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Recent Submissions

  • Self-Affirmation’s Effect on Personal Development

    Reyes, Gabriella (SUNY Oneonta Academic Research (SOAR): A Journal of Undergraduate Social Science, 2022)
    Every day individuals are faced with threats, ranging in severity, that challenge one’s self-adequacy. While stress and self-protective defensives are aroused, the practice of self affirmation allows an individual to assess the asperity of the situation and find confidence in one’s abilities by confirming their self-adequacy. Self-affirmation is beneficial while confronting psychological threats in the disciplines of education, health, and personal well-being. However, the individuals most significantly benefitting from this practice belong to the most threatened domains—minorities, the chronically ill, and the low esteemed. While self-affirmation is said to broaden the perspective of individuals with high self-esteem or self-worth, further research is necessary to determine if self-affirmation practices generally apply to society, not just the struggling subgroups.
  • Social Stratification and Racism During Covid-19

    Siegel, Jolie (SUNY Oneonta, 2021)
    Throughout Covid-19, racial minorities—African Americans, Hispanics, Latinx, Asians, and Indigenous—have suffered the most due to the existing social stratification and racism. Racial minority groups have endured job loss and mortality rates much higher than their White counterparts since the beginning of the outbreak. In fact, 20% of Hispanics and 16% of African Americans reported being laid off (Jan & Clement, 2020) and 12.14% of the African American population in the US represented 21.46% of Covid-19 deaths (Roger et. al, 2020, pg. 4). Many racial minorities already live in the lower class and have poor housing in which Covid-19 only further perpetuated these circumstances. The purpose of this paper is to apply the theories of stratification and racism to interpret why there is inequality between Whites and racial minority groups.
  • The Impact of Colorism on Early Childhood Learners

    Thibault, Olivia (SUNY Oneonta, 2022)
    Racism within the United States of America has transformed itself countless times to make itself virtually undetectable to those who have the privilege to remain ignorant of its monstrous effects. However, the children of the affected communities are often introduced to the reality of racism fairly young as a means of survival. Unfortunately, children of color no longer have the luxury of remaining oblivious to how the world will treat them. This has become abundantly clear in recent years as child victims of police brutality like Tamir Rice and Andre Green have become frequent (Bump, 2021). From an early age, children of color now must come to terms with the knowledge that they will not always be treated in the same ways as their white counterparts. This inequality may even be exposed to them by their early childhood educators.
  • Letter from the Editor

    Gregov, Aleksander (SUNY Oneonta, 2022)
    Although my tenure as Managing Editor has felt relatively short, for me it has been nothing less than invigorating. The first time I had ever heard of SOAR was around the first winter of the COVID pandemic, confined indoors to my home and hundreds of miles away from the campus I was supposed to be at. However, I had tried to keep some semblance of what a student nearing the second half of their undergraduate career was supposed to do, which was to talk about rigorous and meaningful academic opportunities with whichever professors actually knew me. I was unsure of where these conversations would take me as I had only talked to two teachers in the Sociology Department. With one of these professors, specifically Professor Awash, we discussed potential online opportunities for a student who wanted to pursue and prepare for graduate school or other post-graduation work. Out of the several listings he gave, he remembered one called SOAR. He stated, in what felt like a child listening to an elder recall an old mystical tale, about how this had been an academic journal that was the shining example of what a student would want to participate in. After this brief snippet, I was hooked. I asked him “what's going on with the journal now?” He said how, like with most clubs and organizations, they had essentially dissolved because of COVID. If I wanted this journal to be an experience, I had to help rebuild it from the ground up.
  • Rape and Power in Eighteenth Century London, England

    Nicolari, Deanna
    In London, England, rape was a prevalent crime throughout society in the mid-eighteenth century. During this time, rape was defined as "...unlawful and carnal knowledge of a woman, by force, and against her will," (Olsson, 2013). Though both men and women can be raped, this paper will specifically look at men who committed the crime against women and young girls. Men were able to commit rape by exerting their power over the women and young girls, whether by using physical strength, weapons, threats, or with the help of the severely lacking criminal justice system.
  • Personality, Non-Aggressive Antisocial Behaviors, and Mental Health

    Le, Jennifer U.; Berrios, Lillian (SUNY Oneonta, 2022)
    While there is abundant research on material theft, there is little investigation on compulsory theft. The present study aims to expand the current knowledge on compulsory theft, substance use, and non-aggressive antisocial behaviors in general. The primary goal of this study is to distinguish people who steal for relief from those who engage in a wider variety of antisocial behaviors and those who use substances recreationally from those who may have substance abuse problems. We will distinguish these individuals by personality traits and general mental health.
  • Benefits of Study Abroad Programs for College Students

