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2018-2019

13 hits

  • Thumbnail for "Keep the Stoke Up:"  An Analysis of Skier Awareness and Attitudes Towards the Environment
    "Keep the Stoke Up:" An Analysis of Skier Awareness and Attitudes Towards the Environment by Carlson, Emily Ann

    Despite its massive popularity, the ski industry has several negative environmental and social impacts. The environmental effects that come with skiing often include deforestation, alteration and loss of habitat, overuse of water, air and water pollution, littering, contributions of emissions that lead to global climate change, and visual impacts from development. Socially, the industry is only available to a narrow, privileged demographic and creates gentrification and racial and income inequality in ski towns. This study surveyed students at an elite liberal arts college located near the mountains as a case study to evaluate their awareness of and action in response to concerns about the ski industry’s environmental and social impacts. The study found that students are generally aware that the ski industry has negative impacts, but most do not intend to stop skiing because they enjoy the sport, skiing is a big part of their lifestyle and sense of self, or they want to be able to spend time with friends and family who ski.

  • Thumbnail for "Orange is the New Black": An Analysis of Obama-to-Trump Voters
    "Orange is the New Black": An Analysis of Obama-to-Trump Voters by Burnham, Emily

    This study uses 2016 ANES data to explore the group of Americans who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016, focusing specifically on the factors influencing this trajectory. The voting trajectory from Obama to Trump comprised approximately 13% of the actively voting 2016 electorate. I use bivariate analyses and multiple logistic regression models in order to provide an explanation for this voting trajectory, and to separately explore this group outside of the larger populous of Trump voters. The study finds that economic insecurity, misogyny, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racial resentment all had a significant effect on the likelihood of voting for both Obama and Trump for president, controlling for historically influential factors like political party identification and others. Anti-immigrant sentiment proved to have the largest effect on this voting group. The study concludes by calling for more research on this influential voting trajectory, as well as the other trajectories between 2012 and 2016, including non-voters.

  • Thumbnail for An Examination of Transgender Patients' Accessibility to and Satisfaction with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' Health Care Resources
    An Examination of Transgender Patients' Accessibility to and Satisfaction with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' Health Care Resources by Dube, Lily

    This study uses data from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) to analyze how their transgender and cisgender patients compare in terms of the degree to which they find PPRM’s health care services accessible and satisfactory. Although prior literature emphasizes transgender individuals’ overwhelming lack of access and satisfaction with health care resources, various statistical analyses run on this data reveal that transgender patients find, on average, PPRM’s services to be slightly less accessible but slightly more satisfactory than cisgender patients. Significant, yet very small, differences were found between mean accessibility and satisfaction scores for transgender and cisgender patients at PPRM. Overall, most patients are very satisfied with PPRM’s services. Additionally, despite gender having a significant effect on both accessibility and satisfaction scores, OLS regressions affirm that there are other factors—besides gender, ethnicity/race, and age group—that influence PPRM patients’ accessibility and satisfaction scores. Further investigation into what other factors impact accessibility and satisfaction is necessary in informing the work of PPRM, especially regarding their transgender patients.

  • Thumbnail for Beautiful Ordinary People: Beauty Capital and Modern Fame on Instagram
    Beautiful Ordinary People: Beauty Capital and Modern Fame on Instagram by Westby, Audrey

    This paper explores the sociological implications of Instagram influencers, and the estimated 1-billion-dollar influencer industry. Building from Bourdieu’s field theory and concept of capital, I suggest that beauty capital is the dominant form of capital operating in the influencer field. Beauty, as well as an aestheticized Instagram feed, allows influencers to work with brands and to expand their Instagram followings, elevating the influencer to micro-celebrity status. Influencers work in a mutually beneficial relationship with brands, each one promoting each other. The relationship between influencer and brand represents a pattern of reflexive accumulation and blurring of lines between individuals and businesses. Given that beauty capital is the central theme of this study, changing beauty standards on Instagram are explored. Personal beauty is, in fact, the dominant element featured in influencers’ Instagram feeds rather than discussions of their interior selves. In this study, I will argue that in the internet age beauty is a greater asset than ever before.

