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2017-2018

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  • Thumbnail for  Longing For a “Beautiful Chile:” Interactions Between Neoliberalism and Historical Memory in Post Dictatorship Social Mobilizations
    Longing For a “Beautiful Chile:” Interactions Between Neoliberalism and Historical Memory in Post Dictatorship Social Mobilizations by Onate-Trules, Marcela Helena

    In this study, the researcher uses Marianne Hirsch’s theory of postmemory (1997) to understand how shared postmemories influence current social mobilizations in Chile. This research aims to understand how the post-Dictatorship generation in Chile (born between 1990 and 1996) utilizes shared inherited memories of the dictatorship, and the Chilean welfare state prior to the Dictatorship, in anti-neoliberal social mobilization. After conducting a series of eleven semi-structured interviews, it is clear that members of the Chilean, intellectual left are mobilizing against a neoliberalism they trace back to the Dictatorship. Using data that came from qualitative research methods, it is concluded that respondents are inspired to participate in social mobilizations due to a shared nostalgia for the historical Left, stories they have heard from family and friends, and their distance from the dictatorship and subsequent lack of fear of repression

  • Thumbnail for  The Devaluation of Work: A Quantitative Analysis of Intra-Occupational Racial and Gender Wage Gaps
    The Devaluation of Work: A Quantitative Analysis of Intra-Occupational Racial and Gender Wage Gaps by Garthwait, Lydia

    The author studies the impact of the presence of devalued workers on gender and racial wage gaps in twenty-two U.S. occupations. She finds that gender and racial wage gaps vary by occupation, while accounting for controls, which contributes to evidence of intra-occupational wage gaps. She also finds that the proportion of devalued workers in an occupation does not correlate with gender, racial, or intersectional wage gaps, indicating that variance in intra-occupational wage gaps are not caused by a direct relation between those two factors. When the twenty-two occupations are split into three income categories, their separate correlations reveal that the relationship between proportions of devalues workers and the wage gap may operate differently in different income categories. Specifically, they may have a negative relationship in the high income category and a positive relationship in the middle and low income categories. The author then discusses potential implication for these findings in wage gap research.

  • Thumbnail for "The Brick of the Church": Assessing the Strength of Liberation Theology and the Comunidades Eclesiales de Base in Santiago, Chile
    "The Brick of the Church": Assessing the Strength of Liberation Theology and the Comunidades Eclesiales de Base in Santiago, Chile by Scaggs, Mark

    After the rise of post-authoritarian democracy in Latin America, both the Catholic hierarchy and laity alike questioned the necessity of the liberationist comunidades eclesiales de base (CEBs) that helped encourage socio-political activism amongst citizens living in the age of dictatorships. This study assessed how the religious and socio-political context of CEB members has changed in 21st century Chile, and whether current communities still have a connection to the liberation theology movement that created them. A combination of surveys, focus groups with base community members, and interviews with liberation theologians were implemented to determine both the beliefs and practices of the CEBs in the 21st century, and how they have changed over time. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis revealed that while the base communities have diminished both in number and in their revolutionary political focus, they have redefined core liberationist tenets to better fit a new socio-political context. This study has implications for understanding the historical trajectory of the base communities, and how their religious beliefs have been maintained over time.

  • Thumbnail for A Nation of Homeowners: Citizenship and Tenure in Contemporary America
    A Nation of Homeowners: Citizenship and Tenure in Contemporary America by Nathanson, Isabelle Rose

    Housing policy has long emphasized a connection between citizenship and homeownership. As a result, homeownership remains inequitably distributed in the United States by citizenship status and other individual, household, and contextual characteristics. As citizenship status shapes access to resources, social benefits, and civil rights, outlining the distribution of homeownership by citizenship status furthers understanding of inequality in the US. Using the national 2013 American Housing Survey (AHS), a multivariate logistic regression was performed to interrogate homeownership likelihood based on individual-level variables, including citizenship status. Statistically significant relationships between age, education level, marital status, race/ethnicity, and years lived in the US were found with homeownership likelihood. Not being a citizen as compared to being a US citizen exhibited a statistically significant negative relationship on homeownership likelihood. Future research should incorporate additional household and contextual variables as well as disaggregate samples by more nuanced legal statuses.

