THE VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH 2016-2017 |Volume 15
D E R R A D AT E R E S E A R OL
The Oculus is published by the Undergraduate Research Network URN in conjunction with the Center for Undergraduate xcellence CU . All copyrights are retained by the authors URN holds the rights to non-exclusive use in print and electronic formats for all pieces submitted for publication in The Oculus.
T E E D I TO R
Dear readers, It is with great excitement and pride that I present to you the edition of The Oculus. Over the years, our journal has recogni ed the very best research conducted by undergraduates at the University of Virginia, and this year is no exception. Featuring scholarship on topics ranging from chemistry to theology, the publication in front of you is a rich cross-section of the new knowledge that this schoolâ€™s students contribute to the world on a daily basis. This year, we were thrilled to receive a great number of high-quality submissions, and many of the works that we were unable to accommodate in this journal were every bit as thought-provoking and inspiring as the research contained in these pages. We take this as a sign that the research community at UVa is thriving, and we hope that reading The Oculus will inspire even more students to take advantage of the myriad research opportunities available to them. Finally, I would be remiss not to thank the people without whom this journal would not have been possible. The editorial staff of The Oculus has been an absolute joy to work with, week in and week out. I would like to offer special thanks to Senior ditor Asad han for his dedication and creativity in designing this journal and to xecutive ditor Rachel Dick for her work ethic, attention to detail, and commitment to reaching a wide audience within the UVa community. Furthermore, without the generosity and help of the Center for Undergraduate xcellence, particularly rian Cullaty and dith Conti, The Oculus would not exist. Finally, we owe many thanks to our parent organi ation, the Undergraduate Research Network, and the hard work of URN Chair Jack rake was pivotal in making this journal a possibility. I hope that you will enjoy reading the fantastic research inside Sincerely,
John Fry ditor-in-Chief
EST LETTER Dear Oculus Readers and Authors, Curiosity makes us human. From the moment of birth, we are exploring our surroundings to gather understanding and make sense of the world. Over the years, we acquire the ability to translate curiosity into a critical methodology for discovery. Universities cultivate those skills and re ne our thinking in ways that go well beyond the acquisition of inherited knowledge the desire to push beyond the known motivates students and the faculty to seek new facts and interpretations, test new theories, experiment constantly and validate the results. The resulting new ideas, insights and understanding must then be shared. The art of telling the story of research – articulating methods, explaining ndings, interpreting the signi cance of the results– is an essential part of the process. Publication is to make public, placing new knowledge into a forum for critical evaluation and constructive dialog in the iterative process of discovery that translates individual questions into cultural understanding. These core elements of research - curiosity, discovery, dissemination – are represented here in Oculus to advance the contribution of students at the University of Virginia to the world of ideas that drive human progress. Research takes many forms – experiments in laboratories, creative work in studios, exploration in archives, inquiry in cities and the analysis of datasets. The framing of the question guides the choice of site and method, but however the work is de ned, the gathering of these efforts by Oculus places the work in a new framework. The breadth of inquiry by students at UVA reveals the unique contribution of a university to society and the promise of these emerging leaders. In no other type of institution do so many gather to ask questions of the world from so many distinct perspectives. For these students, the classroom is only the beginning, the prompt for a deep dive into the questions behind the question, to get to the root of an issue where the only current response would be “I don’t know.” In these essays, the students respond, “Here is what I have learned,” and a new round of inquiry begins. The Undergraduate Research Network gathers the curious and the passionate to hone their skills, share their methods and insights and create networks with future collaborators. These are the building blocks for a better future and the essential skills for wherever life leads. I encourage all readers and contributors to this journal to use it as a catalyst for connection rather than a conclusion of singular efforts engage, challenge and support each other in re ning methods and arguments and exploring potential applications of the new insights. Whether the research is the product of a collaboration or individual study, it belongs to and shapes a particular kind of community, one which is unrelenting in the pursuit of truth, the reason for a university to exist, and validation of its role in the world. Sincerely, William H. Sherman Associate Vice President for Research in Design, Arts and Humanities Lawrence Lewis Jr. Professor of Architecture Founding Director, OpenGrounds 3
E D I TO R I A L S TA F F
(Top) John Fry, Asad han, Conner Pike, en Winter, Leanne Shen (Bottom) elvin Li, Abigail Johnson, Rachel Dick, Aurora Guo 2016-17 Editors: Abigail Johnson, Adam Antoszewski, Alexander Mink, Asad Kahn, Aurora Guo, Benjamin Winter, Christia Aspili, Clara Carlson, Conner Pike, Daniel Ajootian, Elizabeth Feeser, Eric Culbertson, Grant Guan, Ji Han, John Fry, Kara Anderson, Kelvin Li, Leah Reichle, Leanne Shen, Marc Blatt, Peyton Randolph, Rachel Dick, Riya Simon, Sabrina Yen, Shariq Hashmi, Tarun Ganesh, Tsering Say DITOR-IN-CHI F John Fry S NIOR DITOR Asad han CUTIV DITOR Rachel Dick PHOTOGRAPH R Rory Finnegan PRINT D AT Charlottesville Press, Inc.
