Sociation Today ® 
The Official 
Journal of 
The North 
Association: A 
Refereed Web-Based 
ISSN 1542-6300
Editorial Board:
George H. Conklin,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Robert Wortham,
 Associate Editor,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Rebecca Adams,

Bob Davis,
 North Carolina
 Agricultural and
 Technical State

Catherine Harris,
 Wake Forest

Ella Keller,
 State University

Ken Land,
 Duke University

Steve McNamee,

Miles Simpson,
 North Carolina
 Central University

William Smith,
 N.C. State University

Editorial Assistants

John W.M. Russell,

for Authors

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Volume 10, Number 2

Fall/Winter 2012

Special Focus:
Scholarly Papers Submitted by Students

Special Focus Editor:
Cameron Lippard
Appalachian State University

Outline of Articles

  1. Editorial Introduction to the Fall/Winter Issue 
    by George H. Conklin
      Following a record number of submissions to the North Carolina Sociological Society's call for papers for the Himes Awards, it became obvious that there was much quality work being done by future sociologists.  Professor Lippard comments: As the special focus editor, I am proud to present you this volume on student writing. Traditionally, the North Carolina Sociological Association has emphasized and championed student research and writing as a pivotal part of the future of sociology. Much of this emphasis has focused on paper competitions through the Himes Paper Awards but at the 2012 NCSA meetings, members agreed to further this emphasis by setting aside a special issue of Sociation Today to showcase student writing.  In this volume, you will find student authors who have a growing command of the skills necessary to be great researchers and writers. Several pieces present new spins on how to analyze traditional topics that include race, gender, sexuality, and gerontology. Many of these pieces were completed by undergraduate students and they came from a variety of institutions across the South. Overall, these students should be commended for their work and being fine examples of what 21st century Sociology has to offer to the world.  In addition, the introduction discusses acceptance rate for the journal and presentes a case-example of how our information spreads out from sociology to the mass media.
  2. The Impact of Emotional Social Support on Elders' Food Security 
    by Jennifer Woltil
      Food insecurity persists as a social problem in the U.S., putting its victims at risk of poor nutritional and overall health. Being food insecure is defined as the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally safe foods or the inability to access such foods in socially acceptable ways. Food insecurity research tends to focus on younger populations, particularly households with children. Food insecurity among the elderly is, therefore, poorly understood, both in prevalence and in prevention and intervention methods. Addressing this gap, the present study examined the relationships between emotional social support and food security using data from the 2007-08 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in an effort to further the understanding of food insecurity among elders. Specifically, the effects of an emotional social support presence, number of support sources and types of support sources on food security were observed using OLS linear regression. Results indicated that emotional social support alleviated the risk of food insecurity, even when household income, marital/partnership status and health status were controlled for. However, the source of the support mattered: elders who reported a spouse as the primary source of support were more likely to report being food secure, while those who reported an “other” primary source of support were more likely to report being food insecure. Number of support sources were not significantly related to food security.
  3. Breast Feeding Perceptions and Attitudes: The Effect of Race/Ethnicity and Cultural Background
    by Krystal Christopher
      Breastfeeding has been generating a lot of publicity in the past years largely due to new legislation promoting breastfeeding -friendly policies. However, the United States is far below many developed nations in regards to its populations’ breastfeeding prevalence and despite the unprecedented benefits of breastfeeding being documented, many are not breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding in the U.S. varies dramatically by race, with individuals identifying as Black or African American breastfeeding much less at 6 months postpartum than Asian or Pacific Islander, White, or Hispanic. Overall, Individuals identifying as Asian or Pacific Islander have a higher breastfeeding rate 6 months postpartum with Hispanics coming in second. This study uses survey data to analyze the impact of race/ethnicity and cultural background on college students’ attitudes towards breastfeeding. This study found that respondents identifying as Hispanic had a more positive attitude towards breastfeeding than any other race or ethnicity. Also, respondents having at least one parent born outside of the United States had a more positive perception of breastfeeding than those who had parents born in the United States. These findings suggest that there are some cultural and racial influences on one’s perception and attitudes as it pertains to breastfeeding.
  4. Du Bois'  The Quest of the Silver Fleece: Sociology Through Fiction
    by Rashad L. James
