Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Colvin, Carolyn

Second Advisor

Fielding, Linda

First Committee Member

Bolton, Linda

Second Committee Member

Connerly, Charles

Third Committee Member

Sunstein, Bonnie S


In March 2010, parents and community activists in rural Sunflower County, Mississippi, organized and enacted a boycott of the local public schools, which led to a comprehensive accreditation audit by the Mississippi Department of Education and the subsequent takeover of the local education agency. This study examines the boycott's connections to local discourses of protest in the Black community, to local histories and contemporary quality of life, and to the circulations of power evident in the grassroots activism and in the state intervention. This work is situated in an interdisciplinary theoretical framework which draws on place studies, rhizome theory, Levinasian ethics, and Critical Discourse Analysis. Using ethnographic methods of data collection and Critical Discourse Analysis of data, I position the boycott in context and examine its rhizomatic roots and offshoots in discourse.


Critical Discourse Analysis, Education, Mississippi Delta, School Boycotts


x, 261 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-261).


Copyright © 2014 Marie Elizabeth Gernes