Sociology Program receives funding

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – For the second year in a row, Shawnee State University’s Sociology Program has been awarded $800 in funding from Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honors Society.

The award will go towards providing funding for two SSU Sociology majors, Anna Stevens and Tiffany Walters, to attend a joint conference of the North Central Sociological Association and the Midwest Sociological Society from March 23-26 in Chicago, IL.

Stevens will be presenting her research, titled “Conspicuous Consumption and Girls Softball: Examining Equipment and Player Performance.” Her presentation will apply Thorstein Veblen’s concept of conspicuous consumption to girl’s softball, specifically players in the age group of 12-14 years old. Through Stevens personal experience, as well as primary and secondary research, she examined three types of commonly used brand name equipment, the Louisville Slugger Xeno bats, Nike cleats and Easton fielding gloves, to determine whether the equipment enhances a player’s capability and performance while also questioning if the same equipment is bought to gain and/or maintain social status in the softball world.

Walters’ presentation, “The Social Influences on a “Natural” Process and Those Who Benefit Most: Production and Distribution of Kentucky Bourbon,” examines the regulations, materials and practices involved in the production of Kentucky bourbon. Her research examines how Kentucky bourbon is produced through the collaboration of social and environmental influences. Industrial standards, laws and networks are just as essential as the chemical reaction occurring within the barrel. The presentation also examines how the production, distribution and consumption of bourbon distribute power and resources in Kentucky.

“I am extremely pleased that our program received funding from AKD. The award acknowledges the high quality of student research produced in our Sociology program, and provides Tiffany and Anna with the opportunity to share their research with faculty and students from many different universities,” said Dr. Sean Dunne, Faculty Advisor of the Sociology Club.

Last year’s award funded two students to present their research at the North Central Sociological Association Conference in Cleveland.

For more information about the Sociology Program, contact the Social Science Department at 740.351.3234.