“Everything Is Gonna Be Alright:” An Examination of the Influence of Mentoring on Social Class Mobility for Black and Latino Males in Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Award
Campus Access Dissertation
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Education/Leadership in Urban Schools
Joseph N. Cooper
The purpose of my research was to explore and document how Black and Latino males who have experienced mentoring and upward social class mobility in Boston, Massachusetts make meaning of their mentoring experiences. Data on the educational, occupational mobility, and life outcomes of Black and Latino males indicates these groups face significant structural and social barriers. The research questions of this study were 1) What are the stories that Black and Latino males tell about experiencing mentoring and upward social class mobility? and 2) What are Black and Latino males’ perceptions of their mentoring experiences and their impact on their social class mobility? My methodology used purposeful sampling, and participants were Black and Latino males who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and experienced poverty as a youth and adolescent, mentoring relationships, and upward social mobility. To collect data, I used personal reflections through autoethnography and phenomenological interviewing, consisting of 12 interviews (3 per participant) and 224 semi-structured questions.
After an in-depth analysis of the participants’ experiences using the Hermeneutic circle, phenomenological reduction, and structural synthesis, five themes emerged. They were 1) use of community cultural wealth to combat racism and discrimination, 2) access to non-dyadic mentoring and social capital, 3) access to symbolic capital, 4) access to job skills and human capital, and 5) access to movement capital and career advancement opportunities. My findings informed a new narrative on the phenomena and correlation of mentoring and social class mobility from Black and Latino males’ perspectives. The participants explained how multiple mentors across backgrounds, community cultural wealth, non-dyadic mentoring and social capital, access to capital, and access to symbolic capital and movement capital were integral to their upward social class mobility. My study concluded that Black and Latino males acknowledge and utilize their community cultural wealth to navigate various discriminating institutions and that educators and administrators of all levels must acknowledge the community cultural wealth of those who they serve. Also, adults of any race or gender can serve as mentors to Black and Latino males in educational settings, communities, and at work. Finally, establishing formal workplace mentoring programs is recommended.
DePina, Samuel, "“Everything Is Gonna Be Alright:” An Examination of the Influence of Mentoring on Social Class Mobility for Black and Latino Males in Boston, Massachusetts" (2022). Graduate Doctoral Dissertations. 800.
Free and open access to this Campus Access Dissertation is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this dissertation through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global or through Interlibrary Loan. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.