Meeting with Advisor

I am planning on meeting with Dr. Archer tomorrow afternoon, so I will have more information after that conversation.

I did, however, have a great conversation with Dr. Bezio right before Spring Break. We discussed the possible methods for my research, and one suggestion that I was offered was to look for milestones in democracy. We talked about how I should take a theoretical approach, which I define as being able to use statistics to say things about the theories that I am looking at. These theories will surround democracy and populism, and answer questions like “how are we behaving?” “how are our behaviors reflected on twitter?” “what does this all mean?”, etc. Dr. Bezio also gave me the contact information of a past student who I plan to reach out to in order to gain some insight into her research project, which included an analysis of Trump’s tweets during the 2016 election cycle.

Dr. Bezio also gave me a couple of sources that I looked at over the weekend. One of these sources was a Washington Post Article about how “internet culture” is actually a product of American culture. America, more than other country, utilizes the internet for its “froth and fluff”. Buzzfeed is filled with articles that are light and not necessarily relevant or informative. Other countries, such as France, utilize these sites to learn about politics or regional news. It is interesting to see how America versus France values the internet. The social media phenomena is not exclusive to the United States, but it is important to discuss the fact that internet culture means something completely different to Americans. This idea is something that i plan to address more in my research and I will define internet culture in the U.S. in terms of democracy.

Faculty Suggested Reading Notes

I am currently enrolled in EDUC 345, Urban Education, taught by Professor Mark Richardson. Dr. Richardson has been an amazing professor and connection because of his extensive experience within the Richmond City Public School system. After his Tuesday class, I informed him of my interest in researching the efficacy and/or ethics of providing incentives to students to improve academic achievement in the context of Title 1 schools. Immediately, he suggested that I read “The Good Behavior Game” which was a trial conducted in Baltimore City Public School System during the mid 1980s.

To give a brief outline, the Good Behavior Game (GBG), was only implemented in first and second grade classrooms and conducted on a classroom basis. Individual teachers would place a board of rules in the classroom, separate students into various groups and groups who did not commit too many infractions within a given time constraint were initially rewarded immediate benefits(candy, stickers) and later awarded deferred benefits (more time for free time during class). The study followed these students in the cohort until they were 21 years old analyzing aggressive/disruptive behavior levels. The study found that students, most prominently males, involved in the GBG cohort experienced significantly lower levels of aggressive and disruptive behaviors compared to their peers leading up into sixth grade.

After reading this research paper, a few concerns emerged. First, I seriously question getting IRB approval to conduct any type of classroom intervention on this scale. I don’t believe the only direct interaction I could have with the students is through observation and/or survey. Furthermore, while the study was grounded in incentive structure, I would have liked to see if there were noticeable differences among types of incentives (immediate vs. deferred). The only qualitative data the study used to support their claims was teacher observation ratings using the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation–Revised (TOCA–R)scale. The short length of the intervention in addition to the dearth of quantitative data or more comprehensive qualitative data (such as parent surveys, peer observations etc.) makes it very difficult for decipher the magnitude of central claims such as, “By the spring of sixth grade, males in GBG classrooms who had initially been rated above median levels for aggressive and disruptive behavior had significantly reduced these behaviors (Kellam et al., 1994).”

Moving forward, this study reaffirms the contention that incentives are effective, at least in the short run, on outcomes such as student behavior. However, I have encountered little evidence to suggest any strong correlation between incentives and student achievement in the long run. Due to the time constraint, limited access that I will likely encounter within the public school system, and Professor Flanigan making ethics sound so compelling, it may be more worthwhile to pursue an approach looking at the ethics of providing incentives to students in various contexts (immediate v. deferred, formal v. informal relationships, Title 1 v. non Title 1, elementary, middle or high school etc.).

Research Questions

  1. How has social media changed the nature of representative democracy in United States politcs?
  2. How has representative democracy been redefined as a result of the increased role that social media now plays in the political process in the United States?
  3. How did the 2016 presidential election, through Trump’s use of social media/twitter, redefine representative democracy in the U.S.?

Research Questions

  1. Does experiencing awe have lasting effects on a person’s personality and/or behaviors?
  2. Are these changes pro-social or anti-social?
  3. Does the context in which the awe is experienced mediate these effects?

Blog Post for March 19

These are the three major research questions I have narrowed my project to (though will need to be refined), which build off each other:

  1. Can understanding a group’s (or individual’s) major folklore / pop culture, such as superheroes in the United States, help us gain valuable insight into political, social, and cultural changes in that group (or individual), particularly changes in regard to leadership perceptions?
  2. How has the superhero franchise / phenomenon been affecting and being shaped by cultural Implicit Leadership Theories in the United States, if it has at all?
  3. How has recent superhero films such as Wonder Woman (2017) and Black Panther (2018) engaged with, perpetuated, or rejected ILTs about gender roles, race, romanticization of leadership, American exceptionalism, and individual vs. shared leadership?

Notes on Second Source – Ashley Gross

This source was an article that was written before the 2016 election which gave it an interesting perspective about the possible outcome of the election. It made me want to read a post-election article to read about quantified changes that have happened, though I’ve also seen small things in everyday life on my own. It talks about the implications for women if Hillary would’ve won or lost, and how one of the arguments is that her winning would create a backlash and lead to an increase in misogyny and sexism. This article made me think about possible implications of actions that I wouldn’t have thought about and how changing behaviors to impact women’s rights might take longer than I thought (not that I thought it would be quick in any way, but it might take many attempts of large-scale changes before there is a lasting positive effect).