T E O T E
D E R R A D AT E R E S E A R OL
T 3 Rhetorics of Freedom and Realities of Revolt S
Revising Russian Transnationalism
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Women in Bisi Groups I
Struggling with Same Sex Attraction
Low Enantiomeric Excess of 1,2-Propanediol
Baccaulaureate in Nursing and End-of-Life Care F
Teaching Women Science Internationally S
A STRA T
The first African American artist to be represented by a New York gallery, Jacob Lawrence (19172000) first came to prominence in the Harlem workshops and the Federal Arts Project arm of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. He is renowned for his sixty-panel historical narrative cycle, the Migration Series (1941), which visualizes the Great Migration of African Americans from the agrarian South to the industrialized North of the United States during World War I. Unlike the Migration Series, however, little has been written about Lawrence’s last attempt at an historical narrative series of similar scope and scale, entitled Struggle… From the History of the American People (1954-56). The series consists of thirty egg tempera paintings that depict the creation of the United States and its struggle for freedom and democracy. To this date, scholars have studied the Struggle Series only in fragments and have treated it as a failed part of the artist’s oeuvre, in part because the thirty panels are dispersed among various institutions. This paper positions Lawrence’s final historical series within the context of its creation, during the onset of a new era in the civil rights movement. Through close examination of archival records and application of modern narrative theory, I will explore the series as a whole and arrive at a new approach to reading the Struggle Series as a cohesive, rather than fragmented, narrative cycle.
S A ROSE
Shannah Rose graduated from UVa in 2016 with a double major in Art History and Studio Art. While working for the McIntire Department of Art, she researched Jacob Lawrence, a project that turned into her thesis. After graduation, Shannah spent a year teaching English in Cahors, France through a collaborative program with the Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques and French Ministry of Education. This year, she will commence her graduate studies at Tulane University, where she plans to research Quattrocento Florentine narrative painting.
I T T H E R E F O R E F O L LO W S T H AT L AW R E N C E ’ S THEORY OF TIME AND CONCEPTION OF HISTORY A R E C Y C L I C A L R AT H E R THAN PROGRESSIVE
TH STRUGGL S RI S AS PISODIC CHRONICL We, the country as a whole, we have become the country we are because o con ict, and always say that con ict can be very beauti ul in what comes out o it And so our contribution has not only been in physical terms but it has been in emotional terms -Jacob Lawrence In the introductory paragraph of Hayden White’s essay “The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality” , he states So natural is the impulse to narrate, so inevitable is the form of narrative for any report of the way things really happened, that far from being a problem, narrative might well be considered a solution to a problem of general human concern, namely, the problem of how to translate knowing into telling. White examines how the innate method of shaping human experience into universally understood structures of meaning falls into three representational forms the annals, the chronicle, and the history proper. The annals form of historical discourse lacks a narrative component, consisting only of a list of events in chronological order. A series of annals represent historical reality as if events did not appear to human consciousness in the form of a story, but rather as recorded entries waiting to be narrated without a central subject, a recogni able beginning, middle, and end, or an identi able narrative voice. oreover, annals
do not identify when they were recorded they exist simply as sequential, vertically ordered records of events that are not organi ed around any identi able narrative. In contrast, the chronicle form emphasi es narrative structure. The chronicle “often seems to wish to tell a story, aspires to narrativity, but does not so much conclude as simply terminate it leaves things unresolved.” The chronicle presents historical reality as if events appeared to human consciousness as un nished stories, rather than as stories waiting to be told. Although the chronicle terminates in medias res, the narrator still “narrativi es” historical material according to his or her own point of view. What fails to qualify the chronicle as a history proper White’s nal form of narrative representation is its lack of a conclusion it simply breaks off without proper closure. The history proper respects a plot that has narrative closure. In order for a story to be considered properly historical, White argues, it must have a “demand that sequences of real events as to their signi cance as elements of a moral drama,” and it is this inclusion of a moral judgment that distinguishes the history proper from the chronicle. The history is endowed with conclusive meaning that gives it its narrative fullness, which extends the history beyond the annals, which present a story waiting to be told, and the chronicle, which has no conclusive ending. There are several ways to read the Struggle Series as a uni ed narrative. One reading could adopt the original order as proposed by Charles Alan in however, this numerical order abandons historical chronology and, as it creates a seemingly random series of annals, lacks a cohesive narrative. Another method is reading the series as a history proper by adopting the
