A content analysis of the career paths and cultural capital of Mexican-American male principals: A critical race discourse on the journey toward the principalship
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This is a content analysis of the career paths and cultural wealth of Mexican-American male principals. A Critical Race Theory (CRT) perspective on the journey toward the principalship was utilized to frame and ground the study. There is a critical need to identify and examine the perceptions of race, and racial barriers, in the principalship. This research utilized critical qualitative questioning, counter narratives, and content analysis as approaches to provide a deeper understanding on how race impacted the principal journey. Content analysis provided a research design method which allowed for the organization of the tremendous amount of data collected (Schreiber & Asner-Self, 2011). The context of the study was conducted from a critical race lens which is an intellectually and politically committed movement that studies race, racism, and power (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001). The framework was used a strength-based approach utilizing cultural wealth, an array of knowledge, skills, abilities, and contacts possessed and utilized by communities of color to survive and resist macro and micro-forms of oppression (Yosso, 2005). The aim of this analysis was to evaluate the career paths of seven Mexican-American male principals and their narratives about their experiences with race and ethnicity and the cultural wealth used in order to obtain the principalship. Procedures of data collection included the selection of the seven Mexican-American male principals, initial interviews, transcribing and analyzing interviews, member checks, and a reflexive journal. Three central themes were identified from the data analysis including impact of race, the role of gender, and cultural wealth harnessed. This study found: racial barriers were still in place, covertly practiced examples of deficit thinking by the dominant culture, and microagressions by the racially dominate group. Findings of this study regarding gender and Mexican-American male principal career paths included that 100% had a strong male role model(s) in their homes growing up. Cultural wealth findings of this study illustrated that all had extended family and community support and racial conversations highlighted obstacles and racial structures in place to challenge them as they became principals.