      The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how Du Bois used fiction to portray sociological facts on race relations impacting an African American community at the beginning of the twentieth century as portrayed by his novel The Quest of the Silver Fleece. It is argued that the African American community depicted in The Quest of the Silver Fleece reflects conditions that were present in Lowndes County, Alabama in 1906. Du Bois therefore utilized fiction to display his sociological findings for the suppressed Lowndes County study. Some may read this report and still hold reservations as to the claim that The Quest of the Silver Fleece reflects what ought to have been present in the Lowndes County study. However, few can deny the sociological accuracy of the living conditions characterized of the Southern Black Belt as portrayed by Du Bois in The Quest of the Silver Fleece
  5. Sorrow Songs and Mbira Music: Du Bois, Mapfumo, and the Power of Music
    by Shelia Bassoppo-Moyo
      This article examines how music functions as social commentary on a group’s lived experience and as a tool to inform identity. Music is a data source that articulates historical and cultural contexts and can thus be utilized as social commentary to socially construct the identity of people of African ancestry and descent.  The "sorrow songs" are the music genre created by slaves in the American South and were considered by W. E. B. Du Bois as the most important historical narrative for African Americans. In comparison, the more contemporary "mbira music" or Chimeranga (rebellion) songs of Thomas Mapfumo, led the liberation struggle against colonialism in Zimbabwe. His music played a journalistic role in communicating with the masses.  Several theoretical perspectives were employed in this study which included Du Bois’ inductive, empirical framework for the study of "the Negro problems"; Georg Simmel’s perspective on the role of music in society;  Berger and Luckmann’s social construction of reality; and O'Shaughnessy and Stadler's social construction of the media.  This paper uses content analysis to analyze the musical lyrics of both genres.  These musical forms shed light on Du Bois' understanding of the veil and double consciousness within the African American experience and Zimbabwe's struggle for liberation respectively.  Points of intersection between the two genres provide insight into how music creates knowledge and constructs social reality.
  6. "Update Your Fairy-tale"--A Media Analysis of Hook-up Narratives
    by Renee M. Shelby
      "Hooking-up" with friends and acquaintances consists of a variety of sexual activities that range from kissing to intercourse. Rising in popularity, an estimated two-thirds of college students have engaged in at least one “hook-up.” This research explores the context and significance of popular media representations of “hooking-up,” attending to what shared meanings they convey to audience members. This paper presents qualitative analysis of 2011 United States, mainstream, romantic comedies featuring "hooking-up" as their primary narratives. Key findings include a positive portrayal of women’s sexual agency, a reification of men’s sex drive discourse, and the presentation of "hooking-up" as an alternative to relationship development. 
  7. A Public Presentations of Gendered Bodies:  A Look at Gay and Lesbian Online Dating Profiles
    by Andrew Latinsky
      This paper examines how stereotypes and media presentations related to gender norms influence public presentations of gay men and lesbian women. Using online profiles from the online dating website, this paper examines the body types daters use to describe themselves, their ideal date, and if the poster has a photograph of themselves on their profile.  These profiles are used as a method of observing public presentations that are in a unique situation to be tailored towards notions of publically displayed social desirability. Findings indicate that gay men present their online bodies as stereotypically masculine and athletic, while lesbian women are willing to display a slightly broader range of body types. In addition, regardless of gender, both gay men and lesbian women present their ideal dates as stereotypically attractive, with gay men having a particular affinity for dating athletic men. Regression analysis suggests that intersectional variables such as race and age influence a person’s willingness to display a profile picture in the public arena. Overall, this study concludes that heteronormative standards of masculinity combined with structural influences from both the media and peer groups likely have an impact on gay men’s ideal gendered body, while the comparative exclusion of lesbian women from these media influences allow other experiences of gender norms slightly more freedom.
  8. The White Habitus and Hegemonic Masculinity at the Elite Southern University: Asian Americans and the Need for Intersectional Analysis
    by Rosalind S. Chou, Kristen Lee and Simon Ho
      Our article demonstrates the power of white habitus, prevalence of colorblind racism, and effect of hegemonic masculine ideology on Asian American students at an elite Southern university. This study takes an intersectional approach towards white habitus, acknowledging the gendered sexualized nature of colorblind racial ideology. Using semi-structured interviews with 14 Asian American undergraduates, we emphasize that Asian Americans are not immune to the racist and racialized experiences of even the most elite American universities and its social spaces. Findings suggest that white habitus and exclusionary white university Greek spaces support a racialized, sexualized, and gendered socialization that intimatley affects our respondents. Our Asian American undergraduates describe instances of sexualized racism and racialized romantic experiences that are particular by gender. We also discuss how our participants have adopted and internalized ideology produced from white habitus and colorblind racism at the university. White habitus socializes and shapes Asian American students at an elite Southern university through intersecting domains of power and through exclusion in largely white spaces.

      ©2012 by Sociation Today