Abstracts for Tuesday, February 26
Shannon Crawford, The New Propaganda: Negotiating Narrative in Broadcast Mass Media
In a more competitive news market, television media must compete with quicker forms of mass communication. While the internet has favored an approach based on breadth, television has been left to capitalize on depth. In order to retain ratings, news programming has adopted a more stylized, narrative approach in constructing news stories. However, as television media continues to force news events into narrative form, journalism ethics are increasingly called into question. This paper will explore the development, reasons, and merits of narrative media; ultimately, it will underscore the negative effects of the manipulation of the style as well as its impact on journalism ethics. Additionally, several primary sources will be analyzed to serve as examples of manipulated media. Ultimately, the paper will question narrative form in news; are viewers being entertained or are ethics being ignored?
Aylin Kaya, Perceptions of Criminals as a Function of Race, Stereotypicality, and Media
Many psychological studies have examined the connection between the demonization of black and minority criminals in the media and subsequent allocation of guilt and punishment on these criminals. However, this raises the question of whether the opposite effect is true when it comes to white criminals. It is quite easy to notice that white criminals often receive less severe punishments, and even face a lower frequency of arrests for the same crimes committed by blacks. This might be because of media depictions of criminals vary significantly based on the race of the criminal; crime reports of white criminals tend to be much more sympathetic and portray the criminal as a decent human being before a criminal - for example, the media tends to claim that white shooters are mentally ill, whereas black shooters are simply criminals. This study examines whether this effect can be replicated, and whether sympathetic news reports do indeed produce greater feelings of sympathy towards criminals, and how that effect interacts with race and stereotypicality.
Meredith Dost, Representative Bureaucracy and Latino Student Achievement: A Case for Increased Minority Representation in US Public School Districts
Are Latino students more likely to achieve at high levels when they are represented in school districts by members of their own race? And, how does that representation affect the academic performance of non-Latino students? This paper examines these questions through the lens of representative bureaucracy, as used in Meier & O’Toole’s (2006) study of Latino student achievement. I define representation as the presence of Latino school board members and Latino teachers in a school district. My analysis is a quantitative study of the 110 largest school districts in the United States, which extends Meier & O’Toole’s (2006) work in Texas by examining the relationship between Latino representation and Latino student achievement. I extend their work in two ways: I expand the scope beyond Texas, by focusing on the 110 largest districts in the nation; and, I also consider the potential relationship between Latino representation and the achievement of non-Latino students. Overall, the findings show that certain measures of student achievement are strongly related to the presence of Latino representation. As the number of Latinos in US schools increases, it is critical to understand the factors affecting their academic performance.
Avery Newton, The Effect of State Education Governance on Exit Examination Policy in the U.S.
Specifics of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 compel at least one assessment to be given in high school, but it remains the duty of each state to decide how and when to administer this and other standardized assessments. Some states have chosen to require proficient performance on standardized tests in order to receive a high school diploma, and such a policy is more commonly known as an exit examination. In this project I address the following question: under which forms of state education governance do states choose to adopt a standardized high school exit exam? Results reveal that centralized governance has a negligible impact on exit examination policy but partisan control is strongly related to exit examination policy. Implications and further applications of this research are discussed in the concluding section of the paper.
Mason Rayner, John Locke and the Creation of Liberal Subjects
I argue that John Locke's writings on the education of children in 17th century England represent one of the first attempts to analyze the ways in which liberal subjects can be created. In my account, the complex system of habituation and normalization that Locke develops in "Some Thoughts Concerning Education" is designed to allow for the development of a specific kind of self, one that is capable of functioning within a liberal system of government. By examining Locke's educational program, we can better understand the specific ways by which the modern liberal subject comes to be.
Thomas Bettge, Species of Truth in Nietzsche
I intend to investigate the nuances of Nietzsche's uses of the word and concept "truth," to chart the progress of his conceptions of truth from the early "On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense" through the later work concentrating on the idea of a "will to power," and to determine to what extent the different "truths" that we find in these phases are mutually compatible, and to what extent they supercede one another.
Zack Quaratella, The Shifting Ideology of the New England Common School, 1800-1850
In the decades prior to the American Civil War, New England underwent a renaissance of education reform that fundamentally altered schooling. Children became cogs that were molded to fit within large-scale morality factories. This presentation will discuss how the education machine contributed to a sectionalizing of American society.
Henry Ware, The Personal of the Event: Subjectivity and the English Civil War
Nicholas Bourne, John Lilburne, Marchamont Needham, and Thomas Nash all encountered the English Civil War as an event that reconfigured their world and their actions within that world. Although each of these men experienced the Civil War in different and sometimes opposing ways, they share expression in the world of print, as Lilburne and Nash were writers, and Bourne and Needham were publishers. Using the techniques of micro history and anthropology to perform close, subject-oriented readings of these printed manifestations offers a view of the dialectical relation between event and subjectivity. This also informs an understanding of the relation between the formation of memory and the calcification of history.