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When Diversity Drops

Race, Religion, and Affirmative Action in Higher Education
Julie J. Park (Author)
214 pages, 6 x 9
Paper, July 2013 $27.95   ADD TO CART
Cloth, July 2013 $78.00   ADD TO CART
epub, July 2013 $24.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Subject Area:
Education, Race and Ethnic Studies, Sociology


Julie J. Park examines how losing racial diversity in a university affects the everyday lives of its students. She uses a student organization, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) at “California University,” as a case study to show how reductions in racial diversity impact the ability of students to sustain multiethnic communities.

The story documents IVCF’s evolution from a predominantly white group that rarely addressed race to the most racially diverse campus fellowship at the university. However, its ability to maintain its multiethnic membership was severely hampered by the drop in black enrollment at California University following the passage of Proposition 209, a statewide affirmative action ban.

Park demonstrates how the friendships that students have—or do not have—across racial lines are not just a matter of personal preference or choice; they take place in the contexts that are inevitably shaped by the demographic conditions of the university. She contends that a strong organizational commitment to diversity, while essential, cannot sustain racially diverse student subcultures. Her work makes a critical contribution to our understanding of race and inequality in collegiate life and is a valuable resource for educators and researchers interested in the influence of racial politics on students’ lives.


"With clear writing, sound methodology, and compelling analysis, When Diversity Drops makes a strong argument that will be of interest to scholars of race, evangelism, campus life, and social theory."
—Paul Bramadat, University of Victoria

"Park’s groundbreaking work shows us what happens to students’ capacity for bridging racial divides and reconciling conflicts under either color-blind or race-conscious conditions. She provides a remarkably fresh approach that forces us to reconsider the impact of diversity."
—Mitchell J. Chang, University of California, Los Angeles

Author / Editor Bio

JULIE J. PARK is an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Table Of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments


1. The Cultural and Organizational Contexts of Race, Religion, and Higher Education
2. Changing a Culture: IVCF Decides to Make Race Matter
3. Pursuing Common Goals: Building Congruence between Race and Faith
4. "Man, This Is Hard": The Possibilities and Perils of Interracial Friendship
5. Shifting Strategies: Going Ethnic-Specific
6. When Race Goes on the Backburner: IVCF Loses Diversity
7. When a Minority Is the Majority: Asian Americans in IVCF
8. Renewing a Commitment: Realigning Values, Structures, and Practice




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