Disability Studies, Disabled Student Services: Making the Link in Physical Education at UC Berkeley

In the spring of 2009, UC Berkeley (UCB) offered 98 courses in their Physical Education Department– none designed for disabled students. Forty years after UCB helped forge a civil rights movement for people with disabilities, neither Berkeley nor any UC has a plan or program for addressing the fitness needs of the disabled. Matthew hopes to address that deficiency. He will create and evaluate a pilot program to create boxing opportunities for the disabled, and travel to learn the successes and limitations of several other California adaptive fitness programs, creating a documentary film and enhanced thesis with his findings. He will then initiate fundraising efforts in order to develop a sustainable plan that can be offered for the disabled population at UCB, and in time replicated at other universities.

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Social Science

Surveillance of Permanent Workers in a Temporary Economy

Current research on Latino masculinity is just beginning to address the rich diversity of gendered experiences found among Latino men, suggesting that Latino men, like all men, are gendered in and through various ways. Still unaddressed, however, are the various different ways in which jornaleros (day laborers) are gendered, disrupting the assertion of a monolithic Latino male experience”. Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews with jornaleros at two East Bay sites, Hector’s study will add valuable insight into gender understandings. Exploring attitudes during the current economic downturn, it will reveal how gender understandings change as day laborers exist in the absence of the home family, and domestic duties like cleaning cooking, and washing are allocated within a street family that cushions the negative experiences of under-employment and job loss.

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Social Science

Workin' Man Blues: Negotiating Class and Gender in a Downwardly Mobile Timber Community

While the recent economic downturn has brought national attention to the plight of the newly unemployed, downward mobility has been a steady feature of American society for generations. For Americans, however, downward mobility means facing not only declining economic prospects, but also the stigma of violating a cherished cultural norm: the pursuit of the American dream and the achievement of upward mobility. Katherine will travel to rural Oregon to conduct in-depth interviews with people affected by the decline of the timber industry, a once booming business that offered a chance at a middle class lifestyle. Katherine will look at how the loss of both socioeconomic status and the traditionally masculine identities tied to this work shape rural residents’ relationship to larger cultural expectations surrounding opportunity and success in America.

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Social Science

The 'Russian Geisha': Commodity of a Commodity

Conventionally, the word sex-worker creates an image of an economically deprived, uneducated and socially isolated female who enters the sex market as a last resort to survive. The word sex-work is almost synonymous to dirty work. In her project, Ekaterina will examine Russian females who travel to Japan as hostesses and engage in the sex trade, to present a new image of sex workers who are financially secure and accepted by families and the society as they earn enormous amounts of money. Ekaterina will travel to Russia and Japan to conduct in-depth interviews and participant observation. She hopes to explain the phenomena of the new type of sex-workers by exploring Marx’s ideas of commodities fetishism and Soviet-caused goods inaccessibility.

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Social Science

Inventing a Language of Wilderness: A Cultural Study of Yosemite and Surrounding Areas

John Muir once stated, Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. California’s National Parks, renowned for their beauty and history, draw visitors from around the world and reflect John Muirs sentiment. Yet, each person has their own ideas and perceptions about the parks and their personal definitions of wilderness. Can Bourdieu’s “cultural capital”, or preferences associated with class differences, help explain these distinctions? With the use of ethnographic interviews, Jessica will connect how people visit these parks with their individual perceptions of nature. Her hope is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the cultural, economic and historical implications of the park system, as well as to efforts to preserve the parks.

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Social Science

The Cerebellum's Contribution to Cognition and Learning

Contrary to previously held beliefs, the cerebellum is not restricted to activities involving motor control. It participates in a variety of cognitive functions from attention to verbal working memory. This can be attributed to its connectivity with regions of the cortex that are involved in learning and memory. Previous research suggests that the cerebellum may be more involved in metric-based rather than rule-based or categorical learning. Tawny’s project will examine that hypothesis and investigate the cerebellums contribution to specific types of learning as well as the role of feedback on cerebellar learning. She will use behavioral and neuropsychological methods to piece together how the cerebellum could be involved in a wide variety of processes and present a more general understanding of its role in learning and cognition.

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Social Science

Mapping the Non-Spectacle: A Counter-narrative to the 2010 South Africa World Cup

At the edge of the city, beyond the stadiums newly built to house South Africa’s 2010 World Cup, are clusters of temporary relocation areas that have come to house tens of thousands of South Africa’s internally displaced urban peoples. Jonathan will travel to South Africa to visually document and map the dialectic relationships between these distinct spaces of exception through photography, video, and open-source mapping technologies. He will also be working with Ikamva Youth to teach mapping and photography workshops designed to create open-source maps of neighborhoods of the Delft region of Cape Town. With the collected imagery he will produce a film and multi-media art installation designed to immerse the audience in the vivid spectrum of sites and structures that fabricate such transnational spectacle events.

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Social Science