Posted on November 21, 2012 by Tia Lalani

Two recent graduates from Augustana Campus published their research in the Fall 2012 issue of Metamorphosis.

Two recent graduates from Augustana Campus have published their research in the Fall 2012 issue of Metamorphosis, the international Council of Public Liberal Arts College’s undergraduate research magazine.

Senior Undergraduate Students’ Experiences of Cynicism and Helplessness in Civic and Political Engagement
Alanna Lindsay (BA Psychology ’12)
Mentor: Jason Goertzen, psychology

Alanna describes a grounded theory study to acquire an understanding of undergraduate cynicism and helplessness towards civic and political engagement (CPE). Interviews were conducted with five senior undergraduates.

Two central categories arose from the data. The first was ‘cynicism as experiencing varying combinations of frustration and distrust, but also efficacy and meaning, when one perceives barriers to advancing, and ensuring the representation of, one’s worldview, which is neither adequately visible nor represented in the civic and/or political environment.’ The second was ‘helplessness (an extreme form of cynicism) as experiencing increased levels of distrust and/or frustration, as well as low self-efficacy and little meaning in CPE, when one perceives insurmountable barriers to advancing, and ensuring the representation of, their worldview, which is neither adequately visible nor represented in the current civic and/or political environment.’

The Nature of Knowledge: Toward an Ecofeminist Epistemology
Chloe Wall  (BA Philosophy and Religion ’12)
Mentor: Janet Wesselius

Traditionally, reason has been regarded as what differentiates humans from all other life on this planet, and sets us apart as superior beings. However, if reason is seen not as an independent, external phenomenon but as arising as a product of the body, then traditional epistemology needs very desperately to be re-examined.

Chloe critiques of theories of abstract and embodied reason, then examines the methods by which different groups of people have made claims to knowledge, the situation of those claims in sociohistorical contexts, and their ramifications.

Through examining and criticizing masculinist understandings of knowledge, objectivity, and justification through a feminist lens, she hopes to lay down the foundations of an ecofeminist epistemology born out of ecofeminist ethics.

Read the articles on the Metamorphosis website.


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