chronological sequence arranged by date of accompanying text however, this system emphasi es words rather than images and presumes that Lawrence had access to full texts of letters, journals, and other primary documents, when in fact very little is known about Lawrence’s access to such sources. A third option interprets the series as a chronicle of Lawrence’s reading of history, organi ed by date of execution – emphasi ing who is narrating, what is being told, and when it is being told. Utili ing formal and contextual analysis, the Struggle Series reads best as an episodic chronicle because this method of interpretation values Lawrence’s artistic vision and decisions within the context of contemporary events, namely the launch of the civil rights movement. Unlike the annals, the viewer is aware of who is telling the story and when the story is being told. The paintings are also arranged around a central subject the history of struggle and con ict in the United States. The historical events Lawrence chose to depict do not appear to be waiting for narration, but rather confront the viewer as un nished stories in the midst of con ict. Lawrence never completed the remaining thirty panels and therefore the series does not fully operate as a history proper since the series stops inconclusively in medias res. The Struggle Series should therefore be conceptuali ed as a time-speci c chronicle that features events unfolding in the midst of action and organi ed around the morali ing theme of struggle. This reading takes into account Lawrence’s consciousness of the destabili ation of race relations and politics during the midcentury, which informed his choice of events depicting historical struggle, revolution, resistance, and protest. Through purposeful
abstraction, the series connotes another level of psychological and emotional engagement with the historical events. The following chronicle is composed of eight panels from , , and , assembled in causeand-effect pairs of actions and consequences. The pattern of Lawrence’s choices can best be read as the cyclical conception of time in the Struggle Series. In , Lawrence painted four Struggle Series panels that depict incidents from the Revolutionary War from to . Historical events depicted include Paul Revere’s ride to Lexington in gure , the attle of ennington in gure , “Defeat” gure , and Washington crossing the Delaware River in gure . The panel depicting American silversmith and Patriot Paul Revere’s legendary ride to Lexington, assachusetts offers a dynamic and provocative entryway into reading the series as a cohesive chronicle. The accompanying quotation, “I alarmed almost every house till I got to Lexington” – Paul Revere, is derived from an April , letter to corresponding secretary Dr. Jeremy elknap from Revere, who was sent to alarm the militia that the ritish were marching to arrest the minutemen before the battles of Lexington and Concord. Revere’s letter presented an account of his watch on the ritish military and a detailed trail of his encounters with various people. In the night scene, Revere’s racing black horse takes center stage amidst the fragmented bodies of ve lunging gures in an ambiguous, earthy environment. All of the gures are reduced to sharp, generali ed geometric forms, and their volume and substance is achieved through a contrast of translucent and opaque tonalities. The ultramarine blue shirts of two hunching men
in the foreground stand out boldly against the darker ivory, umber, and burnt sienna tones of the gures in the background. This juxtaposition between muted earth tones and vibrant primary colors confounds the gure-ground relationship it is dif cult to distinguish the men from the horse, the roadway, and the earth. The sharp forms and color contrasts create dynamic movement and a sense of urgency in the painting. Lawrence’s conception of this historical event is energetic and intense. In , viewed in light of the groundbreaking rown v. oard of ducation decision, Revere’s legendary ride draws parallels between an historic incident that galvani ed the American Revolutionary War and a contemporary call to action to protest race relations in the United States. Washington crossing the Delaware River, a famous adventure considered to be a turning point in the Revolutionary War, is a bold partner to the Revere panel. This event symboli es the inevitable hardships that accompany resistance and revolution. The accompanying quotation, “We crossed the River at c onkey’s Ferry miles above Trenton the night was excessively severe which the men bore without the least murmur ” – Tench Tilghman, December , is excerpted from a letter written on December by Tench Tilghman, of cer in the Continental Army and George Washington’s aide-de-camp during the war. In the letter, Tilghman outlined the “brisk little ght” he and his party of twenty-four hundred men faced against the Hessians when crossing the river. Despite the inclement weather, time delay, and low morale of the troops, the text spoke of determination and perseverance, as “both parties pushed on with so much rapidity,” which inspired
renewed hope in the Continental Army. Lawrence’s version of the crossing is composed of sharp forms and a color palette similar to that of the Revere painting – elements that combine to create strong energy and emotion. The tumultuous, ultramarine waters of the river dominate the composition. Forging the river into thirds, three umber boats are lled with unidenti able shrouded, hunched, and rowing gures that have been reduced to angular, geometric blocks of heavy whiteness. They have not yet arrived and the viewer cannot see the shore. Lawrence has presented the emotional event in medias res, leaving the viewer unaware of the outcome that the Continental Army would eventually emerge victorious. As one critic noted in the July edition of Vogue, with this painting Lawrence had “peeled away portraiture, and left in the emotion of America’s early days.” This episode in the chronicle mirrors the emotional and psychological uncertainty that permeated American culture and politics during the mid-century. Lawrence’s paintings depicting the hardships endured during the Revolutionary War are a parallel to his observations of the contemporary struggle to overcome prejudice and discrimination, as cataly ed by the rown v. oard of ducation decision. Returning to this moment in American history represents the artist’s desire to renew determination in the ght against segregation. Through abstract forms and bold color contrasts, Lawrence’s paintings reinforce this sentiment and place the viewer physically and psychologically in the midst of struggle. In , Lawrence’s artistic output increased twofold he completed ten paintings that noticeably linger on events from the Revolutionary War from to .
