Congratulations to the student winners! The abstracts for all winning student papers are listed alphabetically by division below. 

The student paper competitions awards are sponsored by the Special Problems Divisions

COMMUNITY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

Winning Title: Getting a Workout: Mortgage Modification, Social Class, and Shifting Financial Institutions

Author: Lindsay A. Owens

Affiliation: Stanford University

E-mail:

Abstract:

The housing crisis of the “Great Recession” has left millions of homeowners with mortgages they can no longer afford. I combine in-depth interviews with homeowners at risk of foreclosure with an institutional ethnography of a foreclosure prevention help center in "Santa Victoria" to examine how homeowners try to avoid foreclosure. I find that working class homeowners, located in the neighborhoods, social networks and occupations at the epicenter of the economic downturn, reached out to peers in similar circumstances.  Middle class homeowners, who were relatively isolated from peers in similar circumstances and ashamed of their financial troubles, relied on impersonal sources of information. The working class strategy was not only more efficient, it also resulted in three pieces of valuable information the middle class strategy did not obtain: servicers work with delinquent borrowers first; third-parties offering foreclosure prevention services for upfront fees are scams; and, the probability of procuring a mortgage workout is slim.  Though this information did not guarantee success, it did convey tangible financial and social advantages.

CONFLICT, SOCIAL ACTION, AND CHANGE DIVISION

Winning Title: Activist and Non-Activist Labels: Differential Activist Identification in the Tea Party and Occupy Movements

Author: Jesse Klein

Affiliation: Florida State University

E-mail:

Abstract:

Social movement researchers typically assume that active participation in social movements is activism. While activism provides a convenient universal term for participation in social change, this study finds that participants in social movements identify differentially with the activist label. By providing elaborate justifications, participants identify their participation as activist or non-activist. Their diverging self-identification with activism reveals that not all participants identify their participation as activist: an important distinction not made in the literature. This paper builds on the collective identity, activist label, commitment, and differential recruitment literature through exploring respondents’ nuanced reasons for adopting or repudiating the activist label. Drawing on ethnographic data and qualitative interviews conducted with 57 movement participants in two social movements, this paper examines differential activist identification and its implications for constructing collective identity and movement dynamics. Through questioning why some individuals identify as activists and others do not, this paper reveals the differences in how movement participants view their participation and explores the complicated narratives participants deploy in their negotiation with activism.

CRIME AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY DIVISION

Winning Title: The Social Control of Medical Marijuana Users: Escaping Criminalization and Embracing Medicalization

Author: Patrick K. O'Brien

Affiliation: University of Colorado at Boulder

E-mail:

Abstract:

The medicalization of marijuana represents an evolving trend across the United States, yet researchers have yet to focus on the reasons users obtain cannabis licenses or the changing methods of State control that emerge in the legal-medicalized industry. In this paper I draw on 40 in-depth interviews and participant observation with undergraduate cardholders to examine college students’ motivations to get medical marijuana cards and the process of social learning and resocialization they undergo in shifting away from an illicit and unregulated market to one that is State-sanctioned and controlled.  I analyze the medicalization of cannabis as part of a “new culture of crime control” (Garland 2001), showing how, in contrast to criminalization, the legal-medical model offers the State potent forms of social control at the structural, cultural, and interactional levels of society. I conclude with a discussion of the benefits gained by the State from this legal-medicalization on both the effects and causes of crime.

DISABILITIES DIVISION

Winning Title: Sometimes I Think I Might Say Too Much’: Dark Secrets and Performance of Inflammatory Bowel Disease,”

Author: Alex I. Thompson

Affiliation: University of Colorado at Boulder

E-mail:

Abstract:

While in recent years the embodiment of a chronically ill body has arisen as a growing area of study, the deeply stigmatizing nature of, to borrow Weinberg and Williams’ (2005) term, “fecal matters” and its intersection with this process has been little explored. Comprised of a year of participant observation in three Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) support groups and semi-structured interviews with twelve support group members, this study sits at this intersection. The article first succinctly uncovers the contemporary boundaries of Cahill’s (2006) notion of the private body. The discussion then focuses on the influence of stigma, surrounding this private secret, on IBD support group dynamics. I explore the disparate ways in which the members of each group collectively harness language, and its absence, to protect their embodied selves from symbolic fecal contamination. The paper concludes with an examination of the role of support groups in shaping self-perception and the boundary posed by the private body.

