Our Undergraduates Present at the Iowa Sociology Association's Annual Meeting

Eight of our undergraduate students presented research at this year’s Iowa Sociology Conference. Zilin Zhu was  awarded the  prize for best freshman/sophomore paper. Find out more about some of their fantastic research below!

ISA Conference Presenters

Jerred Albaugh

Leadership and Success: Authenticity within Organizations

For centuries humankind has questioned what exactly leads an organization to success. We seem to have narrowed the answer down to leadership; vague as that answer is. In this paper I dissect differing leadership styles and argue that moral and ethical authenticity is not only the most important characteristic of a good leader but also beneficial to an organization; financially-wise as well as in regard to employee/customer satisfaction. I begin by defining just what makes a leader “good” or “bad,” authentic or inauthentic, and explore how certain leadership styles directly and indirectly affect an organization and its members. I then explore past and current examples of authentic and inauthentic leadership and the resulting success or failure of said leadership. Ultimately, revisiting differing leadership styles and integrating my previous examples, I illustrate how authenticity it is the most beneficial leadership style in today’s environment.


Trent Fekkers

Best Practices in Gender Affirming Health Care for Trans* and Non-Binary Patients

Presentation on best practices in trans*-identified or gender non-binary healthcare.


Emma Fenstermaker

Model Minority Myth?: Men and Women during Interaction Using an Expectation States Approach

This social psychological study utilized status characteristics theory and the standard experimental setting to examine the potential status hierarchies that form in task groups between Asian, Asian American, and White men with White women. I conducted a 3-condition, double blind experiment in The Center for the Study of Group Processes using a subject pool of White female undergraduate students at The University of Iowa. Status characteristics theory posits that within groups focused on completing a task together, individuals may assume their fellow group members are more or less competent based on their status characteristics, such as race or immigration status. Those expectations create group status hierarchies because individuals make these assumptions about both themselves and others. Their behavior then matches those assumptions. The preliminary results show that White female participants deferred to Asian American men the most, followed by White men, and that they least defer to Asian men.


Chang Jiang

Exploring Singleness and the Life Experiences of Single People in Iowa City

This study explores singleness and the life experiences of single people in Iowa City. My main research question is whether singles face stigma in their lives. If yes, what experiences showed the stigma? What factors affect theses experiences? I interviewed 9 single participants between the ages of 24 - 60 coming from various backgrounds and asked them about their own opinions about singleness and their life experiences. My purpose was to determine what factors affect peoples' opinions towards singleness and what factors affect single peoples' life experiences. Results suggest that single people have different social lives compared to married people;le, and cultural background and region of residence affected how single people view singleness. 


Herbert Meisner

Culturally Specific Advocacy: LGBTQ Survivors 101

This paper presents engaged research with a community organization that provides support to survivors of sexual violence.  More specifically, this project investigates factors related to the delivery of support and healing for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence. The purpose was to gain knowledge about advocacy programming in both a small city and rural settings, with a particular focus on providing recommendations for law enforcement agencies. Additionally, there is a focus on training for staff and volunteers and extending types and format of programming beyond cisgendered, heterosexual, and primarily white women, who have been the focus of much of the past programming for survivors of sexual violence.  In the present research, I focus specifically on the culturally specific programming and advocacy based on the demographics of race, age, relationship with the offender and with attention to how programming in the organization that I studied addresses gender identity and sexual orientation. I present a literature review and results from a recent climate survey at a major midwestern university, along with findings from my own interviews with staff members working with a local organization providing support and services to survivors of sexual violence. Finally, I develop a set of made recommendations for training in advocacy organizations that may better serve LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence.


Stella Son

Differential Perceptions towards Hate Crimes Targeting Asian Americans

This study extends the previous finding by Lee, Vue, Seklecki, and Ma (2007) on Asian Americans’ responses to two different hate crime situations. Among more than 300 participants, we drew our analysis from 277 White or European American, 17 Asian American, and 24 Hispanic or Latino(a) American. In conclusion, Asian Americans are more likely to be more sensitive to a hate crime situation in which only racial in-group members are targeted compared to a situation that includes a racial in-group member and other minority members. The in between-subjects comparison also found that White or European Americans significantly differ from Asian Americans’ responses in perceiving each case as a hate crime. These results not only replicated but also further extended the finding from the previous study even after controlling for the confounding factors. This suggests that the racial characteristics of the victim are likely to be responsible for their perception.

Jiahan Zhang

Why Slash Fiction is Still Not Queer Enough

This article is trying to have a critical perspective about how slash fiction is still underlying the heterosexual imagination. Even though slash fiction become popular in the queer communities and give people about queer sensation, the slash fiction is still demonstrating an unequal relationship. This article is using the latent analysis as the inductive approach, trying to analyze the qualitative data from the representative anime “Yuri On the Ice.” As the results, even though the slash fiction characters have the mixed masculinity and femininity, their relationships are still built on the unequal power dynamic.


Zilin Zhu 

A fantasy of anti-patriarchal revolution – a gender analysis of Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena is a 1997 Japanese anime series directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. This anime series contains numerous messages about gender roles and the gender binary. The rebellion of the two female characters, Utena and Anthy, against the existing gender system is worthy of a sociological examination. In this article, I use sociological literature on gender to analyze the gendered messages inRevolutionary Girl Utena. In particular, I pay attention to Utena’s and Anthy’s understanding of their gender role and their transformation from submissiveness to active resistance. First, I will introduce the overall plot of the anime series. Then, I will discuss gender and sex from a sociological perspective. Finally, I will analyze the anime series by through a sociological lens. 







Other articles in this Newsletter