    Adle, Krislyn (SUNY Oneonta, 2021)
    While in college, students have an array of opportunities within study abroad programs which allow for educational and personal growth. Studying abroad is a term given to a program which allows students to further their academic studies in a foreign country while attending a foreign university. These programs allow college students to earn credit towards their academic discipline and can last anywhere from a few weeks during a semester up to an entire school year. A great deal of research has explored the undeniably positive attributes that students gain during their time studying abroad, but more research on the cognitive benefits of study abroad is needed (Lee et al., 2012). Although there is limited recorded research surrounding how individuals are cognitively impacted by such programs, other areas of research have focused on levels of academic achievement, intercultural competencies, and the student’s personal development.
  • The Unsung Heroines of the British Empire

    DiFilippo, Giovanna (2017)
    Center of Social Science Research Student Paper Award Winners (2017) The female perspective of British travelers to the British Empire has been widely ignored by historians. The study of gender migration is a relatively newer field of history that has gained some attention. For the historians who have taken a look at female migration to and female explorers in the empire’s colonies, some tend to over romanticize the experiences these women had in their travels abroad. This trend seems to take root in naming women such as Gertrude Bell and Mary Kingsley as heroines for being groundbreaking female explorers. While Mary Kingsley and Gertrude Bell are from two different time periods, they both encompass images of women who defied traditional gender roles and influenced how historians examine female travelers today. These women are outliers due to their own British privileges, socioeconomic statuses and the masculine nature of their achievements. Feminist historians give overwhelming credit to Mary Kingsley and Gertrude Bell for essentially “breaking the mold” of the influence women had in their travels to the distant lands of the British Empire. Unfortunately, claiming Bell and Kingsley as all-encompassing heroines depletes the recognition of ordinary women being nurses, teachers and missionaries in the empire. These everyday professions should be considered as heroic because all three fields are essential in the wellbeing of the people within the empire and without them the empire could never exist.
  • Aristophanes: Entertainment of the Ancient World

    DeVenezia, Kristina (2017)
    Center of Social Science Research Student Paper Award Winners (2017) When imagining the ancient city of Athens, intriguing philosophy, beautiful art, and advancement in mathematics and science may be brought to mind. However, one man, Aristophanes, seemed to be the complete opposite of the portrayed picture of the Athenian people. He was a comedian, and a very unrefined one. His vulgar, sexual, uncouth plays were extremely popular, viewed by citizens of all statuses. The Ancient Greeks, so well known for laying the intellectual foundation of the Western world, enjoyed Aristophanes’ inappropriate and crude humor so much because his comedy was an entertaining, relatable outlet for their frustrations at the time and provided satirical advice on current problems with society for all.
  • Effect of Urbanization on Biodiversity: Ecological and Sociological Perspectives

    Vricella, Carl (2017)
    One of the most pressing issues facing not only the United States but the world is the accelerated loss of biodiversity. The leading cause of declining biodiversity, from an ecological point of view, is the destruction and fragmentation of habitats; urbanization is almost second to none in this regard. The literature is rich with studies showing the detrimental impacts of increasing levels of urbanization on biodiversity. The bulk of these studies are ecological spatial analyses, mainly focusing on avifauna. Sociological literature is not overly saturated with research relating to biodiversity loss, particularly on the sub national level of the United States, where such research is none existent. Considering this, we attempted to analyze the relationship between increasing urbanization and bird biodiversity via bivariate correlations and linear regression models. Here, we test different sociological/ecological theories, namely: Urban-Rural Dynamics (URD), IPAT, and Ecological Kuznets Curves (EKC). We mainly focused on URD but saw this as an opportunity to test other relevant theories for which we had sufficient data. Support was found for URD and partial support was found for the IPAT model however, our results for EKC were inconclusive. Research was limited by the data available, which was expected, as this is the first study of its kind to be done on the sub-national level of the United States.
  • Influence of Shintoism on Environmental Management and Perceptions of Lake Biwa, Japan

