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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

This thesis explores social belonging, community, and alienation in Princeton University’s upperclassmen. The study examines the experiences of student-athletes, low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color and explores the influence of faith and priorities on friendship. The 55 interviews conducted reveal a dramatic divide in the type and strength of community students of different identities are able to find on campus. While students from low-income backgrounds struggle to find a social network, students of color often create communities separate from preexisting networks on campus. Others use cultural capital, exclusive clubs, sports teams, and financial resources to glide through the social scene with ease. This work questions how structural factors like financial aid plans and eating clubs propel inequality further. Ultimately, the thesis asks who continues to feel like a visitor on campus and who experiences social belonging and community. Is Princeton a river for specific fish?

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