Sociocultural Influences on Undergraduate Students’ Conversations on Race at a Predominantly White Institution

Speaker addressing African American audience at WSUI, The University of Iowa, 1940s
Speaker addressing African American audience at WSUI, The University of Iowa, 1940s, Frederick W Kent, photographer, Iowa city Town and Campus Scenes, http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ictcs/id/5490
Speaker addressing African American audience at WSUI, The University of Iowa, 1940s, Frederick W Kent, photographer, Iowa city Town and Campus Scenes, http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ictcs/id/5490

Dr. Sherri Edvalson’s 2013 dissertation explores how students talk about race and what influences their views. Her focus on students from various racial backgrounds attending a small, private Midwestern university yields interesting results. She states:

 

there are three sociocultural influences on undergraduates’ conversations on race: The collective history related to race in the United States, students’ personal experiences related to race, particularly discrimination, and the way they describe themselves as racial beings.

Edvalson goes on to discuss how dedicated space for student dialogues could foster a better understanding of the ways in which race gets constructed.

Sherri Ivy Edvalson.  “Sociocultural influences on undergraduate students’ conversations on race at a predominantly white institution.” PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2013.