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Exploring the experiences of African American and European American female students from diverse SES backgrounds

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Abstract:

When investigating the experiences of African American and European American female college students, researchers have rarely investigated the within-group experiences of women from different social class backgrounds utilizing both quantitative surveys and qualitative approaches. For example, some researchers have used quantitative surveys in investigating the experiences of both male and female students of color (e.g., Ancis, Sedlacek, & Mohr, 2000). Or, previous ethnographic researchers have compared the college experiences of White and Black female college students (e.g., Holland & Eisenhart, 1992; Berkowitz & Padavic, 1999) while others have solely examined the experiences of White female students from different social class backgrounds (e.g., Stuber, 2006). Our study is unique in using both a quantitative survey and qualitative narratives to examine how social class differences within race affect how female college students navigate college life on a small liberal arts campus. Additionally, it is important to recognize and be sensitive to the nuances associated with the intersectionality of race, gender, and class versus focusing on only one or two of these factors simultaneously (Collins, 1991). Our preliminary quantitative findings strongly suggest that treating college women similarly based solely on their social class (and ignoring their race/ethnicity) or based solely on their race/ethnicity (and ignoring their social class) will overlook substantive differences in their experiences. For example, African American women reported high rates of employment regardless of their social class backgrounds, but European American women differed in their rates of employment across social class groups. Preliminary qualitative analyses reveal that themes of social class, race, and identity are prevalent in the narrative responses, but also differ according to the race and social class backgrounds of the young women. Through this study, we hope to give voice to the nuances of these intersectionalities.
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Name: SCRA Biennial Meeting
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http://www.scra27.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p503191_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Davis, Anita., Shirley, Carla. and Godfrey, Mary. "Exploring the experiences of African American and European American female students from diverse SES backgrounds" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SCRA Biennial Meeting, Roosevelt University/Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL, Jun 15, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p503191_index.html>

APA Citation:

Davis, A. , Shirley, C. and Godfrey, M. , 2011-06-15 "Exploring the experiences of African American and European American female students from diverse SES backgrounds" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SCRA Biennial Meeting, Roosevelt University/Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p503191_index.html

Publication Type: Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: When investigating the experiences of African American and European American female college students, researchers have rarely investigated the within-group experiences of women from different social class backgrounds utilizing both quantitative surveys and qualitative approaches. For example, some researchers have used quantitative surveys in investigating the experiences of both male and female students of color (e.g., Ancis, Sedlacek, & Mohr, 2000). Or, previous ethnographic researchers have compared the college experiences of White and Black female college students (e.g., Holland & Eisenhart, 1992; Berkowitz & Padavic, 1999) while others have solely examined the experiences of White female students from different social class backgrounds (e.g., Stuber, 2006). Our study is unique in using both a quantitative survey and qualitative narratives to examine how social class differences within race affect how female college students navigate college life on a small liberal arts campus. Additionally, it is important to recognize and be sensitive to the nuances associated with the intersectionality of race, gender, and class versus focusing on only one or two of these factors simultaneously (Collins, 1991). Our preliminary quantitative findings strongly suggest that treating college women similarly based solely on their social class (and ignoring their race/ethnicity) or based solely on their race/ethnicity (and ignoring their social class) will overlook substantive differences in their experiences. For example, African American women reported high rates of employment regardless of their social class backgrounds, but European American women differed in their rates of employment across social class groups. Preliminary qualitative analyses reveal that themes of social class, race, and identity are prevalent in the narrative responses, but also differ according to the race and social class backgrounds of the young women. Through this study, we hope to give voice to the nuances of these intersectionalities.


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