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Sociology, Anthropology Students Participate in Graduate Research Symposium

Students present posters at the NC State graduate research symposium

Each year, the NC State Graduate Research Symposium showcases the outstanding quality and diversity of graduate-level research at NC State. The symposium was held on April 6, 2022, at the McKimmon Center. Anthropology graduate student Ciele Rosenberg and sociology graduate student Darien Dixon both participated in the symposium and did an excellent job representing the department. Congratulations!

Ciele Rosenberg at the NC State Graduate Research Symposium.

Ciele won first place in the Social Science category for her poster, “Fluctuating Asymmetry and the Embodiment of Maternal Stress at Newton Plantation, Barbados.”

Ciele’s paper examines fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in a population of enslaved individuals at Newton Plantation in Barbados to understand the mother-infant nexus through the embodiment and legacy of maternal stress. The Newton Plantation was a large-scale sugar plantation in Barbados that operated between the 17th and 19th centuries and previous historical research has shown that poor living conditions, nutritional deprivations, disease and the stress of extreme labor impacted the quality of life for enslaved individuals. Analysis of FA can be used as a proxy of fetal developmental instability, which is directly linked to the stress experienced by the mother during pregnancy. The paper presented results based on the evaluation of bilateral metric and nonmetric skeletal and dental data for each (N= 35) individual as well as explored trends in the population to identify any patterns related to age, sex, or other skeletal indicators of stress from previous research at the site. FA studies have been underemployed in bioarchaeological investigations, though they provide a lens that offers a salient view of the entanglement of the environmental and social realms and their manifestation into our biology. Ciele is advised by Dr. Julie Wesp.

Darien Dixon at the NC State Graduate Research Symposium.

Darien was asked to describe his research titled, “Experiencing School in Black & White: Analyzing Race Consciousness during the Racial Integration of Schools.”

He said, “I examined 30 semi-structured interviews of adult North Carolina residents who experienced the racial integration of schools firsthand. My main research question: how did Black and White people perceive the racial integration of schools as it initially unfolded? My interviewees’ stories clarified a crucial sociohistorical moment in the United States (U.S.), as de jure racial segregation collapsed before their eyes. Centralizing memories of school during racial integration, I investigated how Black and White interviewees navigated race talk. Across my data segments, I expected that Black participants would discuss race more than White participants when recounting memories of school during integration. I reasoned that interviewees unaffected by anti-Black racism during integration would eschew race talk, unless prompted by the interviewer(s) to delve deeper into the race-related conversation. My findings supported my predictions and other salient themes emerged that supported past literature about color-blind rhetoric. From documenting interviewees’ narratives, I aimed to highlight and disrupt rhetoric that may sustain racial color blindness and anti-Black racism in social discourse about U.S. history. ” Darien is advised by Dr. Melvin Thomas.