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:Understanding Social Identity: In-group Versus Out-group Affinity within the Black Campus Community
Author(s):Randle, Lhea L.
social groups
Abstract:This study investigates the implications of involvement on identity development of African American Students. The researcher attended predominantly Black events in order to observe informal group formations in order to understand the importance of comfort among Blacks in group selection. Eight interviews were also conducted outside of these observations. The participants of this study were between the ages of 20 and 22 years of age. Five students were graduating seniors, and three students were juniors. Five of the students were female, and three students were male. Among those interviewed, six were from Chicago suburbs, two were from Chicago city, and zero were from down state or rural areas. The results indicate that students are able to work cohesively in mixed race groups and that they are between the third and fourth stage of Helms identity stages which indicates that they have the ability to interact with people from other races while still maintaining a commitment to African American culture.
Issue Date:2008
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:2009-02-23

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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