  • Thumbnail for A Sociological Study of the Unification CHurch
  • Thumbnail for Beyond the Silver Screen: Collective Reception among Movie Theater Audiences
    Beyond the Silver Screen: Collective Reception among Movie Theater Audiences by Buettner, Jack

    Despite the individualistic action of sitting silently in a dark room facing a screen, movie-going often serves as an activity for first dates and family outings alike. This thesis explores the notion of group reception among movie-going audiences. While reception theories look to see how individuals interpret a piece of art based on background characteristics and audience studies look at different audience types and modes of viewing, there is a significant gap in our understanding of group reception. In this study, I have filled this gap by bringing in theories of collective behavior. I conducted 12 in depth interviews addressing movie-going experiences, in an effort to understand how seeing films in theaters impacts individuals’ viewing experiences. I argue that rituals of theater-going, audience awareness, and collective reactions are three key components through which audiences can interpret a film collectively. Interestingly, not only does this act of collective reception occur, but it also plays a significant role in enlivening movie-going experiences. These findings speak to the broader significance of how being part of a group can dramatically impact one’s personal experience.

  • Thumbnail for Brain Drain from Small City USA: Liberal Art School Students’ Relationship to Their Hometowns and their Aspirational Locations
    Brain Drain from Small City USA: Liberal Art School Students’ Relationship to Their Hometowns and their Aspirational Locations by Smith, Anna

    Research shows that educated, talented young people are moving in droves to big “superstar cities”—cities with high levels of innovation, diversity, and capital. College graduates must make a decision of where they will chose to live and pursue their careers. The research presented in this paper seeks to understand the relationship between college students’ attitude towards their hometown and their aspirational locations. Research was conducting through 11 in-depth interviews with current third and fourth year students at Colorado College. The key finding was that the liberal arts school experience was the biggest influencer in where the students see themselves living in the future.

  • Thumbnail for Contextualizing the Minority Threat Hypothesis: Precinct-Level Context and Its Effect on NYPD Officers' Use of Force
    Contextualizing the Minority Threat Hypothesis: Precinct-Level Context and Its Effect on NYPD Officers' Use of Force by Polston, Sierra

    This study uses the New York Police Department’s 2015 stop, question, and frisk data to test and contextualize the minority threat hypothesis. The minority threat hypothesis predicts that police officers will feel more threatened in precincts that are predominantly black or Latino. Accordingly, police officers will be more likely to use force in these precincts. To test the minority threat hypothesis, this study explores the effect that the racial composition of a precinct, specifically the percentage of black and Latino residents in a precinct, has on the likelihood of an NYPD officer using force. Ultimately, this study finds that an individual’s race has a significant effect on whether an officer uses force, but that only the percentage of Latino residents in a precinct, and not black residents, has a significant effect on use of force, offering limited support of the minority threat hypothesis.

  • Thumbnail for From Prada to Patagonia:  Culture, Consumption and Sustainability at Colorado College
    From Prada to Patagonia: Culture, Consumption and Sustainability at Colorado College by Dell, Olivia Tamara

    In this project, I’m motivated by a desire to understand how to create impactful change through the adoption of sustainable consumption practices and lifestyles. As the negative effects of climate change continue to grow, I seek to better understand how I and my peers can make changes in our own lives to move away from unsustainable consumption practices. In this project, I explore the unique community of Colorado College (CC) and ask questions about this community’s culture, values, and practices in an attempt to better understand how messages of sustainability infused into popular culture can translate into meaningful action. I use focus groups to build a dialogue around CC’s culture and shed light on some of the sustainability successes and challenges faced by this community. I found that many individuals within the Colorado College community perceive the school’s unique culture as supportive of a narrative of sustainability. When thought of through a sociological perspective, this finding can have implications for the ways individuals act and consume within their social realm. Additionally, I found that in some ways, the dominant culture at Colorado College depends on classed expressions of taste and positionality, thus pointing to the exclusionary potential of this culture. This research holds implications for the ways messages of sustainability can be infused into and supported by popular culture and sheds light on some of the challenges and successes faced by communities with a perceived strong emphasis on sustainable lifestyles. In the future, this research can lead to a discussion of how sustainable consumption practices and lifestyles can be promoted through the process of shifting cultural norms and the implementation of institutional initiatives.

