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A MiddLab Project

Framing and Blaming: The Role of Media in the 2005 Parisian Riots

Learn more about Political Science and Media Culture at Middlebury College.

The media played a significant role in the riots of Paris in 2005. This study examines the French and American media’s role in the formation of the identity of the rioters. The study draws on media content analysis based on news sources from the political right and left in each country. The results suggest two things. First, media on the political left, in both France and the United States, tends to frame the cause of the riots as a structural issue of exclusion while the political right tends to characterize the source of conflict as an agency issue of integration based on social differences. This can be explained by differences in political influences and underlying goals. Second, American media uses national and religious terms to describe the rioters’ identity while French media portrays them as a frustrated suburban youth. This reflects the respective historical contexts and political traditions.

People

Zoe Hamilton
Researcher

Erik Bleich
Sponsor & Associate Professor of Political Science

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Turkey maintains the image of a country bridging the divide between the Middle East and Europe; however, the continued prevalence of honor killings testifies to the difficulty in uprooting traditional patriarchal practices that remain widespread throughout the country. Although the Turkish government has enacted legal reforms – for instance, in 2002 and 2004 – aimed at eradicating the practice, new laws have been mostly ineffective and evidence indicates that both honor killings and the practice of “honor suicides” are actually increasing. My research explores this tension between secular government laws banning honor crimes and the continuation of honor killings within traditional and tribal communities. I argue that despite government efforts to educate the Turkish populace and institute legal reforms, the complex relationship between the cultural, patriarchal, and religious bases of honor killings makes it challenging to eradicate this practice in modern Turkish society.

People

Clara Rubin
Researcher

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Despite unbelievable economic growth rates averaging between 8-10% in 2009 and bright economic prospects, China and India have become two of the largest contributors to world poverty. However, China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. I believe that there are lessons to be learnt from China’s success. Thus, I will compare both nations and examine the impact of provincial politics (decentralization) on poverty alleviation to determine why China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. Since China and India are populous, large countries, there is a strong presence of state-level political institutions, which guide policy implementation. I will, thus, examine the cases of Sichuan and Anhui in China and Kerala andBihar in India. The contrast between the success of Sichuan and Kerala and failures of Anhui and Bihar will provide insight on the impact of decentralization and effectiveness of policy implementation towards poverty alleviation.

People

Ruchi Singh
Researcher

Jessica Teets
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Political Science

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A MiddLab Project

Creating a National Ideal: How Baseball Drove Bushido in 20th Century Japan

Learn more about History and Japanese at Middlebury College

Baseball is certainly Japan’s most popular sport, in part because players there are said to embody bushido, an ancient set of values said to have described samurai gentlemen of old. However, bushido is far from timeless and unchanging. Instead, it is a dynamic term that has changed, especially in the 20th Century, as Japanese society has struggled to maintain its unique identity despite the homogenizing pressures of globalization. I argue that baseball players bring about this change by setting examples for the rest of society, and that as the behavior of players has evolved, the popular perception of bushido and the way Japanese citizens idealize their own history has evolved right with them.

People

Adam Lee
Researcher

Neil Waters
Sponsor & Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies

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This project examines the continued success of The Jerry Springer Show. Does the show promote the inclusion of the “other” in the American social order or is it a profit-seeking mechanism that proves only to further uphold a hierarchal American social structure in which some are excluded? By viewing scholarly articles on the talk show format, footage from The Jerry Springer Show, and other critical works in American Studies, I set out to prove that The Jerry Springer Show uses coded mechanisms to create the illusion of a democratic forum which promotes oppositional culture and challenges social norms. This, in turn creates a “participatory illusion” that veils the underlying profit-based motivations of the show. The goal is engaged viewers that question the motives of a seemingly un-refined format, “cheap amusements.” What is the show telling us about American society, and how is its shaping of perspective relevant to how we function as a society?

People

Carl Culicchia
Researcher

Michael Newbury
Sponsor & Professor of American Studies and English and American Literatures

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Ingrid Pixley is a long-time Vermont resident, working as a Property Manager for Addison County Community Trust,  a local non-profit organization that provides affordable housing to the low- and middle-income people of Addison County. Doug Sinclair’s the co-founder of the Middlebury Community Care Coalition (MCCC), which since 2004 has since grown to 600 members who contribute over 18,000 volunteer hours per year supporting the housing and food needs of families and individuals who need a helping hand.

People

Doug Sinclair

Co-Founder of Middlebury Community Care Coalition

Ingrid Pixley

Property Manager for Addison County Community Trust

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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A MiddLab Project

American Poverty in Context: Poverty 101

Learn more about Service Learning at Middlebury College.

In 1997, Dr. Beckley helped to create and became the first Director of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability, which integrates sustained rigorous academic study and focused direct service to disadvantaged communities and persons. In 1999, Dr. Beckley was named the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion and in 2002 he received the state of Virginia’s highest award for excellence in education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award.

People

Harlan Beckley

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

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

Chinese Interethnic Marriage: Passion or Rational Choice?

Learn more about Economics and Chinese at Middlebury College.

The One Child Policy (OCP) has had an enormous impact on Chinese society over the past thirty years and has further exacerbated the gender imbalance of the nation. The ensuing ?”marriage market shortages” in China have had important implications for marriageable-aged Chinese men and women. The scarcity of Han women in Chinese marriage markets and the concessions of the OCP with regard to ethnic minorities may increase the propensity of female Han to marry out when they see gains to marriage such as being able to have more than one child. Given this and other potential gains to intermarriage, under certain circumstances, interethnic marriage may be a rational choice for females in Chinese society.

People

Rachel Butera
Researcher

Thiery Warin
Thesis Advisor& Associate Professor of Economics

Hang Du
Second Reader & Assistant Professor of Chinese

marriate_rates
marriate_rates2

(click to enlarge)

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