


Academic Achievement Motivation, Blacks, Ethnic Identity, High, School Students, Peer Relations, Academic Underachievement, School, Environment


Horvat, Erin McNamara; Lewis, Kristine S.


2003, Oct


In 1986 Fordham and Ogbu introduced the idea that Black students continue to underperform in school because of their cultural opposition to "acting White." This notion of the burden of acting White and Ogbu's cultural ecological theory more broadly have provided one of the dominant theories used to explain the Black-White achievement gap. The research presented here offers a reassessment of the burden of acting White and directs researchers to examine the variation to be found in high school students' peer groups. This article highlights the ability of students to sustain an authentic Black identity and to achieve academically by effectively managing their academic success among peers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA )


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