    Temple, Gwendolyn (2017)
    Throughout history, Japan has been heavily influenced by one major religious philosophy: Shintoism. It is a philosophy centered around animism—the belief that all things, animate and inanimate, house a soul. What influence does Shintoism have on environmental management and perceptions? This research attempts to answer this question as it relates to Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Lake Biwa supplies millions of individuals throughout Shiga Prefecture with freshwater. Home to hundreds of endemic species, the lake also serves as a hotspot of biodiversity. However, there are many different threats to the water body, including invasive species and urbanization. Using literature review and first-hand observations, this research attempts to explore the way Shintoism affects people’s perceptions of Lake Biwa as they relate to sense of place, the Soap Movement of the 1970s, the Mother Lake 21 Plan, and management of invasive/nuisance species such as the largemouth bass and great cormorant. In exploring the complex relationship between Shintoism and environmental management in Lake Biwa, this research helps add more dimensions to the influence Shintoism has had on people’s perceptions surrounding Lake Biwa and open avenues for future research.
  • Ghost Stories: A Survey of Cultural Beliefs in Regards to Death and the Spirit

    Graziosi, Annie (2017)
    No matter what culture, or historical time period, the only inevitable truth is that life is finite. Comfort is found with either the formation of religious or philosophical belief systems that establish certain, accepted standards for life and death. Human beings have always strived to understand the supernatural and what happens after life. We tell ghost stories around the fire and speak wistfully about our lost loved ones. We are connected by our desire to believe in something more, something greater than what we know. These practices have existed since the beginning with the Neanderthals, when grave goods were first placed with the dead in the form of flowers, until today when hills are filled with tombs and stone angels. The purpose of this project is not solely to be an exploration of different cultural beliefs, but to create an understanding of how people try to hold on to those they have loved and lost, and how they create their own ghosts. While this project covers many different, isolated points of history which all give a different answer to what comes after death, it was not created to give one true answer to this question. It was also not meant to present certain cultures as having correct or mistaken views on the happenings of death and after. Rather, the goal has been to bring light to the different cultural perspectives and practices that exist outside of the popular Western canon.
  • Beyond Stereotype and Spectacle: Understanding the Latino Threat Narrative

    Bates, Alexandra (2017)
    Historically, the United States has been referred to as a “melting pot”; a country rich with cultures, ideas, traditions, and immigrants. Immigrants, in particular, have played a pivotal role in the foundation of the United States as a nation. Despite their contributions to this country, perceptions towards immigrants have always varied and over the last few decades, Americans' perceptions have drastically changed towards one group in particular; the Latino immigrant population. Feelings of negativity and animosity that exist towards Latino immigrants have given way to a larger threat narrative built upon a set of premises, or taken for granted truths, regarding Latinos. Stereotypes perpetuate this national dialogue and are to blame for the ways in which Latinos are perceived in the United States. This research highlights the prevalence of the Latino Threat Narrative in today’s society and the ways in which it continues to reaffirm the Latino community’s place on the margins of American society.
  • The Effect of a Hierarchy in Workplace Sexual Violence

    Martins, Kaitlin (2018)
    Center of Social Science Research Student Paper Award Winners (2018) Sexual Assault is the most unreported act of violence in the United States (Holland, 2014). Both sexual harassment and sexual assault violence by men against women can happen in any setting, especially that of a workplace. Assault in the workplace will go unreported for several reasons, like fear of the humiliating institutional procedures that follow a sexual assault report, the harassment endured following the attack and the possibility of getting fired from their workplace (Alexander, 1994. Schneider, 1991. Petrocelli, 1998). In this review, it is evident that a hierarchy in the workplace is a major precursor to a sexual assault incident. It is also clear, despite limitations in the reviews, that there is a positive correlation between sexual assault and depressive symptoms.
  • NGO Effectiveness: The Impact on Bolivian Youth Education

    Belush, Kayla (2018)
    Center of Social Science Research Student Paper Award Winners (2018) The dialogue on the effectiveness of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is extensive, but largely inconclusive. Context of each individual NGO significantly alters the variables that have the greatest impact on their individual effectiveness. However, there are variables that are consistently mentioned as vital to the overall success of NGO activity, which are examined in detail in this research. This study specifically analyzes NGO effectiveness in education programs for Bolivian youth. Based on previous literature analyzing NGO effectiveness in Bolivia, three important variables are discussed; dependence on funds from international donors, NGO organizational values and structure, as well as institutional limitations on poverty alleviation in Bolivia. In particular, three Bolivian NGOs largely dedicated to youth education are compared based on these variables. These organizations include Save the Children Bolivia, UNICEF Bolivia, and CARE Bolivia. Using data from the annual reports and campaign data for these organizations within the last ten years, this study draws comparisons between NGOs to evaluate which variables are most important to them. Additionally, this study takes data from the Bolivian Education Policy Data Center as well as the World Bank Bolivian Education Statistics to analyze the effectiveness of each Bolivian NGO, focusing on youth education. Data contains evidence showing that literacy rates in Bolivia generally increased from 2005 to 2015, with a sudden drop in completion of both primary and lower secondary education for both sexes in the past two years. This paper searches for a relationship between NGO variables linked to effectiveness and the rates education completion of Bolivian children. This study aims to demonstrate that large sources of international funding from the north do not guarantee NGO effectiveness in youth education. Additionally, organizational structure tends to reflect donors’ wishes rather than the opinions of the served target populations, which can lead to a decrease in NGO credibility and accountability to the target populations.
  • The Impact of Banking Regulations and Deregulations on the Stock and Housing Markets

