The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe why African American men join Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs), as well as the role that African American fraternity membership plays in the college experience of African American men at four predominantly White institutions in a metropolitan region. One-on-one interviews were utilized to gather data from 20 undergraduate members from all five international African American fraternities (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.). Data analysis was guided by Tinto's (1993) theory of student departure and Nagasawa and Wong's (1999) theory of minority student survival.
Three main themes emerged as reasons these African American men chose to seek membership in a BGLO: (a) brotherhood, (b) fraternal identity and legacy, and (c) personal connections. Eight main themes emerged as outcomes of membership. These were (a) peer accountability, (b) leadership development, (c) networking, (d) service opportunities, (e) notability, (f) stereotyping, (g) marginalization, and (h) competing priorities.
Implications for practice include development of mentorship programs between Greek-affiliated and non-Greek-affiliated African American male students, development of academic incentives for BGLOs, and intentional integration of BGLOs into university Greek Week recognitions. Implications for research are discussed in terms of exploring the influence of Greek membership for other underrepresented groups and conducting similar studies for African American men pursuing advanced degrees.
|Commitee:||Bridges, Brian K., Chernak, Robert, Jakeman, Rick, Johnson, Jason|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Education and Human Development|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, School administration|
|Keywords:||African american men, Black greek letter organizations, Fraternities, Male students|
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