DRINKING AND DRUGS DIVISION

Winning Title: The Influence of Self Exempting Beliefs and Social Networks on Daily Smoking: A Mediation Analysis among Chinese Males

Authors: Xiaozhao Y. Yang

Affiliation: Purdue University

E-mail:

Abstract:

Social science literature talked extensively about how smoker’s decision of maintaining cigarette smoking is structured by both socio-psychological and interpersonal factors. Self-exempting beliefs affect people’s decision in favor to a behavior even when they recognize the harm associated with it. This study develops the idea of how social networks affect daily smoking directly and indirectly by facilitating the formation of self-exempting beliefs. The data was collected in 2011 among Chinese urban residents. Employing binary mediation analysis for logistic regression to test the hypotheses, this study found that 1) daily smoking is associated with different types of social networks; 2) self-exempting beliefs about smoking heavily mediate the association between social networks and daily smoking except for family network; 3) a subset of self-exempting beliefs-instrumental belief of smoking, mediates the associations between friend network, coworker network and daily smoking, but not for family network. This study incorporated both social networks and self-exempting beliefs into substance using literature, explored their mediatory relationships and the mechanism of how smoking behavior is developed and maintained.

EDUCATIONAL PROBLEMS DIVISION

Winning Title: Unintended Consequences of Mass Imprisonment: Effects of Paternal Incarceration on Child School Readiness

Authors: Anna R. Haskins

Affiliation: University of Wisconsin, Madison

E-mail:

Abstract:

Though sociologists have examined how mass incarceration affects stratification, remarkably little is known about how it shapes racial and gendered disparities in educational outcomes. Analyzing the Fragile Families Study and its rich paternal incarceration data, I ask whether black and white children with fathers who have been in prison are less prepared for school both cognitively and behaviorally as a result, and whether racial and gendered disparities in imprisonment rates help explain the persistence of similar gaps in educational outcomes. Using a variety of estimation strategies, I show that experiencing paternal incarceration by age 5 is associated with lower behavioral school readiness. While the main effect of incarceration does not vary by race, boys with incarcerated fathers have substantially worse behavioral skills at school entry. Mass incarceration facilitates the intergenerational transmission of male behavioral disadvantage, and because of the higher exposure of black children to incarceration, it also plays a role in explaining the persistently low achievement of black boys. By bringing literature on educational inequalities into dialogue with the growing body of research on the consequences of imprisonment, this study contributes to an understanding of the role mass incarceration plays in the persistence of educational disparities and the intergenerational transmission of inequality.

ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

Winning Title for the Brent K. Marshall AwardMundane Technology: A Case Study of the Introduction of Permanent Walls to the Inuit of Arviat, Nunavut, Canada

Author: Lisa-Jo van den Scott

Affiliation: Northwestern University

E-mail:

Abstract:

Using a case-study of the introduction of permanent walls to the Inuit of Arviat, Nunavut, Canada, this paper takes up the relationship between “the social” and “the technical.”  Adopting the social construction of technology (SCOT) approach, I offer an elaboration and extension which takes into account the reflexive relationship between a people and their technological artifacts.  “Passive engagements” and “active engagements” are conceptual tools for examining this reflexivity.  “Passive engagements” relate to the shaping of the social by the technical, while “active engagements” relate to the social’s shaping through agency of the technological artifact, its form, uses and meaning.

