Many college students term their troubling sexual experiences “gray” or do not categorize them at all, which may contribute to emotional trauma and confusion about how to heal. This has prompted numerous scholars to argue for dedichotomization of consent rhetoric. Arguing, instead, that consent binarism expounds the sexually assaultive nature of “gray area” experiences, in this paper, I use affirmative consent standards to examine anecdotes of “gray area” sexual encounters. Through qualitative interviews, college students, mostly female, described their perceptions of invulnerability to campus sexual violence – though many of them would be considered victims of sexual assault within “yes means yes” affirmative consent paradigms and some within federal “no means no” paradigms. Demonstrating interpretations of confusing sexual experiences that allow them to dissociate from stereotypical victims, unacknowledged victims in my study exhibited similar emotional responses as those of acknowledged victims. They also positively identified a third-person account of “gray” sex – one that paralleled many of their own – as assault. Positing that “gray area” rhetoric exists as a euphemism for sexual assault, this research seeks to validate the lived experiences of victims – acknowledged and unacknowledged – while addressing the individual and collective implications of assault acknowledgment.
This thesis explores the ways in which introversion and extroversion, vulnerability, and male inexpressiveness are discussed in the sociological literature. I decided to study how introversion, extroversion and emotional expression are experienced differently between men and women at a selective liberal arts college. I interviewed 16 people, nine women and seven men. I found that introversion and extroversion are not just personality traits, but that men and women experience them differently because of pressure to follow societal gender roles. Specifically, I examine the hookup culture as a specific example of how the avoidance of vulnerability in the power struggle between men and women create a hookup script that is inherently unequal. It is oppressive to both men and women because of the roles that it pressures them to play, regardless of whether their feelings or desires match the roles or not.
Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, women’s sports have been working to gained equal stature to men’s sports. However, in the past ten years, male coaches have begun to outnumber the number of women coaching certain women’s sports. This study focuses on the percentage of female coaches at 126 Division III schools in 1974, 1994 and 2014. The gender of the athletic director, the school’s religious affiliation, the size of the undergraduate class, the region and the prestige of the school were selected as independent variables. The descriptive statistics show a decrease in the percentage of female coaches in certain sports but an increase in other sports. A relationship between the prestige of a soccer program and the gender of the coach was also found.
The research presented here explores how femme lesbians define, navigate, and stabilize their identities. The following questions are examined: How do femme lesbians define and frame their identity? What are the specific challenges and difficulties accompanying femme identity? Using ten online lesbian blogs as a data source, patterns and modes of identity construction as well as challenges such as misunderstanding and discrimination against femmes are evaluated. Theoretical frameworks of both Judith Butler and Michel Foucault are applied in order to illuminate the performative nature of identity formation as well as the larger context of a discourse of normative femininity that femme lesbians arguably must navigate. This study suggests that although the lesbian bloggers do not explicitly play with or contest elements of the discourse of normative femininity, when contextualized within bloggers’ non-normative sexuality and within theoretical framework of Butler and Foucault, the meanings of the data become more complex and nuanced. This discussion, along with an analysis of the particular contestations that femme lesbians face, is discussed as part of the project of femme identity construction.
This paper concerns the pervasive inequalities in arts attendance and the larger consequences of that stratification. Situated within the changing art climate in America alongside emerging theories of cultural openness, omnivorism, and technological utopia, I studied participation in the arts and technology in America from years 1982 to 2012. Using data from the National Endowment of the Arts funded Survey for Public Participation in the Arts, I ran frequency statistics, bivariate tests, and logistic regressions on attendance, demographic, and technology variables. First, I found persistent gaps in cultural attendance, both inside and outside the home, with white, well educated, and older individuals visiting art museums, operas, craft fairs, and using the Internet far more than other groups. Second, I found that the Internet functions as a gateway to cultural institutions instead of replacing them–– looking at art online increases the propensity to look at art in a museum.
