SOAN Club Brownbag this Wednesday at 1:00 PM

forestWhat:   Senior Allison Nasson will talk about her AHSS Summer Research Project
When:  Wednesday September 28 from 1:00 to 1:50
Where: MacIntyre Room 303

The SOAN Student Club is happy to announce they’ll be hosting the first in a series of brownbag discussions this Wednesday. Senior Allison Nasson was one of several SOAN students awarded the AHSS Summer Research Awards. Allison’s project explored how nonprofits go about the process of constructing and purveying narratives of victimhood. Here’s her description:

Storytelling has become an invaluable tool for nonprofits as they attempt to garner attention and funding for their causes. Countless choices go into the construction of a narrative, and this begs the question: to whom are nonprofits catering these choices? When building and telling a victim’s story takes place with the goal of maximizing donations, NGOs are accountable to potential donors rather than to the people whose stories are being told. This shift in accountability requires an analysis of how victims’ narratives are constructed, whose stories go unheard, and the ramifications of manipulated portrayals of marginalized identities.

Only in recent years has such analysis begun to be called for in communities of activism. In this vein, my research studies the three processes I found nonprofits most consistently applied to victims’ narratives: simplification, sanitization, and solving. This examination allows insight into how storytelling practices contribute to perceptions of legitimate victimhood, and the attribution or denial of this status. Such analysis is critical to understanding whether nonprofits are serving victims effectively, or if well-intended organizational practices are in fact creating further exploitation and harm.

After a brief presentation about her project and its findings, the brownbag session will turn to an open discussion about her conclusions, her project design, and the AHSS summer research experience. Please join us!

Andrew

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Elena Becker, presentation and award!

Junior Elena Becker will be deliver a afternoon lecture about her research in Borneo. The project, entitled Cultural Authenticity and the Impacts of Cultural Tourism in Malaysian Borneo, was the result of an AHSS summer research grant from the University of Puget Sound. Come check it out!

What: Elena Becker’s Summer Research Presentation
When: Wednesday, February 17, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Where: MC309

And there’s more! Elena recently received IMG_6174confirmation that her paper had been awarded second place in the Society for Applied Anthropology’s Peter K. New Award. Research for her paper, entitled Malagasy Cookstove Use and the Potential for Alternative Models: A Case Study in Madagascar’s Vakinankaratra Region, was conducted during her semester abroad with the School of International Training (SIT), and built on the ethnographic fieldwork skills she developed in the department. The competition pitted her paper against a slew of excellent, PhD-level submissions, which marks her award as particularly impressive.

The award honors the late Peter Kong-ming New, a distinguished medical sociologist-anthropologist and former president of the SfAA. The prize is awarded to papers which exemplify applied research in the social/behavioral sciences. Second place in the SfAA’s competition comes with a substantial, $1500 stipend, travel monies to help facilitate attendance the conference in Vancouver this March, and an invitation to submit the paper to the society’s flagship journal, Human Organization, for potential publication.

Congratulations, Elena. We’re so proud of you!

Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Research Award for SOAN’s Rodger Caudill

Hi all,

Rodger and DoubleLift, a League of Legends professional.

Rodger and DoubleLift, a League of Legends professional.

Rodger Caudill is another of the SOAN students to receive the AHSS award this cycle. So as you many know, the University of Puget Sound offers students competitive Summer Research Awards. These awards, varying from $3250 to $3750, allow students to pursue an in-depth research project over the summer months. Several students in the department were successful this year, and I’ve asked each to tell us a little bit about what they’ll be doing with their time, energy, and stipend monies in the coming summer. Here’s what Rodger had to say about about his interesting project:

S4 worlds

The Season 4 League of Legends World Championship, with 40,000 in attendance

This summer I will be studying the online community of League of Legends, a five versus five competitive e-sport. With a population of players larger than the population of France, League of Legends is a massive e-sport that has its own culture and large scale competitive events. Within the game of League of Legends, I will be examining “what makes the dream-work”, or in other words, what the recipe is that allows five players from all across the world to cooperate in a task more strategically complex than any sport aired on ESPN. To do so I will be researching cooperation and altruism with a sociological lens in addition to interviewing key members of this young and growing e-sport in hopes that the knowledge in uncovering the source of cooperation and altruistic behavior in this e-sport can be applied to further cooperation and altruistic behavior in a globalized world.

We look forward to hearing about your findings, Rodger, and we hope this research allows you to amass a substantial cache of Influence Points.

