Spring 4-8-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Stephen D. Brookfield

Second Advisor

Paul R. Eddy

Third Advisor

Thomas L. Fish


This paper is a Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) that explores the issue of reciprocity in cross-race and cross class relationships. It explores the social and structural barriers to the formation of these kinds of relationships, as well as the transformation that can take place as these barriers are overcome. Best practices from the field of adult education are applied to the questions of how adults can learn to focus on similarities rather than differences, and how they can learn to get out of their comfort zones and develop relationships with people who are very different from themselves. In an SPN, the focus of the research is on the experiences of the author, using theory to explicate and challenge the narrative. After exploring the barriers to the formation of these relationships and the potential of adults learning new ways of thinking and being, the paper concludes by making the case that there are communal and individual benefits to these relationships that far outweigh the difficulties in forming them. The concluding recommendations emphasize the need for further research on how these relationships form as well the need for further research on the relatively rare relationships that cross the lines of social class.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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