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Sociology & Anthropology

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Researchers have explored economic and social aspects of migration. However, legal considerations in migrant decision making and sending communities have been largely ignored. This thesis focuses on perceptions of U.S. immigration laws in Santa Rosa, Michoacán—a small community in central Mexico. I show how migration from Santa Rosa to the United States has been historically constructed as necessary and ethical. I also reveal that people in Santa Rosa expect and are waiting for another amnesty for undocumented workers in the United States. I highlight the role of the Bracero Program (1942-1964) and the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act in the construction of these beliefs, as policies that encouraged and then rewarded illegal entry to the United States. I then suggest that U.S. immigration policy has established a social contract, complete with benefits and obligations, between the people of Santa Rosa and the U.S. state.

People

Kate Bass ’11.5
Researcher

David Stoll
Professor of Anthropology & First ReaderMarcos Lopez
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Sociology & Second Reader

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A MiddLab Project

CCSRE Life Stories Project: Arthur Choo

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Arthur Choo talks about the “global community” ideal in higher education, the experience of activism while being an ethnic minority, how an individual’s idea of race affects their perception of self, the effect of political correctness on classroom discussions, the humor of stereotypes, the difference between the ideal of diversity and the reality in the dining halls, combating the feeling of exclusivity in the Korean American Student Association, and the paradox of the success of minority students.

People

Arthur Choo
Sociology Major at Middlebury College

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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A MiddLab Project

Buying Out the Poor? Bolsa Familia and the 2010 Elections in Brazil

Learn more about Politics & Economics and Latin America at Middlebury College.

Hailed for reducing poverty and inequality in Brazil, the Bolsa Familia program (PBF) is the largest conditional cash transfer program in the world. Critics, however, have accused President Lula and his party of indirectly ‘buying’ the poor vote through the PBF. This research investigates the relationship between the PBF and the voting patterns of its recipients in the recent elections. Is the PBF an apolitical poverty reduction strategy? Does it influence the formation of political preferences? Based on interviews conducted in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, I focus on the beneficiaries’ own perception of the program, exploring the concepts of “ownership” and “clientelism” in social welfare.

People

Pui Shen Yoong
Researcher

Svea Closser
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Sociology & Anthropology

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Brazilian Press Coverage


Dilma atinge 40% entre participantes do Bolsa Família

Dilma diz que quer ser ‘mãe à altura’ dos brasileiros

Antes das eleições CEF erra e paga Bolsa Família maior

Prefeita relata prática de angraiar votos para Lula com programa federal

Plínio quer quadruplicar beneficiarios do Bolsa Familia e reduzir tempo do auxilio

Em Pernambuco Lula defende o Bolsa Familia

Norma do governo distribuída a prefeitos diz que próximo gestor pode mudar regras do Bolsa Família

Para PSDB, PT faz terrorismo com mensagem sobre recadastramento do Bolsa Familia. Governo nega acusão

No radio Serra garante continuidade do Bolsa Familia, Dilma fala sobre PAC

Em Santa Catarina, Marina diz que não fará ‘aventuras econômicas’ se for eleita

 

A MiddLab Project

Detroit: The Past and Present of the American City

Learn more about Sociology & Anthropology and Undergraduate Research at Middlebury College.

Known as America’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” “Most Dangerous City,” and more recently, “Laboratory for Saving the American City,” Detroit, Michigan has functioned as a model city and symbol in American popular culture since the early 20th century. This research explores the significance of Detroit’s role as a representative city through a content analysis of national news publications and other channels of media in the last century. Relying on theories of the narrative construction of social events and actors in public discourse, this case demonstrates the evolving signification of Detroit in American culture. The emergent narrative of Detroit as a model for reimagining the American city in the 21st century relies on previous labeling of Detroit as a symbol of American ascendency and decline. The story of Detroit as a laboratory for reforming America’s cities demonstrates a reclamation of Detroit as a positive American symbol and a reinvigoration of the discourse of civil society through the democratic production of knowledge about the city. Detroit offers American society a new framework through which to think of shrinkage, community, and identity rooted in place.

