Ethnicity in Higher Education

Within higher education research, the term ethnicity is often used in one of two modes. The first is, as a variable for organizing different experiences and opportunities that represent an identity group, and the second is, within the context of understanding the developmental experiences of students who identify with a particular ethnicity group. These uses are valuable in identifying gaps, inequity, and different campus experiences, among groups of students, faculty, and staff. Yet the simple categorizing of groups according to ethnicity may mask the complexity and meaning of this term. To provide further insight on the complexity and issues around ethnicity, this entry defines ethnicity and then provides distinctions about when ethnic identity and ethnicity as a demographic variable are appropriately used within higher education. ...

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