Spring Semester 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 Spring Semester 2023.  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.

Trauma and (In)Justice
Email application to Alana Van Gundy at vangundy.45@osu.edu

This project is focused on examining the relationship between trauma and involvement within the criminal justice system. Those who experience trauma at a young age often end up in the criminal justice system. They experience additional trauma via contact with police and corrections and often make poor witnesses at trial due to trauma related brain injuries. This project will focus on gathering information on trauma and injury, examining how trauma impacts how individuals experience or attain justice, and finding policy and legislation that has addressed this issue. This project will combine the fields of sociology, intersectionality, psychology, law, and public policy.

A 3.0 GPA or higher is required. It is recommended that students have taken a research methods course or have previous research experience, although this is not required. Interest in criminal justice, mental health and trauma, and public policy is a plus. Please contact Alana Van Gundy at vangundy.45@osu.edu with your resume and a brief paragraph of why you may be interested in working on this project. Amount of students requested: 2-3.

Contemporary Bisexuality: Identity Formation, Expression, and Interactions
E-mail application to Meagan Pendleton at pendleton.109@osu.edu 

The sexual identity disclosure process is often considered an important part of identity development for sexual minorities and the decision of when or if to disclose one’s sexual identity is an important decision sexual minorities face. Although other sexual minorities experience the process of coming out or disclosing their sexual identity, this experience can be particularly salient for bisexual individuals who can often be understood as heterosexual in interactional processes. Similarly, bisexuals in same-gender relationships may be labeled and treated as a homosexual in everyday interactions, which can lead to negative sanctions. Both lead to bisexual erasure, which describes the ways in which bisexuality is erased and delegitimized from our society. The heteronormative foundation of our society reinforces the sexual binary, erasing bisexuality and queerness as recognizable identity categories in social interactions. 

Using in-depth semi-structured interviews, this qualitative investigation aims to build on emerging research that explores bisexual populations and the sexual identity disclosure process and asks the following: What does it mean to be bisexual today? What factors lead to the sexual identity disclosure of bisexuals?  Why do people identify as bisexual and how do bisexuals negotiate their identities?

Interested students ideally will have completed a research methods course. If you are interested or have any questions, please email Meagan an email at pendleton.109@osu.edu with the following: your major and expected semester of graduation, why you’re interested in the project, and what you hope to gain from this experience. I am looking for 2-3 undergraduate students.

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.

ALL POSITIONS FILLED: Political Economy and Gentrification in the Franklinton Neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio
Email application to Jacob Kepes at kepes.8@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Franklinton, also known as “The Bottoms”, is the oldest-settled neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, and was founded by Lucas Sullivant in 1797. Franklinton is on the periphery of downtown Columbus and is highly impoverished and sparsely populated compared to nearby neighborhoods. In recent years, the neighborhood has undergone rapid change with the construction of numerous apartment buildings and mid-rise buildings. Many Columbus residents appear concerned about the implications of the rising cost of living and gentrification pushing out long-term residents of the neighborhood. Being the only growing city in the state of Ohio, Columbus makes for a great case study of gentrification, both qualitatively and quantitatively. To understand this phenomenon of neighborhood change and gentrification, I focus my research on three domains: 1) interviews with developers and government officials (the political economy); 2) a qualitative study involving participant observation, photography of neighborhood change, and interviews of residents, both new and old, about their stories and opinions on the neighborhood’s changes; and 3) a quantitative spatial analysis of neighborhood change and gentrification, including poverty levels, rent burden, shortage of affordable housing, racial composition, and other measures. I am looking for an undergraduate student to accompany me to interviews and community meetings, to assist with interview transcription, and to take part in ethnography involving visiting Franklinton frequently.

I ask that prospective students to have completed Research Methods, attention-to-detail, and interpersonal skills. I am hoping for 1-2 undergraduate students.

