Diversity and Democracy

In Print

Taming the River: Negotiating the Academic, Financial, and Social Currents in Selective Colleges and Universities, Camille Z. Charles, Mary J. Fischer, Margarita A. Mooney, and Douglas S. Massey (Princeton University Press, 2009, $35 hardcover)
Drawing from data collected through the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen, this smart and comprehensive study illuminates the social, personal, and academic factors that influence students during the first two years of college. Taking a close look at the experiences of African American, Latino, Asian, and white students, the authors illustrate how certain stressors--including financial aid difficulties and internalized low expectations--disproportionately affect students from particular groups. Filled with important insights into students' experiences, the book underscores the complexity of converging factors and suggests ways for colleges and universities to support all students.

Doing Diversity in Higher Education: Faculty Leaders Share Challenges and Strategies, Winnifred R. Brown-Glaude, ed. (Rutgers University Press, 2009, $26.95 paperback)
Arising from a multiyear study led by Rutgers University's Institute for Women's Leadership, this volume pays tribute to the underrecognized faculty trailblazers who operate at the forefront of diversity work in higher education. By sharing strategies for institutional change based on case studies at a range of institutions, the collection makes important local diversity work available to a broad audience. Exploring how several higher education leaders have created new climates and shifted demographics, the volume suggests possible routes toward more inclusive institutions.

The Diversity Challenge: Social Identity and Intergroup Relations on the College Campus, Jim Sidanius, Shana Levin, Colette van Laar, and David O. Sears (Russell Sage Foundation, 2008, $45 hardcover)
This theoretically grounded study raises incisive questions about the promise of the multicultural campus. Using longitudinal data gathered from students at the University of California-Los Angeles, the authors examine how different facets of undergraduate life (roommates, friends, membership in ethnic societies) affect students' attitudes and beliefs. While confirming that structured interaction with diversity can yield positive results, the study levels a strong critique against well-established aspects of college culture, including the Greek system. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in student interaction with diversity.

A Journey to Unlearn and Learn in Multicultural Education, Hongyu Wang and Nadine Olson, eds. (Peter Lang, 2009, $32.95 paperback)
In this volume of essays by teacher education students, editors Wang and Olson explore students' learning processes as they begin their journeys toward becoming multicultural educators. Writing from their unique positions as both teachers and students, contributing authors provide a rare glimpse into the potential for multicultural education to shift the perspectives of those who engage in it and, by extension, their relationships with the world at large. Although anchored in the specific experiences of future and current teachers, the collection provides a moving glimpse into multicultural education's powerful mechanisms.

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