Plan Objectives & Projects in the Social Sciences

ECONOMICS

Preliminary: A study of economics, with a focus on the economics of education and education policy; project will compare aspects of U.S., Canadian, and Japanese educational systems.

PSYCHOLOGY

Preliminary: Build a foundation in psychology and investigate clinical approaches to the connection between the body and the mind.

SOCIOLOGY

Preliminary: Through a number of essays, I will examine issues in contemporary American society through a sociological perspective. I will most likely include original fiction in which the topics of my academic papers are woven into the narrative.

ECONOMICS/Labor & POLITICAL SCIENCE

Preliminary: I am interested in establishing connections between the laws and business practices of the eighties, how the labor movement was affected and has transformed, and how great the effects were on working class people in the U.S.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

Preliminary: A study of law as a vehicle for social reform, divided into three parts: (1) the development of Commerce Clause jurisprudence; (2) the effect of contemporary critiques of the effectiveness of the Commerce Clause as a vehicle for social change; and (3) an investigation into the rise of class-action lawsuits as a means for social reform.

Final: (Political Science/Legal Studies): A study of the intersection of Constitutional law and social reform. The study will focus on the federalist balance of power in the development of Constitutional doctrine, and a socio-legal analysis of law as a vehicle for social reform.
Project:
(1) A paper addressing the history of the commerce clause of the U.S. constitution, focusing on its effect on federalism; a paper used as a socio-legal critique of the commerce clause, including individual fieldwork; and a paper investigating the rise of cause lawyering and class action lawsuits as a vehicle for social reform.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES/Development Studies

Preliminary: A study of environmental policy as integrated into third world development in Central America and the Caribbean.

Final (Environmental Studies/Agroecology, Literature): A multi-disciplinary examination of agricultural land use in the American tropics through ecological, literary, and development perspectives.
Project:
Two papers: The first will examine the ecological principles of agroforestry systems in the American tropics. The second will explore the shift of agricultural land use due to the invasions of capitalistic development as portrayed through Guatemalan writer Miguel Angel Asturias’ Hombres de Maiz and The Banana Trilogy. Internship in Guatemala researching agroforestry methods used by a farmer in the Peten.

ANTHROPOLOGY/Linguistics

Preliminary: An exploration of linguistics through a study of the Abenaki language with some study of Abenaki culture and history.