The mission of the Department of Social Sciences is to conduct innovative social science research and teach skills to empower our students to contribute to a better society. We seek to explore and reveal how society, politics, and culture shape human lives, attitudes, and actions. We strive to make our students more effective and valuable as citizens, scholars, and professionals through teaching the skills of social analysis, public administration, research, writing, and social action. Note: The Department of Social Sciences Community consists of the following previous Communities of the repository: Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work and Department of Political Science.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions


    O'Neil, Rachelle; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
    Voting for public office is often touted as a right, and the ability to do so without interference is vital to the democratic process of the United States. However, during the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election, Russia interfered with the voting process. Given that Russia and the U.S. has a long tenuous relationship that consist of a mutual back and forth, this paper proposes that the security dilemma theory offers an explanation outlining Russia’s cyberaggression toward the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election and whether the aggression posturing was offensive, defensive, or an exchange of both. Additionally, this paper conducts a literature review of the security dilemma theory and the rise of the cybersecurity dilemmas its derivative and ascertains their applicability to the proposed thesis. The paper further argues that in relation to the U.S., Russia, as a Great Power, more likely favors cyberaggression when threatened, real or perceived. This paper uses case analysis as the methodology for testing its research question and answering its thesis. The case analysis comprises of examples of the security dilemma theory, aggression, the cybersecurity dilemma , and cyberaggression exchanged between Russia and the U.S. during the Cold War and 21st Century. After reviewing analysis trends, a discussion follows that covers gapsin this research; advanced knowledge about the theory; the thesis astested; the development or testing of the theory; methodology of cases analyzed; the sources used; measurement of variables; limitations of the study; generalization of results; and finally the reliability or replicability of the results.
  • The Cybersecurity Dilemma and Targeted Advertising

    Martin, Elizabeth; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
    A great debate remains regarding whether cyberspace is offense dominant or defense dominant. This paper reviews the literature of scholars within the cybersecurity offense-defense balance theory discipline. It discusses both the offensive and defensive arguments in detail and determines the United States should ultimately pursue a defensive dominance to ensure cyber superiority. To emphasize the need for defense, the three-year, social-media platform-based, Russian Federation Information Operation serves as a baseline example. Russia not only sowed distrust in the American Democratic process but was successful in inflaming fragile social issues throughout the United States. Russia directly threatened United States sovereignty across an extended period of time and did so, literally from half a world away. This paper serves to develop the role Information Warfare has in manipulation of the Offense-Defense Balance and concludes with the discussion for much needed legislation change, industrial herd immunity, and increased and direct investment in defense and education.

    Garrett, Eric; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
    Cyberspace conceptualizations include combinations of Internet infrastructure, the devices used to access it, and applications used to encapsulate or communicate data. Other conceptualizations are more abstract. Whether it directly enables democracy as a public sphere, drives economics in the private sector, or securitizes as a domain for information operations, or cyber warfare. These conceptualizations obscure understanding cyberspace’s first order effects on events, and second order understanding related to intelligence and security studies. The research question, can actor-network theory supply a robust theoretical framework to understand and describe cyberspace’s core qualities as a democratizing medium, will be examined in Kenyan, Nigerian, and Zambian use of cyberspace related to elections. Examination of these data points through four elemental characteristics of cyberspace, proliferation, evolution, “spatial hereness,” and linkability, within an actor-network theory will lead to a determination if the totality of cyberspace is a democratizing medium. Lastly, this paper will make general recommendations that can lead to greater understanding of cyberspace that can influence policy and decision making as well as encourage democratic maturity in cyberspace by applying the considerations gained from an actor-network theory perspective.
  • Cyberwar? The US and China

    Grayson Brown, Leon; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
    This paper is the culmination of a great deal of research and effort designed to explore a gap that currently exists between cyber research and international relations. The purpose of choosing the United States and China as the case study is to make this paper as topical as possible by addressing the conflict between the United States, the preeminent global superpower, and the rising power of China, both of which are currently locked in a number of conflicts.In its attempt to bridge the gap between the cyber and international relations fields, this paperintends to begin to explore new ground as to how the creation of the cyber domain might impact international relations. While this paper does focus more heavily on the cyber side of this gap, it is hoped that future papers will build off of this research to further explore our ever-changingsociety and how it might look in the future. This paper will analyze the hard and theoretical data of other researchers in order to build its case that there is currently not an ongoing cyber war between the US and China.
  • Regime Type and Cyber Terrorism

    Rutland, Josh; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2019-12)
    Various characteristics of a state and its government affect how it is viewed by potential attackers. The structure of a state’s regime is a critical one of those aspects that can influence many others such as economic policy, cultural ideology, and other components related to a state’s perceived and actual vulnerability. This research will explain how a state’s regime type holds significance in determining its likelihood to be targeted by a cyberterrorist. Different regime types can widely vary in the strength of their overall cyber security and in specific elements of cyber security and policies related to government involvement, security standards, and cultural norms may play significant roles in how different states go about protecting themselves from cyber threats.
  • Civilizing with a Krag: U.S. Counter-Insurgency in Vietnam and Iraq

