Provost Student-Faculty Summer Research Program Summer 2014

Pace University’s Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program is a grant program in which students work one-on-one with faculty mentors on a specific project related to their field of study, pairs submitting their findings in blogs posts and summaries over the course of the summer. A small stipend is given to each student and faculty member accepted into the program for researching needs and each team has the opportunity to present their projects at the following research showcase.

Read more about Pace University’s Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program here.

Alongside Pace Professor of Sociology Andrea Voyer, I conducted a study aimed at documenting the social approval and disapproval of interracial couples, focusing specifically on how whiteness influences the public’s reaction towards interracial relationship. I hypothesized that approval of interracial dating would be lower for white-minority couples than minority-minority couples due to informal social sanctioning. To test this, I planted two confederate couples in a public space, one consisting of a white female and black male and the other of a hispanic female and black male, created a script of appropriate public displays of affection for the couples to engage in and used the visual method of videography to document reactions from the public (i.e. smiling, staring, glaring, avoidance, conversation about the couple, etc) in attempt to determine if perception of interracial couples differ according to its racial composition.

After two days of filming, the white-minority couple generated more attention, received more scrutiny and prompted more noteworthy and significant reactions from the public, supporting my hypothesis. I explain this by the attached material and symbolic privilege of whiteness and informal social sanctioning.

I had the opportunity to present my research at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society as well as the Annual Meeting of the Society of Fellows of Dyson College. It was amazing to be able to share my findings with other researchers and receive great feedback.

Read my summer blog posts here.

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