Senior Research Project in Sociology
The senior project is a required course for senior sociology majors, but the benefits extend beyond credit hours by gaining experience with social science research presentation and presentation. It is the capstone experience for sociology majors in which students engage directly in collaborative, community-based research at the highest undergraduate level. Over the course of a term, students define a research project, collect and analyze their own data, refine their analyses in relation to sociological literature, and present results in a public forum. In recent years, students have investigated topics such as: the role the arts play in the construction and control of communities; the role of thrift stores at the intersection of communities, material culture, and urban studies; and the function of art museums as social and cultural spaces. Additionally, working in conjunction with students in civil engineering, sociology students in the senior seminar have investigated the way space shapes interaction in a juvenile detention center. Frequently, students present their research at the University's Stander Symposium or, beyond the University, at various scholarly meetings.