Low socioeconomic factor: Not a limiting factor for African-American men


A study on the lived experiences of 14 adult African American men, who grew up in low socioeconomic status (SES) households, was undertaken to determine factors that helped them overcome disadvantage and ultimately achieve positive life outcomes.  Theoretically, the odds would seem to be stacked against them.  Low SES is an especially difficult condition for many African Americans to overcome and may be a catalyst for under achievement in education, while fomenting antisocial behavior, and oppositional thinking.  The reasons are manifold and complex; the literature graphically details social and economic inequities that occur in low SES environments.  Through personal demographic data and verbal reflections, the participants provided insights of events that led to positive life outcomes.  Keys to success were found in education attainment, athletic and extracurricular activities, and having at least one adult mentor/role model whose nurturing, guidance, and love kept them on a straight line trajectory toward adulthood.  Their life stories were dotted with influences owing to adult norms whose example helped them overcome low SES quality of life issues including racially based contextual stressors. 

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
James H. Flynn
Brett A. Gordon
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Management & Organizational Studies
Date Published: 
Monday, August 11, 2014
Publication Language: 
ISSN Number: 
2330-5495 & 2330-5509