Abstract

Four years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a group of Public Administration scholars met in New York's Adirondack Mountains to discuss the future of the field. At this gathering, the Minnowbrook I Conference, scholars acknowledged the need for social equity. Today, more than fifty years later, there is still a need for social equity. There is still a need to understand the history and role of oppression within Public Administration. Apropos, in this dissertation, I interrogate oppression, by way of postcolonialism and critical discourse analysis, to learn about the field's darkness and splendor. This project aims to help administrators reimagine a field and democracy for all. This dissertation is both an exercise in self-reflection and an invitation to become self-conscious about colonialism in our discourse. Explicitly, this project's central research question is: Does the American Public Administration Discourse (APAD) exhibit colonial discourse as a basis of power? Herein, discourse means a set of relationships between people, institutions, language, and rhetorical practices within Public Administration in the United States, post-1968. To answer the main research question, I used qualitative content analysis to analyze, via NVivo12, a purposive sample of 38 vital journal-length texts from the field. To inform and guide my study, I developed a deductive coding frame for colonial discourse. The frame includes three main categories and seven subcategories: Eurocentrism (Historicism, Developmentalist Fallacy and the Cult of Progress, Parochiality of Scientism, and Orientalism), the Civilizational Mission (Didactic Despotism and Neocolonial Prosperity Mission), and the Colonial Difference (Binarism). Per my qualitative content analysis, across the sample, colonial discourse is commonplace and taken for granted. While several texts challenge colonial discourse, they are often ambivalent in that they attack one dimension of colonial discourse while reinforcing another.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2020

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Zavattaro, Staci

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Community Innovation and Education

Department

Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Public Affairs; Public Administration Dual Degree-MPA Track

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008034; DP0023174

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0023174

Language

English

Release Date

5-15-2020

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until 5-15-2020; it will then be open access.

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