ERIC Number: EJ1054343
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Family Away from Home: Factors Influencing Undergraduate Women of Color's Decisions to Join a Cultural-Specific Sorority
Delgado-Guerrero, Marla; Cherniack, Mayra A.; Gloria, Alberta M.
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v7 n1 p45-57 Mar 2014
This study sought to understand the reasons undergraduate women of color join a cultural-specific sorority. Through the use of an online survey, 159 narratives of women of color undergraduates attending predominately White institutions (PWIs) in the Midwest was conducted. LeCompte's (2000) 5-step analysis yielded four culturally focused meta-themes that addressed the participants' reasons for joining a cultural-specific sorority. The first meta-theme of "Elements of the Sorority" addressed the shared values, characteristics, and qualities that attracted the members to the cultural-specific sorority. Next, the "Emphasis of Relationships" meta-theme underscored the need to form meaningful and supportive family-like relationships with other undergraduate women of similar and cultural diverse backgrounds. The third meta-theme of "Importance of Growth," addressed how their sorority was a mechanism of empowerment to promote the development of women and communities of color. Finally, the "Personal Needs" meta-theme highlighted how sorority affiliation met their cultural and individual needs to persist academically. Importantly, the shared diverse values and family-like relationships were salient elements for the women of color to find a "home" in which they were comforted, valued, and supportively challenged. The study's findings underscore the need for cultural-specific student groups, which emphasize interpersonal connections, validate educational and personal experiences, and support academic empowerment on university campuses. Implications for university administrators regarding opportunities for family-like connections and culturally congruent activities are discussed to assist with the positive educational experiences and ultimate persistence of undergraduate women of color on predominantly White campuses.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Females, Sororities, African American Students, Minority Group Students, African American Organizations, Student Organizations, Decision Making, Preferences, Racial Identification, Student Empowerment, Cultural Awareness, Student Diversity, Social Values, Social Support Groups, Peer Acceptance, Student Development, Service Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A