Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Allen, H.David; Luft, Rachel E.

Second Advisor

Baxter, Vern


This case study assesses the elementary school choice decision-making process of black middle-class families living in the Algiers community of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The concept of community has been central to the success of blacks in America since Reconstruction. However, as the Civil Rights Movement helped eliminate some of the legal obstacles facing blacks and provided them with more access to opportunities, it also had the unfortunate consequence of redirecting the attention of blacks more inwardly to the success of their own families, thus diminishing some of the formerly needed sense of community responsibility. These families are not oblivious to the racism that still exists. Yet, they go about a process of prioritizing their options within their choice sets in order to strike the best, if not optimal, balance of school characteristics, such as Catholic tradition, racial diversity and academic rigor, to ensure the success of their children.


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