Depressing NYT, Refreshing Theses

Here’s a screenshot of the NYT right this moment:
Somehow the combination of Maude’s death, the impending flu epidemic (if not now, soon), continued immigration sadness, the professor suspected in shooting, Iraq still slow-disintegrating, and the incredibly depressing potential re-rise of the monied financial classes. It makes me want to just throw up my hands or hide under a pillow.

Luckily I’ve got my thesis students’ final products to console me. At Barnard, we do this every year, a full-year project where students are encouraged to move from consumers to producers of knowledge. I’m exhausted by this, but very proud of all of them. This year was special in that I managed 9 theses, way more than I would consider good for anyone. I spent a good 10 hours a week on average with these students, between individual meetings, reading and commenting, advising, cajoling. And the last few weeks have nearly broken me.

But here they are:

  1. An comparative analysis of images of women in Seventeen magazine images (1958, 1980, 2008)
  2. A critical examination of the DSM and the means by which practitioners diagnose eating disorders
  3. A study of organizational decoupling in high- and low-performing public and charter schools in NYC
  4. A survey analysis of self-image and dieting/exercise patterns of college women
  5. An analysis of the institutional bases of diaspora identity, using the case of Armenians in the Northeast
  6. A study of 2nd generation Chinese immigrants and the ways they use social institutions in college to integrate into the US and maintain Chinese identity
  7. An examination of how technology changes the authoritative use of media, with a focus on the internet and a quantitative study of Twitter
  8. A James March-inspired study of high-stakes, high-ambiguity decision making, namely how college seniors manage the work of deciding what to do post-college.
  9. And, a study of how midwives are differentially able to manage their ideologies of women’s empowerment in the context of the medicalization of pregnancy.

Good for you, Barnard sociology women. Good for you.

Comments are disabled for this post