African and african american studies



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AMERICAN STUDIES

Darrin L. Grinder,



Northwest Nazarene University

Jasmine Hankey,

University of Nevada, Reno
“‘You Wanna Humanize the Homeless?  Then Humanize the Homeless’: Transferring the Biopolitics of Homelessness in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange to Reno’s Homelessness Discourse”
In Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange, disparate lives of the consumerist upper class and the homeless population collide in the Los Angeles Harbor Freeway traffic jam.  At this clash of homeless invisibility and capitalist consumerism, my essay seeks to link biopolitical ideals of the individual’s use-value to society as a laborer to the novel’s capitalist framework to illustrate the problematic correlation between homeless visibility and their use-value to the upper class.  Drawing from Foucault’s The Birth of Biopolitics, I argue that the brief visibility the homeless of Yamashita’s novel receive during the Harbor Freeway traffic jam directly stems from the upper class’s perceived usefulness of their actions (or labor) during the crisis.  As a result, the homeless are problematically granted contingent, provisional visibility in the biopolitical scheme of the novel’s capitalism.  Further, I draw connections between this labor-contingent visibility of Yamashita’s homeless to similar discussions in Reno’s homelessness discourse and response to homelessness.  My essay cautions conflating labor with value in homelessness rhetoric, lest the biopolitical capitalist discourse of Yamashita’s novel be reified in the valuation of Reno’s homeless population based solely upon their ability to labor, rather than through a recognition of their intrinsic humanity.


ANTHROPOLOGY

Lynda Dickson,



University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Foster Amey,

Middle Tennessee State University


Linxin Xie,

Middle Tennessee State University


Ami R. Moore,

University of North Texas


“Trends in Polygynous Marriages in West Africa: Cohort Differences and Education Effects in Ghana”
Polygyny has been described as a “common” feature of marital life in African societies with West Africa in particular reporting the highest levels of polygyny (Bove & Valeggia 2008). As an enduring system of social life, polygyny has also been shown to be “highly resistant to the competition of the imported ideology of monogamy and to the impacts of various structural changes” (Hayase & Liaw 1997). The phenomenon is deeply associated with low levels of education and rural life although it is recognized that well-educated urban dwellers are not completely uninvolved in the practice.
Some researchers have surmised that the passage of time will reduce the incidence of polygyny in this region of the world given the expansions in education and increased urbanization. This expectation is based on the idea that increased educational attainment will create new opportunities for women outside the home and that urban life will impose constraints on the desire of men to take multiple wives.
In this study, we analyze pooled data from six rounds of the Demographic and Health Surveys for Ghana to understand differences in levels of polygyny among respondents from different birth cohorts. We also examine the factors that influence these differences with special attention to educational attainment and rural-urban residence.

Berch Berberoglu,

University of Nevada, Reno
“The Nature, Extent, and Sources of Income and Wealth Inequality in the United States”
This paper examines the nature, extent, and sources of inequality in the United States, focusing of the distribution of income and wealth over the past few decades. After an analysis of the maldistribution of income and wealth in American society, the paper argues that to understand the source(s) of wealth and income inequality, one must turn to an analysis of class relations in society, in particular relations between labor and capital under our current capitalist mode of production. And this would take us to the study of the labor theory of value. Focusing on the polarization of classes in the United States through the ever-widening gap in wealth and income, the paper argues that the private ownership of means of production and the accumulation of capital through the exploitation of wage labor, it has become possible for the owners (capitalists) to amass vast amounts of wealth, while the working class is barely able to hold on to their jobs and continue to generate high rates of surplus value (profits) for the capitalists. The resulting disparity in earnings and wealth has led to the uneven and unequal distribution income and wealth that has reached unprecedented levels in recent history. In addressing these issues, the paper provides a set of solutions to end inequality and to build an equitable and egalitarian society.

