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Race on Campus: Book Discussion Series

Library staff professional development book discussion

Race on Campus - Library Book Discussion Series, Fall 2019

ebunking Myths with Data


Discussion Questions

Chapter 2

TOPIC:  "Who's Really Self-Segregating?"

Topic Leader: Susan Vega García

LMT Meeting:  Sept. 11, 1:00-2:00

Please read the following & be prepared to discuss at our meeting:

  • Chapter 2: Who's Really Self-Segregating -- pages 29-47

You can always read more from the book at any time, but these are the Chapters we will focus on in our discussions for today.

Discussion Questions

1. Park unpacked the myth in Chapter 1 that students of color self-segregate when they choose to sit together or when they participate in ethnic student organizations. Using research, she demonstrates that data show that, on the contrary, students of color at PWIs are much more likely to have interracial friendships than are white students; this is particularly so when students of color participate in ethnic student organizations. In Chapter 2, Park delves into data that identify who really is self-segregating,

  • So, according to the author and the research data she cites, which student groups really are self-segregating? Did that surprise you?
  • According to the data that Park cites, what happens when the concept of "elite" is added to those self-segregating groups? 


2. Park states that historical legacies of exclusion are one explanation for my some HWGL organizations remain so white. As discussed in the chapter, indicate whether the following help address or hinder this lack of interracial inclusion, and explain why.

  • Colorblindness (e.g., "I was taught to treat everyone the same. I don't care if you're pink, purple, or polka-dotted. I don't see color!")
  • Socioeconomic diversity
  • Holding racially-themed parties
  • Equating talk about race as racist
  • Talking about past legacies of exclusion

3. The author finds that participation in religious student organizations also tends to be racially homogeneous; one large study found this was particularly so for white students.

  • How do these findings compare with HWGL, and with students of color who participate in GL? 
  • How does active engagement in religious student organizations compare with engagement in HWGL?