  • Thumbnail for Israeli Exceptionalism and Palestinian Dehumanization: An American Jewish Perspective
    Israeli Exceptionalism and Palestinian Dehumanization: An American Jewish Perspective by Baum, Jamie

    The American Jewish community is experiencing an internal struggle. The majority of American Jews view supporting Israel as essential to their Jewish identity. Many American Jews, however, critique the Israeli occupation in Palestine. Some support Israel while critiquing the occupation specifically while others denounce Israel in its entirety because of the occupation. These critical American Jews, regardless of their stance along this spectrum, refuse to accept injustices occurring in the name of their own identity. Some scholars argue that those who critique the Israeli occupation are rejecting Orientalism and Israeli exceptionalism. These two theoretical concepts devalue the existence and humanity of the Palestinian people. This study will be quantitatively analyzing the unique experience of critiquing the Israeli occupation as an American Jew. Using survey data from a radically left-wing Palestinian solidarity organization, 501 American members will be analyzed on their unique experiences of straying from the dominant American Jewish support for Israel in its entirety. Findings show that Jews and non-Jews experience similar journeys along the spectrum of critique. This is determined based on whether the respondent experienced a turning point and if they were less critical of Israel before joining the organization or not. This study also reviewed some of the reasons respondents reported for their shift in their views on Israel/Palestine, determining some similarities and some differences between Jews and non-Jews. This study, therefore, reviews the far left's experiences of critiquing the Israeli occupation, ultimately determining that Jewish identity plays little role for this population's experiences of critiquing Israel/Palestine.

  • Thumbnail for Nourishing the Body and Soul: An Analysis of the Mental Health Impact of Community Gardens in New York City
    Nourishing the Body and Soul: An Analysis of the Mental Health Impact of Community Gardens in New York City by ,

    Community gardens have popped up in cities across the nation as a way to introduce local food into neighborhoods, and provide a means of community development and participation. New York City alone has approximately 600 community gardens that aim to revitalize neighborhoods structurally and socially (Grow NYC 2016; Eco Tipping Points 2005). The influx of community gardens coincides with a surge in mental health illnesses in the United States; an issue that is plaguing young and old alike and often results from social isolation (Brody 2017). This paper seeks to examine if community gardens, as a proxy for community development in New York City, benefit the mental health of residents living near community gardens. Using data from the New York City Community Health Survey from 2014, I assess if community garden count, in 34 NYC neighborhoods, affects the mental health of residents, while controlling for various demographic and economic variables. The results of this study show that community garden count has no significant effect on mental health. Further research on the effect of community garden participation would enhance our understanding of the gardens’ association with mental health.

  • Thumbnail for Shattering Glass Ceilings: 21st Century Feminism in North American Sororities
    Shattering Glass Ceilings: 21st Century Feminism in North American Sororities by Potter, Ariel

    Sororities in the United States were founded on values of radical feminism and created an intentional space to promote academic excellence and professionalism for collegiate women. With a heavy emphasis on traditions and rituals that were created in the past, sororities have struggled to maintain contemporary. As an institution, sororities continue to promote values of radical feminism, but lose effectiveness due to a lacking modernization that aligns sentiments with actions. The existing literature on this topic focuses primarily on aspects of sororities that are built on an outdated feminist agenda. This paper examines the source of this disconnect in order to encourage sororities to make necessary alterations and evolve into a space for contemporary radical feminism. In an effort to address this disparity, I conducted a small qualitative case study on the sororities at Colorado College.

