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2015-2016

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  • Thumbnail for A Content Analysis of Popular Sex Education Books for Teens: Analyzing themes of gender and virginity in sex and relationships
    A Content Analysis of Popular Sex Education Books for Teens: Analyzing themes of gender and virginity in sex and relationships by Rogalla, Sydney Yvonne

    This article is a content analysis of best-selling teen sex education and relationship books. The purpose of this study was to examine alternative resources for sex and relationship education. I specifically look at how gender, virginity and abstinence are constructed in these books and how they are similar or different to the information and lessons in sex education classes. Furthermore, I examine how religion is an important component for discussion of relationships and sex. I argue that similar to public sex education courses these books enforce gender stereotypes and teach teens and young adults that abstinence is the only healthy form of sexuality.

  • Thumbnail for Demystifying Diversity: An Attempt to Unpack Cultural Scripts at Colorado College
    Demystifying Diversity: An Attempt to Unpack Cultural Scripts at Colorado College by Malecek, Anne

    This paper seeks to explore issues of social inclusivity (and exclusivity) at Colorado College, as diversity related issues prove to be problematic for universities across the nation. In this specific study, I examined how structural factors (socioeconomic status, race, and numerical representation) influence campus belonging, as I conducted a correspondence analysis on social clique formation at CC. In doing so, I ultimately found that the existing structures/cultural scripts that construct CC reality greatly inhibit students of color from establishing membership on campus, as social belonging and particularity is privilege reserved for the elite (the white). Campus inequality thus lies within this distinction, as (rich) whites are allowed to become embodied performers of the CC brand, while (poor) students of color are cast as the sole performers of CC “diversity” and campus difference.

  • Thumbnail for Empty Calories in El Paso County
    Empty Calories in El Paso County by Clarkson, Matt

    Many urban areas in the United States suffer both from a lack of access to supermarkets and healthy food and from an overabundance of affordable and convenient unhealthy food options. As a result, many public schools are within walking distance of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. Colorado Springs in El Paso County is not an easily traversable city and as a result is particularly affected by such food issues. This study seeks to measure the number of unhealthy food options within a walking distance of all the public schools in El Paso County and measure how such numbers are associated with variables representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic demographics of each school. By use of GIS maps and comparison of means tests this study demonstrated a significant difference in the mean number of minority students in a school zone with one or more fast-food restaurant or one or more convenience store, and the mean number of minority students in school zones with neither. A significant difference was also found in the mean number of students on free or reduced lunch in school zones with one or more fast food restaurant or one or more convenience store, and the mean number of students on free or reduced lunch in school zones with neither.

  • Thumbnail for Haute Couture, Baggy Jeans, and L’homme Virile: Hegemonic Masculinity in French and U.S. Men’s Magazine Advertisements
    Haute Couture, Baggy Jeans, and L’homme Virile: Hegemonic Masculinity in French and U.S. Men’s Magazine Advertisements by Schuller, Casey

    Media both produces and responds to social constructions and norms of gender, race, class, and sexuality. This thesis asked the questions: How do portrayals of masculinity in men’s magazine advertisements vary between France and the United States? Do those advertisements reflect the displays of masculinity seen on the street? Using 13 variables to operationalize U.S. hegemonic masculinity, magazine advertisements were coded from five U.S. and five French men’s magazines. In addition, qualitative observation was conducted in Boston, MA and Lyon, France. The variables of “direct eye gaze” and “stoic expression” were recognized representations of masculinity across both countries. However, the most prominent variables in the United States showed men as athletic and outdoorsy, while French advertisements focused on clothing, particularly business suits and high fashion. The street observations confirmed these findings. Knowing the expectations of masculinity in different countries is critical to understanding how that masculinity interacts with femininity and subordinated masculinities.

  • Thumbnail for Haute Couture, Baggy Jeans, and L’homme Virile: Hegemonic Masculinity in French and U.S. Men’s Magazine Advertisements
    Haute Couture, Baggy Jeans, and L’homme Virile: Hegemonic Masculinity in French and U.S. Men’s Magazine Advertisements by Schuller, Casey

    Media both produces and responds to social constructions and norms of gender, race, class, and sexuality. This thesis asked the questions: How do portrayals of masculinity in men’s magazine advertisements vary between France and the United States? Do those advertisements reflect the displays of masculinity seen on the street? Using 13 variables to operationalize U.S. hegemonic masculinity, magazine advertisements were coded from five U.S. and five French men’s magazines. In addition, qualitative observation was conducted in Boston, MA and Lyon, France. The variables of “direct eye gaze” and “stoic expression” were recognized representations of masculinity across both countries. However, the most prominent variables in the United States showed men as athletic and outdoorsy, while French advertisements focused on clothing, particularly business suits and high fashion. The street observations confirmed these findings. Knowing the expectations of masculinity in different countries is critical to understanding how that masculinity interacts with femininity and subordinated masculinities.

