Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

American Cultural Studies


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Bret Gustafson


I propose to examine cultural factors mediating silence surrounding “gendered violence” in the African American community, utilizing St. Louis as a case study. I hypothesize that two phenomenon are in play, “Black Male Privilege” in conjunction with “collectivism”. I expect to demonstrate that - using an ethnographic methodology - these phenomena work to create and normalize a climate of silence relating to gendered violence. I suggest that these phenomena also work to perpetuate a culture of acceptability about gendered violence and preclude the understanding of the dynamic intersection of race, gender and class which cause insufficient access to culturally sensitive resources of such violence. These thesis findings will contribute to our understanding of how black male privilege and collectivism influence the actions of African American women who are survivors of gendered violence; what aspects of the African American community create an environment where these phenomena can occur; what must be altered in the African American community to end silence; and what changes should be made to pre-existing survivor resources to better lend themselves to the African American community.


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