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Create topic, because you are writing the paper, not me - Essay Example

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Instructor name Date Achieving Community and Diversity on College Campuses One of the biggest pushes on college campuses across the country is the idea of community. They all want you to feel like you're part of the family, even from the first time you set step on the campus…
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Download file to see previous pages What she discovered can best be explained using Malcolm Gladwell's discussion of strong-tie and weak-tie relationships. By understanding both strong-tie and weak-tie relationships as they are experienced by Nathan, it may be possible to develop some more successful strategies toward achieving community and diversity on college campuses. Nathan starts her essay off by describing the experience of the freshman student from the moment of registration, possibly before. "As a student, one is immediately enlisted to join the group, to get involved, to realize that one has become a part of the AnyU 'community" (Nathan, 41). The primary aim of the mandatory freshman class she describes is clearly intended to kick-start the kind of strong-tie connections Gladwell says are necessary to effect significant change. Although he's talking about motivating people to take physically dangerous action as part of the civil rights movement, the reasons people decide to keep participating in a difficult, long-term task or to withdraw from it remains consistent - those who have strong-tie connections to others engaged in the same pursuit were more likely to remain while those who had few strong-tie connections were more likely to leave. Citing another study, Gladwell says "high-risk activism ... is a strong-tie phenomenon." However, the attempt to foster a strong-tie connection among freshman students at Nathan's AnyU college failed because students strongly resisted the effort. Their resistance was largely based on their lack of choice - in taking the class and in the reading material - and on their perception that the course contributed nothing toward their educational pursuit. Students did show evidence of strong-tie connections, such as when they chose to get together for dinners, small group events, and other activities. "It seemed telling to me that so many dormitory residents were watching the same game in different places, the great majority preferring to pass the time with a carefully chosen group of personal friends in their own private space. It spoke in a more general way to how community really worked in the university" (Nathan, 54). These were self-selected communities within the university space that shared strong ties of friendship and inter-reliance, a characteristic that Gladwell identifies as essential to maintaining strong-tie relationships. However, as Nathan is suggesting as she discusses the desolation of the common rooms in favor of crowded dorm rooms full of small, isolated bands of students, a strong push toward individualism within our society coupled with the convenience of social media technology is weakening these ties. In the freshman orientation program, she notes that "what holds students together, really, is age, pop culture, a handful of (recent) historical events, and getting a degree" (Nathan, 42). Attempts to bring students together are often discouraging as only a handful will appear even when well publicized and a popular activity. "They [students] genuinely want to have a close community, while at the same time they resist the claims that community makes on their schedule and resources in the name of individualism, spontaneity, freedom, and choice." (Nathan, 47). Rather than the kind of strong-tie connections that used to once bind large groups of people together, filling those common rooms with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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