    Ritchie, George; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2018-05)
    This thesis examines and compares the effects of counter-insurgency operations in Vietnam and Iraq. It argues that the populous focused approach that centers on the hearts and minds of the locals is more beneficial and effective than conventional strategies. To support this thesis, research has been conducted on the United States’ history with counter-insurgency operations in Vietnam. This includes conventional tactics of the United States Army designed for war with the Soviets and the United States Marine Corps experiments with the Combined Action Platoon. These cases have been compared to the effectiveness of combating the insurgency in Iraq from the 2003 invasion to 2010, examining the resurgence of people-oriented programs such as the Combined Action Platoon compared to the conventional fighting waged early war. Study of these conflicts remains relevant due to the new administration’s promises of action against insurgent groups worldwide. The ability of successful counter-insurgency to be implemented on a large scale with minor variation is also explored. Links should be drawn from past US involvement with insurgency to present due to the similarities in successful and unsuccessful attempts both past and present.
  • Measuring the Impact of the Community Policing Model in Richmond County

    Wilson, Jacob; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2018-05)
    There are many different types of policing modelsranging from Police-Oriented policing, zero tolerance policing, and community-oriented policing. Community-oriented policing is a policing philosophy that focuses on utilizing the relationships with the public in order to maintain order. The purpose of this research was to determine how effective community-oriented policing was in Richmond County. This was achieved by gaining different perspectives on the topic by law enforcement that worked at the Richmond County Police Department. Eight law enforcement officers were interviewed to in order to gain more insight on the topic. Furthermore, research was conducted in regards to studying the department by analyzing the data it makes known to the public. After conducting my research, the overall consensus from the officers was that community-oriented policing was an effective policing model. Interviews and data showed that there could be improvement in particular areas, such as patrol routes and zones, but they did not inhibit the model's effectiveness.
  • Fighting Fear with Fire: Analyzing the Causes of the Rohingya Conflict in Myanmar

    Latremouille, Georgia; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2018-05)
    Political instability in Myanmar has been a reoccurring pattern since the country's independence in 1948 with ethnic conflict playing a central role in these issues. Most recently, the Rohingya ethnic group has been involved in a deadly ethnic war against Myanmar's government military. If politicians aim to end this war and seek to prevent future conflicts, it is necessary to examine why ethnic conflicts occur in the first place. This study aims to understand the question: what is the cause of the Rohingya conflict and why is it occurring? I address this question by examining relevant theories of ethnic conflict and utilizing such theories to make an assertion about why the Rohingya conflict is occurring. Ignoring the issue of why these types of conflicts occur has negative consequences for future policy and peacemaking strategies.
  • How Compliance with Title IX has Shaped Peach Belt Conference Athletics

    DeSilvester, Catherine; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2016-12)
    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was passed in order to require gender equity for males and females in every educational program that receives federal funding (Lancaster, 2010). Essentially, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and ensures women are not excluded from participating in an educational program or activity (National Women’s Law Center, 2002). The legislation as a whole encompasses a variety of areas of higher education and multiple amendments have been proposed to this legislation in the 44 years since its inception. Although the word “sports” is not specifically mentioned in the legislation, the wording of the law has become synonymous with increasing multiple opportunities for women in athletics. The United States Supreme Court has ruled in multiple cases that the legislation does in fact extend to prohibit discriminatory practices in athletics (US Department of Education 2002). After the passage of Title IX, women’s participation in athletics increased dramatically, along with budgets and scholarships devoted to female athletes (National Women’s Law Center, 2002). Legislation has always been the initial spark plug in efforts towards equality in society and Title IX is no exception. Making sure that women are not subject to discrimination solely based on their gender in the field of education and related activities is vital because the right to an education is a fundamental human right. At its inception, Title IX created a wave of social reform in all things related to academia. The inequality between the different genders was something that prior to the passage of Title IX legislation desperately needed to be addressed at the federal level. My research will demonstrate the positive impact Title IX has had on women’s opportunities in athletics in the six founding schools of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). This positive impact is evident in the rapid increase in female participation in athletics since the passage of the legislation. Specifically, I will use the three prong test used by the U.S. Department of Education for compliance with Title IX as a way to gauge the progress of these schools towards gender equality. [Introduction]
  • Role of Gender Politics in Latin America