vents depicted include Patrick Henry’s “Give e Liberty or Give e Death” speech to the Virginia Convention in gure , the oston assacre in gure , the oston Tea Party in gure , a slave petition for freedom from gure , the signing of the Declaration of Independence in gure , a scene of espionage during the Revolution gure , the attle at Fort Washington in gure , the surrender of General Cornwallis to Washington in gure , “Peace” gure , and a scene visuali ing the preamble to the Constitution in gure . At this point in the chronicle, Lawrence shifted from iconic moments of the Revolutionary War to the uncertainties, injustices, and emotions felt by minorities in the colonial era. Nearly one-third of the Struggle Series panels ful ll the artist’s prerogative to represent the contributions of gures that are often underrepresented or ignored in historical discourse, namely African Americans, women, immigrants, and Native Americans. The panel depicting the attle at Fort Washington, for example, highlights the contributions made by olly Corbin in the American Revolutionary War, and the panel quoting the slave petition for freedom from visuali es a revolt of enslaved African Americans against the colonists. Lawrence’s selection of speci c historical incidents re ects his consciousness of the destabili ation of race relations as an African American artist working and living in Jim Crow America. Whereas the panels of Revere’s ride and Washington crossing the Delaware represent a cause-and-effect pairing of action and con ict, two panels from distinguish between two types of struggle united and divided. The panel entitled
“ assacre in oston” depicts the eruption of the arch con ict between armed ritish guards and colonists on the streets of oston. This con ict killed ve colonists and injured six others, becoming one of the de ning incidents that led to the Revolution. In , Lawrence maintained his use of muted earth tones and vibrant primary colors consistently ultramarine blue , a combination that creates clashing energies and vibrating forms. In the left background, a uni ed mass of colonists pointing, yelling, and throwing rocks and sticks in retaliation is clustered defensively. Flashes of bold blues highlight their restless action. Of particular importance to the composition is the central, kneeling gure that is identi ed as the mortally wounded Crispus Attucks, a black sailor who became known as the rst casualty of the Revolution. Though Attucks is isolated in the foreground from the group of retaliating colonists in the background, his gure unites the composition under the “common struggle” and protest for liberty. Attucks’ sacri ce is literally and guratively central to the underlying subtext in the Struggle Series commemorating the contributions made by underrepresented gures in the collective building of America. The death of Attucks, as interpreted in , may appear to mirror the death of mmett Till. Attucks, a martyr of the Revolution and Till, a martyr of the civil rights movement, uni ed citi ens under a common ght for freedom and equality through their tragic deaths. In contrast to the unity depicted in the oston assacre panel, the slave petition panel represents a divisive force. The accompanying quotation, “We have no property We have no children We have no city No country ” – Petition of many
slaves, , visuali es an excerpt from a January , petition against slavery to state legislature, written by a slave named Felix Holbrook. Holbrook lived in assachusetts as an enslaved person during the Revolution. His voice demonstrates the hypocrisy that de ned the war between and , as colonists fought for liberty from Great ritain while their slaves remained in chains. In this panel, Lawrence’s color palette expands umber becomes richer, ochre becomes brighter. A yellow wall separates the white colonists on the right of the composition from the unclothed black slaves in chains, dripping with blood, on the left. The outcome of the event is uncertain, yet the juxtaposition of color used to de ne the characters clari es the racial division separating the black slaves from their white masters. The decision to pair this image and text in , one year after the seminal Supreme Court decision and the launch of the civil rights movement, alludes to the ongoing denial of full rights of citi enship that, by the mids, had spanned centuries. The cry for freedom in this panel could provide inspiration for African Americans still experiencing the divisiveness of racial discrimination and segregation to continue ghting on behalf of their people. Lawrence represented the end of the Revolution with anxious tension and uncertainty. “Victory and Defeat” relates the successful Patriot siege of orktown, Virginia, which in effect ended the major ghting of the Revolution. On October , Lord Charles Cornwallis was forced to seek a cease- re with Washington in order to negotiate his army’s surrender. Two days later, the Articles of Capitulation were signed at a surrender ceremony. However, Cornwallis,
pleading illness, did not attend the ceremony and his second-in-command, General Charles O’Hara, carried Lord Cornwallis’ sword to the American commanders. Lawrence’s painting emphasi es the symbolic gesture of a Redcoat’s arm passing a sword to an opposing arm cloaked in black, against the backdrop of a wall of cannons in an airy, unspeci ed landscape. The depiction of the surrender ceremony is ambiguous and perhaps ctional – who is in the painting Is the arm Cornwallis’ or O’Hara’s Nevertheless, through the opposition of the closed st and extended hand, Lawrence has captured the anxiety and uncertainty of the terms of surrender, suggesting –but not guaranteeing – an end to con ict and struggle, much like the rown v. oard of ducation decision. In , Lawrence completed sixteen panels. He still lingered on the Revolution, creating one more painting, yet he dramatically broadened his lens to include historical events up to . vents depicted include an excerpt from Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “The American Crisis” in gure , the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron urr in gure , the expedition of Lewis and Clark in gure , James adison’s war message to Congress in gure , the attle of Tippecanoe in gure , the expedition of Lewis and Clark and the fur trade at itter Root Trail in the s gure , the attle of Lake rie in gure , the burning of Washington by the ritish in gure , the attle of New Orleans in gure , the Treaty of Ghent in gure , a slave rebellion in gure , immigration from to gure , the building of the rie Canal in gure , and the onset of
