The Next Generation of Diversity and Intergroup Relations Research
University of California at Los Angeles
What other ways might we extend the next generation of diversity and intergroup relations research to achieve democratic ends beneficial to society?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Journal of Social Issues
Vol. 61, No. 3, pp. 595-610
- Student interaction with diverse peers during college results in changes in student cognitive, social, and democratic outcomes by the second year of college.
- Campus efforts to provide opportunities for students to learn about diverse groups inside and outside the classroom have an appreciable impact on students.
- Informal, negative interactions with diverse peers resulted in lower scores on many outcomes- including lower self-confidence in leadership, cultural awareness, concern for the public good, support for race-based initiatives, and tolerance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people with relatively stronger associations with students' self-efficacy for social change, perspective-taking, support for institutional diversity practices, etc.
- Students who report meaningful and positive interactions with diverse peers tend to score higher on many important outcomes.
- Substantial interaction with diverse peers has the effect of providing students with many opportunities to learn how to resolve conflict and practice democratic skills.
- After controlling for quality of interaction, those with frequent interaction were likely to believe that racial inequality is not a problem in society.
- Students who participated in extracurricular diversity activities tended to express self-confidence in leadership skills, cultural awareness, self-efficacy for social change, have higher interests in social issues, valued creating social awareness, and supported institutional diversity initiatives.
- Participation in intergroup dialogue has focused independent effect, with the most significant effects on students' perspective-taking skills, the development of a pluralistic orientation, and the belief that conflict enhances democracy.
- Service learning also had focused independent impact on student outcomes, with strong positive effects on students' self-confidence in their leadership skills.
- The quality of student interactions with diverse peers is key (positive and meaningful interaction) in producing a host of important outcomes. If interactions are left to chance, students are likely to revert to familiar and solidified positions when encountering conflict.
- Frequency of interaction with diverse peers on campus provides students with more experience to become accustomed to social difference, hone intergroup skills, and prepare them for diverse workplaces.
- Many campuses efforts to intentionally provide opportunities for students to learn about diverse social groups inside and outside the classroom have an appreciable impact on students by their second year of college.
Journal Article Empirical Research
College, Democracy, Diversity
Method of Analysis:
10 public universities
Unit of Analysis:
- Data comes from 10 public universities that varied in geographic location (Midwest, Northeast, southwest, Northwest, size (5,000 to 30,000 undergraduate enrollment), and student enrollment demographics (5-95% students of color).
- Dataset contained 4,403 students who completed both the first-and second-year surveys and whose responses could be matched across the two time points.
- DV: Cognitive skills, social cognitive outcomes, and democratic sensibilities.
- IV: Service learning, diversity courses, intergroup dialogue, extracurricular diversity events, positive interactions, negative interactions, frequency of interactions.