Sociology Senior Capstone Research

Sociology Senior Capstone Research

The Sociology department at Siena is proud of its strong student research tradition. In their senior year, our students undertake primary research projects on a range of social issues.

Capstone Research Projects 2013 - 2014

Taylor Carey: A Study of the Equestrian Subculture

Based on qualitative interviews with equestrians, the study examines factors that draw individuals to equestrian sports, the nature of their relationships within the equestrian subculture, the financial impacts of participation, and accidents and injuries. The study finds that women make up the majority of this sport and compete at the same level as their male counterparts.  However, women face greater pressure to conform to the ideal image of femininity, resulting in a higher prevalence of eating disorders. The study also finds that relationships among equestrians are strong and friendship-based. Relationships outside of the equestrian subculture are, in some cases strained because of the excessive time spent caring for the equines, training, and competitions.

Priscilla Grimes: Education Behind Bars- Insights into Correctional Education

This research uses a two-pronged approach to examine the transformative power of correctional education. First, it uses a case-study method to evaluate the experiences and success of one particular correctional education program: Siena College’s Mt McGregor partnership. Second, the research conducts in-depth interviews with formerly incarcerated on their experiences with correctional education. Overall, both faculty with the McGregor program and the formerly incarcerated participants agree that correctional education helps the reentry process.

Amir Lewis: Same Sex Marriage and the U.S. Military- Is it Socially Acceptable?

Given that the United States Military has long been a masculine institution, this research addresses the questions: How socially acceptable is same sex marriage in the U.S Military? What are the experiences of same sex married couples in the military? These questions are answered using a mixed methods approach, including interviews with gay and lesbian service members on their experiences in the military and a web-based survey administered to 150 army reserve service men and women. The research finds that despite the repeal of DADT, there are military personnel who are still very reluctant in letting their sexuality be known. Though the findings do not reflect on the overall military, it is interesting to note that many senior enlisted personnel are unaccepting of the same sex marriage.

Lauren Recchia: Pushing through Stigma- Empowerment through Adaptive Sports

How do adaptive sports physically and emotionally influence physically impaired individuals? Do adaptive sports promote social inclusion? How do adaptive sports empower physically impaired individuals? Using the Right’s Based Model of empowerment and interviews with physically impaired males in adaptive sports, the study finds that there are both physical and emotional benefits in participation. Through adaptive sports, participants feel a sense of inclusion and empowerment that enables them to overcome societal stereotypes.

Adriana Schutz: Embracing Age- An Examination into the Multiple Facets of the Aging Experience

As the baby boom generation is entering their older years, the number of elders in the United States is increasing. Traditionally, youth oriented American culture has a negative perception of aging. There is a persistent worry that with chronological age comes disease, disability, and depression. Different factors impact aging experience. The research questions are: 1) What are the key determinants to a positive aging experience? 2.) How do active engagement, family involvement, friendship relations, race, class, employment, and education impact aging? Based on survey research and interviews with seniors in two senior centers in the Capital District, one in a suburban setting and the other in an urban setting, the study finds that family relationships, active engagement, financial security, and health insurance play a critical role in the aging process.

Neman Tuite: Hyphenated Selves- Social Identities of Muslim Americans

The study examines the struggles of negotiating multiple identities in post 911 America: Muslim, American, religious and national. While a balance between an individual’s national and religious identity is possible, it is not without struggles. The notions of hybridity and third space are used to document the experiences of first and 1.5 generation Muslim Americans.

Camille Tulet: Urban Redevelopment- The Effects of the Atlantic Yards Project on the Surrounding Brooklyn Community

This research examines the socio-economic impact of the Atlantic Yards Project, the large redevelopment project being constructed in downtown Brooklyn. What are the social and economic effects of the redevelopment project on the local Brooklyn community? Interviews with small local business owners, Barclay Center employees, and community leaders help better understand the community perception. Results show that local business owners and community leaders are critical of the Atlantic Yards Project, whereas Barclay Center employees’ mostly state positive social and economic effects.

Department Chair

Beverly Thompson

Beverly J. Yuen Thompson

Associate Professor of Sociology

322 Rosetti Hall

(518) 783‑2468