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Neither Jew Nor Gentile: Exploring Issues of Racial Diversity on Protestant College Campuses

Neither Jew Nor Gentile: Exploring Issues of Racial Diversity on Protestant College Campuses (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Protestant institutions of higher learning have historically enrolled fewer students of color than nonsectarian colleges and universities. In this book, George Yancey explores the racial climate on Protestant campuses, examining the reasons why these institutions succeed or fail to attract a diverse student body and why students of color who do attend such institutions either succeed or fail to graduate. Of course, no major Protestant denomination endorses overt racism, and Protestant educators have indicated a wish to increase racial diversity on their campuses. Despite this expressed desire, however, Yancey finds numerous barriers to achieving such diversity. On the one hand, evangelical institutions, like the denominations that sponsor them, tend to espouse an individualistic, "colorblind" ideology that ignores racial injustices and discourages the attendance of students of color. Mainline Protestants have much more progressive racial attitudes than conservatives. Ironically, however, Protestants of color tend to be theologically conservative, and have deep disagreements with the mainline on such theological issues as biblical inerrancy and social issues like homosexuality.

Yancey finds that many traditional approaches to enhancing diversity appear ineffective. Such diversity programs, he discovers, are not as effective as curriculum reforms or student led multicultural groups. Educational courses and student led groups that deal with racial issues prove to be more highly correlated with a diverse student body than multicultural, anti-racism, community, or non-European cultural programs.

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of North Texas

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