From the inside looking in: Tradition and diversity at Texas A&M University

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Title: From the inside looking in: Tradition and diversity at Texas A&M University
Author: Caulfield, Emily Lynn
Abstract: This study explores how the unique history , culture , and traditions of Texas A &M University shape students ? perceptions and understandings of diversity and diversity programs . I examine these issues through participant observation of Texas A &M ?s football traditions and in -depth , semi -structured interviews with members of the student body . In response to increased media scrutiny , public pressure , and scholastic competition , the current administration has embraced a number of aggressive initiatives to increase diversity among members of the student body . The collision between decades of tradition and the administration ?s vision for the future has given rise to tension between members of the student body and the administration , which I argue is due , at least in part , to the culture that began developing at Texas A &M during the middle of the twentieth century as students began reacting to the prospect of change . I conclude that this historical and cultural context continues to impact modern campus life through students ? dedication to tradition . In addition , I suggest that current students tend to assign different meanings and values to the concepts of both tradition and diversity than either faculty members or administrators do , creating tensions that have not been comprehensively examined or understood within the context of the Texas A &M community . Based on these findings , I suggest that proponents of diversity can improve the diversity project at Texas A &M University by giving students more responsibility for diversity programs , emphasizing the process (rather than the results ) of diversification , attempting to eradicate all forms of intolerance and injustice on campus , and insisting on a policy of mutual respect .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2832
Date: 2009-05-15

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From the inside looking in: Tradition and diversity at Texas A&M University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2832 .

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