FAMILY DIVISION

Winning Title The Power and Limits of Marriage: Married Gay Men’s Family Relationships

Author: Abigail Ocobock

Affiliation: University of chicago

E-mail:

Abstract:

Same-sex marriage has received much scholarly attention in the United States in the past decade. Yet we know little about how same-sex couples experience marriage. In this article, I present findings from in-depth interviews with 32 legally married gay men in Iowa. I focus on their experiences with families of origin and investigate the legitimating potential of same-sex marriage. The men had high expectations about the power of marriage to help them gain recognition and support, but their experiences with heterosexual family members were more varied and complex than they expected. Although marriage often led to positive family outcomes it also commonly had negative consequences, including new and renewed experiences of family rejection. This study complicates ideas about the legitimating potential of marriage for same-sex couples by illuminating both its power and limits in helping gay men gain status and support from important heterosexuals in their lives.

GLOBAL DIVISION/CRITICAL THEORY GRADUATE STUDENT PAPER AWARD

Winning Title: New Protagonists in Global Economic Governance: Brazilian Agribusiness at the WTO

Author: Kristen Hopewell

Affiliation: University of British Columbia, Okanagan

E-mail:

Abstract:

The existing international economic order has been heavily shaped by US power and the US has been a key driver of globalisation and neoliberal economic restructuring, prompting speculation about whether the rise of new developing country powers could rupture the current trajectory of neoliberal globalisation.  This paper analyses the case of Brazil at the WTO, a core institution in global economic governance.  In the last decade, Brazil successfully waged two landmark trade disputes against the US and EU and created a coalition of developing countries – the G20 – which brought an end to the dominance of the US and EU at the WTO and made their trade policies a central target of the Doha Round.  Brazil’s activism has been widely hailed as a major victory for developing countries.  However, I argue that rather than challenging the neoliberal agenda of the WTO, Brazil has emerged as one of the most vocal advocates of free market globalisation and the push to expand and liberalise global markets.  I show that Brazil’s stance has been driven by the rise of its export-oriented agribusiness sector.  This case demonstrates that business actors from the Global South are becoming significant new protagonists in global economic governance; they are taking the tools created by the states and corporations of the Global North – in this case, the WTO and its neoliberal discourse – and turning them against their originators.  At the same time, their interests are being wrapped in and advanced through a discourse of development and social justice and a strategic mobilization of the politics of the North-South divide. 


Honorable Mention: ‘The Internet is Magic’: Technology in the Transnational Family

Author: Valerie Francisco

Affiliation: City University of New York, The Graduate Center

E-mail:

Abstract:

In this article, I seek to establish the significance of computer technology in the transnational family. From my multi-sited ethnography and qualitative research, I argue that the onset of computer technology, given the visual register in particular modes of communication in the case of computer applications like Skype and Facebook, ushers in a different quality of relationships for separated family members in transnational families. Further, I argue that the technology enables shifts in gender roles for work in the family. For families in my research, most migrants included in the New York-based study are undocumented immigrants unable to return to their families for long periods of time because of legal consequences that will ban them from coming back and working in the US. Complementary, their families in the Philippines cannot visit the US without proper papers. Consequently, these families are separated for long periods of time and their only means of sustaining their relationships is through communication technology. The new mediums of communication, given its new innovations in the frequency of contact, the visuality of communication and open access to digital lives, present new issues for transnational families as it also offers different forms of intimacy for members in the transnational family.

HEALTH, HEALTH POLICY, AND HEALTH SERVICES DIVISION

Winning Title: “‘Dude, You Need to Get into Nursing’: Mobilizing Masculinities as Recruitment Strategy

Author: Marci Cottingham

Affiliation: University of Akron

E-mail:

Abstract:

Despite broader changes in the health care industry and gender dynamics in the U.S., men continue to be a minority in the traditionally female occupation of nursing. As a caring profession, nursing emphasizes empathy, emotional engagement, and helping others—behaviors and skills characterized as antithetical to hegemonic notions of a tough, detached, and independent masculine self. The current study examines how the nursing profession reconciles the contradictions between hegemonic masculinity and caring for others in their effort to recruit men. Analyzing recruitment materials, I assess the mobilization and construction of masculinities in the context of textual, spoken, and visual content produced by professional nursing organizations. Results reveal how the profession mobilizes aspects of hegemonic and nonhegemonic masculinity, while using three distinct types of recruitment strategy: full hegemonic co-option, partial hegemonic co-option, and alternative construction of masculinities. The study’s findings advance our understanding of mobilizing masculinities as a gendering practice at the organizational level and the ongoing contradictions endemic to men’s entry into caring professions.


