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2014 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 9336 words || 
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1. Vrla, Stephen. "Something to See Here: Looking at Road-Killing and Road-Killed Animals" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Aug 15, 2014 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-10-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p725435_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The road-killing of non-human animals, like other forms of animal killing, is both ubiquitous and overlooked. Every day, myriad animals are killed by automobiles, including approximately one million vertebrates in the United States alone. Despite being readily visible, the majority of these road-killed animals go unnoticed by most people. Recently, however, humans’ tendency to overlook this ubiquitous aspect of their relationship with other animals has begun to shift. Over the past decade, for example, social scientists have begun researching road-killing. In this paper, I contribute to this research, which has heretofore been largely theoretical, by examining American adults’ attitudes toward road-killed animals through multiple regression analysis of survey data and Personal Meaning Mapping. I find that exposure to road-killed animals decreases people’s sensitivity to them at the same time that it increases their concern about road-killing. I also find that the effects of exposure on sensitivity and concern are stronger when the exposure is to road-killed domestic animals than to road-killed wild animals. In light of these findings, I explore connections among road-killing and other instances of human desensitization to animal-directed violence. In conclusion, I argue that people’s desensitization to road-killed animals may adversely affect their relationships with other animals and humans, and I suggest that recent efforts to subjectify road-killed animals through roadside memorials may help minimize these adverse effects.
Keywords: animal attitudes, desensitization to violence, road-killed animals, road-killing

2018 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 11242 words || 
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2. Johnson, Ethan., Edgell, Penny. and Hull, Kathleen. "I Won’t Kill Jimmy, but I’ll Kill that Fly: Rapport as a Structure of Social Interaction" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center & Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 09, 2018 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-10-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1379008_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Contested social settings—environments which feature nonexistent, highly troubled, or unsettled cultural orders—offer scholars a premier empirical context within which to track the possibilities and material stakes of cultural change and reproduction. Synthesizing theories of cultural practice (Swidler 1986; Bourdieu 1977), group-level culture (Fine 1979; Eliasoph and Lichternman 2003), and shared affect (Durkheim 1915; Collins 2004), we develop an analytic framework in which we leverage evidence of shared positive affect—rapport—to trace the emergence of coherent cultural orders in micro, initially-contested social settings. Then, in an empirical demonstration featuring data from eight focus groups, we find that, even in new and temporary idiocultural settings, various combinations of actors’ imported cultural frames, meanings, as well as idiosyncratic local events make possible the emergence of regimes of group-level rapport. This rapport serves as an affective signal, to participants and observers alike, the terms of the emergent cultural order in the setting, creating and reinforcing real social barriers with potentially real social stakes. We end with a discussion of how scholars may leverage our analytic framework to trace the material effects of cultural change and reproduction in the future.

2017 - Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting Words: 853 words || 
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3. Cutright, Marc., Jowi, James. and Namalefe, Susan. "“We are al-Shabaab, and we are here to kill and be killed!”: Persistence in higher education after extreme trauma" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting, Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, Mar 04, 2017 <Not Available>. 2019-10-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1215107_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: On 2 April 2015, Somali-based al-Shabaab terrorists began an assault on the campus of Garissa University College in Kenya, killing 147 people, almost all of them students. The attack began at 5:30 a.m., and was not contained until nearly dusk (Gettlemen, Kushkush, & Callimachi, 2015).

We wanted to know the sources of resilience and support for those students who elected to continue their educations. There has been a considerable amount of research in the West about resilience and trauma (e.g., Agaibi & Wilson, 2005; Banyard & Cantor, 2004; Galatzer-Levy, Burton, & Bonanno, 2012). But far less research has been done about persistence in higher education among those who experience extreme trauma, and not in the contexts of African cultures.

We entered this research looking for lessons that might be of greatest aid to the recovery and persistence toward goals for individuals such as these, in the belief that this knowledge may be of utility in the future. History and modern circumstances suggest that we have not seen the last of such heinous attacks or the selection of concentrations of people as targets. We need to know more about how best to support survivors, and in our focus, that of university students.

We conducted our research on the campus of Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya, one year after the terrorist attack. Surviving students of Garissa were afforded the chance to transfer to Moi or its other constituent campuses. Most have chosen not to return to Garissa, even though the campus reopened in January 2016.

Our research protocol was reviewed and approved both in Kenya and the United States. We interviewed 13 survivors now enrolled at Moi, with assurances of confidentiality and that no one was compelled to be interviewed.

