School desegregation in Broward County, Florida, 1970--1998: A historical study of power

Janice Boursiquot, Florida International University

Abstract

This is a historical case study on school desegregation and power in Broward County, Florida from 1970 to 1998. The purpose of this study is to describe, explain and analyze types of power used by the School Board of Broward County, Florida and community activists, in their efforts to influence desegregation decisions from 1970 to 1998. In addition, this study explains who benefited and who won from the School Board's desegregation decisions and who governed those decisions? ^ A historical case study approach was used as the method for conducting this study. Data sources included 11 interviews of individuals who were involved in school desegregation issues as either School Board officials or community activists and 10 archival data sources. ^ The theoretical models of Russell, Galbraith, Wartenberg and Domhoff were used to determine the different types of power techniques used by School Board officials and community activists and to answer the questions: who benefited and who won from the School Board's desegregation decisions and who governed those policies and practices? ^ The primary beneficiaries of school desegregation policies and practices in Broward County were: white, affluent communities and the builders, developers, realtors and other businesses in the western suburban communities. All of the data sources indicated that the black community did not benefit from the School Board's desegregation policies. ^ The primary power techniques used by School Board officials to influence desegregation policies and practices was “power over opinions” and compensation. These power techniques were manifested by the School Board publicly disputing the allegations raised by community activists and by compensating those who supported and promoted the School Board's desegregation policies and practices. ^ The power techniques primarily used by community activists were coercive force and “power over opinions.” They effectively used these power techniques to change the School Board's policies and practices they felt were detrimental to black children and the black community. ^ Based on the analysis of the qualitative data, it can be concluded that black children did not benefit from school desegregation in Broward County, Florida and the community continues to suffer residual effects from past desegregation policies and practices. ^

Subject Area

History, Black|Education, Administration|Education, History of|Political Science, Public Administration

Recommended Citation

Janice Boursiquot, "School desegregation in Broward County, Florida, 1970--1998: A historical study of power" (January 1, 2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3119025.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3119025

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