Anthropology and Sociology Senior Integrated Projects

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This collection includes Senior Integrated Projects (SIPs, formerly known as Senior Individualized Projects) completed in the Anthropology and Sociology Department. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 674
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    Imagining Affirming Classrooms : Leamer Variability vs. the Standardization of Students in Chicago Public Schools
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2023-11-01) Lenzini, Sydney; Villegas, Francisco
    While educational standards and curriculum design are becoming more and more influenced by equity-centered educational frameworks in Chicago Public Schools, individual experiences of marginalized students within the district paint a contrasting picture of a rigid allowance of who a student can be. This study argues that through a process of standardization, students are expected and often forced to conform to a restrictive model of student allowance in CPS, one that does not recognize the full realities of all that students bring with them to the classroom. Through the limited responses of the school system to a student's learner variability (the specific experiences, backgrounds, and abilities, both inside and outside of the classroom that make each student who they are), students who conform to this standardization are rewarded while students who cannot undergo a process of forced invisibility in an attempt to manufacture false conformity. This study finds that this process is not met without resistance from students, and an educator's response to the student's reaction is one of the determining factors of how students understand their experience in CPS. Overall, this study calls for a greater acceptance and recognition of who students are outside of the classroom for a more equitable experience in the classroom.
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    What To Do With All This Junk : A Qualitative Study of The Heidelberg Project and Its Impact in Detroit
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2023-11-01) Nelson, Abigail; Mowry, Robert
    The Detroit Institute of Arts as well as the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History are popular destinations for tourists and those interested in the arts. Yet, another popular tourist destination is located in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood on the east side. The Heidelberg Project is a one-block stretch of road that transformed blighted properties and found objects into an artistic installation. Since it was created in 1986, the Heidelberg Project has attracted over 200,000 visitors annually. At one point, the Project encompassed over a dozen different properties along the street. After learning about the Heidelberg Project, I became increasingly interested in the effect the Project has had on the community after 37-years. What has been the impact of the Heidelberg Project on the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood and the City of Detroit? To answer this question, I conducted eleven qualitative interviews with individuals from Detroit and Hamtramck to learn more about the legacy and perception of the Heidelberg Project almost forty years after it was originally created. Though many people did not like the presence of the Heidelberg Project at first, as the installation has changed throughout the years many people have learned to accept it. However, the presence of the Project within the neighborhood has caused some negative effects which are still present today.
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    The Kalamazoo Promise as a Band-Aid Solution : Interrogating Neoliberalism in Kalamazoo Public Schools
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2023-11-01) Noel, Ally; Mowry, Robert
    The Kalamazoo Promise relieves one factor of pursuing higher education - the cost. However, it leaves much to be desired outside of the financial aspect of pursuing higher education. Neoliberalism 's chokehold on public education continues to exacerbate race and class inequalities in schools, and Kalamazoo Public Schools is no exception. Who is schooling set up for? Who is expected to "make it?" And who is forced out? With increasing interest in developing Promise scholarships across the United States, literature and scholars are questioning the experiences of students within Kalamazoo Public Schools, the first school district to begin "gifting" full-tuition scholarships to those who meet the criteria. By examining former Kalamazoo Public Schools students' experiences, a hidden curriculum is evident amidst the promotion of free college tuition. The curriculum revolves around forms of domination and implementing social control of individuals in the district through reinforcing discipline and market-oriented education. Neoliberal ideology continues to plague KPS, and this research explores to what extent Kalamazoo Public Schools lives up to their motto of "Every Child. Every Opportunity. Every Time." By analyzing various forms of power within the school district, this research, along with its findings from the conducted interviews as well as literature surrounding the discourse of neoliberalism, will answer questions regarding the continuation and dismissal of oppression that exists within schools across Kalamazoo Public Schools. Additionally, this research and its findings with offer suggestions grounded in students' experiences on how KPS can dismantle its internalized neoliberalism.
