Scholarly Communications Project

The Aspirations Formation of Disadvantaged Jamaican Male Youths


Kenroy A. Walker

PhD Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of



Curriculum and Instruction


Dr. Darrel Clowes, Chair
Dr. John Burton
Dr. Jimmie Fortune
Dr. Terry Wildman
Dr. Joyce Williams-Green

January 30, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


This study examined the aspirations formation of disadvantaged Jamaican male youths. The design of the study was a Type 3 holistic design which considered the global nature of multiple cases, and focused on the impact of work, family, school, peers and siblings on subjects¹ aspirations. Six case studies were conducted using observations, focus groups, taped interviews and document inspection techniques. Data were analyzed using McCraken¹s coding techniques. The results showed that the youths¹ aspirations were leveled, reflected realities of their employment possibilities, and were patterned after their father¹s occupations. The youths¹ reluctance to raise their aspirations signals the need for Jamaican policy makers to address the problems caused by low aspirations among youths. Recommendations for further research are offered.

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