DATE: Saturday, February 16, 2013
TIME: 12:00 p.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Pamela Denise Reeves
DISSERTATION TITLE: "How Music and Lyrics Protect and Heal the Souls of African American Women Who Have Experienced Domestic-Violence Trauma, Sexual Abuse, or Depression: A Phenomenological Study"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-A; 2007
CHAIR: Dr. Allen Bishop
READER: Dr. Christine Lewis
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Carolyn West
Reeves, P.(2012). How Music and Lyrics Protect and Heal the Souls of African American Women Who Have Experienced Domestic-Violence Trauma, Sexual Abuse, or Depression: A Phenomenological Study (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of the crucial and significant role music and lyrics play in helping to heal African American women who have experienced trauma. Throughout history, music that resonated with human experience has change the lives of African American women (Angelou, 1978; A. Davis, 1998). From the spirituals of slavery to the gospel music of church today, this study introduces the vital role of music in the protection and healing of the souls of African American women. A qualitative (phenomenology) theory design and Giorgi’s (1975, 1985) methodology were utilized to analyze 4 individual narratives that show how music was the container that held and protected African American women when they were in a psychologically dark place, also known as the shadow.
Four participants from various parts of Southern California were selected to participate in this study. The participants were African American women who were (a) between the ages of 40 and 56, (b) had experienced traumatic events, and (b) reported that music played a significant role in their healing process. Results indicate that music is a key component to healing, while it simultaneously protects the soul. My data showed that (a) music helped empower those African American women through traumatic events and (b) a developmentally early spirituality is a resiliency factor for women. Together, the two factors enabled the African American women in this study to maintain peace, strength, faith, and hope as they moved forward in their journey. Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.