Honorable MentionPublic Hospital Overcrowding in the Era of Mass Incarceration

Author: Armando Lara-Millian

Affiliation: Northwestern University

E-mail:

Abstract:

Although sociology has long studied public emergency rooms and their service delivery to the poor, little is known about how admissions decisions have changed since the advent of mass incarceration – an era entailed by an increase in the network of policing and consequences of incarceration for the poor.  Using ethnographic methods and a count of admissions decisions (N=1,114), this paper describes the rise of “punitive triage.”  Punitive triage is defined as the continious  removal of patients on to and off the emergency room waiting list by prioritizing some medically equivalent patients over others based on their perceived relationship to criminality or the criminal justice system.  It is characterized by four components: 1) The use of pain medication to delay admission and stigmatize most waiting patients with criminal narcotics; 2) The use of criminal stigma to fill in missing medical information about patients and blur demarcations of urgent and non-urgent conditions; 3) The favoring of beds for arrestees, suspects, and witnesses brought in by a vast network of policing; and 4) Police officer use of reassessment to help nurses thin the waiting list.  Key to these findings is that the consequences of punitive triage are not primarily borne by arrestees, inmates, or ex-inmates, but by the general patient waiting in the public ER.

INSTITUTIONAL ETHNOGRAPHY DIVISION

Winning Title for the George W. Smith Award: Name and title temporarily witheld by request of the winner.

LABOR STUDIES DIVISION

Winning Title for the Harry Braverman AwardGlobal Chains, Global Workers: Warehouse Workers’ Experience of Globalized Labor Processes and Transnational Class Relations

Author: Jason Struna

Affiliation: University of California, Riverside

E-mail:

Abstract:

Transnational class formation, by definition, implies that both sides of the labor-capital relation undergo transformations in the experience of class-life as it unfolds in spatial and productive contexts.  While theoretical progress on the features of the global working class has been made, there has been relatively little empirical research on this topic. This paper fills this gap by examining the lived experiences of workers engaged in transnational commodity circuits in order to flesh out the emergent features of a transnational proletariat.  I focus on the shop floor relationships and conditions experienced by workers in the logistics industry of Southern California.  Evidence from semi-structured interviews with warehouse and distribution center workers — individuals who labor in facilities that form key nodes in global commodity circuits — is presented in order to contextualize transnational labor-capital relations, the relationships that workers have with one another in local and cross-border circumstances, and management’s attempted exploitation of divisions between diasporic and static fractions of the transnational working class.

LAW AND SOCIETY DIVISION

Winning Title for the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award: Penal Subjectivities: Developing a Theoretical Framework for Penal Consciousness

Author: Lori Sexton

Affiliation: University of California, Irvine

E-mail:

Abstract:

This paper develops a new theoretical framework that examines the ways in which prisoners orient to and make meaning of their punishment in order to more fully understand the nature of penality writ large. The framework, which I call penal consciousness, moves beyond the limited, objective view of punishment as legal sanction to a more expansive view of penality that privileges subjectivity and meaning. The penal consciousness framework achieves a granulated view of punishment by examining its contours along two key dimensions: severity and salience. Inductive analysis of 80 in-depth, qualitative interviews with prisoners reveals that severity of punishment is predicated on the level of abstraction at which punishment is experienced (concrete or symbolic), while salience of punishment is determined by what I refer to as the “punishment gap” between an individual’s expectations and experiences of punishment.  By examining punishment as the nexus between the objective and the subjective in this way, the penal consciousness framework enables punishment as it is understood by prisoners to differ markedly from what is conceived of as punishment by lawmakers, but at the same time to be contingent upon it. This allows punishment to be examined in situ rather than in its ideal, articulated, or abstract form—an important advancement from conventional understandings of punishment.