Andrew

Summer Research Award for SOAN’s Carolynn Hammen

Hi all,

Carolynn Hammen, who evidently found her way to the shores of this Swiss pond

Carolynn Hammen, who evidently found her way to the shores of this Swiss pond

As you many know, the University of Puget Sound offers students competitive Summer Research Awards. These awards, varying from $3250 to $3750, allow students to pursue an in-depth research project over the summer months. Several students in the department were successful this year, and I’ve asked each to tell us a little bit about what they’ll be doing with their time, energy, and stipend monies in the coming summer. Here’s what Carolynn Hammen (SOAN class of ’16, and currently studying abroad in Switzerland) had to say:

For my project, I will be examining migrant access to psychological healthcare. I have the incredible opportunity of partnering with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Cairo, Egypt to conduct my research, where I will be also working as an intern in the psychosocial health division. During my stay in Cairo, I will be using the resources of the IOM to examine barriers–both cultural and policy-based–that prevent migrants from obtaining or seeking psychological healthcare. I will also be conducting a review on existing policies and programs that aim to make psychological treatment accessible to migrant workers. Once identifying their weaknesses, I will work with the IOM to construct new policy recommendations to help improve said policies and/or programs. I am incredibly excited to embark on this adventure, and to see the results of this project!

That does sound like an amazing opportunity, Carolynn, and we can’t wait to hear how it goes. And summer in Cairo … well, that will be an experience of its own. Good luck, and we’ll look for an update later in the summer.

Andrew

SOAN Students at the SfAA Conference in Pittsburgh

Hi all,

Puget Sound students at the Pittsburgh SfAA Poster Session

Puget Sound students at the Pittsburgh SfAA Poster Session. Clockwise from upper left: Mason Constantino, Reilly Rosbotham, Mally Wyld and Elena Becker.

Seven Puget Sound students just returned from the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) annual meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. The SfAA is the second largest annual gathering of anthropologists, and it attracts both practitioners and academics who work in heath, development, environmental change, education, migration, and a constellation of other topics.

Six Puget Sound students participated in the poster session — a session that’s a perennially popular event at the SfAA. Students (and others) prepare a poster that details their research project, and hundreds of conference attendees explore and discuss these projects with students. Amongst many others in the audience, Puget Sound students discussed their research with H.Russell Bernard, Brian Burke, David Hoffman and Erin Dean.

Most of these posters detail the students’ senior thesis projects in SOAN — projects in progress this semester. Sophomore Elena Becker presented the findings from her independent project from SOAN 299: Ethnographic Methods, and Parker Raup (IPE) presented a poster about his summer research project in Tanzania. Altogether, here are the titles of those posters:

Parker Raup

Parker Raup

  • Mason Constantino (Puget Sound) Empowerment through Care: An Ethnographic Examination of a Youth Gardening and Sustainable Living Education Program in Tacoma, WA
  • Elena Becker (Puget Sound) Generational Change in Durable Intentional Communities
  • Kasey Janousek (Puget Sound) The Fashionista’s Dilemma: The Identity Politics of Following Fashion Trends
  • Parker Raup (Puget Sound) Defending Pastoralism: Livelihood Diversification and Competing Currencies in Northern Tanzanian Maasailand
  • Kasey Janousek

    Kasey Janousek

    Reilly Rosbotham (Puget Sound) Imagining the Wild: Conceptions of What MakesLand Wild among proponents of Wilderness Conservation and Re-Wilding Efforts in Western Washington

  • Mally Wyld (Puget Sound) Our Daily Choices: Analyzing How and Why We Eat What We Eat

Notably, Erica Hann also had a poster in the session. Erica graduated from Puget Sound (IPE) in 2011, and she previously won an award at this very poster session. Nowadays, she’s completing her Master’s Degree in Geography at Pennsylvania State University.

Elize Zeidman's presentation

Elize Zeidman’s presentation

While most students presented posters, SOAN senior Elise Zeidman presented a paper as part of a session presenting undergraduate research, organized by Tara Hefferan (GVSU). Elise’s paper — Migrants Search For Asylum from Narco Violence — captivated the audience, and resonated with many other and papers at the conference this year.

My own paper, entitled An Ethnographic Assessment of Transnational Labor Migrants’ Experiences In Qatar’s Justice System, comprised a description of that recently-completed project and report, followed by a discussion of the reception of that report by an invited audience of policymakers, ministry officials, and other stakeholders in the Qatar Justice system.

The SfAA conference will be in Vancouver, BC next year, and we’re hoping for an even larger Puget Sound presence at that meeting.

Andrew