Spring, 2011 Capstone Proposals


Students engaged with a variety of sociological readings on the multiple dimensions of inequality in contemporary American society, including inequalities of income, gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and ability status. The focus was on intersectionality theory with a number of readings coming from Privilege: A Reader edited by Michael Kimmel and Abby Ferber.

Students completed the following proposals and will execute their research in the fall, 2011 term:

Jordan Dunn: Male and Female Athletes' Perceptions of Gender Inequality in Sports at a Liberal Arts College
Lexie Elliott: Socioeconomic Status and its Effects on Self-Esteem
Katrina Falconer: Determinants of Sexual Attitudes of Female College Students
Will Fife: Effects of Benefits Received by Division I and Division III Athletes
Andrew Fisco: An Ethnographic Study of Migrant Workers
Justin Prejsnar: Impact of Social Class on Delinquent Labeling in Two Institutions
Jordon Rooney: Effects of Racial Diversity While Growing up on Life Choices
Paige Vella: Linkage of Gender Stereotypes to Perceptions of Gendered Sports Discrimination
Alison Weingartner: Perceptions of the Gender Wage Gap in the Contemporary U.S.


Fall, 2010 Capstone Projects:


Students read Robert Putnam's classic text Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2000). Putnam documents and analyzes the dramatic decline in social capital in American life over the past several  decades.  He defines social capital as "connections among individuals- social networks and the norms of reciprocity and  trustworthiness that arise from them" (Putnam 2000: 19).  Sociologists are very interested in how we gain social capital, the consequences of our not having it and the different forms of it, such as informal and formal and bonding and bridging.

Students have freedom in choosing their research topic but they must somehow link with the social capital theme.  They complete a research proposal in the spring Capstone I class and carry out the research in Capstone II the next fall.

Alan Baldwin, College Student Groups and Social Capital Formation
Tom Geraghty, Predictors of Drug Abuse and Social Capital
Brett Glavey, Facebook Use and Social Capital
Reesha Jackson, Environmental and Cultural Influences on Childhood Obesity Disparities
Emily Paul, College Students' Attitudes on Internet Pornography
Ian Pickens, Social Capital amongst Small Business Owners in a Small Town