Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Richard J. DeParis


Empirical data have indicated that a considerable amount of the world's population, 45.3 million in the United States, live in deplorable conditions, some of which are created by social exclusion. Social exclusion is a disenfranchisement experienced by individuals and families living in poverty conditions created by circumstances such as lack of education, lack of economic sustenance, unemployment, poor health, and other social ills. Mentoring is a multidimensional skills-development opportunity for disadvantaged youth, aspiring new professionals, employed individuals being promoted, and instructor-student relationships. There is the possibility that mentoring could be useful for other societal groups as well, particularly social excluded adults. The purpose of this phenomenological research was to examine and gain an understanding of mentoring as experienced by social excluded adults in a small Midwest city. The theoretical framework included the theory of mentoring as postulated by Kram, Bandura's social cognitive theory, the social exclusion theory by Bourdieu, and the social capital theory by Muddiman. Social excluded adults between 25 and 50 years of age were interviewed regarding their mentoring experience. Ten research participants were interviewed. A NVivo assessment was used to analyze data. The study revealed that mentor and protégé relationships among social excluded adults yielded similar positive results as in other mentored groups. The significant social change provided by this study is that outcomes of the mentoring experiences will provide policy makers and nonprofit services providers with important data to create programs that more adequately meet the needs of social excluded adults.