Macalester Sociology Students Awarded Top Two Places in National Competition
April 20, 2011
St. Paul, Minn. - Senior sociology majors Emily Christie of Indianapolis, Ind., and Evelyn Daugherty of Ann Arbor, Mich., have been selected as the first and second place winners, respectively, for the 2011 Alpha Kappa Delta Undergraduate Paper Competition. Alpha Kappa Delta, the honors society for sociology, sponsors the annual undergraduate paper competition which receives entries from across the country.
Christie’s first place paper “‘Declaraciones de Deseo y Declaraciones de Realidad’: State-Indigenous Relations and Intercultural-Bilingual Education in Peru and Guatemala” is based on interview data that she collected in both countries and comparative-historical evidence from a diverse set of sources. In the paper, Christie considers how both Peru and Guatemala came to provide formal recognition of an indigenous right to intercultural-bilingual education, but failed to implement such programs successfully. Her comparative analysis points to the importance of shifts in state-indigenous relations during the civil wars in both countries. These changes in relations led the governments to offer formal recognition to a range of indigenous rights; however, government practices resulted in implementation gaps between the “declarations of desire and declarations of reality.” Christie’s project received support from a Mellon Curricular Pathways Student-Faculty Summer Research grant.
Daugherty’s paper “Language in the Name of National Security: The Transformation of Arabic Language Instruction in U.S. Institutions of Higher Education” examines the impact of U.S. government interest on Arabic language instruction at institutions of higher education. Based on in-depth interviews with Arabic language instructors, observation of professional meetings, and historical analysis, Daugherty found that government interest in Arabic language has spurred a pedagogical shift from an emphasis on learning classical Arabic for academic purposes to an emphasis on learning modern Arabic for professional purposes. Despite instructors’ being wary of government priorities, instructors perceived the changes as legitimate and permanent responses to changes in professional organizations and student demand, which were both influenced by U.S. government priorities. Daugherty’s paper contributed to sociological analysis of institutions by incorporating analysis of how power, change, and individual actors influence outcomes.
By virtue of their awards, both Christie and Daugherty are automatically eligible to participate in the American Sociology Association Honors program which runs in conjunction with the Association’s Annual Meeting. Both the presentation of the awards and the Honors Program will be in Las Vegas in August. In addition to support for travel expenses and registration fees, Christie and Daugherty will receive cash prizes with their awards of $500 and $250 respectively.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu