Anthropology

Student Honors Papers

The Student Honors Papers collection represents exemplary work in anthropology and sociology at Illinois Wesleyan University. The Ames Library is proud to archive these and other honors projects in Digital Commons @ IWU, the University's online archive of student, faculty and staff scholarship and creative activity.

Sexual Abstinence among Female Undergraduate Students

by Emilie R. Klusmeyer '04

This study, conducted at a liberal arts college in the Midwest, utilizes qualitative data gathered through focus group discussions to examine the factors associated with sexual abstinence among female undergraduate students. Most studies on protection against sexually transmitted infections (STls) among youth have focused on condom usage and monogamy, and have been conducted mostly among high school students, with very few among undergraduate students. Since sexual abstinence is the best protection against pregnancy and STls, this study examines the factors that influence female undergraduate students to remain sexually abstinent or become secondary virgins. It also examines the challenges these sexually abstinent students encounter before and during college, as well as the type of assistance they require to uphold their decision.

Towards a Complex, Active, Human-Centered Subject Grounded in the Sociopolitical: A Symbiosis of Edmund Husserl and Michael Foucalt

by Kathryn E. Wehr '04

This thesis responds to the questions "With the empirical, 'found' world prevalent as the paradigm for all valid knowledge, what happened to the relevance of the human in knowledge? Is there an alternative that does not divorce the knower from the knowing?" The ideas of Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and Michel Foucault (1926-1984), two thinkers traditionally viewed as rivals in continental philosophy and social theory, animate these questions. Both philosophers critique the taken-for-granted aspects of the world: Husserl through the constituting subject and Foucault through the socially, linguistically, and historically constituted subject. Rather than an either-or that oversimplifies the subject, a dialogue and a symbiosis between these two thinkers point to the foundation of an active, meaning-endowing subject in which this subject is enmeshed in inter-subjective power relations and in which certain knowledges are subjugated to others. Through a combined critique, it is possible to continue an investigation beyond a discursive level, to desediment more layers of knowledge, and to continue to critique the always-already there in order to understand enduring constitutions and the subject's becoming.

Multicultural Education in Head Start Classrooms

by Cynthia Czerwin '02

This research is used to determine whether Head Start addresses the cultural needs of its diverse clientele or if it assimilates its clients into the mainstream culture. It is based on the concept that culture affects how children learn. Culture is acquired through social interactions with parents and other social institutions. The connection of culture and learning is explained in the theories of Cooley, Mead, and Vygotsky. Cooley and Mead have two main theories of socialization; both examine how one acquires culture through social interactions. Vygotsky's theory describes how children develop cognitively. His theory is also based on social interactions.

Mexican-American Women in the United States: Acculturation Experiences, Language and Self-identity

by Diana Hammer '01

As a society composed of multiple ethnic groups, the United States is a place where the processes of acculturation and assimilation are never-ending. Today, large numbers of Mexicans, in particular, are immigrating to the U.S. According to Gordon's assimilation model (1964), Anglo-American and Mexican-American ethnic groups will one day be indistinguishable. At the individual level, Gordon believes this process begins with acculturation as members of each group adjust to the differing customs of the other. Park (1928) and Stonequist (1935, 1937) agree that finding a compromise can be especially difficult for "marginal" individuals who have identities in both cultures. From standardized acculturation scales based on variables such as language ability, self-identity, and generational status, research shows that embracing bicultural heritage is a realistic way for immigrants to adjust to life in a new society. This study explores the nature of the acculturation experience in three generations of ethnic Mexican women in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. Based on a questionnaire adapted from the ARSMA-II (Cuellar et aI., 1995) and semi-structured conversations with twenty-one women, the researcher has seen that the above theorists' ideas do apply to the experiences of women in the sample. Of the variables investigated, generational status seems to be the most important factor affecting these women's acculturation. This is illustrated in three case studies, which show that marginal characteristics are most applicable to the woman of the midgeneration. Clearly, staying connected to Mexican heritage while living in the U.S. has helped all three women stay secure in their own identities and happy in the country they call home.

