A critical cultural study of lived experiences and societal implications of the 21st century natural hair movement
Links to Fileshttp://library.towson.edu/digital/collection/etd/id/63968
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Workapplication/pdf
ix, 159 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
The natural hair movement of the 21st century emerged as a declaration by African-American women to embrace and celebrate their natural hair textures. Through a critical cultural study, this project demonstrated the divide that exists between the dominant American culture and the natural hair movement. Three research questions were used to investigate this phenomenon: (1) how do African-American women negotiate their understanding of natural hair? (2) how do African-American women feel about their experiences of natural hair? and (3) how are African-American women influenced by mass media messages about natural hair? Using a qualitative mixed-methods approach, eight major themes were revealed: colorism, good vs. bad hair, journey, identity, microaggression, self-esteem, bonding, and social media usage. Findings showed that certain societal norms continue to influence how African-American women perceive natural hair. Suggested topics for future research include perceptions of natural hair based on generational and geographic/regional differences.