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2012
Friday, April 13th
9:00 AM

The Effects of Social Movements on Policy Change

Kate Hildner

UC 330

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

Social movements are an important and visible part of the American government process. However, their impact on legislation is disputed among political scientists. A great amount of the research already conducted on this topic focuses on indirect impacts of social movements leaving their actual influence unclear. This project will examine the Women’s Rights Social Movement and their work on two important pieces of legislation presented to Congress, The Violence Against Women Act and the Equal Rights Amendment. Testimony given to congress in order to inform and persuade will be examined in order to determine whether the research and work done by the Women’s Rights movement had an effect on the outcomes of the legislation. Through in depth analysis of two monumental cases in women’s rights history this project will analyze whether testimony given by a social movement has an effect on the passing of legislation. This paper will seek to further the knowledge on the actual power of social movements and may contribute knowledge to the area of Political Science and to individuals involved in social movements about the most efficient way of influencing policy change.

9:20 AM

Cross-Cultural Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Lakiash Gregerson

UC 330

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

There are increasing prevalence rates of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in children around the world (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). The diagnostic criteria for ASD are internationally accepted; however, there are cultural differences among children with ASD (Marson, et al, 2011). ASD is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impairment in social interaction, communication, repetitive behaviors, and restricted interest (American Psychological Association, 2000). The symptoms and prevalence of this disorder may not be the same in different cultures. For example, the absence for eye contact is a presenting symptom of ASD; however, in Asian cultures, direct eye contact is disrespectful, and therefore may not be a relevant indicator of ASD (Wallis & Pinto-Martin, 2008). Similarly, treatments of ASD may differ depending on cultural values and health practices. While behavior therapy is commonly used in many Western cultures, holistic and vitamin therapies are commonly used in India (Daley, 2002). Finally, studies have shown differences in prevalence rates across cultures. One study, for example, found differences in prevalence rates between Denmark and Western Australia (Parner et al, 2011). These cultural differences may be important to consider, particularly for practitioners who are providing services to children with ASD. This paper presentation reviews the current literature on cross-cultural prevalence rates, cultural differences in symptom presentation, and the effect of culture and language on ASD treatment. Discussion will include calls for future research in Native American populations with regard to the symptom presentation, prevalence rates, and effective treatment.

10:20 AM

From War to Reconciliation: Tajikistan and the Integration of Islam into Politics

Wesley Furlong

UC 330

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM

Between 1992 and 1997, Tajikistan was embroiled in a bloody civil war, pitched between the Tajik government and Islamic-inspired religious extremists. Despite the vicious war, Islamic parties have been successfully integrated into the political process in Tajikistan (which is, coincidentally, the only Central Asian republic to hold open election since the fall of the Soviet Union). My work in the CSWA program has focused on post-Soviet Central Asia. In particular, I have focused on how the Soviet Occupation, and its repressive policies on Islam and Central Asian culture in general, has affected the political, social, and religious realities, vis-à-vis terrorism and Islamic-inspired religious extremism. Four out of the five Central Asia republics continued ruling their countries in Soviet-styled dictatorships, where the free expression of Islam was hindered. In most cases, this has resulted in violence. Yet, in Tajikistan, a level of political normality has followed the integration of Islamic parties into Tajik politics. My paper seeks to focus on how Tajikistan has been able to integrate Islam into politics and avoid any major conflicts since the civil war and whether there was a difference in Soviet policy in Tajikistan.

10:40 AM

Minority Rules: How Being Black Saved Joan Little’s Life and Unified Feminism

David Baker

UC 330

10:40 AM - 11:00 AM

For Joan Little, the trial for the murder of her jailor at the Beaufort County Jail in North Carolina was a matter of life and death. But by the time of her acquittal in 1975, her victory influenced many more people. While remembered primarily as a civil rights case, "Minority Rules" demonstrates how by winning a case primarily focused on southern racism, Joan Little was able to strike an even bigger blow against sexual violence that up to that point white feminists had been unable to deliver, and, in doing so, Little and her supporters demonstrated to the world the centrality of African-American women to the fight against sexism.

In order to explore the importance of Joan Little to the unification of the white and black feminists, I utilize primary sources such as newspaper articles , trial proceedings, initiatives, and interviews. With these I show how Joan Little’s trial brought together black women's rights advocates. Secondary sources provide context for my work, giving me insight into the state of feminism and the sexual-violence movement in the 1970s. These sources, gathered from the Mansfield Library, internet databases, and my university sponsored research trip to the University of North Carolina, allow me to synthesize the implications of Ms. Little’s movement with the chronology of neo-feminism and demonstrate the depth of her impact on women’s rights.

While Joan Little’s trial has been documented quite extensively, little has been done to give it significance in the context of black-white feminist relations in the 70s and 80s. This project will demonstrate that significance and attempt to place it at the center of the feminist shift toward racial integration.