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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


International Studies

First Advisor

Chris Cartwright

First Committee Member

Brent Beam

Second Committee Member

Steven Dowd


This study was developed to explore the intercultural interactions among college student-athletes at a Division IA university. The primary research question of this study was: How do individual cultural identities contribute to the experience of diversity and inclusion on a sports team? This study was designed to examine how athletes feel included in their teams and whether they can express--or feel the need to suppress--their other social identities in order to fit into the collegiate athletic realm. The following academic areas were relevant to the study: identity development and negotiation, intercultural interaction and contact, athletics, and multicultural education. The data and discussion suggested that the strong sense of team identity may downplay other identities on a team, and student-athletes may negotiate their other identities to fit into the team. Although teams are perceived to be welcoming, there is an underlying need for further multicultural training for the population. This study helped to bridge the gap in research about college sports and intercultural interaction.





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