Sociology

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    An Apple a Day: An Exploration of Primary Care Physicians' Definitions of Health
    (2022) May, Phoebe; McKeever, Matthew
    This thesis examines how physicians define health and prioritize care, and whether or not these definitions and priorities vary given geographic location and demographics of patient population. 18 different primary care physicians, including pediatricians, adult primary care providers, and geriatricians and from different areas on the East Coast, were interviewed. They served patient populations of varying demographics, some in privileged communities and others in underserved communities. The doctors that worked in privileged communities defined health as an individual social concept, focusing on holistic evaluations of care. The doctors that worked in underserved communities focused on how larger social institutions impacted the health states of their patients. Given these social barriers, these physicians provided care practically, working to ensure the provision of basic, physical health care to their patient populations. This data exposes problems with the canonical distinction between illness and sickness, a central health definition framework in medical sociology. To expand this framework to more adequately reflect how health functions and is defined, I propose expanding the definition of 'sickness' to include holistic sickness and practical sickness.
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    Gender Equality in an Authoritarian State: Russia (1917-2016)
    (2022) Kozitskaia, Anastasia; Gould, Mark
    This work will explore the regression of the progressive reforms of the Russian Revolution in 1917 to the ascendancy of an authoritarian social order in its effects on gender and sexuality. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, under Yeltsin's leadership, feminist discourse emerged that attempted to implement values that were initially outlined within the 1917 revolutionary agenda as well as, again, in the post-Stalin liberation movement (post-1953). The values that were central to the Russian Revolution were inclusive of women, challenging the patriarchal social order as well as family structures. Unfortunately, the Revolution never succeeded in eliminating the traditional-hierarchical values that subordinated women and other gender and sexual minorities in Russian society. Forty years later, in the post-Stalin era, the next Russian rulers attempted to establish a more liberal society with the transition to social democracy under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. Policies, such as glasnost' ("openness") and perestroika ("reconstruction), were implemented, ultimately leading to the demise of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, feminist movements and organizations reappeared to implement more fully values that were taken from the Russian Revolution. With considerable efforts in place, it seems paradoxical that the feminist movement was unable to legitimate itself within the broader Russian society, failing to mobilize activist groups and generate support for the liberal feminist ideas. Instead, Vladimir Putin's government developed nationalistic narratives appealing to "cultural authenticity, tradition, and religion" to legitimate an authoritarian regime where "traditional notions of family and femininity are endorsed so as to represent national power against the West and to invigorate social unity and morality in [Russian society]" (​​Dogangun 2020). Why has this shift occurred? How was Putin able to consolidate a patrimonial government and legitimate anti-feminist measures in opposition to the liberal-democratic wave?
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    Education in Post-Colonial Tanzania
    (2022) Todd, Seth; Gould, Mark
    This paper examines public education in post-colonial Tanzania, primarily from the period of 1964-1985, when Julius Nyerere lead the country as its president. I examine the post-colonial, socialist ideology that served as the guide for post-colonial state building. In the education system specifically, I examine the "community schools" that were developed in accordance with the Arusha Declaration, which codified Ujamaa as the unifying ideology of the new nation state, and intended to build socialism through agricultural modernization. This paper argues that there were significant problems with the community schools that hindered the completion of goals outlined by the Arusha Declaration. Namely, the continued usage of British examination systems, the national curriculum that was used, and the national-local conflicts that occurred in educational administration. I do this by analyzing Nyerere's personal writings, workforce composition of the time period, and a case study of a prototype community school in the Kwamsisi region prior to national adoption of the structure.
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    THE AMERICAN MILITIA MOVEMENT: The Reassertion of Traditional-Hierarchical Values in the Face of Egalitarianism
    (2022) Gorski, Mark Heydorn; Gould, Mark
    Through the election of Donald Trump, the far-right militia movement has been incorporated as a violent wing of a wave of populism in America. By publicly evoking traditional-hierarchical values which are racist, xenophobic, and sexist, Trump created space within which far-right factions can operate and legitimate their activities. Militias violently reassert traditional-hierarchical values in the face of dominant, egalitarian values. Contemporary militias, though, are part of a long tradition of white men reacting to perceptions of changing power structures that I view through the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement as well as in light of legal decisions like Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Militias use traditional-hierarchical values to resist perceived national incursions upon their autonomy; they endeavor to reconstruct hierarchical race relations and the power ingrained in those relations. By tracing the trajectory of traditional-hierarchical and egalitarian values throughout American history, we may dissect the relationship between mainstream conservatism and militias.
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    Two Parties Diverged: Identifying Features of Congressional Cosponsorship Using Network Analysis
    (2021) Weiss, Ethan; McKeever, Matthew
    Across the social sciences there has been rising concern over the level of polarization among American elites and the harmful implications of this trend. However, most approaches to this issue have been limited by their over reliance on Congressional voting records as a measure of cooperation, their inability to endogenize the stable working relationships integral to the legislative process,and their theoretical approaches that failed to synthesize the social and the structural influences on Congressional cooperation. Using records of cosponsorship in the House of Representatives dating back to 1999, I build and analyze cosponsorship networks to identify the significance of party affiliation and gender in determining patterns of bipartisan work over time. The most general conclusion is that a more comprehensive theoretical model for cooperation in Congress that includes both social and structural influences is possible. There are two notable findings when it comes to party. First, the pressure to work across party lines is greater for the minority party than for the majority party. Second, the Republican party is much more diverse in its approaches to compromise than the Democratic party. There are three important results regarding gender. First, women in both parties in the House generally cosponsor more than men, though this trend is stronger among Democrats than Republicans. Second, in the Democratic party, women cosponsor within their own party more than men but cosponsor across party lines at the same rate as men. The opposite is true for Republicans. Finally, twenty years ago women worked more across party lines with women than men, but this trend has disappeared today. Implications and avenues for future research are briefly discussed.