Directed Research in Sociology and Anthropology, 2008

Projects from 2007
Projects from 2006
Projects from 2005
Projects from 2003
Projects from 2001

"Not Just a Place on the Map":
The Implications of Israel/Palestine for American Jews

by
Candace Anthony
Anthropology/Sociology

Presentation
This paper is an exploration of the role Israel plays for American Jews. I argue that Israel, in many cases, is seen as the body of Judaism and Jewish people. I also explore how Israel, as the “motherland” is gendered and the implications of a gendered body. Once Israel is a mother/body, I look at the ways people understand and construct the categories of “self” and “other,” and work to uphold and reinforce bodily purity. Finally, I note that people who do not agree with dominant-state supported narratives will often disembody the Jewish people from Israel and point to strength in the Diaspora.

In New Orleans, It Bubbles Up From the Streets:
Authenticity and Identity in the Post-Katrina Music Scene

by
Gretchen Caverly
Sociology/Anthropology

Presentation

Structures and Styles:
Identifying Spanish Contact Through Architecture at the Berry Site

by
Andrea Glenn
Archaeology

Presentation
This essay explores the possibility of identifying sixteenth-century Spanish contact through the architecture of five burned structures at the Berry site (31BK22), a Mississippian period site in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Hypothesized as the location of Juan Pardo’s Fort San Juan, the five structures at the Berry site may have been for the use of Juan Pardo and his soldiers. This paper examines the possibilities of identifying Spanish contact through a comparison of Mississippian Native American and sixteenth-century Spanish architectural grammars.

Creating Identity in a Digital Age:
The Facebook Addiction

by
Elizabeth Koenig
Sociology/Anthropology

Presentation

Process Over Product:
The Career of an Asheville Graffiti Artist

by
David Nosse
Sociology/Anthropology

This research explores the role graffiti plays and has played in the lives of its creators. Using Howard Becker’s concept of a deviant career as a framework, this essay interprets the issues of motivation and identity as they play out during a career in graffiti. Information was collected through formal interviews with six Asheville graffiti artists. This research challenges existing ideas surrounding graffiti as a means of attaining symbolic capital, instead suggesting that graffiti subculture is oriented toward community involvement and the attainment of fun, with the process (all aspects leading to the completion of a piece of graffiti) rather than the product (tangible pieces of graffiti) providing the ultimate motivation.

Creativity and Capitalism in Asheville's River Arts District
by
Juliana Martin Ratner
Sociology/Anthropology

This research explores how some of the ways “being an artist” is constructed and contested in the River Arts District of Asheville, North Carolina, and how they are interpreted within a capitalist framework. Structuring my paper around the narratives embodied by objects, I quote from interviews with artists, developers, and other residents to gain an understanding of the ways that systems of semiotics overlap with economic transactions. I conclude that although art and capitalism are often conceived of as distinct spheres, they can both exist in one interaction in the River Arts District, although conversion is never complete.

Mining for the Source:
Identifying the Origins of Prehistoric Raw Muscovite through XRF Analysis

by
Emma Richardson
Archaeology

Presentation
This research explores the prehistoric trade of mica in the eastern United States with the purpose of determining the possible production sources of raw sheet muscovite. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry was used to detect whether trace elemental analysis is effective in determining regionally specific patterns of chemical characteristics in muscovite. While this initial analysis shows no distinctive regional characteristics of the material, more work is necessary before a conclusion is reached on whether geochemical analysis is a viable method of sourcing muscovite.

Framelines:
Nice Media and Identity in Board-Rider Communities

by
Katie Rose
Sociology/Anthropology

Presentation
This thesis will examine the relationship of board-riders to niche media produced by and for the subcultures of surfers, skaters, and snow-boarders. This thesis will also look at the how boarder subcultural scenes are positioned as distinct from mainstream culture. This thesis will also examine why boarders represent themselves in the ways that they do and are as a group comfortable with the representations crafted in the genre of board sports niche media as iterations of their identity. This thesis is primarily concerned with aspects of the board-riding community that relate to the experience of subcultural lifestyles and niche media representations. This thesis is finally an addition to research on these subcultures and the methodologies by which media mediates the social worlds of participants and functions as a mechanism of dispersal, collection, and reaffirmation of individual and community cultural capital.

Zooarchaeology:
The Language of Faunal Remains

by
Jacob W. Schlesinger
Sociology/Anthropology

Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
This research project presents an introductory overview of zooarchaeology, a multidisciplinary field based on the analysis of animal remains from archaeology sites. This relatively young discipline seeks to understand how and in what ways humans and animals have interacted in the past, and how these interactions have affected human culture and the environmental context in which it exists. Theoretical paradigms such as cultural ecology and specialized methods such as fine screening combine to provide useful tools with which researchers may better understand aspects of past culture such as nutrition, trade, spirituality, and social stratification, among others. After a general overview of the field is presented, this paper outlines how the author applied zooarchaeological techniques to faunal remains obtained by Warren Wilson College.

Persistence in Beliefs, Modifications in Behavior:
The Effects of War and Separation on Southern Sudanese Culture

by
Christopher Wilson
Sociology/Anthropology

Presentation