Ana Araceli Navarro Becerra,

Universidad de Guadalajara
“Ser investigador hoy. El perfil de los Jovenes Investigadores del Conseio Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia en las instituciones de educacion superior”
The academic labor market has shown changes in relation to the admission of new members to the academic staff. Mexico is no exception, universities and some research centers have difficulties to integrate new members, including the reasons they are apparent freeze seats and low retirement of academics, caused in part by the worn pension system. Also, it is big number of graduates of doctoral programs seeking to join on Higher Education Institutions (HEI), ie, research centers or universities.
This problem has transcended of the public policy. In Mexico acquired important in a context where it moves toward a society and a knowledge economy. Hence the call Chairs called Young Investigator by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT acronym in Spanish). The dynamic is to summon academic groups to propose a research project and to researchers to develop it in conjunction with the group. The employer of young researchers is CONACYT and the workplace is the HEI. In this context, the paper develops the following thesis: young researchers of the need to adhere to organizational and institutional guidelines CONACYT and the HEI, are required to have high qualification, extensive capital and with the support of their trainers to meet with the activities imposed.
The document is an ongoing investigation that aims to inquire into the practices of young researchers from the professional socialization in the process of inserting the HEI. It is a qualitative study. The data presented correspond to 12 in- depth interviews with young researchers.

Michael Briscoe,

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs
“Microaggressions, Microinequities, and Vegetarians: A Quantitative Study”
Microaggressions and Microinequities are usually discussed when talking about race or gender issues, but they can be seen among any marginalized group. There are numerous qualitative studies discussing vegetarians’ experience with microaggressions and microinequities, but a quantitative analysis of the issue has not yet been conducted. The aim of this study was to understand quantitatively how frequently these microaggressions and microinequities among vegetarians occur. A survey of 34 questions was distributed by various vegetarian blog administrators, and taken by vegetarians. The overwhelming majority of respondents were white and female. More dogmatic vegetarians experienced higher rates of microaggressions and microinequities. Vegetarians with higher numbers of friends and family who were vegetarian experienced less microinequities, but similar levels of microaggressions. Vegetarians whose motivation to become vegetarian was health reasons experienced microaggressions much less frequently than vegetarians who became vegetarian for ethical reasons. More dogmatic vegetarians, and vegetarians who became vegetarian for ethical reasons may experience these higher levels of microaggression and microinequities because they may be more aggressive in their stance on vegetarianism. Vegetarians who became vegetarian for health reasons may be less concerned with others’ diet, and therefore engage in less altercations about vegetarianism.

Stefanie Cole,

University of Missouri Kansas City
“Answering Economic Imperialism with Progressive Anthropology”
Methods of evolutionary analysis are applied to the problem of economic imperialism within the academy; a cause of much social harm. The setting for this examination focuses on research areas that succinctly illustrate the origin of economic imperialism, the extent of the problem, and the existing body of theory that is inherently opposed to such encroachment. This is accomplished by revealing the institutional overlaps between the physical sciences, anthropology, and economics. First, a terse explanation of the underlying social, political, cultural and scientific issues which shaped the rise of modern geosciences and social sciences. The paper begins with the world systems approach and shows how the emergence of the geosciences and archaeology are the outcome of the enlightenment project and the backlash against socialism in the academy. The narrative is followed-up by the story of how economic imperialism first dominated social sciences and eventually encroached into the physical sciences: the outcome of a dynamic struggle for ideological supremacy among conservatives, liberals, socialists and radicals with the academy. The progressive wing of Anthropology is both an existing theoretical counterpoint to the philosophical, moral, and logical basis of economic imperialism; and a source for allies in the ongoing struggle against it. 

Lynda Dickson,

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
“Pro-Birth vs. Pro-Life?: Time to Flip the Switch on Labels and Their Meanings in the Abortion Debate, or Suffer the Consequences”
The commonly used label “Pro Life” movement has widespread, even growing appeal in 21st century America—to the extent that it is conceivable that Roe v Wade might be overturned. It might be argued that this seemingly increasing appeal stems from the apparent “battle” between unequally weighted opponents: the innocent life of the unborn (Pro-Life advocates) and adult women who want the right the ‘choose’ not the bear a child (Pro-Choice advocates). It seems important to flip the switch so that we are examining and labeling the two sides more accurately: those who advocate for the right of the fetus to be born and those who are more concerned about the potential quality of life of the unborn. Perhaps we need to move beyond the traditional terms of “pro Life” v “Pro Choice” to the more accurately termed “Pro-Birth” v “Pro-Life” -- This paper will also discuss the far larger context in which this “debate” is occurring.

Richard L Dukes,

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Shelby Shively,

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs


“Gang Membership and Trouble with the Police”
Literature on gangs contains surprisingly little attention to trouble with police. We analyze data from the population of students in a Colorado School district (N = 2651) to examine whether police profile gang members (differential selection, a direct effect) or police react to delinquency of gang members (differential involvement, indirect effect). Results support the idea of indirect effects. Results are discussed using a framework of differential involvement.

