(Below: my methodology chart)
Research focuses on the evolution of previous studies, social constructs, experiences or events. Jackson, Dummond and Camara emphasize the very thing researchers must take into account: "even the most optimistic scholar knows that he or she can only uncover what is available or accessible at the time of the investigation or the periods leading up to the point of inquiry" (Jackson, 2007, p. 21). It is, therefore, not feasible for me to uncover every aspect of the African American natural hair journey and its political implications, but I can use what is accessible to arrive at new meanings and conclusions.
This study explores the history of legal cases in order to interrogate the representations of African American Women's hair in professional contexts.
Using six legal cases (from John Jay's databases), all related by pertaining to natural hair in the workplace, I am looking for:
- companies who will not hire or promote women of color because of their hair preference;
- companies who ban natural hair styles within their code of conduct;
- companies' expectations of conformity within the workplace for "natural hair."
My inquiry into my legal cases will explore the following issues:
- In "Your Race Your Looks," a Glamour Magazine staffer believes afro puffs and dreadlocks are considered a "Don't Do" in corporate America. What exactly is comsidered undesirable about African American's natural hair preference?
- What hairstyles are African American Woman expected to have if not natural hair?
- In "Hey Girl, Am I More than my Hair?", the author argues that white features, such as a lighter skin tone and straight hair, are considered professional and more desirable in the workplace. Is a natural hair style for African American women considered unprofessional because it isn't straightened?
- Throughout my research, I have been itching to ask the question whether or not issues related to natural hair are considered descrimination. Many people may argue no, just because the issue is pertaining to hair and not skin color. But why do Caucasian women have the freedom to roll out of bed with a five-minute ponytail while African American women are criticized for their 5-hour long deadlock up-do? Are African American women expected to conform to corporate America's grooming standards of professionalism more than the average white competitor?
- Are African American women discriminated against in the workplace for their hair?
Here are my rough draft pictures of my pilot study. My pilot study was ane excercise we completed in class to test our questions before we placed it in the eportfolio. One thing i learned from the pilot study is to make SURE that i was extremely specific. My partner wasn't well versed in African American hair, nor that dreadlocks was banned in so many corporate companies. Presenting my pilot study to him made me realize that if i really wanted this research to reach everyone, I have to make it relatable.