Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Reference Groups

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When you think about reference groups, there are a number of perspectives that one has to consider. According to Hawkins (2010), a reference group is a group whose presumed perspectives or values are being used by an individual as the basis for his or her current behavior. Thus, a reference group is simply a group that an individual uses as a guide for behavior in a specific situation (p.227). Groups may be classified according to a number of variables. Four criteria are particularly useful: membership, strength of social tie, type of contact, and attraction. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. A sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominately Black college educated women, the Sorority currently has over 900 chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Republic of Korea.
The Sorority was founded in 1913 by 22 students at Howard University. These young women wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence; to provide scholarships; to provide support to the underserved; educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities (Delta Sigma Theta, 2010). Delta Sigma Theta’s website is about heritage. This site speaks volumes about how these women wanted to be a part of an organization that consists of excellence. These women have a lifetime membership within the sorority. The influence that this organization has, as well as the site, is remarkable. The information on this site will allow younger women that have the desire to go to college and be a part of an organization that helps one excel, not only in school, but also in the workforce as well. This site has all the criteria of a basic

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