SSU Sociology Majors present research

Source: Shawnee State University

Student Paul Harris.

Student Paul Harris.

Submitted photo

Shawnee State University’s Sociology Majors presented their research at the 2017 Annual Conference of the North Central Sociological Association for the third year in a row.

Two SSU students, Jacob Harris and Paul Harris, presented research and received additional funding from Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Honors Society of Sociology. Paul Harris presented, “Media Representation of African American Barber Shops.” Harris focused on outlining barber shops in contemporary media, and according to his research, the representations in media ignore the circumstances that require the creation of safe spaces and instead attempt to attach an “authentic” black experience to a story or product. Harris argues that barber shops actually represent much more than just a marketed product, and that awareness should be raised regarding the violence against the African American community that has produced the need for safe spaces in urban environments.

Jacob Harris’s presentation, “Gender Roles in Christianity: A Postmodern Critique of the Creation Story,” focused on the fundamentalist evangelical approach of interpreting the Bible as being literally true. The issue is that it leads to an understanding of women through the point of view of Genesis 3, which is they are subservient to men. In contrast, Harris also stated that the postmodern idea of viewing the Bible as a metanarrative allows the stories within the Bible to be interpretive accounts and creates a way to achieve gender equality in Christianity.

The theme for the 2017 Annual Conference of the North Central Sociological Association was “Peace in a Time of Polarization.” Categories of the conference focused on gender, education and globalization.

Dr. Sean Dunne, Faculty Advisor to the Sociology Club, also traveled with both students to the conference.

“The conference is always a great experience for our students because it provides them with the opportunity to present their research to other faculty and students while showcasing our program and the high quality of work they produce here at SSU,” said Dunne. “We’re extremely grateful for the funding from AKD and SSU that supported our students to attend this year.”

For more information about the Sociology Club or about Paul Harris and Jacob Harris’ presentations, please contact Dr. Dunne at

Student Paul Harris. Paul Harris. Submitted photo

Source: Shawnee State University