Summer Projects (2020)

There are currently three students under my supervision engaging in summer research, who are fully funded through the Pomona College Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience (RAISE) program. One student is working on the management and increasing prevalence of the commodification of the personal self during COVID19 amongst young gay men. Two students work closely with me to develop a dataset on the COVID19 narratives disseminated through the media, specifically through 5 major newspapers.

Exploring the sociopolitical dynamics of COVID19 pandemic coverage in the United States

Narratives and reporting have the power to change public opinion, promote specific public policy, and re-frame public discourse on a subject. This project aims to explore the sociopolitical dynamics of COVID-19 pandemic coverage in the United States. We focus on mainstream media coverage of the pandemic, exploring the ways in which narrative shifts control the public’s image of the pandemic and serve to re-entrench structures of inequality.

Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques, our goal is to determine, if and when a narrative shift occurs between February 1, 2020 to present, and the causes of these narrative shifts.

Students are learning the basics of qualitative research methods, how to develop a dataset within the Quirkos environment, while deepening their knowledge on structures of inequality and how they are reproduced in our society.

Students: Tan and Shah

Money and Power: The role of economic capital and the symbolic self in the rise of OnlyFans amongst gay men.

Image by rbrudolph from Pixabay

How does the monetization of the sexual and personal self, play into the symbolic reclamation of power through acquisition of capital in a heteronormative society which ties both heterosexuality and money to masculinity?

In this project, the student’s objective is to understand how the personal and sexual self are leveraged to gain capital particularly during the COVID19 pandemic.

Student: von Behren