This thesis explores the lived experiences of adults with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) parents using stigma management as a conceptual framework. The study was developed in response to a trend in current literature on this population of utilizing a hierarchical comparative framework, which positions heterosexual families as the standard against which all others are compared. This method of analysis flattens or ignores the complexity of experience in non-heterosexual family structures. In depth interviews were conducted with nine adults with at least one LGB parent. This study discusses four ways in which children with LGB parents experience and manage stigma. These are, in order, disclosure practices, engaging in communities, impression management, and negotiations of queerness. Revealing the lived experience of adults with LGB parents, this research makes an important empirical contribution to the literature on this understudied population. This study also extends models of stigma by highlighting the creative ways that participants managed stigma, and the importance of context to the method of management.
Global health organizations attempt to eradicate health issues in different ways. While some organizations focus on specific diseases, others work to strengthen healthcare structures and improve primary healthcare. This paper looks specifically at the Women and Health Taskforce (WHTF), a group of women and men working in women’s and reproductive health around the world. The purpose of this thesis is twofold: to establish the ways in which the taskforce fits into the global health field and to provide concrete feedback for the WHTF in order to improve its functioning. Data was collected through an online survey and Skype interviews providing quantitative, qualitative and network data. The research shows that the WHTF can benefit from strengthening youth engagement to increase innovation and ensure long-term sustainability, as well as expanding their network to increase their impact. This paper also looks at the ways in which the taskforce relies on funding from the global North, and the implications of this reliance for South-South collaboration.
Attending four-year college has become normalized in the millennial generation but graduating with a diploma is not as an established norm for students from low-income backgrounds. In this thesis I will study the effects of support groups, or lack thereof on current low-income students and alumni who attend or have attended Western College or Eastern College. In particular this study will examine their transition from an underfunded high school into their respective elite private liberal arts institution that are predominately inhabited by a white and affluent population. Using Bourdieu’s (1977) concept of cultural capital and habitus, I will study how the background of low-income students affects their relationships with the student body and faculty, perceptions of college, and their identity. I will highlight how students from low-income backgrounds must take on more responsibility and challenges to feel welcome and have a sense of belonging.
This paper explores the motivations of unaccompanied child migrants who arrived in the United States from Central America in the spring and summer of 2014. There is a long history of migration from Central America to the United States for a variety of economic, political, and environmental reasons, many of which can be understood in the context of sociological theories of migration. However, the recent surge in migration from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala indicates a significant change in patterns of migration, particularly among children. Most children are fleeing violence from gangs and other criminal organizations, lack of economic or educational opportunity, or domestic abuse in their home countries. Once in the United States, however, many find themselves unable to regularize their legal status due to procedural and political concerns about accepting large numbers of immigrants. These findings have important implications for both this population of vulnerable children and for the United States’ immigration system. This study draws on screenings conducted by a nonprofit organization with 1,349 children held in Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters and uses quantitative methods to examine the associations between children’s reasons for migration and their age, gender, country of origin, and indigenous status.
This study explores where residents of Colorado Springs find sense of community (SOC). The focus of the study is specifically two questions: 1) what relationship religion has to SOC in a city setting and 2) whether SOC measures should be limited to communities that an individual is physically close to. Quantitative analysis was run on survey data collected in Colorado Springs. There were five major findings. 1) Religion is positively related to neighborhood SOC and negatively related to organizational SOC. 2) Homeownership is positively related to neighborhood and organizational SOC. 3) There is no one method of communication that is related to SOC. 4) There is no one distance from the community that is related to SOC. 5) There is no relationship between new urbanist design and neighborhood SOC.
Recent healthcare reforms have reduced the numbers of uninsured, initiated programs to restrain healthcare spending and have presented the opportunity for a reassessment of population health. Literature spanning the last several decades has made clear that health disparities in the U.S. are driven by social determinants and are reproduced across generations. Medical education, however, has traditionally not trained physicians to identify structural barriers to health, rather patient behavior has been the emphasis. This study analyzes the presence and variation of structural competency among practicing U.S. doctors. Ordered logistic regression and descriptive statistics are used to assess survey data from 1000 primary care physicians in the U.S. I report on which characteristics of physicians themselves—gender, age, exposure to at risk populations—impact their likelihood of identifying social determinants as important to patient health and whether the characteristics of their patient pools (percentages of minority and low income patients) also impact their perceptions and practice. Additionally, I present findings on which factors physicians identify as most negatively impacting their patients’ health, demonstrating discrepancies in theoretical and practical applications of structural competency.