westward expansion in gure . The pattern of Lawrence’s choices indicates that he continued to recogni e the contributions made by underrepresented gures in history. The panel depicting the expedition of Lewis and Clark in highlights Sacagawea in the discovery and exploration of the West. The painting of the attle of Tippecanoe in emphasi es Shawnee leader Tecumseh ghting for his people, rather than the traditional hero William Henry Harrison. The paintings depicting the slave rebellion, the construction of the rie Canal, immigration from to , and the onset of westward expansion all visuali e the contributions made by enslaved African Americans and immigrants during the establishment of the United States, rather than the apocryphal white gure of American anifest Destiny. Lawrence made it the prerogative of this project to recogni e and commemorate the overlooked successes and struggles of minorities in the United States. Like the cause-and-effect pairings of the Revere and Washington crossing the Delaware panels and the oston assacre and slave revolt paintings, two panels from present another cause-and-effect duo. Lawrence’s depiction of the burning of Washington by the ritish in represents devastation, destruction, and demorali ation. The accompanying quotation, “Of the Senate House, the President’s Palace, the barracks, the dockyard nothing could be seen except heaps of smoking ruins” – A ritish of cer at Washington, , is derived from the account of ritish soldier George Gleig, who was part of the force that attacked and burned the United States capital. Gleig’s textual account of the incident attended to the aesthetics and sensations of the damages that de ned this “night of terror”
“the ashes of lightning seemed to vie in brilliancy with the ames, which burst from the roofs of burning houses.” Lawrence’s painting visuali es the terror described in Gleig’s account in an abstract manner. Only cannon and re light the night. Ruins of public buildings, condensed into pu les of organic shapes in umber and ochre hues, are hapha ardly piled on the left side of the composition. On the right, two cannons are reduced to simple geometries of rectangles and semicircles, and surrounded by a shroud of smoke as they pulveri e the buildings. The painting is devoid of gural representation, save a wounded bird in the lower left register that represents the fate of innocent citi ens caught in the midst of military con ict. The systematic destruction of public buildings in the nation’s capital may allude to the bombing of Dr. artin Luther ing Jr.’s house by whites angered by the bus boycotts. oth incidents represent violent attempts to demorali e resistance through the destruction of leadership. Similar to or possibly as an inevitable consequence of the destruction at Washington, the panel depicting the attle of New Orleans underscores society’s capability to endure, to overcome, and to unite in a common struggle. The accompanying quotation, “I cannot speak suf ciently in praise of the rmness and deliberation with which my whole line received their approach ” – Andrew Jackson, New Orleans, , is derived from General Andrew Jackson’s letter to the Secretary at War following the attle of New Orleans. Although the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed in December see “Peace” , which of cially ended the hostilities of the War of between Great ritain and the Unit3
ed States, news of the peace agreement had not reached the opposing sides. They met at New Orleans, a vital seaport and gateway to the United States’ new territory in the west. Devastating casualties occurred during an hour of intense warfare, when “the re of small arms was as incessant and severe as can be imaged.” et Jackson remained rm in his con dence in his soldiers “I have no doubt my men will act with their usual rmness, and sustain a character now become dear to them.” Despite the Patriot victory and the fact that there was little bloodshed on the side of the Americans compared to the ritish, Lawrence’s depiction of the nighttime battle is gruesome everyone on both sides is dead. A jumbled sea of mortally wounded Redcoats undulates along the painting’s lowest hori ontal register. Above their enemies, on a at expanse of a white wall, a contrasting blue line of Patriots suffer and bleed, hands still hanging limp on their retired cannons. In comparison to the soldiers’ determination and sacri ce at the attle of New Orleans in , Africans Americans remained uni ed in perhaps alluding to the collective efforts of the contemporary ontgomery bus boycott despite the literal and gurative “ re of small arms” of discrimination and segregation. This circumstance is both optimistic and ironic. At the onset of the civil rights movement, Lawrence demonstrates how adverse conditions like physical warfare and racial discrimination can bring out admirable traits like strategy and perseverance. Another pattern that emerges from reading the Struggle Series in its entirety is the uni cation that Lawrence achieved as a result of his use of refrains. In the igration Series, Lawrence frequently employed color
and form as a means of creating the rhythm and movement that characteri e the refrains gures - , all of which depict African American migrants on the move “and the migrants kept coming” . With the Struggle Series, Lawrence returned to this artistic device, albeit in a more nuanced manner. The Struggle Series is punctuated with symbolic refrains of peace and war. The “Peace” panel and the “Peace” panel both represent moments of surrender and resolution, although not without irony the “Peace” panel symboli es the Treaty of Ghent, yet the gruesome attle of New Orleans followed. Several other panels, namely those depicting the attle of ennington, the attle at Fort Washington, the Hamilton- urr duel, the surrender of Cornwallis to Washington, James adison’s war message to Congress, and the attle of Lake rie are all linked by the emotional threads of pain, suffering, and the inevitable sacri ces that accompany war. The peace-war dichotomy further uni es the series under overarching struggle. Through this repetition, Lawrence’s meaning becomes clear one cannot attain different forms of peace, such as a cease- re between foreign nations or racial equality, without struggling through physical, military, psychological, political, and or cultural con ict. What has appeared to scholars as the disjointed form and content of Struggle Series is actually the complex uni cation of the series under the umbrella of struggle and other underlying sub-themes. It therefore follows that Lawrence’s theory of time and conception of history are cyclical rather than progressive, suggesting that history will repeat itself through incidents of con ict and resolution, destruction and peace, setback and advancement. The
