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ERIC Number: EJ1054343
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1938-8926
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.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A