Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Open Access)
Colby College. Sociology Dept.
This study aims to understand how students of color navigate feelings of competition in the pre-medical (“pre-med”) track at a small liberal arts college. I argue that there are differences in navigational strategies by race, socioeconomic status (SES), and gender. Respondents in my sample (9 women and 6 men) were interviewed for 30 to 60 minutes about their relationships with fellow pre-med students, mentors, alumni, advisors, and professors. The primary findings of this project were that students who are more competitive dominate the culture among pre-med students; less competitive individuals persist through the pre-med track by forming study groups with more collaborative students, cultivating relationships with older students and professors, and gaining hands-on experience through lab work. The extent to which a pre-med student uses these strategies is influenced by their race, SES, and gender. I argue that despite barriers such as marginalization and lack of representation on campus at large, students of color are agents of their pursuits in completing pre-med requirements and develop strategies to succeed against the odds.
Recommended CitationDeming, Amanda B., "How Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Gender Shape Feelings of Competition within the Pre-Med Department at a Small Liberal Arts College" (2020). Honors Theses. Paper 1283.