A Social Exchange Perspective on Outside of Class Interactions between Underrepresented Students and Faculty

Abstract

Existing explanations of faculty-student interactions emphasize social-organizational characteristics of higher education to the exclusion of social-psychological dimensions of the interactions themselves. Yet, student perceptions are essential cognitive elements that influence frequency of, and growth from, informal interaction with faculty. Drawing on a survey of students at a large public university, this paper expands theoretical understanding of faculty-student interactions by considering how social exchange theory helps explain frequency of, and growth from, informal interactions—and how such patterns vary by social identity.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Thai-Huy Nguyen for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

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Data requests may be sent to the first author at: drj@unr.edu

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Correspondence to David R. Johnson.

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Johnson, D.R., Scheitle, C.P., Juvera, A. et al. A Social Exchange Perspective on Outside of Class Interactions between Underrepresented Students and Faculty. Innov High Educ (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-020-09518-6

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Keywords

  • Social exchange theory
  • Faculty-student interactions
  • Underrepresented students