Gurin, Patricia, Nagda, Biren A., & Lopez, Gretchen
The Benefits of Diversity in Education for Democratic Citizenship
University of Michigan
Does participation in diversity education affect the process of learning to be citizens?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Journal of Social Issues
Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 17-34
- Students that participated in the curricular diversity program showed significantly greater motivation to take the perspective of others, they less often evaluated the University's emphasis on diversity as producing divisiveness between groups, and in fact showed greater mutuality in their involvements with their own groups and with other groups.
- Multicultural programs would help students learn sentiments and skills needed in a plural democracy.
- Students that participated in the curricular diversity program expressed more democratic sentiments.
- Multicultural curriculum increases White students perspective taking and sense of commonality in values with African American students. No negative effects on non-White students.
- Participants showed significantly greater motivation to take the perspective of others. They less often evaluated the University’s emphasis on diversity as producing divisiveness between groups, and in fact showed greater mutuality in their involvements with their own groups and with other groups. During the college years they had thought more about their own group memberships but they had also enjoyed learning about the experiences and perspectives of other groups more than the control students.
- Participants were more interested in politics and, also, had participated more frequently in campus political activities. However, they had not taken part more frequently in community service activities during college.
- The program is associated with a greater increase in the participants’ sense of commonality in work and family values with groups other than their own after we controlled for how much commonality the students had felt toward these groups when they entered college.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Diversity, Intergroup Relations, Long Term Outcomes, Non Academic Outcomes
Method of Analysis:
University of Michigan
Unit of Analysis:
- This article includes two different studies: (1) Quasi-experiment & (2) Longitudinal analysis
- Analyze the impact of curricular and co-curricular experience with racial and ethnic diversity on democratic sentiments and citizenship activities in two field studies: a quasi-experimental study (comparing undergraduate participants in a curricular diversity program with a matched control group) and a longitudinal study.
- Data collected from the University of Michigan. Longitudinal field study included students at University of Michigan.
- Quasi-experiment used participants in a curricular diversity program with a matched control group.
- Measures for the quasi-experiment: perspective-taking, non-divisiveness of difference, perception of commonalities in values across groups, mutuality in learning about own and other groups, acceptance of conflict as a normal part of social life, interest in politics, participation in campus politics, participation in community service, commitment to post-college civic participation.
- Measures for the longitudinal study: experience with diversity, democratic sentiments.
- DV: Democratic sentiments and civic activities
- IV: Diversity experience
Controls: Gender, in/out state pre-college residence, etc.