  • Thumbnail for Coercive Control and Physical Violence: College Students Reporting of Intimate Partner Violence
    Coercive Control and Physical Violence: College Students Reporting of Intimate Partner Violence by Morgan, Bryn

    This exploratory study seeks to understand the prevalence and types of intimate partner violence among college students. Using an expanded understanding of Johnson’s typology (2008) of intimate partner violence, which differentiates between types of intimate partner violence based on the use of coercive control and physical violence, this study investigates intimate partner violence in a sample of college students at a small liberal arts school, suggesting that non-physical violence must also be understood as intimate partner violence, especially among college students. It attempts to contribute to the feminist understanding of intimate partner violence, noting that women experience certain types of abuse at higher rates than men and within different contexts. Using a general survey sample, however, the results found no difference between men and women reporting intimate partner violence. This apparent gender symmetry, contradicts past feminist research, suggests that new methodological approaches must be developed in order to effectively study intimate partner violence.

  • Thumbnail for From The Breakfast Club to Boyhood: A Content Analysis of Rape Culture Perpetuation in Coming of Age Films, 1980s to Today
    From The Breakfast Club to Boyhood: A Content Analysis of Rape Culture Perpetuation in Coming of Age Films, 1980s to Today by Chippari, Julia

    Twenty of the most popular coming of age films, five from each decade, 1980s-2010s, have been analyzed for perpetuation of rape culture and rape myth acceptance. This study examines the frequencies and types of perpetuation present in each film. The analysis is based on a widely accepted rape myth acceptance scale (RMA) and a list of other subtler rape culture perpetuations. The films received a point for each scene that fulfilled the sentiments in the RMA or subtler perpetuation list. The films were analyzed in terms of the decade they were released in to find patterns in rape culture over time. Overall, the amount of rape culture perpetuation decreased from each previous decade, with the 2010s films having the least amount of perpetuation. While the overall amount of perpetuation has seemingly decreased over time, there has been a potentially dangerous spike in the number of subtler scenes that normalize and perpetuate rape culture.

  • Thumbnail for Political Socialization of the Young American Jewry
    Political Socialization of the Young American Jewry by ,

    This research looks at young American Jews complicated relationship with the state of Israel. Previous literature has cited that the younger generation of American Jews are distancing themselves from Israel, citing research that demonstrated differences of attachment levels between Jews aged 65 and older, and Jews aged 35 or younger. For this research, 10 interviews were conducted with American Jews aged 23 or younger in order to compile qualitative data on young American Jews’ relationship to Israel. The findings emphasis three critical factors that shaped participants’ relationship with Israel: older family influence pressure, societal pressure, and the sentiment that Israel is receives unjust scrutiny from the American liberals and the American press. The thesis concludes by suggesting that participants can use current events to inform society– the media, politicians, educators, friends– that they have agency over their opinions on American Israeli politics.

  • Thumbnail for SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS’ EFFECT ON SELF-PERCEPTIONS OF SPORT SUCCESS:  A STUDY OF ATHLETES AT A TITLE 1 HIGH SCHOOL
    SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS’ EFFECT ON SELF-PERCEPTIONS OF SPORT SUCCESS: A STUDY OF ATHLETES AT A TITLE 1 HIGH SCHOOL by Doerre, Madi

    This paper explores a Title 1 high school and how socioeconomic status affects its student-athlete’s personal perception of their ability to succeed in their sport(s). A survey was created and distributed to student-athletes at LaPorte High School (n=59). The athlete’s view of whether they had an equal chance of success as their teammates (equalchance) and the athlete’s belief of whether they would continue playing their sport after high school (postgradplay) were selected as dependent variables. The descriptive statistics indicate that there is no predictor for having an equal chance as teammates in their sport. However, the statistics did indicate that respondents from multiple races are less likely to play their sport after high school. Finally, extracurricular participation in private lessons increased the likelihood of playing after high school.

  • Thumbnail for Second Chances: Rehabilitation in Jail From the Women's Perspective
    Second Chances: Rehabilitation in Jail From the Women's Perspective by Bombeck, Eva Louise