MENTAL HEALTH DIVISION

Winning Title: Sexual Orientation, Social Support, and Mental Distress: A Study of Middle-Aged US Population

Author: Ning Hsieh

Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania

E-mail:

Abstract:

In contrast to considerable research indicating that sexual minorities are at higher risk of mental distress compared to heterosexuals, few studies have systematically investigated the determinants of mental health disparities by sexual orientation. This study examines the role of social support, a significant yet under-investigated factor that potentially contributes to these disparities. Using data representative of the middle-aged US population from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n=3,647), the study shows that having access to emotional support and a higher number of close friends significantly buffer the excess mental distress experienced by homosexuals/lesbians/gays, bisexuals, and other sexual minorities. Specifically, the extent of mental health disparity varies by the level of social support—sexual minorities report poorer mental health than heterosexuals only when perceiving low support. Findings imply that building a friendly and supportive environment in which all sexual minorities have access to at least some quality support can be a key solution for closing the mental health gap by sexual orientation.

POVERTY, CLASS, AND INEQUALITY DIVISION

Winning Title: Unintended Consequences of Mass Imprisonment: Effects of Paternal Incarceration on Child School Readiness

Authors: Anna R. Haskins

Affiliation: University of Wisconsin, Madison

E-mail:

Abstract:

Though sociologists have examined how mass incarceration affects stratification, remarkably little is known about how it shapes racial and gendered disparities in educational outcomes. Analyzing the Fragile Families Study and its rich paternal incarceration data, I ask whether black and white children with fathers who have been in prison are less prepared for school both cognitively and behaviorally as a result, and whether racial and gendered disparities in imprisonment rates help explain the persistence of similar gaps in educational outcomes. Using a variety of estimation strategies, I show that experiencing paternal incarceration by age 5 is associated with lower behavioral school readiness. While the main effect of incarceration does not vary by race, boys with incarcerated fathers have substantially worse behavioral skills at school entry. Mass incarceration facilitates the intergenerational transmission of male behavioral disadvantage, and because of the higher exposure of black children to incarceration, it also plays a role in explaining the persistently low achievement of black boys. By bringing literature on educational inequalities into dialogue with the growing body of research on the consequences of imprisonment, this study contributes to an understanding of the role mass incarceration plays in the persistence of educational disparities and the intergenerational transmission of inequality.

RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES DIVISION

Winning Title: Monoracial and Mulitracial Attitudes Towards Racial Inequality

Author: Crystal Bedley

Affiliation: Rutgers University

E-mail:

Abstract:

Analyzing data from the General Social Survey (GSS), this project is the first of its kind to explore the racialized attitudes of multiracial adults in comparison to their monoracial White and Black counterparts to better understand emerging trends and explanations of racial inequality, self-classification, and the rigidity/fluidity of the color line(s). Findings show that self-classified multiracial respondents most often selected a Native American identification. This exploratory study also shows that multiracial respondents’ attitudes align at times with monoracial Black respondents. The lack of consistency, however, as to whether multiracial individuals will select individualistic or structural explanations for racial inequality suggest that these individuals must navigate the intersection of conflicting racially dominant and subordinate attitudes and hence neither fully parallel monoracial White attitudes nor monoracial Black attitudes. Finally, by being more aware of structural barriers, multiracial respondents seem to maintain some anti-racist attitudes. As a result of these findings, I argue that the color line debate should focus on the notion of multiple, sometimes overlapping, but often conflicting, color lines.


Honorable MentionThe Positive Consequences of Negative Stereotypes: Race, Sexual Orientation, and The Job Application Process

Author: David S. Pedulla

Affiliation: Princeton University

E-mail:

Abstract:

Negative stereotypes about African Americans, women, and gay men have been linked to unequal outcomes across institutional contexts, including employment and housing. While researchers have demonstrated that providing positive counter-stereotypical information about a negatively stereotyped group can reduce the prejudice and discrimination they experience, in this article we argue that negative counter-stereotypical information can also have prejudice-reducing consequences. Specifically, we argue that stereotypes about black men as aggressive and gay men as effeminate lead both groups to face prejudice. However, we posit that the oppositional content of these stereotypes enables them to serve as counter-stereotypical information for one another, a concept we call “offsetting stereotypes.” Our central hypothesis, therefore, is that gay black men will face less prejudice than both gay white men and straight black men. Drawing on nationally representative survey-experimental data, our findings support our main hypothesis, contributing to theoretical debates about stereotypes, prejudice, and intersecting social identities.


