Event Date and Time
1101 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building

Join us to hear research presentations from our second year graduate students!

Thursday April 19, 2018

2pm-3:30pm in 1101 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building

Self-Body Conflict and Identity Processes

By Justin Maietta

Interruptions to identity processes can be caused by conflict between the self and the malfunctioning body in individuals living with chronic illness. In addition to modifying components of the self such as behaviors or the identity standard (as prior literature suggests), I propose that chronically ill individuals address such interruptions to identity processes by making modifications to the body. This research draws on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 11 individuals living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and 7 individuals living with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Some ways that these individuals modify their bodies to manage identities include the use of medical technology (continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps) and ingestion of glucose. Individuals also forewarn others of involuntary behaviors during future bodily malfunctions, allowing others to view the self as conflicting with the body. Findings suggest that individuals living with T1D are more prone to identity interruptions caused by self-body conflict than those living with T2D.

Contraceptive Consistency and Poverty after Birth

By Polina Zvavitch

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) implies that generally, intentions are reflected in subsequent behavior. Fertility scholars have hence adjusted the theory to explain the longitudinal and cyclical nature of birth intention formation. In the United States, nearly half of pregnancies are unintended, more than in any other developed nation. Unintended pregnancies are disproportionately distributed amongst poor, low-educated, and minority women. I examine how inequality is reproduced through the prevalence of unplanned births. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (N=1,840), I construct three sequences of contraceptive behavior before a birth that signal unplanned or planned behavior. Women whose contraceptive behavior before a birth involves inconsistent use have a higher chance of being in poverty following a birth than woman whose contraceptive use indicates the birth was planned. Socioeconomic indicators such as race, education and partnership status are also highly predictive of being in poverty after a birth. This study encourages further exploration into contraceptive behavior and the disproportionate penalties of unintended births.


The College Syllabus: Exploring a Potential Systematic Impasse

By  Danielle M. Koonce

64 years ago, implicit and explicit laws made certain that qualified, Black students would not be able to attend public colleges and universities with White students.  Due to the dexterity and hard work of men such as Heman Sweatt and George McLaurin who fought institutionalized segregation of public schools through legal challenges, public institutions of higher learning could not continue to provide differential treatment to a student because of the student’s race.  Today, at least on the foundational level, students regardless of their ethnicity or race have equal access to admission to public colleges and universities within the United States.    However, inequalities still exist which challenge whether the university is structured to create a level playing field for every student that gets accepted and enrolls for classes.  These inequalities are often explored through an economic lens (student-loan debt comparisons amongst students), a class lens (number of bachelor vs terminal degrees obtained by race and gender), or a demographic lens (racial and gender comparison amongst student freshman bodies).  These research questions explore inequalities that remain within the student body at institutions of higher learning.  Yet, could there be a space where inequality goes unnoticed?  Is something happening within the classroom that causes racial bias and gender bias to continue to persist amongst academic disciplines?  

I believe that a college syllabus often reflects inequities through its assigned book lists, articles, and lecture materials which favor certain gender and racial backgrounds and ignores other gender and racial backgrounds.  Relying on Bourdieu’s theory of habitus and capital, I want to study how course syllabi often unintentionally contribute to racial inequalities by over-emphasizing White males and females as subject experts.  Ultimately, this leads to maintaining a false ideology that minorities are better suited as subject matter rather than subject experts.  By building off of prior research and analyzing the results of a recent Campus Climate Survey at the University of Maryland, I can begin to assess students’ perceptions of the college syllabus as a tool of racial and gender inclusion or exclusion.