Socialization of Black Naval officers (Black officers experience a more traumatic socialization process upon entering the Navy than do their White peers due to certain differences between the broader Black and White subcultural socialization process
Ford, Jerry Wilson
McGonigal, Richard A.
Harris, Reuben T.
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This study was undertaken to assess the impact of the organizational socialization process as it pertains to the Black male Navy officers. The intent is to examine whether that process unduly traumatizes these minority officers and to determine if there are factors in the process which might impact negatively upon the recruitment, employment and retention of Blacks and other minorities into the officer ranks. Through the use of interviews, archival data, and some necessary subjective evaluations, the impact of the socialization phenomenon was analyzed using the three stage model of socialization: anticipatory stage, entry stage, and adaption stage. This model is based upon that formulated by Dr. M. Louis. The results of this study suggest that barriers exist to the full adaption or acculturalization of Blacks into the officer corps and that these barriers are mostly hidden from both Blacks and Whites. These barriers, it is noted, have little to do with malice but rather are erected and perpetuated through a lack of cultural awareness and literacy on the part of both groups. This study further concludes that Blacks have failed to be fully absorbed into the cultural milieau of the predominantly White officer corps but may have formed a sub-group of differently acculturated officers. This latter premise would suggest that the positive utilization of Black officers leaves much to be desired. The implication of these findings around the issues of women and other minorities entering the officer ranks along with recommendations for reducing these barriers to adequate socialization are included in the conclusion of this study.
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