Article Title

Commonality & Diversity


As students are increasingly influenced by postmodern thought, which promotes ideas of community without a common center and emphasizes difference, so students may have fresh conceptualizations of what community is and how it functions. This study explored students' conceptions, experiences, and ideals of community.

The tension between commonality and diversity within community has caused much debate in the social sciences. Interviewees, who were students at member institutions of the CCCU, recognize the same tension and often struggle to navigate their relationships within a collegiate environment that promotes both.

Thirty undergraduate senior students at two Christian colleges were interviewed in February 2000. A semi-structured interview protocol was used. The interview yielded tape-recordings, then transcribed raw data. Verbal analysis provided several recurrent themes. Students' conception on the two most prevalent themes, commonality and diversity, are discussed in this paper. Finally, implications are drawn for the Christian college campus.