Graduate Student Research Spotlights

Evelyn Gertz

  1. What is the topic of your research? My research focuses on mass violence, specifically how siblings contribute to genocide perpetrators' propensity towards violence.
  2. How did you become interested in this? I became broadly interested in political violence while living in Israel for three years after college.  I could not comprehend the constant carnage and bloodshed in the region. I witnessed Arabs and Jews peacefully interacting every day in schools, hospitals, grocery stores, and banks, yet fundamentalists from both sides continued to commit horrific acts of violence. I decided to attend graduate school to try to make sense of what was going on around me.
  3. What is the most interesting finding you’ve uncovered during your research? The most interesting thing I've learned about genocide so far is that oftentimes people don't participate because of hate or bureaucratic obedience. Instead, social networks and intra-group pressures influence a genocidal act.
  4. What are your plans after leaving Ohio State? Following graduate school, I will search for a position as a sociology professor at a research university, where I hope to continue to teach and study international political conflicts. I also aspire to serve on a State Department advisory committee for international peace-keeping.
  5. One interesting fact about yourself. In spring  2014 I completed a month-long hike across the state of Israel!

Photo of Ms. Gertz

Scott Duxbury

  1. What is the topic of your research? Broadly, I am interested in power and marginality. More specifically, I focus on cultural criminology, relational sociology and (recently) field theory/cultural fields.
  2. How did you become interested in this? As an undergraduate, I was largely drawn to social sciences by the works of Bourdieu, Foucault and the Frankfurt school. Particularly, by their emphases on ideological arrangements of power, epistemology and their influence on institutional arrangements. Sociology offers a large methodological and theoretical toolkit to examine these issues. 
  3. What is the most interesting finding you’ve uncovered during your research?  Right now I am studying how cultural processes of legitimation and valuation contribute to marginal groups' ability to challenge power structures. My most interesting finding is that efforts towards standardization can create group boundaries. Usually, social movements and groups create distinction by simplifying the 'world out there' in a way that reinforces group members' values. I find the opposite: by mirroring a dominant narrative, marginal groups highlight and cement the distinction between groups.
  4. What are your plans after leaving Ohio State? Being in my first year, I honestly haven't spent much time thinking about my plans after Ohio State. I would love a tenure track position at a good school--hopefully that goes well!
  5. One interesting fact about yourself. I am a barefoot distance runner.

Photo of Mr. Duxbury

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