A MULTI-CASE STUDY EXPLORATION OF THE MOTIVATIONS AND RACIALIZED EXPERIENCES OF MULTIRACIAL WOMEN IN MONORACIAL SORORITIES AT A PREDOMINATELY WHITE INSTITUTION
Snider, Jeanette Cristine
Fries-Britt, Sharon L.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the motivations and experiences of Multiracial women in monoracial sororities at a predominately white institution. Utilizing a multi-case study methodological approach and a Critical Multiracial Theory lens, the major research questions guiding this study were: What motivates Multiracial women to join and stay in monoracial sororities at a predominately white institution? What are the racialized experiences of Multiracial women in monoracial sororities at a predominately white institution? Through a demographic questionnaire and individual semi-structured interviews with twelve Multiracial women attending the same predominately white institution, participants identified various motivating factors for joining their respective sororities and the racialized experiences they endured as members. Findings indicated that Multiracial women across sorority councils were motivated by monoracial women, racially diverse chapters and a desire for sisterhood while women in National Panhellenic Council/Multicultural Greek Council (NPHC/MGC) sororities indicated a desire to maintain or build stronger connections to one of their racial heritages through cultural Greek letter affiliation. Participants in Panhellenic Association (PHA) sororities explicitly or implicitly expressed the following racialized experiences: (a) Multiracial erasure (being forgotten), (b) a need to cultivate Women of Color only spaces and feeling pressure to conform to white standards of beauty. Participants across sorority councils felt tokenized by their organization. The findings from this study contributes to our understanding of the complex ways Multiracial women students navigate their collegiate environments and their unique experiences at a predominately white institution. Implications for theory, policy, practice and the institution, as well as recommendations for future research are presented.