Manifestations of Native American Self-Determination in the 21st Century

Allene Cottier will conduct a comparative study of the various interpretations of the terms Sovereignty, Self-determination and Indigenous in discussions of American Indian politics. These are critical terms in current discussions of social justice. She anticipates that there will be a fundamental fracture in the use and understanding of these terms among governments and the legal and policy establishments on the one hand, and grassroots Native American communities on the other hand. She will compare the use of these terms (and the meaning behind them), in international legal forums, U.S. Federal forums (including all three branches of government), tribal forums, and Native American communities. This project will move toward theorizing Indigenous Worldview in the 21st century by comparing different perceptions of language used in Indigenous rights claims.

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Social Science

The Politics of State-led Health Care Reform: 1974 to Present

Vi will investigate the nature of state led health care reform in America, focusing on the instrumental political actors that shape the debate. As federal level attempts to solve the problem of the uninsured have failed time and time again, policy innovations to address America’s broken health care delivery system have emerged from the states. The two critical examples are Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974, which established an employer mandate for health insurance provision and Massachusetts’s newest reform, Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006, which introduced an unprecedented individual mandate for owning health insurance. Vi will travel to Hawaii and Boston to examine the political climate, actors, and conditions under which these two legislations were passed in hopes of understanding why some states initiate health care reforms while others opt for incrementalism or none at all.

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Social Science

'I Hope I'm Dead Before They Come Down This Way': Political Xenophobia in Small Town USA

Increasingly, Latino immigrants are steering away from large metropolitan areas, traditional immigration magnets, in favor of smaller, often rural communities. As Small Town USA is transformed by migration, the specter of xenophobia seems to lurk nearby. In recent months, dozens of towns have considered passing laws against undocumented immigrants ranging from criminalizing their labor (Escondido, CA) or penalizing their landlords (Hazleton, PA) to prohibiting their presence in public spaces (Springfield, TN). René will try to discover the factors that motivate the rise of xenophobic sentiments in small U.S. communities. He will spend the summer in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, a town that recently passed strict anti-immigrant legislation and even banned Santa Claus on the grounds that he is an illegal worker. In Hazleton, residents claim, there are no holidays for illegal aliens.

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Social Science

The Secrets of the Heart: Love Directionality and Construct Integration

In the last thirty years, psychology has seen an explosion in research on love and interpersonal relationships. Much of the work, however, has focused on either mapping styles of love or the functionality of romantic love within the evolutionary and attachment traditions, leaving much of the terrain unexplored. Alex’s research aims to go beyond the current models, encapsulated by three prime objectives: 1) establish the difference between “to love” and “to be loved”; 2) garner initial support for the love processor model, which attempts to unify and expand love outside the purely romantic realm; and 3) establish some of the personality, cultural, and situational factors which contribute to the vast differences individuals have in their definitions of love.

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Social Science

Bodies, Burials, and Black Cultural Politics: African American Funerals in the Civil Rights Movement

Keith will be traveling to Washington D.C. to do archival research at the Library of Congress and National Archives. He will be studying funerals in the Civil Rights-Black Power Era. Scholars of the Civil Rights and Black Power Eras often focus on the institutions and individuals who fueled the creation of these social movements, while ignoring the role of culture and cultural politics in this process. Keith will attempt to study funerals as a way to look at how existing cultural rituals become transformed in periods of African American politicization. Keith hopes to look at how these rituals became involved in the process of movement building and what they reflected about African American values and worldview.

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Social Science