Class Year

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Honors Designation

Honors

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Primary Advisor

Carolyn Hsu

Second Advisor (if necessary)

Janel Benson

Abstract

This study seeks to expand our understanding of the impact of Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) courses on student outcomes by examining Colgate University as a case study on IGD at Liberal Arts Colleges. My goal is to fill a gap in literature since the existing research on IGD mostly focuses on large universities. I also propose a new theory to explain how and why IGD pedagogical approaches lead to transformative student outcomes, which contributes to literature that is missing an understanding of how this transformation takes place. I employ a multi-method study that combines 1) examination of the an IGD post-test survey administered at the end of full IGD courses in the fall 2015 and 2) analysis of 16 in-depth interviews with students enrolled in a variety of diversity-focused courses that can be divided into full-IGD courses, courses that used partial IGD pedagogy, and non-IGD courses. The result indicates that as students have increased exposure to intergroup dialogue in courses, they experience greater awareness of systems of power and privilege and social identities, empathy, communication with people from different backgrounds, and a desire to engage in action promoting a more socially just world.

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