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Five Students Present Work at Leading Sociology Conference

Ciera Cockrell '19 presents her research
Ciera Cockrell '19 presents her poster with original research on the realities of opression.

Five sociology students recently presented their research to the Southern Sociological Society in Greenville, S.C.–the most well-attended regional sociology conference in the country. They were among only a handful of undergraduate students to present, an opportunity usually reserved for advanced graduate students and faculty. Despite this, the Davidson students' original research was universally well-received and acclaimed.

Student research presentations covered a wide range of topics, as follows.

  • Shelby Holmes '20, The Neoliberal Appropriation of Sexual Violence: Valorized Bodies and The Criminalization of Assault. The only first-year undergraduate student to present, Holmes spoke about the racialized nature of sexual violence prosecution in our country.
  • Rachel McKay ‘17, Effects of Public Defense Funding on Case Outcomes at the County Level. McKay spoke to the abandonment of the poor by our justice system through the systemic under-resourcing of public defenders' offices throughout the United States.
  • Holly Querin ‘17, "We're Just More Civilized Than They Are:" Modern Masculinity as the New Hegemonic Norm. Querin explained how male refugees are constructed as irredeemably foreign and fundamentally threatening in modern-day Denmark.
  • Cierra Cockrell '19 and Matt Porcelli ‘19 presented posters with original data speaking to realities of oppression–in the policing of women's bodies and the history of lynching and state violence against citizens.

"Merging important questions in the national discourse with theoretical social science, the Davidson students had their work cut out for them," said Assistant Professor of Sociology Natalie Delia Deckard. "They were completely exuberant after delivering their presentations. This event not only taught them about sociology but they learned a lot about their own capabilities as well."

In addition to Prof. Deckard and the students, Sociology Professors Gerardo Marti, Gayle Kaufman, and Joseph Ewoodzie presented research. Including the faculty members' and students' topics, Davidson presentations spanned the breadth of the discipline, demonstrating the strength of the college's program.