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Challenge

Abstract

The study of deviant behavior was designed to focus on departure from a group’s normative expectations; however, the primary focus of deviance research has been the departure from the dominant group’s norms. What happens when one is stigmatized by the dominant group and their minority group? Making use of interview data, this study investigates the life of black graduate students as they manage two spoiled identities, one in the academic world and the other in the black community. There were three major strategies used to manage their identities: (1) passing and covering via language manipulation; (2) fronting via professionalism and realism; and (3) own and wise via a black niche and mentorship.

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