Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

April 27 - May 1, 2015

Research in Sociology and Criminal Justice

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Time: 2:15pm - 3:55pm
Location: Lundring Events Center
Description: In this panel session, students will present original research in sociology and criminal justice. The projects emerged out of in-class assignments, independent studies, and internship experiences. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Whitney Cowell
and Leah Brodie

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Molly George
Bridging the Gap Between Perceived and Actual Services Available to Post Release Offenders

The overpopulation of prisons is a pressing issue not only in California, but across the United States. In 2011, California passed legislation Assembly Bill (AB) 109 to attempt to disperse correctional responsibility from the state to the local level with the goal of reducing state prison populations. Previous state responsibilities are being transferred to organizations such as probation, local jails, and community-based organizations. While working with a non-profit, community-based organization, we conducted a research project looking specifically at Ventura County and the direct impacts of AB 109 on offenders. An extensive literature review was conducted on the topic of AB 109 and data were collected through qualitative focus groups with post-release offenders (PROs) and family members of PROs. Results show that there is a perception of a lack of services available to PROs in Ventura County in relation to the actual number of services that are officially offered.

Erin Hickey

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Adina Nack
Dance Like Everyone Is Watching: Elements of Impression Management in West Coast Swing Dancers

This study investigates impression management among West Coast Swing (WCS) dancers. The research is based on data collected during a semester-long participant observation study of two WCS Dance settings. The findings reveal that elements of impression management are strategically used by WCS dancers to present desirable appearances of themselves to other members in the subculture/community, in hopes of gaining status. This study adds to the existing studies that have previously been conducted to understand both competitive and non-competitive partner-dance settings in swing, ballroom, and country dance communities. Results from this study can be used to assist WCS dancers, as well as others who would benefit from better understanding which elements of impression management may be necessary to attain desirable outcomes and increase status within particular subcultures, communities, or social settings.

Sara Pressey

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Molly George
Talent Has No Gender: The Experiences and Interactions of Women Tattoo Artists

The U.S. tattoo industry has been transitioning from a historically male-dominated
industry associated with sailors and socially deviant groups to a semi-legitimate art form popular among various social groups. This shift, known as the Tattoo Renaissance, has also expanded the demographics of tattoo artists to include women and individuals with backgrounds in fine art. This study investigates how the work of tattoo artists is gendered. Research is based on in-depth interviews with tattoo artists and participant observation of tattoo shops and tattoo-related events in the Greater Los Angeles area. Building on the literature concerning gendered institutions and women in non-traditional occupations, this qualitative study draws on feminist theory to examine how gender scripts shape the work
of tattoo artists. Findings revealed that women tattoo artists adopted formal and informal strategies to cope with challenges from gender hierarchy in tattooing. Likewise, gender influenced tattoo artists’ interactions with clients and other practitioners.