Race, Class, and Gender: A Snapshot of African Nova Scotian School Experiences

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Bernard, Candace
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Mount Saint Vincent University
This thesis explores multiple oppression based on race, class, and gender in relation to the school experiences of African Nova Scotians. An Africentric paradigm guides this exploratory, qualitative study. It attempts to extend a single foci analysis based on race to include a perspective that examines the school experiences of African Nova Scotians based on a multiaxal system of oppression. Twelve African Nova Scotians males and females between ages 18-35 were interviewed. They were all educated in the Nova Scotian public school system. Participants were asked to reflect on their educational experiences, and answer specific questions about race, class, and gender oppression during individual interviews. Many participants presented a clear analysis of how each form of oppression i.e., race, class, and gender frames their lives, in particular their educational experiences. However, race was the primary focus of the participants’ narratives and it was a challenge to articulate the experience of multiple oppression. This thesis explores the complexities, which arise when the concept of multiple oppression is applied to an analysis of African Nova Scotian school experiences. It attempts to bring new insights into the current discourse on African Canadians and schooling.
African Nova Scotians , Qualitative Study , Multiaxal System of Oppression , School Experiences