Projects from 2007
Projects from 2005
Projects from 2003
Projects from 2001
This ethnography is designed to look at how first generation Hispanic students are adapting into the Buncombe County school system. This research was conducted through interviews and observations of students and administration within a specific school in Buncombe County. Specifically, it shows how the different cultural views on education, discrimination, and language barriers affect these students’ progress. While all three of these factors influence the students, language barriers seem to be the most significant for the students in my study.
This study analyzes the profession of bail enforcement in western North Carolina from the feminist perspective. Bail enforces have a dangerous profession which additionally consumes all of their time and involves high stress and monetary instability. The research framework examined this profession within the confines of social and gender identity and professional identity dissonance formation, implications of generational change, impact of a patriarchal and capitalistic foundation, and media’s influence of assumptions of women and bail enforcers. The results suggest that these theories impact the whole community of bail enforcers, but at the same time, it divides them into two separate generational thinkers with distinct values based on the social ideologies that were dominant in their youth.
This research explores the ways in which gender roles are shifting within the extended contradance community in Asheville and around New England. Though at first glance, the structure of contra dance (a couples’ dance) appears binary, current dancers are re-interpreting its structure. Anyone, regardless of their gender identity, can dance the ‘gents’ or ‘ladies’ role, highlighting performative aspects of gender and opening the discussion of power dynamics between dance partners. In my observations and interviews, I found dancers to be striving towards a sense of their own agency over this binary structure, in the ways it governs dress, movement, and nonverbal communication.
This study examines the institutions of domestic work and the Family in Shreveport, Louisiana. The fieldwork consisted of interviews with both employers and employees, and all of my informants except one employer were female. This paper examines the relationships between white employers and black employees, how the family structures and family ideologies are affected by the institution of domestic work, and how dominant constructions of race, class, and gender are both apparent and hidden. Family ideologies of employers are most important and create the basis and justification for employing domestic workers, as well as the unique employer-employee relationships that often exist. These unique relationships are often characterized by the following: employers and their families often identify their employees as part of the Family (and employees sometimes agree); the pay and benefits systems are often indicative of these defined relationships; and employing or being employed within the Family through the field of domestic work reinforces the systems and histories of inequality that envelop this institution.
Since its appearance, butoh has developed into a complex dance form. Butoh is unconventional within the realm of traditional dance and theater forms; ballet, modern dance, Noh and other older performance art are referred to as traditional in this paper. It is argued by participants that there are no “basics” by which to define butoh and there is no authority on the subject of the art form. However, when one begins to listen to the descriptions of performers, an underlying sense of individualism emerges. I have looked at how the practices of butoh are represented in a set of speech forms. This set of speech acts define current butoh as based in individual autonomy versus its Eastern origins in a historically specific context.
This research investigates the ways in which urban development, gentrification, and dominant representations of a “boom town” create a city tangled in contradictions. The case study was conducted in Asheville, North Carolina, an increasingly popular urban destination because of its progressive image and high quality-of-life standards. I found that development, gentrification and representation are cooperating to obscure what is not unique about the increasingly moneyed city by promoting, and more importantly creating, “uniqueness.” After interviews and observations were conducted, my analysis is that citizens are aware of its surface-level controversies, but have mostly accepted the deeper contradictions. This supports my hypothesis that Asheville maintains the consent of citizens by constructing a hegemonic discourse of the “good city.”
This research project is designed to explore the stereotypes attributed to the occupation of carnival work, how they are created, what forms of discrimination carnival employees experience because of these stereotypes and how the carney creates a positive self-identity in spite of these societal perceptions of their occupation. Through interviews, internet messageboards, and field research I have found that there are definitive negative assumptions held by dominant society about carnies and these have led to the stigmatization of individuals within this subculture. Despite these stereotypes and experiences of discrimination the carney has established an identity that reveals a connection to "outsiders" as well as a separate pride and significance in being part of the "inside" group. Carnies have a unique outlook on their occupation that provides them with personal fulfillment and pride of their work.
The values and methods associated with traditional planting by the signs have been undermined by conflicting cosmopolitan lifestyles, but both traditional values and methods are finding a surprising resurgence among members of a younger generation who practice biodynamics. This research paper explores the life values of people who learned the tradition of planting by the signs from their families (“keepers”) and how they have been challenged by the growth of cosmopolitan society. Furthermore it explores why and how people (“seekers”) would endeavor to seek out agricultural traditions, such as Biodynamics, that they were not raised with. Keepers and seekers reveal many basic similarities in agricultural practices and life values, but even more significantly they share the task of negotiating and perpetuating traditional knowledge within an unsupportive cosmopolitan society. Fundamentally this paper addresses how people negotiate their lives between traditional knowledge and cosmopolitan society, and what they believe it means for the trajectory of our society.