    Pimentel, Maria; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2015-12)
    The field of gender politics emerged in the early 1960s, along with the expansion of the second feminist wave and the gradual elimination of barriers that had prevented women from getting involved in more active roles in their societies. Research that had previously been carried out almost exclusively on men started to expand into creating independent studies for women. There was an exponential increase in the number of women entering the workforce and the education system at the highest levels (masters and PHD programs). The global demand for more educated individuals and the modernization of society allowed women to perform jobs that had been previously solely given to men. Nevertheless, although the demand reduced the gender gap between men and women, different expectations based on gender beliefs have made it difficult for women to enter leadership positions. In the field of politics, typical female participation is usually limited to women strongly tied to a popular and well-known male figure. Political-recognition and party acceptance, in the case of women, can come in two ways. The first one is through affiliation with a popular political male figure. Usually, this can occur through the position of the First Lady or previous employment under the political male figure. Voting by affiliation, hence, allows incumbents to vote for candidates that share similar beliefs and ideologies. Voters tend to prefer candidates that share similar personal characteristics (ICPSR, 2015) such experience, honesty, morality and compassion. The second way in which women can enter the political sphere is through previous employment for the government. This is usually done by holding jobs in different ministries under popular leaders that later offer their support. Female politicians from this case usually fit the profile of professional women older than 40 year olds with families of their own. Their position inside the government and their party is strong and persistent, which in turn gives them name recognition in primary and party elections. Unlike older female candidates, younger women tend to remain in the lower ranks of government (members of the legislative branch) because political parties strategically position them in said spots. It is a common mistake to assume that the gender politics issues that occur in developed nations will replicate themselves in Latin America (Halder, 2012). Another mistake is to believe that because there are more female leaders in power, the gender gap in Latin America has diminished. Female politicians who reach the highest positions of power are part of a small and very specific group of women: older than 40 years old, professionals with university degrees, and with children and husbands. The profile, although seemingly broad, is limited to women that have connections and contacts inside the political sphere (political parties). As a result of this, while there are some specific cases of female presidents in the region, their positions do not come as a result of their individual accomplishments and curriculum. With my thesis I intend to prove that party affiliation, name recognition and endorsement from popular male political figures are the ways in which Latin American female politicians acquire positions of power. My research will focus on three countries, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica, and their female presidents, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Kirchner and Laura Chinchilla. An analysis of the policies implemented before they reached their presidency, while they were in power, and after they left their position will confirm that the cases of these female politicians are the result of independent situations and not affirmative views of female participation in politics. Also, by focusing on polls and statistics from each country, I intend to show that the support female politicians earn usually comes from the party to which they belong to and the male politician that supported their candidacy. [Introduction]
  • Waiting for Heroes: An Examination of P.1ychologica/ Disorders, Existentialism, and General Strain Themy in Superhero Films

    Hendricks, Austin; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2015-12)
    For years following the release of the first superhero comics in 1938, comic enthusiasm boomed, leading to the creation of countless superheroes and crime fighters. However, these comics were regarded by many to belong solely to a certain group of people. According to Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman, the main audience for comics was young kids and illiterate adults (Goldin, 2003). A big contributor to this fact was the Comic’s Code, which was introduced in 1954 by the United States government to regulate comic books and ensure that they were appropriate for children through the banning of content that was considered to be too “adult.” This led to the cancellation of many comics and the proliferation of the idea that comics were supposed to be for children. It was not until the release of the film Superman in 1978 that superheroes entered the big screen and appealed to a larger audience of all ages. While there had been many adaptations of superhero comics up to this point in the form of live-action television shows and cartoons, the 1978 Superman film presented the world of superheroes to the general public in the most influential form yet. The success of this film resulted in three sequels and the release of four films about the vigilante Batman by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. The success of the Superman and Batman films then led to the release of numerous other superhero film franchises including Spiderman, X-Men, Iron Man, the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, and Thor. These films have been met with different levels of success, ranging from mockery to large-scale financial success. Regardless of whether or not they are successful, the films attempt to reinvent the characters for a modern audience while still adhering to the comics that serve as the base material. [Introduction]
  • A 20 Year Period On The Supreme Court’s Decisions Concerning Search and Seizure

    Augustin, Rudson; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2015-12)
    This thesis evaluates the past rulings of the United States Supreme Court in order to determine whether or not a shift occurred within the area of search and seizure since September 11, 2001. Fifty-six cases are used to evaluate a possible shift—28 cases pre-September 11th and 28 cases post-September 11th. September 11th is chosen because that is when the debate between privacy and security began. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) is used to analyze the aesthetics of the ongoing debate. This research examines the directionality of the decisions based on ideology to determine if there is a shift in the court’s rulings after September 11th. A t-test is used in order to evaluate the pre- and post-September 11th cases. The differences between the two time periods indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between pre- and post-September 11th. This result matters because it demonstrates that September 11th has no noticeable effect on the Supreme Court’s rulings regarding search and seizure.
  • The Peloponnesian War: Analyzing the Causes of War through Offense-Defense Theory

    Frey, Harrison Joseph; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2015-05)
    The purpose of this thesis is to determine the probable cause of the Peloponnesian War according to Offensive-Defensive Theory (ODT). This paper argues that Offensive-Defensive Theory, a tool of realism, can explain the causes of war. In the strictest sense, ODT is not actually a theory; it is a variation of structural realism and it is a key component of defensive realism. To an offensive-defensive theorist, the offense-defense balance is the major factor that determines and drives states’ behavior.