Over the past several decades, research has reported strong relationships between social context, demographics and children’s consequential school behavior and performance outcomes. This study explores these relationships within the context of a local charter school in Colorado Springs, serving a population of primarily low-income and minority students. It is hoped that increasing the knowledge behind the specific influences of poor behavior and academic performance can provide an opportunity for the school to find to constructively and most effectively combat these forces. I collected data from School Insight on 457 middle school students for the 2014-2015 first semester, allowing various demographic, social, economic, behavioral and performance measures to be analyzed. Results showed that forces external to the school environment are at play in influencing behavior and performance in school. Most strikingly, results of a multivariate analysis displayed disparities in the representation of racial minorities in the honors college. Thus, the results of this study confirm that external forces influence school behavior and performance, while also drawing attention to another potential matter requiring attention within the school.
This study examines the process that LGBTQ individuals undergo to integrate their religious identity and their sexuality into one cohesive identity. By interviewing LGBTQ individuals who were currently members of churches that advertise inclusivity to congregants of all sexual orientations and gender identities I found many of the participants experience a multi-stage identity integration process. There were three major stages of identity construction: first the participants internalized messages of homophobia, then they sought out LGBTQ inclusive and accepting church environments, and finally they expanded their religious beliefs to encompass a diverse spectrum of theologies, resulting, in most cases, in a cohesion of sexuality and religious identity. This study was intended to broaden the understanding of identity integration, not just concerning the intersections of sexuality and religion, but is also applicable to other intersections of social life concerning integration of a stigmatized identity with an opposing, socially sanctioned identity.
This paper explores the experiences and perceptions of the adult children of psychotherapists. Personal semi-structured, hour long in-depth interviews were conducted with nine adult children of psychotherapists. This research found three key themes having to do with perceived traits of psychotherapists, their authority of psychotherapists within the home, and the meanings of mental health within the family. The research found that the adult children of psychotherapists perceive that the occupational traits enter the family by way of the therapist-parent having skills in giving advice, listening, and communication. The research also found that the psychotherapist occupation creates ambiguity in parental authority, resulting in adult children describing both a fear of being therapized and a perception of the therapist-parent as a model. Finally the research found that adult children pointed to an open discussion of mental health in the household because of their parent’s occupation, using parents as personal therapists, but also having high expectations for mental health. This research introduces the question of the effects of parental occupation on their adult children’s experiences and perceptions. By doing so, this research contributes to the sociological field of study of work-family intersections it also contributes to research on socialization processes.
This thesis provides context and analysis of labor relations in the sharing economy. Uber is the most popular and profitable sharing economy company and will therefore be used as a case study for the sector. The company’s use of independent contractors has recently become a contentious issue. A class action lawsuit is currently underway against Uber and the claim is that the drivers should be classified as employees. A serious amount of media attention has been paid to this situation and the lawsuit, but there has been hardly any academic discussion regarding the implications of the independent contractor arrangement in the sharing economy. This thesis applies the ideas of several social theorists to Uber’s practices and business model in order to help fill this void. A key piece of data for this analysis is Uber’s driver survey. The company commissioned this survey in order to respond to the growing criticism that they were facing. In order to help understand Uber and it actions, William Domhoff’s idea of the opinion shaping process of the power elite is used to provide insight regarding the actors, language, and framing of the survey. Next, will draw from Luc Boltanski, Eve Chiapello, David Brooks, and Thomas Frank to show how specific results of the survey are highlighted in order to connect Uber to the new spirit of capitalism and counterculture capitalism. Additionally, Manuel Castells and Guy Standing are used to provide greater context regarding the economy and labor relations that Uber exists in. This analysis will show that Uber is using increased scheduling flexibility and worker autonomy to distract attention from the absence of benefits and worker protections in their business model. They also position themselves as an anti-establishment, hip, and modern company that is true to American values. This opinion-shaping process is another tool utilized to distract attention from the serious implications of their business model for workers.