Human Development and Social Relations (HDSR) Senior Individualized Projects

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This collection includes Senior Individualized Projects (SIPs) completed in the Human Development and Social Relations (HDSR) major. 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 73
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    Half the Chance at Life: An Investigation of Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality Rates in Calhoun County, Michigan
    (2011) Seifert, Britta; Geist, Alison, 1953-
    In Calhoun County, Michigan, the rate of infant mortality an1ong black mothers is nearly twice the rate among white mothers. Infant mortality, rooted in complicated and interrelated factors such as poverty, health care access, neighborhood conditions, nutrition and behavior, is considered an indicator of population health and often reveals social inequities. This study explores the high rate of infant mortality among black mothers through interviews with health professionals and area experts, and analysis of birth and death files from 2005-2009. Race was found to be the leading determinant of infant mortality in Calhoun County. High poverty rates among blacks suggest that socioeconomic disadvantage, perpetuated by historical and institutionalized racism, 1nay be the primary route through which race determines health. Despite the evident racial health disparities in Calhoun County, health professionals interviewed were hesitant to name racism as a root cause of racial health disparities, indicating minilnization and naturalization of racism within the health care system. 'T'his study serves as a primary investigation of race and health in Calhoun County, calling for further research and action to directly address racial health inequities.
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    This is My Playground
    (2014) Nummer, Emily; Lane, Amy, 1974-
    This paper examines the ways in which gender affects play, leisure, and friend making. It explores the synthesis of gender identity and development theory and how these theories come into play at camp. An in depth look is given at previous literature regarding gender and play. Furthermore, the paper examines the forces of socialization, and how they affect gender and play at camp. The author argues that there are four main sources of gender socialization that are apparent at camp: self-socialization, parents, technology, and peers. Next, the role of hegemonic masculinity, or the social construct that enforces gender norms and values masculinity over femininity, is evaluated. The author maintains that hegemonic masculinity leads to patrolling of gender norms, particularly when a gender transgression occurs. Finally, the author reviews previous suggestions on ways camps can support gender development, and evaluate the extent to which Camp EH followed these suggestions.
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    Youth Empowerment through Productive Dialogue An Opportunity for Education Reform
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2015) Makalo, Mele; Baptiste, Espelencia M., 1970-
    Language and knowledge is directly linked to power through capital. Whoever determines what can be talked about also determines what can be known. Education, as a mandate for all children and youth in the United States to pursue is the platform in which we are taught to know what we should talk about and what we should know. This process of discourse being structured by schools gives the institution of education the power to dictate how we think, what we do, and who we are. This paper discusses the importance of working past the constrained and distorted learning and thinking in schools that are driven by statewide tests and encourage authentic dialogue as a means to empower youth and therefore reform education.
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    Education and Workforce Outcome : A Qualitative Study on Costa Rica
    (2013) Fine, Rachel; Baptiste, Espelencia M., 1970-
    Education is one of the key driving forces in determining social and economic success in a country. Costa Rica's education system very specifically aims to close the gap between the rich and the poor and improve the overall quality of living and economy in the country. The primary and secondary education systems function extremely well in the private level, but are not as successful publicly. This is important because the University that is economically accessible to everyone (virtually free) is not only the best University in the country, but also competitive. The aims behind having a free quality university education are an attempt to even out the playing field socially and economically when applying to college. In terms of the labor sector, many Costa Ricans take time off to work before going to the universities after graduating from high school. This is due to the easy access to jobs at call centers that pay well for those with little education. Costa Ricans aren't utilizing their full capabilities in labor force participation. Through improving the education system in Costa Rica, citizens will be driven to access their full capabilities.
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    Being Black in a White Education System
    (2010) Jarrett, Klissa; Wilson-Oyelaran, Eileen B., 1947-
    Walking down the hallways at Hillside Middle school, I hear the taunts the students give each other every day. I see the remnants of a culture never identified or taught in our public school system. In this study, I analyze the different stages of identity, specifically as it relates to black youth and their development in the public schools. No Child Left Behind was supposed to help address the reasons why there was/still continues to be an achievement gap between black students and white students, but it failed to recognize a key factor to the problem. How a child views himself plays a big role in how successful they will be.
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