How Hip-hop has Addressed Health, 2012- 2022
Email application to Kyra Rost at rost.30@osu.edu

This project will examine how Hip-hop can be a source of information for health care professionals and policy makers to understand Black American health. This will be a mixed methods project that leans mainly on qualitative methods with some statistical analysis. Specifically, this project will involve analyzing 1,000 hip-hop songs from 2012-2022 using NVIVO, running basic statistical demographic characteristics of artist and songs, and creating analytical memos using music videos.

Students should have received a passing grade in the appropriate research methods course in their discipline and be in good academic standing with the university. Those interested in media, mental health, Hip-hop culture, social determinates of health, and general health should consider applying, although this is not a requirement. I hope to have 2-3 undergraduate students to help with this project. Please reach out to me via email rost.30@osu.edu to answer the following a) introduce yourself- major, year, interest b)why you are interested in being a part of this project and c) any goals or things you would like to gain from working with me on this project.

Far-Right Extremist Networks in State Politics (FRENS)
Email application to Jack Wippell at wippell.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Far-right extremism is increasingly creeping into mainstream politics. The FRENS project is building a database of ties between far-right extremist groups and politicians at the state and local level. This database will be used to map the influence of far-right ideologies within the political systems of the United States. To create this database, we need to collect and synthesize politician membership data from a large list of sources. The Research Assistants will help in this endeavor as well as participate in meetings about building the database. 

Students should have a 3.0 GPA. Familiarity with research methods is encouraged.

Families We Lose Study
Email application to Dr. Rin Reczek at reczek.2@osu.edu

The Families We Lose Study is an in-depth interview study that focuses on people who are estranged or “no contact” with a family member. We have been conducting interviews with people who have experienced estrangement; the Undergraduate RA would be helping with transcription and data cleaning.

We would like you to have completed research methods. 2-3 students needed.

A Multi-Actor Examination of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
E-mail application to Anna Church at church.213@osu.edu

This project is focused on understanding the experience of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) from provider, patient, and residential partner perspectives. GDM is a glucose intolerance that appears during pregnancy and is one of the most common pregnancy complications. There is low consensus around what causes GDM, how to diagnose it, and how to treat it, which makes it ripe for sociological analysis! Existing treatment plans are individually intensive, can contribute to differences in disease management by socioeconomic status and race, and are further complicated by general pregnancy health and notions of ideal motherhood. This project will involve interviewing physicians and other healthcare workers involved in GDM treatment, patients, and residential partners of patients. Research assistants will assist with transcription and analyzing these interviews. This project will also involve ethnographic participant observation and social scientific literature review of medical research and texts. Training and guidance will be provided by Anna, and there may be opportunities to work more in-depth on aspects of this project depending on student interest and motivation. Research assistants should be detail-oriented, interested in qualitative methods, and willing to undergo CITI training so they can be added to the study IRB. Please apply if you are interested in health/medical sociology, gender, motherhood, pregnancy or SES and racial inequality! 

Sociology students with a 3.0 GPA (students with a public health background or other medicine-oriented interests) are welcome to apply. Students who have completed the Sociological Research Methods (SOC3487) course will be given priority. If you are interested, please send Anna Church an email at church.213@osu.edu with a message that addresses the following: a) your major and expected semester of graduation, b) what interests you about this project, c) your previous experience(s) working with qualitative data or research projects in general, d) how many hours you are available to work each week. Feel free to include any questions you may have about the project as well! Looking for 4-6 students.

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Undergraduate Editorial Assistant
E-mail application to Luther Young at young.2734@osu.edu

The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (JSSR) is a multi-disciplinary journal that publishes articles, research notes, and reviews, delving into social scientific examinations of religion. From micro-level personal experiences to macro-level analyses of organizations and social shifts, we present perspectives that unveil the diverse tapestry of religious study, spanning sociology, anthropology, psychology, and more. The undergraduate assistant will assist the JSSR editorial team in expanding the reach and diversity of the journal by compiling reports, researching potential authors and reviewers, and identifying innovative research topics for consideration. This assistantship provides students with a unique opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes knowledge of academic publishing and the peer-review process.

A 2.5 GPA or higher is required. Please contact Luther Young at young.2734@osu.edu with your resume and a brief paragraph explaining why you are interested in working with this project.