Vol 3, No 1 (2012)
e-Research 3.1 presents a variety of student work in several fields, by undergraduate students at all levels. Below we provide an introduction to each piece gathered in this issue. Three of our essays concern images or cultural terms and their effects in the media, or with respect to gender or en ethnic minority. Three other of our essays concern politics, both domestic and international.
The Bad Boy: A Cultural Phenomenon:The "bad boy" is a common term used in a wide range of contexts, and it can refer to people, literary figures, popular media characters, even objects. Bad boys can be class clowns or mass murderers, cartoons or cultural heroes, and many types in between. We can therefore consider the term "bad boy" a floating or empty signifier--a term that our culture leaves undefined, open, untied to specific historical era, social class, value system, or even gender. Your goal for this project is to work collaboratively to develop a richly detailed and theorized discussion/argument about the bad boy figure. The central objectives are 1) to illustrate the range of meanings the term/concept has, and 2) to present a credible argument (or multiple arguments) about why, culturally, the term is so unfixed. Our culture commonly uses the term "bad boy," but leaves it undefined, open, untied to specific historical era, social class, value system, or even gender. Working collaboratively, develop a detailed and theorized argument about the bad boy to illustrate the range of meanings the term/concept has and to explain why, culturally, the term is so unfixed. (written by: Jeanne Gunner, Professor of English)
Filipinos Depicted in American Culture: Racism toward Filipinos in American society has been historically present -- most prominently in the earlier 20th century -- but despite a recent decline in such racism, it has been incorporated generally and considered harmless. In television, films, pictures, and jokes the amount of inattention to racial/ethnic sensitivity in this area is remarkable. This article seeks to illuminate these inconsistencies in what is acceptable and inacceptable in terms of racism in the media.
The Paradox of Commercial Photography Power and Sexuality in Models: Commercial photography is a source of much torment especially in young impressionable girls. The idealization of the unhealthily slim, subjugated woman or the unhealthily powerful woman as a sexual icon is producing sentiments of insufficiency and abjection in young women. This article explores the effects of such developments.
The Bias of Neutrality: An Examination of a Congressman's Motivations on the Issue of Network Neutrality: Internet neutrality is the idea that no content on the Internet is given priority over any other. This idea is challenged by Congressman Gary Miller who maintains "freedom" of the Internet translates into no government regulation over the Internet; therefore the freedom is for the Internet Service Providers to regulate content on the basis of business interests -- giving priority to content which provides them financial incentive -- as opposed to freedom of the individual to view whatever content they choose.
Damming Brazil: There is no doubt that one of the most relevant and difficult issues we face in the 21st century will be the depletion of fossil fuels and the need for alternative sources of energy. Hydroelectric power is clean and sustainable, and thus a tenable alternative to coal or oil. Unfortunately there are negative consequences that result from hydroelectric dams that generate power that can be observed best in countries like Brazil, a country that leads the way in hydroelectric power which provides for 80% of national energy consumption. Among these consequences are ecological degradation, indigenous cultural degradation, the rampant spread of disease through flooding, and food and water scarcity and degradation.