Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Rehabilitation and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Watt, Sherry K.

First Committee Member

Baxter, Leslie A.

Second Committee Member

Liddell, Debora L.

Third Committee Member

Morphew, Christopher C.

Fourth Committee Member

Pascarella, Ernest T.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the sociocultural influences on dialogues about race of undergraduate students from various racial backgrounds at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). This qualitative study included 16 undergraduate students from various racial backgrounds at a small, private university in the Midwest who participated in semi-structured focus group interviews. A data analysis addressed how the interplay of narratives and counter-narratives within dialogues on race revealed common themes within the framework of Critical Race Theory. Findings from the interview data suggest that race does not occur solely in the moment of a particular conversation or incidence. Rather, there are three sociocultural influences on undergraduates' conversations on race: The collective history related to race in the United States, students' personal experiences related to race, particularly discrimination, and the way they describe themselves as racial beings. Findings also revealed the possible benefits of providing spaces for students from various racial backgrounds to engage in dialogues on the construct of race.


College Students, Dialogue, Diversity, Race


x, 127 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 120-127).


Copyright 2013 Sherri Ivy Edvalson