Race and Social Problems

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 73–83 | Cite as

Expectations and Realities: Education, the Discipline Gap, and the Experiences of Black Families Migrating to Small Cities



In this study, the authors examine the narratives of two African American mothers and grandmothers and two youths who migrated from under-resourced neighborhoods in a large urban city to a smaller Midwestern college town in hopes of gaining access to safe neighborhoods, employment opportunities, and better educational experiences. Using phenomenological case study methodology, the authors were participant observers in two community groups that included a coalition of African American working class mothers and grandmothers and a network for black male youth ages 14–18. The findings in this study ultimately demonstrate how these youth and their families discovered even more racial disparities in their new residence. This was especially true in the areas of education and juvenile justice. Ultimately, the authors argue that the “new migration” has yet to yield the opportunities these families hoped to gain.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Human EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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