Sociology & Anthropology

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 130
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    Expendable yet essential; restaurant labor, class, and the ongoing need to cope
    (2022) Vetter, Gabriella; Rangel, Salvador
    This study documents and analyzes the shifting labor conditions in the restaurant industry to understand how the industry has changed in the context of the pandemic. In combining theoretical frameworks with autoethnographic research and comprehensive qualitative interviews, this thesis illuminates what restaurant workers experience daily, in and out of the pandemic, and how they survive these conditions. In utilizing a class analysis supported by Marxist theoretical perspectives, this thesis begins to unpack the restaurant industry’s context within the larger economy. This thesis centralizes the voices of current and previous restaurant workers as a primary source of knowledge and expertise on the subject because far too often, the working class is overlooked as a source of knowledge; the interviewees are the basis for this thesis. The restaurant industry is an understudied and overlooked industry that should have more traction. This thesis serves as a foundation to study the industry more deeply – there is so much to learn.
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    Framing Africa’s Ability to Self-Govern: An Analysis of Western media’s representation of African nations during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (2022) Njoroge, Shiko; Evans, Shani
    The process of representation in the global media environment is implicated in complex and contested power relations over whose stories are told, how and by whom. Due to an array of geopolitical factors, Africa has become synonymous with famine, tribal war, hunger and poverty in the news discourse and public imagination of the West. The aim of this thesis is to analyze the circulation of information from Western news organizations about Africa’s response to COVID- 19 and how assertions on how COVID-19 will play out in the African context are implicated in Eurocentric discursive rituals that dismiss the momentous impact colonialism and present day neoliberal policies have had on Africa’s diverse socioeconomic conditions. Through the analysis of articles published from The Washington Post and The New York Times, I argue that Africa’s infamous narrative as a homogenous place of scarcity and incompetency were used to frame Africans as incapable of self-sufficiency and productive decision-making to fight against the emerging global pandemic. It is apparent that Africa’s problem is not simply ‘negative’ storylines in Western media coverage, but that there is a lack of in-depth and nuanced reporting of the continent that includes all the historical specificites of Africa’s diverse and dynamic story.
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    “Bring the Truth Out!”: Research Methods Impact on a Community’s Fight Against Gun Violence
    (2022) McNall, Evan; Johnson, Nina
    “Bring the Truth Out!”: Research Methods Impact on a Community’s Fight Against Gun Violence explores the ways that Swarthmore Professor, William Faber’s gun violence research methods employed in his Delaware County Homicide Database Project impact the ways high-quality gun violence data is provided to gun violence prevention advocates and community members in Delaware County Pennsylvania. Through interviews with members of Faber’s research team, community-engaged, public-facing research experts and gun violence prevention advocates, data placemat sessions with community members, and quantitative data analysis methods, this thesis exposes the triumphs and challenges of community-engaged, public-facing research methods in gun violence research. Building off literature that explores the dominant trends in gun violence, and the benefits and limitations of community-engaged and public-facing research methods, this project argues that community-engaged, public-facing research methods will produce the best data for Faber’s community partners and be the most ethical research practice for Faber to employ. Specifically, the centering of the community in the research process will enhance the benefits the community receives from the research. This justice-based centering practice will increase the rigor, relevance, and reach of Faber’s work through involving community partners in the research process. Presenting data publicly will also help keep the local community informed about local violence which helps add to their personal safety. Faber’s work, beyond being appropriately performed, has substantial room to grow. Expansions of his research methods to produce more, higher-quality data will continue to benefit the community. This possibility speaks to the larger role that continual improvements in gun violence research methods will have on gun violence overall. Continual improvements in research will lead to improvements in measures to address the gun violence crisis itself.
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    Viral Fear: The Outsized Impacts of COVID-19 on Manhattan Chinatown’s Sze Yup Cantonese Elderly
    (2022) Chen, Kenny Zhi Ming; Schuetze, Christine
    COVID-19, a severe acute respiratory syndrome that emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019, remains a pressing global health concern. And all the while, as insecurities, angst, and grief about the ongoing coronavirus mount worldwide, so too have crimes against peoples of Chinese and other Asian descent. Viral Fear: The Outsized Impacts of COVID-19 on Manhattan Chinatown's Sze Yup Cantonese Elderly contextualizes the hate epidemic amidst the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of (what I call) a landscape of fear. This study works to disaggregate pandemic data, and illuminates the impacts of this fear on the lived experiences of a Sze Yup Cantonese elderly population residing in New York City’s Chinatown – one of the largest yet equally underserved, invisible migrant communities in America. Through tracing historical understandings of race in America, synthesizing semi-structured interviews, engaging with online discourse analysis, and reflecting on social theory, this thesis argues that society understands disease not simply as biology, but a manifestation of political affiliation, (dis)connection, and difference on material bodies; social determinants of contagion begin with viral fear that proliferates through violence (physical, structural, mental). Throughout history and especially during the pandemic, Manhattan’s Chinatown has transformed from an immigrant safe haven into a landscape of fear. Scapegoated and vilified in the media on the false pretenses that they are to blame, multiple layers of harm against Asians living in Manhattan (and America, more broadly) emerge: the contagion itself, the racism, and the fear. Fear is then transmitted by word of mouth, by videos on the media, and through experience. The landscape of fear grows and expands across Chinatowns, nationally: a collective, communal fear. All these forces, working in parallel, have restricted elderlies’ access to healthcare, fresh produce and food, and connection – pointing to new areas of concern that must be addressed to ameliorate viral fear and its impacts.
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    Encerrados: Wyoming Migrant Worker Resistance to Embodied Legacies of Violence
    (2022) Burgos Quezada, Eduardo; Schuetze, Christine
    Encerrados: Wyoming Migrant Worker Resistance to Embodied Legacies of Violence is a compilation of migrant worker life stories that resist and challenge ongoing colonial structures of labor, care, and power. Drawing on anthropological literature that engages with the body, different forms of violence, frameworks of (in)visibility, capitalism and the fetishization of commodities, and the inflammation of the land, society, and bodies, this thesis interweaves migrant worker stories with histories of violence to bring forth the dangerous contradictions that structures of domination depend on. Combining extensive participant-observation, interviews, and the implementation of a social impact project focused on migrant worker healing, this thesis sheds light to the legacies of violence that manifest as poor health in the lives of Wyoming migrant workers, creating feelings of entrapment. These feelings are exacerbated by the violence of the U.S. immigration system that produces uncertainty and confines them to the geographic space. The body becomes the entity in which the ongoing forms of violence against migrant workers are made visible and the visibility of migrants in the broader community constructs hostile anti-immigrant environments. These attitudes, ideologies, and perceptions infiltrate into the institutions of care, further creating barriers for migrant patients seeking services. Despite their existence in harmful environments constructed by legacies of violence, Wyoming migrant workers are resilient and resist ongoing colonial harms. I argue that practices of remembering, and artmaking contribute to lessen these feelings of entrapment and provide migrant workers with the agency to reconstruct exploitative environments, in effect establishing feelings of libertad and tranquility.