• Alone at Home: Alienation in Ragtime

      Quinton, Rachel; Department of English & Foreign Languages (2017-03)
      This analysis looks at E.L. Doctorow's novel, Ragtime. Throughout the work, Doctorow hints at the blurring of belonging in reality in Pre-World War I America, resulting in alienation. Using a Marxist and Postmodernism lens, this essay focuses on alienation that functions on two levels - the dissociation of the individual from social belonging and through a coercive superstructure of media that separates characters from historical reality. The characters in Ragtime, both in the central family and outside, can identify with at least one level of alienation. By observing the characters through these lenses, it becomes apparent how they are shaped by their alienation. In this context the characters within the novel Ragtime serve as an example of alienation manifested through a dissociation from reality and organized by a coercive media beholden to a capital economic pressure. This observation highlights the value of identity and how the media can affect the way others look at "the reality" behind such identities. It also considers the extent of how media integrates itself into daily life and how this influence is controlled by the base of all society: the economy. Doctorow's book suggests there is a separation of truth from media, and reality from identity.
    • Asian Pride & Prejudice: The Relationship Between Ethnic Identity & Mental Illness Stigma

      Fang, Shawn; Department of Psychological Sciences (2017-03)
      As Asian health professionals increasingly diversify the medical workplace, their early upbringing – characterized by acculturation, social identity, and “face” concern – may potentially exert influence on their own perceptions of mental illness. Such perceptions, often stigmatizing against others, could impact provision of medical care to the community at large. This study examines the hypothesized correlation between 1) strength of ethnic identity – as measured by an adapted version of the East Asian Ethnic Identity Scale – and 2) degree of mental illness stigma – as measured by an adapted pre-medical student version of the Mental Illness: Clinician’s Attitudes Scale. Conclusions will stem from statistical analysis of self-report online survey responses from Asian full-time college students enrolled in healthcare-oriented undergraduate studies (i.e. medicine, nursing, physical therapy, etc.). The broad aim of this study is to discern how the influence of ethnic identity could potentially interact with and predict mental illness stigma in the future patient care provided by aspiring Asian healthcare professionals. My presentation will discuss the literature-based premise for studying the intersection of culture and stigma, and I will summarize proposed protocol for the research process.
    • Case Study: Legalize It All

      Wilder, Corneshia S.; Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice & Social Work (2017-03)
      Currently, there are over 20 states in the United States that made using marijuana legal for medical purposes. With nearly half of the states legalized marijuana, some believe that stronger illegal drugs, such as cocaine and meth, should be legalized. Dan Baum, a writer, wrote an article in Harper’s Magazine that it is time to “legalize it all”. Other do not believe that harder drugs should be legalized. Mark Kleiman, a public policy expert and professor, predicts that alcohol and cocaine addiction will rise if harder drugs become legal. Is it ethically permissible to legalize harder drugs in the United States? In my presentation, I am going to explain the case in detail. It will include information about the stakeholder and how each stakeholder will be affected. I will also explain my viewpoint of the case by using theories and statistics to explain my position in the case.
    • Postmodernism & the Sexual Awakening of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime

      Rosier, Melanie (2017-03-06)
      This analysis utilizes both a Postmodernist and Feminist approach to E.L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime in order to provide a social commentary on the hardships of women and minorities in Pre-WWI America. Historically, the patriarchal system has contributed to the sociopolitical oppression of women on an international level. The sexual repression of women, in particular, has lead to a system of hierarchy that has been permanently instilled in society. However, with the turn of the nineteenth century, the dissolution of familial roles for women began taking place. In this analysis, Doctorow's narration of the lives of five different female characters is defined as an illumination of the socioeconomic hardships of women in the height of immigration and labor exploitation within the United States. This historiographical commentary continues by recognizing the inability to acquire liberation from oppression for minority women.
    • The Second World War: the Conception of the Absurd and a Resolution

      Hawk, Erin; Department of English & Foreign Languages (2017-03)
      The Second World War was a time of catastrophic changes to the physical and metaphysical world. The world order was turned upside down. Nations were destroyed. Cities were destroyed. Villages were destroyed. Families were torn apart. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters were slain. Everything previously known about the world was destroyed. The certainty of individuals with their lives was now put into doubt. Man was deprived of memories of a lost homeland as much as he lacked the hope of a promised land to come. In essence, the Second World War was the divorce between man and his life, the actor and his stage, which constituted the truthful sentiment of the absurd. In this context, it would only make sense if the thought of this period were to reflect the sentiment of the absurd. Albert Camus was one of the most prominent intellectuals that actualized and concreted the philosophy of the absurd, which eventually surfaced as the theme of many works. Most works simply present the absurd and or gift the reader or audience the overwhelming experience of it, but Camus dives deeper. The absurd, to him, isn’t just a feeling, or a realization or even a theme to produce dramatic effect. It is a serious philosophical hurdle that raises the question: Is life worth living? This abstract is an English translation of the project that was completed in Spanish.)