People

Julianna Tschirhart
Researcher

Laurie Essig
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies

Detroit is America’s 2nd most segregated city with a 77% black population and 84% white suburbs.

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A MiddLab Project

American Poverty in Context: Understanding Social Determinants of Health

Learn more about Service Learning at Middlebury College.

Samantha Marder is the Program Manager of Project Health in Providence, RI.   Prior to joining the Project HEALTH staff team, Samantha worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rhode Island Department of Health as a Project Specialist with a focus on healthy and affordable housing. Hannah graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in sociology and continues her work with Project HEALTH after volunteering at the Family Help Desk at the Providence, RI site.

People

Samantha Marder

Project Manager, Project Health  Providence

Hannah Nichols

Talent and Technology Coordinator, Project Health National Offices

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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A MiddLab Project

American Poverty in Context: Community Action in New England

Learn more about Service Learning at Middlebury College.

Hal Colston is the founder and director of the Good News Garage. GNG was created to address transportation equity for people in poverty. Hal left the GNG in March 2004 to start a new nonprofit, NeighborKeepers – an inclusive community built that generate Circles of Support. Dr. Colston also teaches a community service course at Champlain College, and serves on the board of the HowardCenter, United Way Community Investment Committee, Vermont Health Foundation and the Visiting Nurse Association.

People

Hal Colston

Founder and Director of Good News Garage and Neighborskeepers

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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During my study abroad experience with SIT’s Development and Social Change program in Cameroon, I spent six weeks in Ngaoundéré, a large town in the country’s Muslim North. Using surveys, interviews, and secondary materials I examined the relationship between the national secular legal system and traditional Islamic Fulbe law. My goal was to explore the balance between the two systems and identify areas of tension.

People

Eleanor Johnstone
Researcher

Michael Sheridan
Associate Professor of Anthropology & Sponsor

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October 21st- 29th will be the Fall Student Symposium, “American Poverty in Context.” We aim to build awareness and encourage discussion of poverty-related issues on the local and national level. The symposium will tackle issues such as hunger and local foods, social determinants of health, labor legislation, community action, and homelessness. In addition to inspiring intellectual discourse on poverty, we hope to motivate more students to participate in volunteer activities and to consider pursuing careers in non-profits.

Please click on the posters below in the downloads section for more detailed information about each event!

People

Joel Berg

Executive Director of the New York Coalition Against Hunger

Harlan Beckley

Director of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability at Washington and Lee University

Robert Prasch

Middlebury College Professor of Economics

Samantha Marder

Project Manager, Project Health  Providence

Hannah Nichols

Talent and Technology Coordinator, Project Health National Offices

Hal Colston

Founder and Director of Good News Garage and Neighborskeepers

Doug Sinclair

Co-Founder of Middlebury Community Care Coalition

Ingrid Pixley

Property Manager for Addison County Community Trust

Jeanne Montross

Executive Director of HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects)

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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A MiddLab Project

Restorative Justice at Middlebury College

Learn more about Philosophy, Biology, Sociology & Anthropology and Justice at Middlebury College.

According to Howard Zehr (2002), “Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.” We propose various methods of incorporating restorative practices into the Middlebury College judicial system.

People

Ben Manger ’11, Philosophy
Dana Callahan ’13, Biology
Matthew George ’12.5, Biology
Clayton Paschke ’13, Sociology
Researchers

Jon Kidde
Sponsor, Sociology & Anthropology

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The business model of the food industry, as it stands today, is unsustainable.  To counter these negative trends, organizations like Slow Food International have begun to champion the importance of “quality” for health, the environment, and the art of gastronomy. But what does quality mean and what will be its impact on the global food industry? An analysis of wines produced in France and labeled with the government-sponsored quality certification system, Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée, reveals that an emphasis on quality and geography, rather than brand, makes the food market more monopolistically competitive, more inclusive yet hierarchical.

People

Emily Gullickson
Researcher

Thierry Warin
Sponsor and Associate Professor of Economics

Lynn Owens
Sponsor and Assistant Professor of Sociology

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