Struggle Series’ repetitive and cyclical nature, as emphasi ed through reprise of cause-and-effect incidents, becomes most apparent when considering the consequential importance of the panel depicting westward expansion within the rest of the chronicle. The accompanying quotation, “Old America seems to be breaking up and moving westward” – An nglish immigrant, , derives from a statement made by an expanding settler, orris irkbeck, as he re ected on expansion in the early th century. Like the nal panel of the igration Series, “And the migrants kept coming,” this painting prompts not a conclusive ending to the chronicle but rather the suggestion that America will continue to experience struggle and con ict as the country and its people continue to grow and expand. Valuing Lawrence’s artistic decisions in the context of a contentious period in American history, this reading presents the Struggle Series as a cyclical, episodic chronicle of American history. The Struggle Series does not, and cannot, read as a conclusive historical account of the development of the United States. This is a major strength of the series. With historical incidents depicted in the midst of physical struggle and con ict, the chronicle highlights the psychology and pathos with which Lawrence imbued his paintings – pain, sorrow, regret, anger, fear, and courage. Didactic by nature, the Struggle Series invites viewers to re ect on how the intense con ict depicted in the selected historical incidents re ects the ongoing struggle that continues, to this day, to simultaneously divide and unite the United States.
Archival Materials Alan Gallery Records . icro lm reels , . Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Jacob Lawrence Papers . icro lm reels D , . Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Jacob Lawrence to dith Halpert, n.d. letterhead “U.S. Coast Guard Training Station St. Augustine, Florida” . Downtown Gallery Records . icro lm reel , frames . Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Jacob Lawrence to John Simon Guggenheim emorial Foundation, January , . John Simon Guggenheim emorial Foundation Archives, New ork, New ork. Periodicals arranged chronologically “ And the igrants ept Coming.” Fortune aga ine November . Louchheim Saarinen , Aline . “An Artist Reports on the Troubled ind.” The New ork Times aga ine October , . “Jacob Lawrence New paintings portraying life in insane asylum project him into top ranks of U.S. artists.” bony April . Devree, Howard. “Forceful Painting.” The New ork Times January , . “ irth of a Nation.” Time aga ine January , . J.R. . “ xhibition of Paintings at Alan Gallery.” Arts aga ine January . “American Struggle. Three paintings by Jacob Lawrence.” Vogue July . W. . “Lawrence xhibit at the artin Gallery.” Arts aga ine ay . Wilkin, aren. “Jacob Lawrence at o A.” New Criterion , June . nterviews arranged chronologically cCausland, li abeth. “Jacob Lawrence.” aga ine of Art , . November . Rodman, Selden. “Jacob Lawrence.” In Conversations with Artists. New ork The Devin-Adair Co., . Cooper, ort. “Portrait of a Negro Painter.” The Chicago Defender. ay , . Oral History Interview with Jacob Lawrence and Charles Henry Alston. September , . Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Oral History Interview with Jacob Lawrence and Caroll Greene. October , . Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Driskell, David C. and James . uell. The “Toussaint L’Ouverture” Series. New ork United Church oard for Homeland inistries, . Jacob Lawrence Conservation Interview with li abeth Steele. June , . The Phillips Collection Archives, Washington, D.C. Jacob Lawrence Interview with Henry L. Gates. June . The Phillips Collection Archives, Washington, D.C. Jacob Lawrence Interview with li abeth Hutton Turner. October , . The Phillips Collection Archives, Washington, D.C. Jacob Lawrence Interview with Peter T. Nesbett and ichelle Du ois. June , . The Phillips Collection Archives, Washington, D.C. Jacob Lawrence Interview with Jack Frost. April . The Phillips Collection Archives, Washington, D.C. The primary historical sources, scholarship, and literature referenced in this paper can be found at uvaurn.org oculus-home digitalcitations-
A STRA T
Supernatural Teen Novels with Gay Subjects, or STNGS, are a burgeoning subgenre of Young Adult (YA) literature. Far from being tools of mere entertainment, I argue that works in this subgenre engage in the high-level discourse about sexuality and gender that has been developing in queer literature over the course of the last half-century. My research focuses on three STNGS available on indle and published within the last 6 years Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey (2011), The oy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight by Je Jacobson (2013), and Caleo (Leech ook 1) by James Crawford (2014). Though STNGS are a wholly new subgenre, previous genre research is very applicable, and my work incorporates theory on horror as well as romance novels to help understand how these authors construct masculinity. Ultimately, I explore the interplay between the protagonists’ gay identities and their identities as witches by tracing moments where one identity occludes the other, or both work together to create a subaltern identity within an already marginalized group. This thesis interrogates the presentation of the sexualities of the protagonists, explores moments of communal imagination among three representative novels, and celebrates the places where these narratives begin to construct what Christopher Pullen might call a new storytelling.