    Vecere, Anthony (2018)
    The November 8, 2016 election results have boosted stock market performance due to possible upcoming policy changes. The likelihood for even more gains come because of plans to increase government spending, cut corporate taxes, and deregulate the banking sector once again. By looking at the regulations from 1995 to 2017, I assess the effect of changing bank regulations through movements in stock returns and housing prices. By running regressions on these and other variables, I found the regulations’ impact on house prices, the returns of the stock market, and the stock market’s volatility. I argue that deregulations are only beneficial up to a certain point, which is especially important given that there is much debate about whether the government should repeal the Dodd-Frank act since Donald Trump’s election victory.
  • Sex Work in the 21st Century

    Mitzelman, Tracy (2018)
    In the twenty first century, pornography and its impact on society have become evident; specifically, there is a changing shift in moral judgments surrounding pornography. A recent example is adult film star Belle Knox. Knox, her stage name, was a Duke University student, where she studied law and women’s studies. Knox was revealed in class as an adult film star and was ostracized by her peers as well as the media. Knox explained that she turned to pornography in order to pay college tuition because loans would not cover the expenses. The media had a frenzy with Knox and she was coined, “The Duke Porn Star”. Knox defended her line of work by warranting her actions with a higher education. Knox backing her unconventional career choices has shifted society’s view on sex work, pulling it out of the bedroom and into the mainstream media. Society is more accepting of the sex industry as a profession than it has been in the past.
  • Interracial Dating on College Campuses

    Ortiz, Sha-Niyah (2019)
    Center of Social Science Research Student Paper Award Winners (2018)(Short Paper Winner) The environment of a college campus is a relative setting to explore this dynamic of interracial relationships because it is one of the first opportunities that many young adults will have to be able to engage with people of different races and backgrounds from themselves. Collegiate environments such as the classroom and dormitory provide opportunities for students to learn how to work together with others who are different from themselves (Lewis and colleagues, 2000). Most young adults will experience different types of relationships throughout their lives; and romantic relationships are categorized differently than those on a more causal or platonic level. Kennedy (2003) observes that interracial relationships signal that racial boundaries are fading and given the context of American history, these relationships can be viewed as encouraging development. Many colleges around the country are trying to diversify their campuses in hopes of closing the gaps amongst the students of opposite races and encourage all types of interracial relations.
  • Feminism and Flapperdom: Sexual Liberation, Ownership of Body and Sexuality, & Constructions of Femininity in the Roaring 20’s

    Brady, Megan (2019)
    Center of Social Science Research Student Paper Award Winners (2018), (Long Paper Winner) The 1920s were known as a decade of exponential social, political, and cultural transformation and growth. This was extremely evident in the fight for and eventual achievement of women’s suffrage and the creation of the “flapper” image. These new instances of women demanding equal rights and opportunities led to shifts in cultural norms and expectations, including society’s perceptions of femininity and sexuality. The flapper movement granted women of all status that may have been denied representation and rights elsewhere the freedom in expressing their sexuality, femininity, and presentation of their bodies how they pleased despite the pressures and expectations being exerted upon them by a patriarchal society. While the flapper was a result of the expanding consumer culture in America, this does not go to cheapen what the flapper stood for in the eyes of so many women: sexual liberation, ownership of one’s body and sex, and the right to express the feminine self in ways unimaginable.
  • Attachment in Professional Caregiving

    Turano, Jenna (2019)
    The study of Attachment Theory began with Harry Harlow’s experiment with monkeys and attachment relationships with artificial mothers. The experiment consisted of monkeys being tested on which surrogate mother they would go to. One surrogate mother was comforting and the other had milk. Harlow’s hypothesis expected monkeys to run to the surrogate mother with milk, which was proven false when the monkeys would go to the milk surrogate but quickly moved to the comforting surrogate. The next step of Harlow’s experiment was to see the reaction of the monkeys to the rejection of the surrogate mother. The result of the part of the experiment was that the monkeys tried everything in their power for the comforting surrogate mother to love and comfort them. From this conclusion, a British psychologist, John Bowlby, formulated how attachment is fundamental within the development of a person. This emphasizes Harlow’s research and how quality of care

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