Brielle Giesemann,

Northern Arizona University
“Perceptions of Exported Race Identities of the United States and Understanding Their Macro-scale Consequences”
Perpetuated throughout history, the standard, patriotic narrative of racial and ethnic identity in the United States proudly boasts that we are a “melting pot nation”, a rainbow of diversity, and a peaceful co-existence amongst the myriad groups. At the same time, our media, political institutions, and culture, on the whole, deny the superficiality and insincerity of this tale; while they refuse to participate in anti-racist solutions to confront inequality, they simultaneously support the international exportation of a highly homogenized and inaccurately euro-centric image of the “average American”. By means of a survey, Colombians’ perceptions of racial and ethnic identities of the “average American” will be measured to piece together a reflection of the narrative that our media, government, and other institutions are constructing and exporting internationally, and how it consequently engenders and preserves a single-story of white supremacy on a macro and global scale.

Keith Hullenaar,

Northern Arizona University
“Investigating Student Opinions on Proposed Affirmative Consent Policies Regarding Sexual Relationships in Arizona Colleges”
United States' universities have adopted a wide array of policies and programs aimed at reducing the prevalence of sexual assault victimization on college campuses. Some of the legalistic solutions have been focused on changing sexual consent policies to reflect the affirmative consent standard, but the voice and opinions of college students, regarding these changes, often goes unheard. The current study utilizes college student focus groups to explore what sexual consent means on college campuses. By analyzing college students' attitudes towards sexual consent, this paper hopes to discover how sexual consent is interpreted in the college setting. University policy implications and future directions for research are discussed.

Eugenia Kwon,

Western University
“For Passion of for a Future Family?: Exploring Factors influencing career and Family Choices of Female Medical Students and Residents”
A significant change in the gender composition of medical school has been witnessed over the last decade, with more than 50% of applicants being female. However, although the number of women entering the medical profession has significantly increased, there is evidence that a gendered hierarchy still exists in the contemporary medical profession. Female medical students are more likely than their male colleagues to enter and practice in less prestigious medical specializations and are less likely to enter more prestigious fields such as in surgery. This study assesses competing explanations for female medical students’ and residents’ specialty choices. Do female students’ choices appear to reflect their preference for family and their gender role socialization, or rather do they reflect the structural barriers and constraints that women still experience in male-dominant organizations? This paper sheds more light on gender differences in specialty choices by drawing on qualitative data gathered from in-depth interviews collected from 15 female medical students and residents in Ontario, Canada. It explores whether female students anticipate having a difficult time combining career and family life; and how their expectations shape their plans concerning specialty choice and their anticipated family decision-making around marriage and children.

Scott David Parker,

Sierra College
“It’s Not Society, It’s You: The Davis-Moore Hypothesis, The Bell curve, and Structural Functionalists Interpretations of Social Stratification”
Structuralist hypotheses are a useful heuristic for interpreting social phenomena. However, the twentieth century heyday of structural functionalism witnessed a reification of theory which served to justify social inequality. For although structural functionalism afforded a paradigm for identifying social problems and potential strategies for alleviation it often served as justification for inequality via coded victim blaming. This tendency is illustrated in two representative case studies: the Davis-Moore Hypothesis and the controversy surrounding the publication of The Bell Curve. The first addresses motivation as the main prerequisite for social mobility, while the second holds that social position is correlated with measured intelligence. In each instance structural functionalism serves as an ideological prism through which social inequality is justified as a necessary outcome of individual life. chances.

Joel Trujillo Pérez,

Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia
“Between Opposition and the Right: An Anthropological Approach to the “highly demanding” Middle Classes and the National Action Party (PAN) in Mexico City”
The aim of this text is to present a different point of view on the cultural transformations faced by the right party, the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional/PAN), since its foundation and the middle classes of the capital of Mexico. In fact, both of them have changed their Political habits to give place to a further diversity, although within the civil society it is easy to track authoritarian expressions coexisting in the capitalist democracy. This transformations are considered Institutional-only, excluding another possible explanations where the culture is the center of the Political practices. For that reason the Political field in the middle classes is linked in the history and the everyday practices with the right party in Mexico that is considered as opposition in Mexico City –governed by the Left party (PRD) since 1997 and it is also considered a territory of the Left in Mexico. We have such a minor middle class localized in a «blue lake» -as the colors of the PAN, and the party struggled by a series of corporative practices embedded in a Left Political culture. So, my questions are “How does the opposition work in the middle of a Leftist policy”; “How do People imagine the Political system in the capital from their right point of view?”; “Is the middle class opposition in the opposition, is there a Political culture of the opposition?”; Finally, “How do they face a corporative system from their relative well-off position inside Mexico City?”