DRE ISER Drew iser is a fourth-year student studying English and French with a concentration in queer and feminine fiction. His research focuses on the connection between queerness and the supernatural in the modern literary imagination. His research has been presented at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, and his fiction has appeared in publications both inside and outside of the University, including The Fem and Vanilla Sex Mag. His first novel, A Decade of Visions,
W E C E L E R AT E T H E WAY S I N W H I C H S
P E R N AT
EER FICTION S
OPPRESSIVE N A R R AT I V E M O D E L S
Part I Introduction What are STNGS And do they require medical attention Far from being painful, the term STNGS de nes a burgeoning subgenre of ction the Supernatural Teen Novel with Gay Subjects. In this paper, I will introduce the new phenomenon of STNGS, seek to de ne their narrative structures, and explore the network of commonalities that makes STNGS a distinct new genre. For my sample, I chose three STNGS written in the last years and available on Ama on. These are Witch yes by Scott Tracey , The oy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight T WCFS by Jeff Jacobson , and Caleo Leech ook by James Crawford . Part II Occult Classics: Adding “Supernatural” into the Mix First, I will address the structure of these novels. The layout of STNGS mirrors that of the modern ildungsroman, or more precisely, the coming-out ildungsroman with one enormous caveat. In STNGS, the identity that causes the “sense of difference” that characteri es the coming-out narrative is not a queer identity but a supernatural one. Structurally, STNGS are coming-out narratives in which the protagonist must come out as a witch. Or, as the author of The oy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight says, it’s not that these heroes must come out “the closet” so much as “the broom closet.” What’s curious about this transposition is that, in re-articulating the narrative around the hero’s witch identity, these STNGS almost completely erase the importance of the heroes’ queer identity. In terms of narrative, the homosexuality of the protagonists practically does not matter. ven
in T WCFS, the novel that delves the deepest into the hero’s gay identity, it is still his powers that drive him from home, his powers that make him a target for the villains, and his powers that cause and resolve the climax. The privileging of the witch identity seems to come at a cost to the queer one. So, though similar to coming-out novels in that they feature gay protagonists who come to terms with their identity, STNGS prove themselves to be a new subgenre in the coming-out tradition one in which the hero struggles to come out as something other than gay, while at the same time being gay. The priority of the supernatural identity in these STNGS helps resolve some of the issues inherent in the comingout genre. Historically, coming-out novels have ended with the protagonist occupying some compromised space in the social order due to his or her queer identity. ven in an era of increased acceptance of queer subjectivity, these characters tend to be relegated away from the mainstream in some way. This narrative tendency, though maybe pessimistic, seems to best re ect the lived reality of queer people, who by and large have faced some sort of interpolative “othering” in their youth, and will spend their whole lives with an internali ed concept of the self as “other.” Though posing a character’s sexual orientation as the sole point of difference is perhaps the most accurate way to represent queer people’s lived experience, it also plays into tired and problematic narratives of the queer subject as “other,” and may actually normali e or implicitly promote the continued stigmati ation of queerness. This fear of pigeonholing queer characters has spurred the rise of stories in which the protagonist “just happens” to be queer,
and their sexuality will not consign them to a future of doom. ut this optimistic response to the “tragic queer” trope is just as limiting. As sther Saxey puts it, “the focus on a happy ending for the protagonist risks drawing attention away from continuing cultural homophobia” . In ignoring the ways queerness causes suffering, authors sometimes do a disservice to truth. So how do we acknowledge the reality of queer otherness without marrying the otherness to the queer One way to understand the innovation of STNGS is to see them as an ingenious response to this question. Instead of blithely skipping over the material inequality of queer existence, these novels add a new dimension, whose presence re-frames the perpetual “othering” of the queer subject as something not tragically linked to their queerness. That is to say, the heroes of STNGS are queer “others,” but they are “othered” for something other than their queerness. In the case of these STNGS, the supernatural identities of these boys seem to pre-empt, or provide pretext for, their separation from the mainstream. While these heroes do express some passing worries about being discovered to be gay, the vast majority of their fears revolve around them being “outed” as witches. Their supernatural identities, not their queer ones, make them targets for the villainous groups and is the reason they must live in some degree of separation from the mainstream. As long as the hero’s role of outsider is de ned by his status as a witch, the possibility exists that his gay identity alone would not peg him as a pariah. This is a sleight of hand, yes, but a hopeful one. STNGS provide a wonderful middle ground one that opens up the possibility of queer normalcy, while at the same time acknowledging the reality
