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Summer Term 2024 Research Positions

Please complete a research application and choose one of the research positions listed below (research applications available on the Undergraduate Research link or in Townshend Hall 141).  Please return your completed applications to the contact person listed for the project via email.

Below are the research projects that are available for students to work on for SOCIOL 4998 credit Summer Term 2024.  SOCIOL 4998 is one of the options that students can use to fulfill the major Experiential Learning Requirement - PLEASE NOTE, you may only count 3 hours total of research credit towards the SOCIOL-BA and CRIMINO-BA majors and 6 hours total of research credit towards the SOCIOL-BS major.  Also, remember that research experience is especially important if you are planning on applying to graduate school!

Please read the requirements for each project carefully, as some require either specific coursework or specific GPA.

Political Leaders Annotations on Truth Social (PLATS)
Email application to Dr. Laura Dugan at dugan.226@osu.edu

The PLATS project is building an archival database of Truth Social posts by federal and state political leaders that will be accessible to scholars and the general public for data visualization and analysis. The research team had created a similar database of Tweets called State Leaders Annotation of Tweets (SLANNT), which stopped when Elon Musk discontinued the academic researcher API. To create this database, we need to collect Truth Social usernames from a large list of political leaders. Research Assistants will help in this endeavor as well as participate in meetings about building the database.

Students should have a 3.0 GPA. Priority is given to those with digital, data, and/or methodological experience.

A Comparative Case Study of the “Stop the Sweeps” Movement
E-mail application to Alex Kempler at kempler.4@osu.edu

This project is focused on understanding contemporary movements for housing rights through a comparative case study of unhoused encampments in Los Angeles and Seattle. Specifically, this project will explore the national movement pushing to end encampment sweeps across the country. Through in-depth interviews with three respondent groups—encampment residents, housing rights activists, and encampment sweepers—this study will assess the place-specific elements that shape the trajectory and outcomes of mobilization against encampment sweeps. Research assistants will assist primarily with transcription and analysis of these interviews.

It is recommended that students have taken a research methods course or have previous research experience, although it is not required. Interest in unhoused populations, housing inequality, or social movements is a plus. If you’re interested, please send Alex Kempler an email at kempler.4@osu.edu with a brief message addressing the following information: (1) your major and expected semester of graduation and (2) why you’re interested in this project. Two students will be needed for this project.

(Il)legitimacy in Contemporary US Politics
E-mail application to Dr. Eric Schoon at schoon.1@osu.edu

From baseless accusations of widespread conspiracy to documented cases of voter suppression, questions about the legitimacy of US elections have grown increasingly common over the past decade. Part of a larger book project, the purpose of this research is to analyze accounts claiming that the November 2020 US election was illegitimate. The analysis will explore how these accounts are framed and how (il)legitimacy is defined. Students will participate in collection and analysis of news and social media data.

Completion of a course on sociological research methods is strongly preferred. 1-3 students needed.

Examining the Effects of Proximity to Whiteness on Non-White People
E-mail application to Evangeline at warren.651@osu.edu

Across the United States, there have been emphatic calls to expand research concerning racial disparities in health and to understand the critical mechanisms that shape these inequitable outcomes. Much of the prior work on this issue has compared racial groups to each other, emphasizing differences between racial groups rather than within racial groups. This serves to flatten our scientific understanding of how race operates, describing monolithic experiences across a group rather than illuminating the variety of experience within a group. As a result, the existing health disparities research does not typically investigate the gradations of experience non-white people have with respect to their health and wellbeing, particularly as it pertains to the role of whiteness in shaping key outcomes Through in-depth interviews with 75 non-white individuals of diverse backgrounds, this project will examine the effects of proximity to whiteness in three social domains (individual, interpersonal, and institutional) on the health and well-being of non-white people. Specifically, I am interested in embodied proximity to whiteness (through ancestry or appearance), familial proximity to whiteness (through intimate or household relationships), and structural proximity to whiteness (through schools or workplaces).

Students joining me on this project will assist with participant recruitment and compensation and with the transcription and anonymization of interviews. Students will develop skills in qualitative data management and will be asked to acquire basic knowledge about the social construction of race in the United States. Our work will be conducted remotely. Other than a weekly team meeting on Zoom, students will have flexibility in completely their assigned tasks.

Students should have at least a 3.0 GPA and should have passed a research methods course with a qualitative component. Preference will be given to applicants in Sociology and Public Health. Interested students should email me with a completed SOCIOL 4998 Application Form and a 200-word statement about their interest in this project.

ALL POSITIONS FILLED: After Obergefell: Queer Young Adults’ Perceptions of and Desires for Marriage
Email applications to Shelby Frye at frye.1148@buckeyemail.osu.edu

This project examines young adult members of the LGBTQ+ community about their perceptions of and desires for marriage. While marriage remains an influential institution in our society, its meaning and significance has changed over time, especially for queer people who were long left out of the institution and were only recently legally granted the ability to marry.  Currently, there exists little research on how young queer adults see the institution, whether they want to get married one day, and what factors influence these perceptions and desires. This study fills this gap by exploring the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of young LGBTQ+ individuals. Research assistants will assist with interview transcription and data analysis. 


If you’re interested, please send Shelby Frye an email frye.1148@buckeyemail.osu.edu with a brief message addressing the following information: (1) your major and expected semester of graduation, (2) your cumulative GPA, and (3) a brief statement why you’re interested in this project. One student is needed for three credit hours.

Queerying Columbus: Space and Place among LGBTQ Residents
E-mail application to Mo Woods at woods.858@osu.edu 

Columbus, OH has been increasingly recognized as an (unlikely) queer destination. While the city has long been a “hidden gem” in the Midwest, it has been gaining prominence as it became a smart city and its potential to be a “great city” is increasingly recognized. Despite this increasing prominence, Columbus is still underrepresented in (queer) urban sociology. This qualitative dissertation study seeks to understand queer communities, spaces, and experiences of Columbus and whether and how the city is welcoming or hostile to these queer communities.

I am looking for 2-3 students. Students assisting me with this project with help with transcribing and anonymizing interviews. We will have brief check-ins via Zoom as needed but you are otherwise free to complete transcriptions on your own schedule as long as the work is done before the end of the term.

Students should have at least a 3.0 GPA, have completed a course on sociological research methods (or research methods in a related social science), and ideally have some experience working with qualitative interview data. Interest in LGBTQ communities and the city of Columbus is strongly recommended. Interested students should email Mo Woods (woods.858@osu.edu) with the following information: (1) your major and expected graduation date, (2) your GPA, and (3) a brief 200-word statement about your interest in this project.