  • Thumbnail for TAKING A KNEE, TAKING A STAND:  SOCIAL NETWORKS AND IDENTITY SALIENCE IN THE 2017 NFL PROTESTS
    TAKING A KNEE, TAKING A STAND: SOCIAL NETWORKS AND IDENTITY SALIENCE IN THE 2017 NFL PROTESTS by Houghteling, Clara Rose

    Beginning with President Trump’s speech against the national anthem protestors in September of 2017, this study considers how external sociopolitical events interacted with the network structure of the 2017 National Football League to alter the salience of member identities and the resultant patterns of protest activity within the league. Using group membership data on the full population of 2,453 football players, I analyze protest participation by membership in race and status groups and by the network variables of degree, betweenness, and closeness centrality. Black and elite players are both overrepresented among protesters throughout the season. The margins of overrepresentation narrowed during an increase in demonstrations after Trump’s first criticisms but had widened to their initial levels by the end of the season. The mean centralities of the protesting groups varied from week to week due to a temporary increase in the salience of the NFL player identity and to its interaction with racial identities. In general, protesters had lower mean degree and closeness centralities and a higher mean betweenness centrality than players who abstained from protest. Those who participated in high risk forms of activism also tended to have lower mean degree and closeness centralities and a higher mean betweenness centrality than those who opted for low risk demonstrations. These findings indicate that sociopolitical events can implicate different identities, changing their salience in the decision to join or abstain from a social movement.

  • Thumbnail for “Each of Us Is Just a Little Microcosm of Scotland:” Identity, Politics, and Ideology in Folk Music in Post-Brexit Scotland
    “Each of Us Is Just a Little Microcosm of Scotland:” Identity, Politics, and Ideology in Folk Music in Post-Brexit Scotland by O'Brien, Celia

    The research presented in this paper seeks to understand whether political attitudes about the failed Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, and Brexit in 2015, are manifested in contemporary folk music in Scotland. Building upon social identity and field theories, I examined how music serves to foster and negotiate national and political identities in this time of political turmoil. By conducting interviews and focus groups with 16 respondents, and through six sessions of participant observations, I investigated how musicians define notions of Scottish identity and authenticity regarding their and others’ folk music. I found that in general, musicians are not overtly political in their music, but the practice of “doing” folk music allows them to establish and validate their widespread left-wing, socially liberal ideologies.

  • Thumbnail for “I THINK, THEREFORE I AM”:  THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND  UNIVERSITIES AND BLACK IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT
    “I THINK, THEREFORE I AM”: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND BLACK IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT by Scott, Wynter

    Historically Black colleges and universities have existed for hundreds of years but have always received public scrutiny for their ostensible shortcomings, despite the success many of these institutions have had at producing some of the United States’ leading academics, performers, writers, doctors, and lawyers. More often at historically Black colleges and universities than at predominately White institutions, Black students succeed. Research suggests Black students are more likely to succeed at HBCUs because of an increased support network and a feeling of comfort with their surroundings—both of which lead to heightened identity development. This study examines the relationship between Black identity development and attending a historically Black college, specifically analyzing the experiences of students at Tennessee State University—a historically Black college in Nashville, Tennessee. Through a qualitative research approach, I interviewed seventeen students from Tennessee State University. I found students at Tennessee State University are able to redefine and reshape their identities through their academic and personal interactions at a historically Black college, and this culminates in academic and personal achievement.

  • Thumbnail for “Playing God”: The Role of Gender, Heteronormativity Stigma and Medicalization in Experiences of Menstrual Suppression
    “Playing God”: The Role of Gender, Heteronormativity Stigma and Medicalization in Experiences of Menstrual Suppression by ,

    “Playing God”: The Role of Gender, Heteronormativity Stigma and Medicalization in Experiences of Menstrual Suppression This research examines the socio-cultural constructions of menstruation through the lens of menstrual suppression. Through a series of semi-structured interviews, college-educated, cisgender women’s experiences of menstrual suppression are described. Desires to suppress menstruation are informed by notions about the body, health, medicalization, gender, heteronormativity, sexuality and productivity. Respondents cited events and heterosexual encounters as spaces and situations wherein they have or would want to suppress menstruation.