Honorable MentionThey See Me as Exotic....That Intrigues Them: Gender, Sexuality, and Racially Ambiguous Body

Author: Chandra D.L. Waring

Affiliation: University of Connecticut

E-mail:

Abstract:

Critical female scholars initiated the study of intersecting identities to examine how the cross-cutting nature of social categories shapes everyday experiences, opportunities and life chances.  Influenced by these feminist insights, this paper highlights the distinct, layered intersection of gender, sexuality and race in a population that disrupts racial categories, and therefore transforms how the categories of gender, sexuality and race interlock.  Drawing from 60 interviews, I classify a subgroup of biracial respondents as “racially ambiguous” by virtue of the series of the social interactions they narrate that support this classification.  I explore their romantic experiences and the peer group implications of these experiences with an intersectional lens.  I show how racial assumptions shape expectations, comments and behaviors about gender and sexuality.  My findings illuminate the complicated and nuanced dynamic of racial ambiguity, how it is coded as “exotic” and how it impacts respondents’ most private encounters.

SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, POLITICS, AND COMMUNITIES DIVISION

Winning Title: Attitudes Toward Formal Rights and Informal Privileges for Lesbian and Gay Couples: Evidence from a National Survey Experiment

Authors: Long Doan, Annalise Loehr, and Lisa Miller

Affiliation: Indiana University

E-mails: ; ;

Abstract:

Attitudes toward lesbian and gay (LG) rights have liberalized over the past few decades. We examine whether Americans’ increasing support for LG rights is also reflected in a general social acceptance of LG couples by distinguishing between formal rights (e.g., partnership benefits) and informal privileges (e.g., public displays of affection). Using original data from a nationally representative survey experiment, we examine group differences among heterosexual, lesbian, and gay respondents in their attitudes toward heterosexual, lesbian, and gay couples. Results show that Americans are willing to extend formal rights to LG couples, but are less willing to grant LG couples informal privileges. Although there has been a tendency in the literature to consider formal rights, these findings emphasize the need to consider the broader social acceptance of LG couples.

SOCIAL PROBLEMS THEORY DIVISION

Winning Title: Constructing Difference with Similarity: The Rearticulation of Core News Agents on Cable News

Author: Lynn Letukas

Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

E-mail:

Abstract:

Despite the increasing focus of primetime pundit programs on cable news, research has been slow to explore punditry and the ways in which pundits frame information. To date, the majority of constructionist research has utilized the traditional broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) and mainstream print news sources (New York Times, Washington Post) in the analysis of media. Consequently, models used to understand the claimsmaking process, such as Spector and Kitsuse’s (1973; 1977) natural history model, do not fully explain how claims are constructed in competitive and highly politicized cable news environment. Research that has examined pundit claimsmaking activities on cable news is often limited to post-election coverage and debate analysis. Utilizing primetime cable news coverage (CNN, MSNBC, FNC) of the BP oil spill (n = 375), this paper explores the process through which a seemingly apolitical issue or event becomes politicized on cable news. Findings suggest that pundits on each cable news network consistently invoke three core news agents--government, business, and the individual--to present information. Moreover, what is unique to each network is how pundits select and highlight story details in ways that reflect various relationships and power dynamics between these distinct agents to fit their pre-existing (conservative, moderate, liberal) ideological positions.

SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL WELFARE DIVISION

Winning Title: Formulating Anti-Poverty Policies in Emerging Countries: The Case of Palestine

Author: Najwa Sado Safadi

Affiliation: Boston College, Graduate School of Social Work

E-mail: or

Abstract:

This article examines the dynamics of formulating anti-poverty policies in Palestine. Specifically, it explores who the key decision makers are and their roles, and how the power relationship among them has influenced the process of formulating anti-poverty policies in Palestine.  Since little is known about the Palestinian experience, this study uses a qualitative case study with a social constructivist paradigm of inquiry. The findings reveal that significant changes have occurred since 1994 in regards to who the key decision makers are and what roles they play in the formulation of anti-poverty policies. Currently, the government agencies, civil society sector and international donor agencies have all participated at different levels in formulating and implementing anti-poverty policies in Palestine.  Examining the relationship between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the civil society sector indicates that this relationship is characterized by tension, conflict, and competition, which reduced the ability of the civil society sector to influence the formulation of anti-poverty policies. Analyzing the power relationship among the key decision makers shows that although the PNA has increased its control over the decision-making process, the international donor agencies continue to influence this process significantly. Implication for policy and scholarship are discussed.

SPORT, LEISURE, AND THE BODY DIVISION

Winning Title: Rethinking the Gender Gap In Youth Sports

Author: Michela Musto

Affiliation: University of Southern California

E-mail:

Abstract:

Boys who excel in sports that emphasize aggression, speed and power often use athleticism as a source of social status within peer networks. Girls who excel in similar sports, however, are often stereotyped as lesbians. As a result of the cultural gender typing of sports, boys and girls may hinge their identities on athleticism in different ways. Girls who play (otherwise high-status) masculine-typed sports may not identify as strongly as athletes when compared to boys, yet few studies have explored this systematically. Factor analysis and OLS regression of a nationally representative sample of third through twelfth grade students show that girls who play feminine-typed sports and boys who play masculine-typed sports have higher levels of athletic identification when compared to children who play gender non-normative sports. Consequently, children who play gender normative sports may receive “heterogendered dividends” for their athleticism, the lack of which may partly explain girls’ younger and higher dropout rates in youth sports.

TEACHING SOCIAL PROBLEMS DIVISION

Winning Title: Welcoming the Personal as Sociological: Critical Self-Reflection and Transformation in the Classroom

Author: Sarah E. Rushce and Kendra Jason

Affiliation: North Carolina State University

E-mails: and

Abstract:

As sociologists, we understand the social construction of knowledge as a key principle in our discipline. Just as important to critical pedagogies is the appreciation of the knowledge students bring to the classroom. In this paper we argue that what we know about social cognition and learning should compel us to welcome the personal-as-sociological (PAS) if we want our students to see the world through a sociological lens. We believe it is essential for students to acknowledge and interrogate the knowledge they come in with in order to develop a sociological imagination. If they are to understand the public issues of society, they must examine and understand their private social worlds (Mills 1959). We propose welcoming students’ personal perspectives and narratives, as they understand them, as fertile ground for sociological investigation and critical self-reflection. We explain how welcoming the personal-as-sociological offers opportunities to turn students’ personal experiences into sociological knowledge. We advocate for the “personal-as-sociological” in the classroom, because it is essential for deep and transformative learning.

YOUTH, AGING, AND THE LIFE COURSE DIVISION

Winning Title‘I Wish I had that Camp when I was a Kid’: Adult Women and Empowerment Programs for Girls

Author: Danielle M. Giffort

Affiliation: University of Illinois at Chicago

E-mail:

Abstract:

Since the early 1980s, feminist psychologists have argued that many girls undergo a “crisis” as they approach adolescence. These findings were popularized in best-selling trade books in the 1990s, sparking public interest in and debate about girls' lives. Nearly twenty years have passed since the initial heightened attention to girls' psychological and social difficulties. The girls who grew up during the emergence of this "girl crisis" discourse are now adult women - many of whom are launching their own empowerment programs for girls. Based on ethnographic work at two rock camps for girls, I investigate how adult women who are organizing an empowerment program for girls manage age dynamics, as well as highlight how adult women deal with the shift from being characterized as the "girls in crisis" to the adults who work with the "girls in crisis." In doing this, I highlight the importance of available cultural discourses in shaping how adults work with kids.