While a recounting of personal experience on that day was not the focus of our research, we quickly learned that it was an essential context for our, and the students’, framing of what has happened since. The stories were heart-stopping. We interviewed students who survived being shot three times. Another student witnessed all five of her roommates executed. Another hid in the upper cabinet of a wardrobe, and heard the terrorists enter her room, shoot a roommate, and search for others, missing the upper cabinet. One young man was shot so badly in the leg that he tore part of it away, so as not to be hindered in it in crawling away.

Students volunteered that this interview was the first time that anyone had allowed them to speak at length about their experiences, and expressed thanks. At the end of the second day, most of the students, all known to one another, met with us a group so that we could summarize for them what we thought we had heard and learned. Our findings reflect the affirmation we found in this group discussion.

These are among the major things we heard:

Counseling should be a process, not an event. It needs to be ongoing. All students reported having gotten some counseling, but most had received none in recent months, or it was available only for a fee. Most students reported a need for it now, as they had many unresolved issues, and new issues that have emerged. They wanted to be counseled as well on offering some basic counseling to other students, particularly those who eschewed such assistance from authorities.

Faith-based counseling helped many, but it is not in itself enough. Several of the students, all Christians, were in chapel at morning prayers when the terrorists entered with a grenade and gunfire about 5:30 a.m. These most devout students tended to find comfort and future purpose in their faith, but others wondered aloud why God would allow such a thing. Counseling needs to be more than the advice to “trust God.”

There should be transparency and equity in financial support. The students all knew that many millions of shillings had been donated for their support and continuation in university. Most had received nothing. When inquiries were made of officials about this, the students reported being directly or indirectly threatened with expulsion. They wanted an advocate who could represent them to power.

Social integration at a new campus has been difficult. A minority of students reported developing a new network of friends and connections at Moi. Most did not. Some associated with old friends from Garissa. Others characterized themselves, essentially, of having withdrawn from the social world. They felt that the university should have more active in promoting this sense of belonging and community. Many wished for opportunities to tell their stories.

References

Agaibi, C.E., & Wilson, J.P. (2005). Trauma, PTSD, and resilience: A review of the literature. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 6(3), 195-216

Banyard, V.L., & Cantor, E.N. (2004). Adjustment of college among trauma survivors: An exploratory study of resilience. Journal of College Student Development, 45(2), 207-221)

Galatzer-Levy, I.R., Burton, C.L., & Bonanno, G.A. (2012) Coping flexibility, potentially traumatic life events, and resilience: A prospective study of college student adjustment. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(6), 542-567

Gettlemen, J. Kushkush, I.; & Callimachi, R. (2015, April 2). Somali militants kill 147 at Kenyan university. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/03/world/africa/garissa-university-college-shooting-in-kenya.html?_r=0

2006 - International Studies Association Words: 314 words || 
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4. McDoom, Omar. ""We Must Kill Them before They Kill Us": Testing the Strategic Use of Threat in Ethnic Mobilization: The Case of the Rwandan Genocide" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA, Mar 22, 2006 <Not Available>. 2019-10-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p100744_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Is ethnic mobilization simply a consequence of elite strategies to foment and exploit populist sentiment for private agenda? Or do ?followers? have their own individual agenda that instead drive or give birth to leaders who organize and agitate for their interests? Put succinctly where does the impetus for mobilization originate? The literature is divided here between mostly theory-driven work favoring top-down, that is elite-centric explanations that assume malleability and homogeneity of ?the masses?, and work that perhaps has less currency and instead examines the individual agency and heterogeneity of those at the bottom. This project, based on extensive fieldwork in Rwanda, steers a course through this debate by instead identifying some of the mechanisms that were at play in the years leading up to and during the genocide in 1994. As an instance of ethnic mobilization the genocide is remarkable for its scale ? nation-wide - and its speed ? one hundred days in which the bulk of the estimated 800,000 deaths occurred. Through a research design that compared two regions of Rwanda, I show that mobilization followed different trajectories in these two regions but that there were common mechanisms underlying both processes. In this paper I examine one mechanism - the strategic use of framed messages to construct a security dilemma. I look at the nature of the threat as it was understood by both ordinary farmers and the ethnic and political entrepreneurs who led them as well as the extent to which it was or was not internalized by them all. I also probe the collective memory against which these messages resonated to define the threat in historical, ethnic, and adversarial terms. Finally I construct socio-demographic profiles of both the ?mobilized? and the ?mobilizers? to show that there was considerable diversity within both groups and that one cannot generalize that the genocide was the result of self-interested elites cynically manipulating unquestioning peasants.

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