Article Notes #2

The article I choose to read was titled “Perpetuation of Risk: Organizational Policies and Practices in Title 1 Schools”. This article was extremely helpful because it provided me with an abundance of background information and evidence surrounding Title 1 funding. Not only did this provide me with an example of a research study conducted in a Title 1 school similar, but it also contained a host of acronyms and terms which will likely be extremely useful in discussing educational policy such as NAEP, SES as well as breaking down different types of Title 1 funding and how they are used.

Their method consisted of a combination of surveys and interviews with various teachers and administrators in a Title 1 school in rural Florida. What surprised me most about their methodology was the small sample size they were able to use. In total they only surveyed 30 of the 45 faculty and staff. Of those, they were only able to formally interview 14 with 3 being administrators. In addition, they appeared to use a simple Likert scale to capture their results which I am already very familiar. Reading this article gave me a bit of excitement and confidence moving forward because it filled in some big gaps in my understanding of the policy structure surrounding Title 1 funding.

Notes 3/5

“Prime-Time Television’s Portrayal of Women and the World of Work: A Demographic Profile”

Vande Berg, Leah R., and Diane Streckfuss. ” Prime‐time televisions portrayal of women and the world of work: A demographic profile.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 36, no. 2 (April 1, 1992): 195-208.

Reading Notes

“Previous Research on Working Women in Prime-Time Television”

  • Has been focused on three areas: “representation, employment status, and sex-typed behavior and psychological traits”
    • Representation
      • Since 1950s, studies have shown that women are underrepresented on TV
      • Virtually no change between 1950s and 1970s
      • 1989 study found that women are still underrepresented
        • (Do I need to read all of these previous studies? Or just take her word for it?)
      • Employment status
        • Women portrayed in “a much narrower range of roles – primarily as wives and parents – than are men, and that men are more often portrayed as being employed and as holding higher status occupations compared to women (196)
      • Sex-typed behavioral and psychological traits
        • Women more likely to be portrayed as emotional, in need of emotional support, sympathetic, nurturing, reinforcing, lacking interpersonal and occupational power (196)
        • Vande Berg and Trujillo (1989)
          • Organizational actions composed of five categories of behavior:
            • Interpersonal function – development and cultivation of interpersonal activities in the organization, which includes counseling, motivating, and general sociabilities
            • Informational function – disseminating information to or receiving information from organizational insiders and outsiders
            • Decisional function – problem solving and conflict resolution
            • Political function – display, development, or use of power to accomplish individual or group self-interests
            • Operational function – directly resulting in manufacturing products, delivering services, or everyday work tasks being done
          • Quoted from pp. 196-197
        • Analysis will focus on “equality of representation across industries, occupational roles, hierarchical position, depictions, genre, and dramatic tone” (197)
          • Focus on activity, instead of mere presence



  • Sample: 116 prime-time TV program episodes from 2 weeks of programming (NBC, CBS, ABC)
    • 115 of these included a character w/ identifiable occupation, performing an organizational action in at least one scene
      • 115 prime-time episodes, 1944 characters, 7601 actions coded
        • Article only reports findings for the 986 foreground characters (character whose speaking/action role “served as an important plot function”)
      • 2 separate analyses performed (197)
        • Analysis of 986 foreground characters
        • Analysis of 6087 organizational actions performed by the characters
          • For both, 6 contextual variables:
            • Industry
            • Occupational role
            • Hierarchical position
            • Depiction
            • Genre
            • Dramatic tone
          • Vande Berg and Trujillo five-category schema used for coding characters and actions (198)
            • “Action” – verbal or behavioral work-related activity performed in a single scene by a character in an organizational context (198)
            • Each action that corresponded to one of VB & T’s 5 categories was coded


“Contextual Variables”

  • Contextual variables were coded for characters and actions
    • Variables:
      • Industry: coded according to 11 major categories of US Department of Labor’s Standard Industrial Classification schema (service; public administration; retail trade; finance; transportation and communication; no industry; other (agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade (all of these occurred very infrequently))
      • Occupational role: professionals; managers; service; household; military; other (clerical, sales, crafts, operatives, workers/laborers); student; customer/patient; no occupation; lawbreaker
      • Hierarchical position: “character’s position w/in an organization’s formal power hierarchy” (198); CEO/Board Exec/Top Manager; middle manager; first line manager; upper level professional staff; lower level professional staff; staff; workers/laborers; customer/patient; small business owner; other (position where hierarchy was not identifiable)
      • Depiction: coded according to plot function (positive, negative, or neutral) (199)
        • Positive: “benefitted the organization and its members or the broader society of which the individual or organization was a part”
          • Charitable/philanthropic
          • Sympathetic/helpful
          • Socially or economically productive
          • Friendly
        • Neutral: “displaying mere civility or general politeness with no discernable positive or negative plot function”
        • Negative: “hurt the organization, its members, clients, and/or relevant outsiders, or which harmed the broader society”
          • Unfriendly
          • Greedy/selfish
          • Foolish
          • Malevolent
          • Illegal
        • Genre: comedy; drama; action-adventure; other (including sci-fi, dramedy)
        • Dramatic tone: “the literary backdrop against which the attitude of the ‘author(s)’ toward their characters and their actions was presented”
          • Comedic, serious, combined comedy and serious (irony, dramedy)
            • These classifications will be HUGE when looking at these shows, esp. the Office


  • 2 coders coded character and action data for the different contextual variables (199)
    • Each coder produced a character analysis for each episode (overall summary coding judgement for each variable)
    • Action analysis – scene-by-scene coding of organizational actions
  • Then there’s some numbers I don’t understand


  • I don’t think this study’s results are necessarily relevant to my project. What is important are the methods of collecting this data. The methods may be useful in my own coding projects.


  • Again, I don’t find this section relevant