Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Nancy Dishner, Jasmine R. Renner, Cecil N. Blankenship


This qualitative study is comprised of indepth interviews with 16 at-risk high school students. The students were asked to give reasons for their discipline problems in high school. They were also asked to give their perspectives on various forms of popular culture. Questions regarding television, movies, music, video games, and sports were posed to determine the participants' interest level in each of the areas. The students were then asked to gauge how much these interests had taken away from their schoolwork. The students' perceptions and life experiences were explored in depth via the interview process.

In general, the lives of these students had been impacted in some way by some form of popular culture. There has been a tendency in recent literature to decry the influence of the media on today’s youth; this seems to be borne out by some of the statements made by these students. Throughout the interview process, they stated that their lives had been both positively and negatively influenced by their culture despite the beliefs held by many parents, teachers, and administrators that popular culture has a strong negative impact on their lives.

The implications for the future include ways that educators can incorporate popular culture and the media into the curriculum effectively. Additionally, teachers, administrators, and parents need to gain a better understanding of how important popular culture is to adolescents and how they can combat its negative effects while keeping students interested in school.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.