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  • Thumbnail for For God and country : religious fundamentalism in the U.S. military
    For God and country : religious fundamentalism in the U.S. military by Parco, James E.

    Tension over what constitutes proper religious expression within the United States military has significantly intensified over the past decade. This paper examines and analyzes recent reports and several prominent cases, revealing how religiously motivated behavior has increased over the years and remains either tacitly or overtly endorsed by senior military leaders. In light of increasing religious fundamentalism within the ranks, coupled with a lack of social and political will to affect change, the cultural reticence to hold commanders accountable for inappropriate behavior remains an obstacle. The paper concludes with actionable recommendations.

  • Thumbnail for Teaching Cross-Cultural Awareness in the Language Classroom: A Furthering of Research on Immersion Education
    Teaching Cross-Cultural Awareness in the Language Classroom: A Furthering of Research on Immersion Education by Kinshella, Kaiti Anne

    Due to the relationship between language and culture, most second language teachers incorporate culture into the curriculum, choosing to focus on the 3 Ps: products, practices and perspectives. However, learning about the 3 Ps of other cultures will not necessarily give students the tools to navigate and interact within these cultures, nor does it assuredly push the students to understand how culture affects everyone’s day-to-day life. In order to move past the limitations of the 3 Ps, some researchers suggest that immersion education should be implemented in the language classroom. They suggest that the language classroom should be a space where the students use their L2 to build meaning together with one another and the teacher. Specifically, researchers claim that second language curriculum should incorporate units that aim to heighten students’ cross-cultural awareness. Simply put, cross-cultural awareness is defined as an understanding of one’s own culture in relation to the other cultures one has learned about or encountered. According to Sue (2001), there are three pathways to cross-cultural awareness: studying multiple perspectives, interacting with people from different cultures, and looking for biases within oneself and others. In order to study whether or not these pathways actually can increase cross-cultural awareness, the present mixed methods research implemented two units within a high school junior classroom: one regarding undocumented youth perspectives and one regarding reflection on one’s own culture and biases. The results from a pre and post questionnaire regarding the students’ level of cross-cultural awareness revealed two sets of data. First, that the students increased their cross-cultural awareness in regards to cultural theory, existence of perspectives, and their own skills and comfort levels within cross-cultural encounters. Second, that the students remained stagnant or increased in their own cultural biases.

  • 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 DDAT, R.I.P. : why the anti-gay policy vanished without ill effects
    DDAT, R.I.P. : why the anti-gay policy vanished without ill effects by Levy, David A., 1964- , Parco, James E.

    Seventeen years after 10 USC 654 banned openly gay service members on the grounds of negative impacts to unit cohesion, military effectiveness, morale, good order and discipline, the United States officially military ended "don't ask, don't tell." During this period, significant evidence emerged from the actions of other western US allies revealing that the biggest story of repeal was no story at all. Remaining quietly behind the public discourse, many political and senior military leaders refused to acknowledge the evidence that ran contrary to the fundamental arguments set forth in the current policy. The most notable effect is a persistent gap between the martial masculine values inherent in military culture and the evolving attitudes towards the society that pays the bills. Although DADT repeal has been treated as a policy issue, the reality is that until military leaders acknowledge it as a leadership issue, inequity between the demographics within the armed forces will persist.