Kaylynn Hiller '22, Melissa Sturtz '22 and Logan Roberts ‘22 presented their research at the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS) conference in Boston, on March 10 through March 13.
Elon students Kaylynn Hiller ’22, Melissa Sturtz ’22 and Logan Roberts ‘22 presented their research at the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS) conference in Boston, Massachusetts on March 10 through March 13.
Hiller, an anthropology and public health studies double major, co-presented “Effects of Abortion Clinic Closures on Births and Abortions in Texas: A Focus on Teenage Outcomes,” with sociology faculty mentor and Associate Professor of Sociology Rena Zito.
The research examined the impact of restrictive legislation, such as Texas House Bill 2, 2013, on the increase in driving distance for women in Texas seeking abortion services using county-level data, as well as changes in teenage birth and abortion rates pre- and post-HB2. Hiller presented the results of the quasi-experimental study, which included the significant influence of even modest driving distance increases (25 miles or more) on teenagers’ abortion rates, attributable in part to teenagers’ limited stores of social capital.
Sturtz, a psychology major, presented “Sexual Orientation Identity and Authenticity Development Through Young Adulthood.” The presentation was co-authored with sociology faculty mentor and Associate Professor of Sociology Alexis Franzese.
The research examined the overlapping trajectories of sexual orientation identity development and sense of authenticity within the coming out process. Through analysis of qualitative interviews and published stories of coming out, Sturtz found that authenticity and sexual orientation development are significantly connected. Themes of concealment, representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the media and normalized homophobia all have notable impacts on the process of coming out.
Roberts, a history and psychology double major, presented “Managed Magic: Applying Goffman’s Concept of Total Institutions to Disney Parks.” Roberts’ presentation was co-authored with Franzese. The research applied Erving Goffman’s concept of total institutions (settings like mental institutions and prisons) that have distinct and defining characteristics to the setting of Walt Disney World, which similarly controls many aspects of functioning within its boundaries.
The research involved analysis of the Goffman text Asylums, review of Disney archival and historical documents and observation within Disney Parks. Results include the introduction of a new type of total Institution that builds on Goffman’s work and provides a new framework for understanding the modern tourism industry and the effects of Disney Parks within society.