Contradictions of Capital and Care in Ibsen's A Doll's House
Claire Standring (Humanities)
An economically balanced capitalist society has never been achieved without exacerbating inequality, and the burden of that imbalance has been largely displaced onto women. This increased weight has placed women in an impossible position simply because they cannot play all of the roles that they are expected to play with the adequacy these roles require. Arguably, the heaviest weight of all is the work of social reproduction, which Nancy Fraser defines as anything from the “birthing and raising of children [to] maintaining social connections more generally” (99). In A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, the main character, Nora Helmer, is burdened so heavily by the work of social reproduction that she faces a conflict: one that will force her to make a decision regarding the quest for the possibility of becoming an autonomous individual.
Food Wars: Impacts of Gender on the Japanese Kitchen
Allyson Brown (Humanities)
Sushi chef Ono Yoshikazu stated in a 2011 interview with The Wall Street Journal, concerning why there are so few female sushi chefs, that “The reason is because women menstruate. To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle women have an imbalance in their taste, and that's why women can't be sushi chefs.” Ono is the son of renowned sushi chef Ono Jiro, who was profiled in the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi directed by David Gelb, and who is arguably one of the world’s most well-known sushi chefs. The film shows Ono making sushi in his small subway restaurant where reservations must be made months in advance. The film has helped to promulgate a certain image of the sushi chef outside of Japan, but this image has a long history. Indeed, as the above quote suggests, there are prescribed qualities associated, not just with the profession of sushi chef (itamae), but the profession of chef in general in Japan. These qualities are coded as masculine, and, therefore, gender the profession of chef.
Source Expertise as a Factor of Social Influence
Alexandra van der Valk (Best Overall Undergraduate Paper, Social Sciences)
The growth of social media and screen-to-screen interaction has prompted investigation into how social influence can persuade decision-makers without face-to-face interaction. Our research explores whether the reputation (Expert, Novice, or Neutral) of a fake, anonymous peer can change an individual’s (1) judgment conformity, (2) decision confidence, or (3) trust in that peer. Eighty-eight university students answered 10 trivia questions, giving numerical estimations before and after viewing a fake peer’s response. Participants rated their confidence in each estimate, and rated their trust towards the source after each question. Results found that (1) participants exposed to an Expert’s opinion improve judgment accuracy through assimilation, but those influenced by a Novice worsen accuracy through reactance; (2) decision confidence ratings increase in all groups; (3) trust towards the Expert is significantly higher than towards both the Novice and Neutral peers. Associations are also explored between these three outcomes and the participants’ personality traits and cultural orientations.