Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

Political Science Perspectives on Global Citizenship and Civic Engagement

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Time: 9:35am - 11:15am
Location: Swenson Center for the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Room 101
Description: Since global citizenship and civic engagement are integral components of the Political Science program this panel represents students working on projects that capture these components. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Student(s):
Michael Frieda

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jose Marichal
The Political Implications of Transparent and Opaque Online Identity

Facebook.com has become the dominant social networking website, and has brought with it a trend toward social transparency online, which may be seen by some as degrading the Internet’s value as an anonymous "submerged network" where speech is substantively removed from hegemonic influence. This paper establishes two models for digital identity; the Facebook model of Persistent Identity, and the model of Null Identity found on 4chan.org. This research seeks to describe the forms of self-presentation on each site and the disparate communal norms of egocentrism and ironism which are constructed by these group identities. Empirical data are collected through a mixture of passive social network “data crawling” and subject interviews. The intent of this study is to provide policy makers and social networking site designers with a framework for establishing network architecture which provides space for unconstrained identity construction as well as communities of autonomous digital citizenry.




Student(s):
Nina Kuzniak

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Haco Hoang
The Lasting Effects of Abstinence-Only Sex Education in Secondary Schools

The focus of this study was to analyze abstinence-only sex education policies and their ability to provide unbiased sexual health information to secondary school students. The purpose of this project was to build upon the foundation laid by Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs, in which the most conclusive findings beg the need for continued, rigorous research on programs for preventing teen pregnancy and high-risk behavior. Data from community site visits and personal interviews informed the research, providing perspective from both community educators and schoolteachers. Results demonstrated that current federally funded abstinence-only education programs are not meeting the sexual health needs of students in secondary schools. Findings also revealed that current education policy is detrimental to the sexual maturation of youth, disenfranchising to LGBT youth and youth involved in non-heterosexual relationships, and is not an effective way to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancies or sexual activity before adulthood.




Student(s):
Zachary Zabo

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Haco Hoang (faculty co-author)
Youth Civic Engagement as Represented by Youth Victim Advocacy

This study’s purpose was to describe motivating factors encouraging young people to engage in victim advocacy. This qualitative research was aimed at developing prescriptive findings that could be used to promote youth civic engagement through victim advocacy. Data from in-depth interviews and site visits illustrated the motivations for young people to advocate for victims. Results showed the success of organized advocacy groups but also individual level, “victim-centered,” advocacy. To inspire individual victim-centered advocacy, attention should focus on attracting those affected by victimization to inspire more engagement from these individuals. The interviewees were affected by the victimization themselves and the results show that the personal relationships these people had with victims and affected communities contributed to their success. Through this study, I showed that educating victims on the enormous impact that they can have in terms of advocacy encourages engagement and produces an increase in high quality victim-centered advocacy work.




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