    This paper examines the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program (R&R) in jail within a medium-sized city in the Southwestern United States. Within the American penal system, there has been an increased effort towards restorative justice, meaning focusing less on punitive punishment and more on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation and treatment. In September of 2018, the female inmate population of the jail studied reached an all-time high with 364 women, in line with the national trend of an increasing number of incarcerated women. The record number of women represents about one-fifth of the total 1,680 inmate population. Using interview data and informal participant observation, the purpose of my research is to give women a voice in regard to evaluations and recommendations for the R&R program. Findings suggest that a high level of social ties and trust between male and female inmates cultivated in the classroom had a positive outcome, contradictory to previous literature. Counselors who empathized and listened, and who taught from personal experience over counselors who merely “taught,” also benefited inmates’ sense of recovery. There were negative aspects to the program as well. The favoring and privileging of male inmates within R&R (and within the jail population as a whole) was a persistent theme that interfered with recovery. The lack of clarity and organization regarding the program’s incentives were also an issue. Finally, the use of the R&R program by deputies as a means of punishment undermined the goals of the program. At the end of my paper, I outline recommendations and suggestions for change to better meet the needs of incarcerated women.

  • Thumbnail for Setting the Record (Not) Straight: Lesbian Identities in Conversation with the Term Queer
    Setting the Record (Not) Straight: Lesbian Identities in Conversation with the Term Queer by Stoetzer, Kendall

    The identity terms “queer” and “lesbian” often overlap, as both can be used to describe women and woman-aligned people who love other women. Is the term “queer” then appropriate to use in reference to self-identified lesbians? Through qualitative interviewing, this study explores the formation of a lesbian identity for nine lesbians, and their attitude towards the term “queer.” A lesbian identity seems to be empowering in many aspects of respondents’ lives, including in the exploration of gender identity as well as empowering in the formation of a community; however, the process of accepting a lesbian identity seems to be a difficult one. Results of this study indicate that many lesbians have faced societal pressures and biases against the word “lesbian,” and thus find the lesbian identity to be hard-won. Due to the bias against the word lesbian and the ambiguity of the label queer, many lesbians find “queer” to be an unfit personal label. In this study, the label “queer” seems to generalize lesbian identities, and blur the distinct boundary of the word “lesbian,” which is one that explicitly leaves no room for men.

  • Thumbnail for Suicide and Politics: The Influence of Donald Trump on Deaths of Despair
    Suicide and Politics: The Influence of Donald Trump on Deaths of Despair by Richardson, Emily Fischer

    Since 1999 there has been a rise of suicides among less educated white Americans. This demographic group also makes up the majority of Trump voters. To contextualize this trend of suicides through the lens of the 2016 presidential election, regression analyses were run using county level suicide, demographic, and voting data. Before the election, in 2014, the percent of Trump voters in a county was significantly and positively correlated with suicide. However, after the election, in 2017, the percent of Trump voters in a county was no longer a significant predictor of suicide. These data may indicate that the formation of a community and collective conscience around Trump has led to a decline in anomic suicides.

  • Thumbnail for The Promises and Perils of Women's Political Empowerment Against Environmental Outcomes: A Cross-National Analysis
    The Promises and Perils of Women's Political Empowerment Against Environmental Outcomes: A Cross-National Analysis by Vo, Lam Quynh

    Drawing from ecofeminist perspectives, this paper assesses the saliency of women not as victims of environmental degradation, but rather as potent agents of change. Situated within the context of increasing environmental damage and looming irreversible climate change, this study examines whether, and to what degree, women’s political empowerment impacts environmental sustainability. With particular emphasis on women’s status, ordinary least squares regressions models were used to investigate predictors of ecological footprint, environmental well-being and environmental performance cross-nationally. The results demonstrate that while affluence, measured in GDP per capita, is a strong predictor in every case, women’s political empowerment leads to better environmental outcomes only in environmental policy performance. This suggests that women’s political empowerment may be yet another modernisation factor which affects national environmental policies and outcomes, but cannot reduce the overall environmental impact beyond national borders. This study concludes by stating that despite of promising results, women’s status may still suffer from globalisation and other mediating world-system processes.

  • Thumbnail for The Trump Paradox: Analyzing the 2016 Hispanic Electorate’s Voting Behavior
    The Trump Paradox: Analyzing the 2016 Hispanic Electorate’s Voting Behavior by Mendez, Miguel

    About a third of Hispanic voters in the past have supported republican candidates in presidential elections, but this figure stayed consistent at 35% in the 2016 election despite candidate Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. This research seeks to understand why certain Hispanic voters preferred Trump over Clinton. Research was conducted by analyzing the Hispanic population from the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey through logistic regressions to determine the likelihood that different variables had in determining who people voted for in the election. Ultimately, this study found that older, more religious Hispanics that had strong attitudes towards immigration were the most likely to vote for Trump.