Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Toyosaki, Satoshi


The purpose of this dissertation is to improve the racial conditions of USAmerican education and to highlight how racial politics influence the facework practices of Black male teachers, their perceptions of and responses to face threats, and how the classroom, as a context, shapes perceptions and issues of face, facework, and face threat. I utilized identity management theory to examine how Black male teachers construct facework and face threat within the classroom. Additionally, I used semi-structured respondent interviewing and grounded theory as my method and analytical method (respectively) to complete my study. Using key concepts, such as positive face, negative face, face threat, and identity freezing, I concluded that perceptions of racism and racial stereotypes that are sometimes contingent on their gender identity impact how they constructed positive and negative face. Additionally, racism and racial stereotypes shaped which facework strategies the interview participants utilized, what they considered face threatening situations, how they responded to face threatening situations, and what they considered identity freezing situations. Overall, their constructions of facework and face threat were utilized to avoid stereotypes that depicted them as angry and incompetent. Considering the positive potential of this study, I concluded with how this research can help administrators and colleagues to improve the education system for Black male teachers.




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