Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Relations of Diversity in An All-Female Dorm
Author(s):Boswell, Patrice
Abstract:My study focused on the relations and interactions that occur between female residents of different racial groups in an all-girls residence hall. In this study I pinpointed what interactions take place in a residence hall, and with whom the interactions are or are not occuring. I found out that Caucasian girls do not interact as often with Latina and African American girls, as Latina and African American girls interact with each other, though Latina girls interact with Caucasian girls at greater length than African American girls do. I also realized what can be done to further the interactions between female residents of different racial groups, specifically what programs can be implemented and focused on to further the diversification not just in residence halls, but on campus in general. These programs are inclusive of making programs such as the Girls Series Talk mandatory for residents to attend. Also, implementing more multicultural activities for students to engage in.
Issue Date:2008-12
Course / Semester:EPS 500, Race and Ethnography: A Study of the University, Prof. Priscilla Fortier: This seminar is not only a course, but part of a cross-campus initiative titled Ethnography of the University Initiative. As a member of this course students joined a campus-wide learning community in which the University of Illinois was explored ethnographically. Students began the course by thinking about what the university is, as well as about race and ethnicity as phenomena within the university’s narratives. Students learned about universities and higher education in general and the University of Illinois in particular. A third area of concentration was “ethnography,” and students learned and practiced the basic skills of observation, interviewing, and writing as an ethnographer. Students completed several short assignments that were intended to help them develop these skills, as well as one larger ethnographic project on the University. The latter allowed them to explore an aspect of the university that has to do with an issue of race or ethnicity. In addition to the readings that students did as a class, they were expected to explore other research related to their project. The course syllabus is available at:
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-07-27

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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