Student interracial interactions and perceptions of school as a community

  • Maureen T. HallinanEmail author
  • Warren N. Kubitschek
  • Ge Liu


Communally organized, as opposed to bureaucratically organized, schools are expected to provide significant advantages to students in terms of their cognitive and social growth. However, for students to avail themselves of these benefits, they need to experience school as a community. One factor that may influence whether students view their school as a functional community is the kind of teacher–student and peer interactions they observe or personally experience. This study examines the effects of positive and negative interracial interactions on whether students sense that their school is a community. Analysis of a large sample of elementary and secondary schools in a major urban school district show that positive interracial interactions contribute to students’ sense of school community while negative actions inhibit that sense.


Student interracial interactions Communally organized schools School community School safety Teacher support Parental support 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen T. Hallinan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Warren N. Kubitschek
    • 1
  • Ge Liu
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Research on Educational OpportunityUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  2. 2.Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, Department of SociologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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