Silicon Valley Sociological Review


In this research, we aim to answer the question: How does being involved in social justice organizations at SCU impact students’ experience in higher education? We were interested in this because we are also students at SCU, and we wanted to be able to provide knowledge to our peers about the benefits of being involved. Involvement in student groups is often encouraged in college, and we wanted to learn more about the specific benefits of participation. We conducted eight interviews and eight observations at Santa Clara University using convenience sampling to collect the data. We find that being involved in social justice organizations has a positive impact on students’ experience in higher education by developing their sense of identity and a sense of community. We also find that our results correspond to the sociological theories of Robert Merton’s theory of manifest and latent functions, Emile Durkheim’s social solidarity, and Pierre Bourdieu’s social capital. This study is not only important to understand the direct benefits that students attain but also implies that institutions of higher education should invest in student organizations for the improvement of their communities.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.