Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

Research in Sociology and Criminal Justice

Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Time: 2:15pm - 3:20pm
Location: Lundring Events Center
Description: In this panel session, students will present original research in sociology and criminal justice. The projects emerged out of in-class assignments. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Student(s):
Jonathan Davidson

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Molly George
Religious and Gender Differences Regarding Attitudes on Homosexuality

In recent years, the topic of homosexuality has become a major social and political issue. There has been increasing awareness and acceptance towards homosexual behavior. However, there is a limited amount of academic research on how gender and religious affiliation influence people’s views on homosexuality. This research project contributes to our limited understanding of current views of homosexuality in the general population. Data was primarily drawn from a forty-two question survey of current political and social issues. The data analysis focuses on the demographics of gender and religion and the corresponding responses to questions on homosexuality. I include a supportive literature review to contextualize my findings. The data shows that beliefs regarding homosexuality differ for respondents with stated religious affiliation, but there are no statistical differences between men and women in their attitudes towards homosexuality. On-going research should continue on this important social topic.




Student(s):
Andrew Dowling
and Kelsey Hernandez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Adina Nack
The Subculture of Street Basketball

This study investigates the subculture of elite, attended pick-up basketball games. The research is based on data collected during a semester long participant observation study of the Florence Beach basketball courts. The findings reveal the specific jargon used by the players, their norms and values, and the hierarchy that is developed through the players’ interactions with each other on and off the court. This study adds to the existing studies that have been previously conducted to understand the pick-up basketball subcultures. The results from this study can be used to assist the players we were examining, by giving outsiders insight to their subculture and encouraging acceptance rather than fear.




Student(s):
Jami Estrada

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Molly George
Attitudes on Capital Punishment: The Influence of Religion and Gender

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a controversial subject within American society. This study explored how gender and religion influence people’s attitudes about capital punishment. A survey on a range of different social issues was created by three undergraduate classes from California Lutheran University and distributed to 539 participants. This project focused on the respondents' general opinions about capital punishment and their attitudes toward lethal injection. Findings showed that the majority of the participants supported capital punishment and lethal injection, which is consistent with previous studies. There was no statistically significant effect of religion or gender on attitudes about capital punishment and lethal injection.




Student(s):
Manuel Perez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Molly George
A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy:A Survey of People’s Attitudes Towards Government Surveillance

An invasion of privacy, including the U.S. government’s surveillance of American citizens, is an emerging social problem in society. This research project seeks to understand people’s current understanding of privacy and attitudes about various government methods used to monitor citizen’s lives, such as aerial drones, which may violate the public’s Fourth Amendment rights. The research seeks to analyze how perceptions on this issue may vary by ethnicity and gender. Data was collected from an omnibus survey that was distributed to 539 individuals. Findings suggest that the majority of respondents oppose the current methods that are being utilized by the government to surveil the general population.




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