Contradictions in Women's Education: Traditionalism, by Barbara J. Bank, Harriet M. Yelon

By Barbara J. Bank, Harriet M. Yelon

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Extra resources for Contradictions in Women's Education: Traditionalism, Careerism, and Community at a Single-Sex College

Example text

When the entering norms of students were not consistent with norms advocated by more advanced students and faculty, as was true for Gender Equality Norms, significant changes occurred in entering norms, and these changes moved entering students’ norms in the direction of those already existing at the college. As far as autonomy is concerned, it has often been dealt with in the theoretical literature as an ideal of human character that is fostered by education and is essential to the maintenance of a free society (Callan, 1988).

I mean, sure, there’s a difference, you know. They have their little group, and they do things, but I do have some friends who are in a sorority and we do get along, and it’s not a big deal. In contrast, slightly more than half of those interviewed not only considered the distinction between sorority members and independents to be an important basis for personal and social identity at CWC but also felt that there was considerable tension between the two groups. A few of these respondents distanced themselves from the tension, as did Mandi, a sorority member, who told the interviewer that Abbie, an independent, was her best friend at CWC, and then went on to say: I’m sure there’s some Greeks that look down on independents and independents that look down on the Greeks.

But, I mean, the freshmen Greeks and the freshmen independents are still really close. They haven’t separated yet. Her sentiments were echoed by Theresa: “I think our freshman class really gets along really well . . we’re all in the dorms together and every night we’re always together. ” Although it is clear that not all first-year students would agree with Theresa, it also seems clear that the boundaries between sorority members and independents during their first year at CWC were not as sharp as those that could be found on other campuses, particularly at large, coeducational universities.

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