Annie Ryan, a senior Sociology and Anthropology student, has won the Pacific Sociological Association “Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award” for 2013/2014. The awards committee commended Annie for an “excellent submission” that was “incredibly well-written, creative, thought-provoking, and compelling.” Annie’s paper, “Finding the Feminism in Self-help: Postpartum Support Groups as Mechanisms of Resistance” argues that contrary to common perceptions among feminist scholars, such support groups empower women, challenge normative conceptions of motherhood, and represent forms of political engagement and resistance. Her research, conducted as part of her senior thesis work, included participant observation of support groups, in-depth interviews, and a survey of scores of group participants from across the United States.
A Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) student from the University of Puget Sound has won this prestigious award three times in the last five years. Annie received the award at the 85th Annual Meeting of the PSA, held over the weekend of March 28-30 in Portland, Oregon.