Date of Award

Winter 12-22-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Cultural Foundations of Education


Lopez, Gretchen E.


action, Action Continuum, Cycle of Liberation, higher education, intergroup dialogue, student outcomes

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Sociology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


This research project centered 16 former intergroup dialogue (IGD) students' narratives from in-depth qualitative interviews and explored the ways participants did and did not put their learning into action at least a full semester after IGD course completion. Narrative data were analyzed through the lens of the Cycle of Liberation (Harro, 2010) and student actions were categorized as intrapersonal (within self), interpersonal (with others), and systemic (with/for larger organized groups). Most participants stated that their IGD experiences were among the most influential of their college experience at the time of the interview. Often the influence of IGD echoed in the content of conversations with others, yet more uniformly it came to life in how they engaged with others—in the ways they continued to utilize dialogic communication in their interactions. Most participants increased their recognition of the System and engaged in actions at various stages along the Cycle of Liberation to call attention to systemic inequalities. Complications to the Cycle of Liberation are also examined and illustrate the non-binary nature of action and the ongoing need of social justice advocates to remain engaged in unlearning hegemonic norms of the System.


Open Access