  • Thumbnail for Haute Couture, Baggy Jeans, and L’homme Virile: Hegemonic Masculinity in French and U.S. Men’s Magazine Advertisements
    Haute Couture, Baggy Jeans, and L’homme Virile: Hegemonic Masculinity in French and U.S. Men’s Magazine Advertisements by Schuller, Casey

    Media both produces and responds to social constructions and norms of gender, race, class, and sexuality. This thesis asked the questions: How do portrayals of masculinity in men’s magazine advertisements vary between France and the United States? Do those advertisements reflect the displays of masculinity seen on the street? Using 13 variables to operationalize U.S. hegemonic masculinity, magazine advertisements were coded from five U.S. and five French men’s magazines. In addition, qualitative observation was conducted in Boston, MA and Lyon, France. The variables of “direct eye gaze” and “stoic expression” were recognized representations of masculinity across both countries. However, the most prominent variables in the United States showed men as athletic and outdoorsy, while French advertisements focused on clothing, particularly business suits and high fashion. The street observations confirmed these findings. Knowing the expectations of masculinity in different countries is critical to understanding how that masculinity interacts with femininity and subordinated masculinities.

  • Thumbnail for Inequality in the Information Age: From the Digital Divide to the Usage Divide
    Inequality in the Information Age: From the Digital Divide to the Usage Divide by Drufovka, Alina

    This paper examines the current inequalities in home internet access and the use of online resources. Situated within a societal context of internet dependency, to the point of indispensability, this study explores whether or not access gaps have closed and the potential opening of usage gaps. Using data from The Current Population Survey July 2013: Computer and Internet Use Supplement, logistic regression analyses were used to examine the effect of demographic factors on access to home internet and use of online financial services, preventative health information and job seeking tools. The findings demonstrate that access to the internet, as well as use of internet resources, reflect existing inequalities in society, especially in regard to race, income and education. In every case, racial disparities persist even after controlling for socioeconomic status, suggesting that social marginality in the information age transcends class.

  • Thumbnail for Racial Disparities in Home Mortgage Lending Practices Before, During, and After the Financial Crisis of 2008
    Racial Disparities in Home Mortgage Lending Practices Before, During, and After the Financial Crisis of 2008 by Hartnett, Chandler Roy

    America remains marred by inequality as major discrepancies persist in access to opportunity largely on the basis of race. Unequal lending practices have both excluded and exploited predominantly minority communities. This study aims to assess the prevalence of biased home mortgage lending practices through a case study of lending practices in Denver, Colorado. Using HMDA data from 2007-2013, this study examines the extent of lending discrepancies and how they have changed across varying financial and regulatory conditions stemming from the build up to and fall out from the financial crisis of 2008. The results of this study suggest minority applicants are denied loans and receive subprime loans at higher rates than white applicants. Furthermore, applications for loans in predominantly minority neighborhoods are subjected to greater rates of loan denial and subprime loans than majority white neighborhoods. In addition, white applicants were the main beneficiaries of the low home purchase prices following the financial collapse.

  • Thumbnail for Tax Policy Proposals in the 2016 Presidential Election:  Implications for Political Economy and Inequality
    Tax Policy Proposals in the 2016 Presidential Election: Implications for Political Economy and Inequality by Palmer, Celia J

    The objective of this thesis is to provide rigorous analysis of 2016 presidential candidates’ tax proposals outside of the sensationalized context of mainstream media and political discourse. Specifically, I studied the tax plans of Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders and compared them on their implications for economic inequality. I read a broad range of materials on the proposals and then compared and contrasted them on four points which are especially revealing of broader trends in American political economy. I found that Cruz and Rubio’s plans are consistent with the literature on the increasing influence of radical conservative ideology. Sanders’s approach gives voice to class indignation and inserts progressive economic theory back into mainstream political discourse in a way that has not been seen in more than thirty years. Clinton’s proposals demonstrate conservative economic ideology and indicate the under-representation of redistributive economics by the Democratic Party. Because the effects of candidates’ proposals are not consistent with campaign rhetoric, citizens cannot readily connect policies and their implications, thus undermining American democracy.

  • Thumbnail for “Being a Part of it All”: The Role of Race and Class in Student Belonging and Participation at a Small Private College
    “Being a Part of it All”: The Role of Race and Class in Student Belonging and Participation at a Small Private College by Asakawa, McKenna Kei

    Using a mixed-methods approach, this study examines the challenges of achieving inclusivity at a small private college. The results indicate that the dominant organizational habitus roots standards of legitimate and valued culture in “whiteness” and privilege, and acts as a barrier to belonging for many students of color whose cultural capital does not resonate with these standards. Under such an organizational habitus, white students are more likely than students of color to exhibit embodied ease, manifested in omnivorous patterns of participation across domains and a consistently high sense of belonging in most campus spaces. Findings reveal that student belonging and participation in and across domains of activities are patterned primarily by race and secondarily by class, with first generation students of color reporting the greatest marginalization. Additionally, interview data suggests that underrepresented students experience the most marginalization outside of the classroom, and perceive it as a generalized sense of insecurity and repudiation, rather than discrete instances of interpersonal aggression. Results also indicate that the college inadvertently associates “whiteness” with its identity and community by positioning outdoor recreation as central in its marketing, mission, and sponsored student activities.