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ERIC Number: ED567352
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 156
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-6767-8
In the Middle: Factors Affecting a Black Male's Decision to Join a Traditionally White Fraternity at a Large Diverse Institution
Winkler, Matthew J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the pre-college factors, attitudes, and experiences of black men who joined traditionally white fraternities (TWFs) at large public predominantly white institutions (PWIs) over approximately the past four decades. These factors, with special emphasis on issues of identity, self- and group-esteem, and group salience when the individual's environment changes, will be examined through the theoretical lens of Social Identity Theory. An integrated set of qualitative methods was used to gather data. Participants were asked to complete a brief online demographic survey, were provided an opportunity to journal about their experiences, engaged in a semi-structured interview with the primary researcher, and were asked follow up questions where necessary. Participants in this study de-emphasized their race as a factor in their identity and distanced themselves from a race-based fictive kinship due to both internal beliefs and external messages regarding negative stereotypes of blacks and black culture. Participants reported immersion in predominantly white social and academic experiences and environments, a comparative identification with white peers over blacks while maintaining a tenuous fictive kinship, and that membership in a traditionally white fraternity was consistent with their academic and social attitudes and priorities, while also acknowledging that full acceptance in white culture was elusive. Ultimately participants found themselves "in the middle;" navigating both worlds; not always fully accepted by whites while feeling disconnected from the views and attitudes of other blacks. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A