Jebadiha E. Potter,

Colorado State University
“CPS enforcement in an era of legalized marijuana”
In 2012 two states, Colorado and Washington, voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana; Oregon and Alaska followed suit in 2014 and Nevada currently has a similar referendum on the ballot for 2016. While this new policy has created many new questions for various agencies in these states in adapting their procedures related to marijuana, one where this may be especially important is Child Protective Services (CPS). This paper addresses the question of whether policies regarding substance use and abuse followed by CPS in Colorado are in conflict with legalized marijuana. Further, I examine the extent to which CPS has adapted its enforcement procedures to reflect the change in legal status of marijuana.

Shelby Shively,

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
“The Effect of Child Abuse on Future Romantic Relationship Quality”
The aim of this study is to determine the overall effect of child abuse and neglect experiences on later satisfaction in intimate romantic relationships through the use of meta-analysis. I also determine which form of abuse (emotional/psychological, physical, or sexual) has the strongest effect on relationship satisfaction. Analyses were conducted using Comprehensive Meta Analysis software; all effect sizes were converted to a Cohen’s d measure. Experiences of abuse and neglect in childhood do adversely affect later relationship satisfactions, although many studies found strong mediating variables. If therapy efforts were to address these mediating variables, the effects of abuse and neglect may be mitigated.

David Throgmorton,

Carbon County Higher Education Center
“Ballin’ the Jack: The Rise of Public Funding for Entrepreneurial Activity in the West”
The mythology of the west is replete with tales of entrepreneurs risking everything to bring their enterprise to life. More often than not, they lost everything but when they succeeded, they became the stuff of legends. “Ballin’ the Jack,” risking everything on one long-shot, was a significant player in the development of mines, ranches, early oil exploration and more. In the late 19th Century entrepreneurs began using other people’s money to finance high-risk enterprises and it wasn’t long before the “entrepreneur” had little of his own skin in the game. The risk was transferred to investors, many of who had been seduced to invest by the very mythology of the high-flying Western entrepreneur. By the late 20th Century, private money was replaced by public money with states and the federal government providing either direct funding or loan guarantees to support expensive projects that were deemed part of the “common good” or, more often, the “common defense.” Today, nearly every large-scale western development and an astonishing number of smaller, local developments include significant public funding as part of the plan. In some cases, these developers have gained access to public monies and use it to leverage additional investments from private investors. This paper examines the transition from the use of personal resources to investor resources to public resources as the conventional model for project development. It looks at how the concept of “entrepreneur,” formerly reserved for people using their own resources to chase an economic dream, is used today to describe any developer, including those using other people’s money for their projects. Finally, it explores the implications of having most large scale projects (and many small-scale projects) rise or fall in step with access to public funding. 

Maria de los Angeles Aguilera Velasco,

Universidad de Guadalajara
“Educational Preparation of Older Adults and Their Families for Retirement”
The purpose of this qualitative case study, carried out in two phases, is to systematize the learning experiences and expectations of older adults and their families as they face approaching retirement, in Guadalajara, Mexico, 2012. The strategy implemented was an educational preparation for retirement. Six adults had already retired, two were soon to be retired and eight family members were chosen for this study. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and a SQA-E format. The educational strategy was an interactive conference. A phenomenological analysis was made of the experiences recorded. The naturalistic criterial evaluation of learning experiences and expectations was applied before and after the educational intervention. Through this intervention, participants were made conscious of their problems, expressed the desire to improve certain aspects of their lives and continued educational preparation.

Audie Daniel Wood,

Idaho State University 
“Athletics Programs, Structure of Time & It’s Negative Effects on Football Players Social and Academic Lives”
In this study we utilized ten qualitative interviews of FCS football players to gain an understanding of what structural barriers prevented them from connecting to the non-football community, and how these structures affected their motivation to perform academically. How time was structured had a negative effect on their ability to connect to anyone outside of football, as well as affecting their academic motivations. The athletic programs main focus was on their football skills, and not whether or not they had time to prepare for academics. This football focused structure is what has led to the stereotypes of dumb jocks and having other negative labels placed on them. All of which negatively affected their motivation to connect to the community or focus on school. If universities care about collegiate football player’s lives post their football careers; then as academics we must begin to suggest change to the structure of athletic programs so that these young men are set up for success and not failure.




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