The study that I would conduct is based on discovering the factors that influence and promote cross-racial interaction on Rowan University’s Campus. Does collegiate life facilitate change in previously held beliefs, values, and behaviors? I would like to explore whether or not students’ past histories, combined with this step towards adulthood and independence, would increase the likelihood of interaction with those of another race.
Upbringing and prior exposures to diversity will also be considered. Balkanization (self-segregation) and its obvious impact on cross-racial interactions will be addressed. Prior to beginning my study, would research the results of studies relevant to this topic in order to familiarize myself with college students’ typical level of cross-racial interactions, and with the minority/majority perceptions of campus climate in social areas (such as the dining area), and areas of learning (within my classes and in the library. ) These results will be discussed during the presentation.
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We are all taught of our society evolution from one that was oppressive towards those of color prior to the sass’s into a progressive society with the civil rights movement in the sass’s. Embracing our differences is the ideal in our country today. This viewpoint is especially prevalent in the world of academia. Thus, it follows that cultural diversity is looked upon in a favorable light by most universities. Rowan is no different. They have a specialized office on campus whose objective it is to promote positive interactions between individuals of differing cultures and backgrounds.
This is the main focus of Rowan’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. For the purpose of maintaining sensitivity and a professionally tactful approach towards the values and beliefs of those cultures, I would first submit an application and attain RIB approval. Following this, I would then collaborate with those in the multi-cultural affairs department prior to beginning my study. Students are encouraged to learn about other cultures through their required classes, such as this one, which promotes students to collaborate on group assignments.
They are also offered many opportunities to work on campus, and become involved in labs, as well as activities and events (some of which focus on diversity). These are held on campus. Alumni living on campus can be exposed to other cultures if “placed in a dorm with someone of a differing background, race, or culture. ” (Small, 386) This being said, I would move into a dorm on campus, and request (if possible) to be placed in a shared dorm room with someone of another race.
This would allow me to have firsthand exposure to interaction with one whose culture differs from my own. With this person’s informed consent, would likely gain invaluable ‘mimic’ knowledge in what encourages costive interactions with those of other races. Getting to know someone and their point of view about how they perceive life on Rowan’s campus would give me a crucial insight that I might not be able to discover otherwise. Between my scheduled classes, would go and eat in the dining facility or to sit in the library.
While in the dining hall I would mingle with as many students as possible, inform them as to my purpose for being there, and obtain signed informed consent forms for those open to being interviewed. The use of pseudonyms would be used if a subject did not wish to be identified. Although would concentrate on those seen interacting with those of another race, would also interact with and interview a handful of those seen interacting with students of the same race. The use of this method would provide something with which I would compare and contrast with the other interviews.
For the semi-structured interviews, I would utilize a specific list of questions, and inquire as to what they perceived the racial climate to be at Rowan. I would then proceed to ask self-philosophy opening questions such as: How do they feel about diversity in general? And, what do they feel an be done to encourage others to be open to cross- racial interactions? The next issue I would address would be to ask a series of questions in order to identify the frequency and reasons for their initial interaction with someone Of different backgrounds, cultures, and races.
Context principle questions would be asked next, such as: What were your parents’ attitudes towards socializing or dating those of other race? Did they instill their views in you, or do you feel otherwise? Have you previously had any friendships or other relationships with those of different backgrounds prior to attending Rowan? If so, when, and what type of relationship was it? If no, how did the person first encounter someone of a different background, race, or culture on campus? Was it via a roommate, a group project, social, or work related?
Has their comfort level increased in other interactions with those differing from oneself? Did a friendship, or other relationship form as a result of the interaction(s)? What do you believe made you open to cross-racial/ multicultural interactions? What did you perceive about the person with whom you chose to interact? Would conclude with a self-philosophy marry question: What would they like to see happen in the future in terms of cross-racial relations? And, do they believe that stereotypes and racism will one day be a part of the past?
My ‘ethic’ knowledge would be obtained through observations of others, and the frequency of cross-racial interactions. Any and all social interactions I have with others while on campus would be recorded in my detailed field notes. Due to the fact that the atmosphere is usually quiet in the library, I would likely do the majority of recording observations there. My interactions with others would likely occur n the foyer area, or right outside the library, where I would also focus on speaking to those have seen interacting with others who are of a differing race or culture.
Reasons for these interactions would be discovered through obtaining signed informed consent forms, followed by interviews conducted by utilizing the semi-structured interview questionnaires described earlier. If any events pertaining to cultural diversity on campus were to be held during the duration of my study, would be sure to attend. I would interact with others I encounter there, and after obtaining signed informed consent forms, loud conduct interviews there as well. Any interactions, observations, interviews, and results would be recorded in additional field notes.
I would then identify similarities and differences between my study results, and identify how they either support Or fail to support the conclusions reached by other studies. The results and conclusions of the following studies would be used: Michael Changes (et al) “Cross-Racial Interaction among Undergraduates,” Maria Low’s “Food For Thought: Frequent Interracial Dining Experiences as a Predictor of Student’s Racial Climate Perceptions,” ND Ethylene White’s “The Campus Racial Climate and Undergraduate Perceptions of the Academic Library,” and other resources noted in the bibliography.
Similarities and differences between the collection methods would also be noted. The information gained through this study would be valuable to the on-campus department that aims to promote diversity, Rowan’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. Other universities may benefit from this information as well. Knowing the factors that influence openness to experiencing cross-cultural and cross-racial interactions could assist the apartment in straightening and developing methods to encourage acceptance, and appreciation for those who differ from us among the alumni.
The information gathered would be compiled, and a conclusion could be drawn as to which factors actually contribute, or detract from raising the current level of multicultural acceptance. My final thoughts would then be noted, and the point will be emphasized that interacting with those of different cultures can be extremely beneficial for all when dealing with others in the “real world. ” The results will be made public, and may also serve to encourage changes in policies at Rowan and other large public universities.
Attempting to address the divide between ourselves and others, being aware of what is actually appropriate behavior, and respecting our differences makes us more enlightened as part of the race we all belong to, the human race.