The social identity experiences of intergroup dialogue facilitators
Pennamon, Rodney Edward
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This research study explored the experiences of intergroup dialogue facilitators in the Southeastern United States (U.S.) and how they describe social identity. The role of facilitator in intergroup dialogue is the least understood (Maxwell, Nagda, & Thompson, 2011). Using a phenomenological approach, this study explored the lived experiences of intergroup dialogue facilitators who led dialogue groups utilizing Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) as the theoretical lens to examine this phenomenon. This dissertation was prepared in a manuscript style format for purposes of journal publication in an effort to add to the scholarship on dialogue facilitation for student affairs professionals and group workers. The first chapter is an introduction to the topic of the study. The second chapter provides a rationale for conducting a study on the social identity experiences of intergroup dialogue facilitators. The third chapter is a call to group workers and reviews the literature on intergroup dialogue, the role of the facilitator in intergroup dialogue, and social identity. The fourth chapter contains a literature review, highlights the research findings, and identifies several salient themes around social identity experiences and their descriptions by facilitators in the study. Implications for practice and suggestions for research and advocacy are also provided. The final chapter examines the researcher’s reflexivity and positionality through personal reflections. Additional research can increase the understanding about the role social identity plays in the lives of intergroup dialogue facilitators (Zuniga, 2003) and its influence on the dialogue outcome.