Needling Around: Discovering the Factors Affecting Physician Opinion on Acupuncture

by Crea Fusco '99

This paper investigates the effects of the independent variables, age, exposure to acupuncture, knowledge of acupuncture, level of religiosity, physician referrals for acupuncture and physicians type of practice on the dependent variable, opinion of acupuncture. Using bivariate cross-tabulations, gamma and linear regression analysis, exposure, knowledge and physician referrals were found to have a significant relationship with opinion of acupuncture. The self-administered questionnaire was mailed to all physicians and surgeons of the Bloomington! Normal IL community who were listed in the April 1998 GTE phonebook. Respondent's ages ranged from 29 to 95 years old, the mean equaling 46.4 years old. Four types of practices were identified; 24.5% of respondents were surgeons, 7.5% were chiropractors, 34% were generalists such as internal medicine or general practitioners and 34% were specialists such as podiatrists or cardiologists. Seventy-eight percent of physicians had been exposed to acupuncture and 40% reported having above average to high knowledge of acupuncture, while 30.9% and 29.1 % reported having average and low to below average knowledge, respectively. This study indicates that the majority of respondents (66.7%) had a high opinion of acupuncture. This study is important because the more that is known about physician's opinions on acupuncture and the factors that affect it, the easier it will be to help move acupuncture fully into mainstream medicine.

Stepping Around the Mop Water: Views of Status and Occupation in University Custodians and Students

by Hope Hoffman

At VU, people holding lower-class and potentially high-class occupations meet in the same buildings day after day. While custodians and students occupy the same institutional space, they experience a wide gap in status----while students are highly visible products ofthe university system and the dominant ideology, custodians are intimately and invisibly situated in an institution whose mission fails to provide for a way to affirm their occupation.

The Role of Social Capitol in Academic Success: A Case Study of the ACI Chicago Scholars Program

by Shannon K. McManimon '98

Although numerous reports and investigations point to the ineffectiveness of inner-city schools in helping their students--who are likely to be poor and people of color--to receive a quality education, some often-overlooked students are excelling. This paper investigates the factors that affect the academic success of low-income, high-achieving students of color in such schools, using social capital as a theoretical framework. Secondary literature review and case studies (including grade analysis, surveys, and interviews) of 29 Chicago Public High School students who have been selected to participate in the ACI Chicago Scholars Program reveal that students who excel have support systems and a network of relations, in the family, community, school, and among peers. They are those students to whom attention is given through channels such as tracking and magnet schools, those students with access to resources, and those of whom much is expected (both from self and others). Preliminary results indicate that although some Chicago Scholars are struggling in high school, the majority, with support from school and family, seem well-prepared to continue their record of academic success and to attend college. The Chicago Scholars Program (designed to provide high school mentoring and subsequent college scholarships), while theoretically functioning to serve many various social capital needs of the students, has had difficulties in doing so, primarily because of organizational and subcontracting complications.

Trade and Commerce at Sepphoris, Israel

by Sarah VanSickle '98

Trade patterns in the Near East are the subject of conflicting interpretations. Researchers debate whether Galilean cities utilized trade routes along the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean or were self-sufficient, with little access to trade. An analysis of material culture found at specific sites can most efficiently determine the extent of trade in the region. If commerce is extensive, a significant assemblage of foreign goods will be found; an overwhelming majority of provincial artifacts will suggest minimal trade.

Gaming in the Rio del Norte: Defining the Typology and Usage of Modified -Potsherds at Pot Creek Pueblo (LA 260, TA 1)

by Joseph T.M. Gray '97

This report suggests that the majority of worked sherds recovered from Pot Creek Pueblo functioned as gaming pieces. A descriptive typology is designed to provide a qualitative framework from which probable usage designations are deduced. These usage designations are predicated on ethnographic and comparative archaeological data.

Someone to Care: An Ethnographic Study of Full Gospel Christian Church

by Tricia A. Dailey '96

This paper provides an in depth ethnographic analysis of a small religious ministry. Full Gospel Christian Church, hereafter Full Gospel, is a "spirit-filled" ministry in Bloomington, Illinois. The members of the church believe in a living Christ who will "bring more peace, joy, and happiness in your life than you have ever known" (Full Gospel Christian Church literature, n.d.). Full Gospel is a ministry actively recruiting souls to Christ and spreading the Good News of the Word to all who will listen.