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Dear members of ___guiding_star,

My name is Sura Roten and I am a senior in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University. I am currently working on my senior thesis, a requirement to graduate from my department. My thesis surrounds research on the topic of fictive kinship in two very different types of communities – online sisterhood-based communities and offline collegiate sororities. I am requesting your help by asking you to participate in a short interview, conducted via email or instant messenger, about your experiences and relationships while a member of this community. The interview will take about an hour to complete.

Before consenting to participation, there are a few things you should know:

• You may only participate if you are over the age of 18. If you are not 18 or older, you are not eligible to be interviewed for this research.
• Your name will be kept confidential. Although you may be quoted in the final research paper, you will be given a pseudonym. Confidentiality will be guaranteed.
• If you do not want to answer any of the questions I ask you, you are free to refuse. Questions will revolve around your experiences in ___guiding_star, your reasons for joining, and your relationship with your sisters. For example, how did you choose her? How do you keep your sisterhood going?
• There is no tangible benefit to participating in this study. However, you should know that your participation may offer you a chance to reflect on your relationship with your sisters and your experiences in the community.
• Your email or instant message to me signifies consent. By contacting me and agreeing to participate, you state that you have read this and that you are willing to participate in the research.

Your participation in this research study will help me to learn methods of ethnographic research. You’ll also get a chance to reflect on your experiences here in the community. I look forward to speaking with you soon! If you have any questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Research Ethics & Compliance Office at Illinois State University at (309) 438-8451.

I can be contacted via email at schneeimjuli@gmail.com or via AOL Instant Messenger at surakagami. If you have any questions about the research, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Best regards,
Sura Roten

(x-posted to soeur_system, therosemansion, every_soeur, foretdefeuilles, papilons, and ___guiding_star.)

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