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    Intercultural Understanding : A cultural analysis of the faculty and administration at Kalamazoo College
    (2002-11-01) Martyn, Sarah; Stauffer, Robert E., 1941-
    With the current decline of liberal arts colleges, this study aims to analyze the culture of the administration and faculty at Kalamazoo College in order to better assess the college's strengths and weaknesses. It investigates three particular areas of the college: the K Plan, responsibilities of the faculty, and the institutional mission of the college. In doing so, this study uses William Bergquist's (1992) four academic cultures as a theoretical framework to look at the culture of the faculty and administration of Kalamazoo, asking what that culture entails, and what changes are needed to occur within that culture to ensure success and productivity for the future. Bergquist' s four academic cultures include collegial culture, developmental culture, managerial culture, and negotiation culture. In order to add extra depth to the analysis, this study uses William Tierney's (1988) six cultural categories: socialization (how new members are brought into the institution, what one needs to excel in the institution), environment ( definition and attitude toward the environment), mission (definition, articulation and agreement upon the mission as well as if it is used as a basis for decision making), leadership (who are the leaders-both informal and formal, what the institution expects from them), information (what constitutes information, who has it and how is it spread), and strategy (how decisions are made, who makes them, and what happens when a bad decision is made). The study found significant strengths with respect to the college's ability to foster student development and a progressive educational pedagogy. However, it also found that a large amount of ambiguities exist in both the mission and goals of the college, which lead to ill-defined roles and responsibilities and could significantly hinder attempts for future planned change.
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    An Ugly Guide to Beauty : A Sociological Analysis of Beauty Constructs, Economy, and Resistance
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2023-11-01) Eilenfield, Meghan; Joshi, Nupur
    Glamorous, symbolic, and defiant beauty often emerges as a theoretical abstraction that resists precise definition. Simultaneously, perceived beauty, or its absence, can serve as a tangible locus of control and consequence on the body (Armstrong, n.d.; Bourdieu, 1984). This research grapples with the power and privilege vested in beauty and its contingency on "the Other" (Collins, 1991; Keng, 1997; Perea, 1997). In the United States, White European settlers defined a standard of beauty that favored their own supremacy, leading to the formation and perpetuation of a hierarchy based on physical attributes, including race, gender, and class (Bourdieu, 1984). The establishment of this appearance-based hierarchy facilitated the standardization and conferral of power and authority onto White masculine bodies. An abundance of pseudo-scientific endeavors, supported by racist ideology, served as an instrument to legitimize the imposition of violence, control, and dispossession of bodies that deviated from the White masculine standard (Bourdieu, 1984; Nudson, 2021; Wolf, 2002; Johnson, 2009). This historical grounding realizes beauty as more than a self-determined participation, but as a system deeply entrenched in identity, politics, and power (Nudson, 2021; Wolf, 2002). Despite the presumption that beauty primarily concerns women, it is men who are the primary benefactors of beauty (Nudson, 2021; Wolf, 2002). The prevailing patriarchal social structure has historically and contemporarily employed beauty as an obstruction to women's economic, social, and personal mobility (Nudson, 2021; Wolf, 2002). Consequently, a woman's preoccupation with her appearance may not be superficial or vain but rather, a means of survival within a system that restricts the imagination of what a woman should or should not look like (Nudson, 2021). In the defiance or inability to meet these expectations of beauty and behavior, many women face the risk of social punishment (Nudson, 2021; Wolf, 2002). The tools used to achieve beauty are also deeply rooted in patriarchy (Arsenault, 2021; Kwan and Traunter, 2009; Marx, 2015; Nudson, 2021). The beauty industry profits off of manufactured flaws, which contribute to a culture of insecurity, particularly amongst young girls (Marx, 2015). Engaging in the beauty economy becomes near mandatory to access the social, economic, and personal benefits associated with beauty (Marx, 2015; Nudson, 2021). Despite the presence of oppression in beauty frameworks, it is powerful, possible, and important to resist, detract, and reimagine beauty (McMillian, 2019; Reischer and Koo, 2004). Beyond perceiving the body merely as a reflection of social order and oppression, it can be recognized as an active agent in social action (Koo and Reischer, 2004). This perspective acknowledges the tangible impacts of body hierarchies, where certain bodies become targets of subordination, while simultaneously urging us to broaden our analysis of the body beyond the influence exerted by systems (Armstrong, n.d.; Koo and Reischer, 2004). This philosophy encourages exploring the potential of bodies as vehicles of resistance (Bourdieu, 1984; Jacobs, 2016). In short, this research contends that beauty saturates human existence and posits that beauty holds the power and possibility to simultaneously oppress, privilege, and resist.
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