of homophobia. Part III ho s ho: A ra atis Personae Now that we have a sense for the generic structure of STNGS, we can arrive at a more precise de nition of this genre by exploring moments where these novels overlap, particularly in their treatment of character. All three novels have as their protagonist a young, white, gay man with supernatural powers between the ages of and who lives in the modern-day U.S.A. All three heroes embody the trope of the painfully awkward outsider. raden and Charlie are not described to have any close friendships at the start of the novels, and as soon as we meet Caleo, he bemoans the fact he doesn’t “have any friends” . When it comes to home lives, uncanny similarities emerge. For one, all of the boys grow up in a rural setting and are described doing chores. Caleo, an orphan, lives with his maternal grandmother and his classmates Jack and Jillian, who are also orphans. We later learn that Caleo’s father was, in turn, an orphan . raden, also an orphan, lives with his uncle, who does not have any living parents. As for Charlie, he grows up living with his mom, who is, I should note, an orphan. Their family networks are extremely limited. etween the three heroes, there totals one mother, one uncle, and one grandmother. The family-less protagonist is common tender for tales of youthful adventure. In fact, in many stories, A and elsewhere, the absence of parents seems to enable self-growth. This hearkens back to the coming-out genre, in which the sexuality of the protagonist often causes con ict with their family. The challenge for coming-out narratives is in “negotiating a way to grow
up in spite of, or by somehow sidestepping, parental power” Woods, . Writing an orphaned character is an effective, if severe, way of “sidestepping” this oppressive “parental power.” The authors of these STNGS seem to have agreed that a harshly pruned family tree was the best way to facilitate the growth of their hero. Parents have a particularly rough go of it in these STNGS. Despite obvious love for their sons, the heroes’ mothers are invariably swept away early in the story, if not before the story takes place. raden’s mom “took her own life” just days after he was born, driven mad by the visions that his nascent powers caused . The rst scene of Caleo shows the titular character as a baby, unwittingly killing both his parents in a burst of free ing energy. While Charlie’s mother somehow survives his infancy, she soon abandons him in a new city in the care of estranged relatives. In the course of the novels, none of the characters interact with their mothers after the rst couple of chapters. Perhaps this is the STNGS’ way of avoiding the common trope in coming-out narratives of familial rejection Woods Saxey . Rather than risk confrontation, the authors kill off the possibly offending agent, the mother, before she has a chance to offend. Nor are there any model fathers in these novels. raden’s “hadn’t wanted” him, and left him to grow up with his uncle . Charlie’s is out of the picture. Caleo’s was an alcoholic who abused his wife when he falsely suspected she’d cheated. These stories draw a clear picture some fathers may be negligent, or some may be cruel, but all fathers are, invariably, absent. That is, fathers are absent, until they aren’t. Curiously, all three STNGS feature the surprise appearance of a father or a father
gure. As part of the climax of T WCFS, one of the honchos of the evil coven reveals to Charlie that he is his long-lost father. Halfway through Witch yes, the father that didn’t want raden turns out to be the leader of a huge faction of witches, one of the most powerful men in town. Similarly, at the end of Caleo, we learn that the leader of the international community of witches is none other than Caleo’s superannuated “great-great-great grandfather” . ut once the father gure is introduced, he almost immediately disappears back into the woodwork. While the revelation of paternity is a shocking moment in the texts, the fathers themselves factor very little into the plot. Also, note how all three biological fathers are villains. In this way, these STNGS borrow heavily from the older tradition of coming-out novels, in which, Woods writes, “ f athers were often similarly simplistic caricatures they beat their wives, they drank, they talked about ball games and they despised their pansy sons” . These STNGS are in accord on this point. While the biological fathers in these STNGS do despise their sons, they do not despise them for the same reason most fathers do in coming-out narratives. Caleo’s dad hates him because his preternaturally pale skin makes him look like someone else’s kid. raden’s dad abandons him because raden’s powers drove his wife to suicide. And Charlie’s dad hates him because Charlie isn’t willing to kill for the sake of the evil coven. Note that none of these fathers hate their son because the son is a “pansy.” All of the paternal hatred stems from the son’s supernatural identity, not his queer one. Here, too, we see the authors transposing a trope common to queer narratives and re-articulating it in relation to the hero’s
supernatural identity. The dads still hate their sons because they’re “fairies” only here, it is in the magical sense of the word. Another character that helps us de ne STNGS is that of the love interest. In terms of appearance, the love interests converge they are all, in a word, sexy. raden has to choose between two guys bad-boy Drew, whom he initially nicknames “Abercrombie” for his “model-hot” looks and Trey, the rich “James Dean homage” of a high schooler . Caleo, very early on in the novel, comments on his friend Jack’s “muscular swimmer’s build” . Caleo’s other piece of eye-candy, his mentor Nolan, is Jack on steroids. Literally described as being over seven feet tall, Nolan’s “chest and abs” are “like those out of a tness maga ine, all perfectly tanned and chiseled” . Similarly, Jacobson sei es on the height of Charlie’s crush in T WCFS, describing Diego as “taller than Charlie’s ve feet nine inches, probably over six feet” . STNGS paint the love interest in the full tradition of coming-out novels, where he “is often slightly older and more traditionally masculine than the protagonist” Saxey, . Note the emphasis on the masculinity of the love interests, especially when contrasted with that of the protagonists. Diego has a thick -o’-clock shadow while “Charlie barely even had peach fu ,” , and Nolan’s biceps are “double the si e of Caleo’s thighs” . The relative effeminacy of the protagonists serves to heighten the masculinity of the lovers, and the feeling of being “like a little boy” in comparison to the love interest is apparently highly erotic for the hero. If it has not been made clear enough already, it’s worth saying explicitly though all of the love interests in these STNGS
are gay men with exclusively homosexual desires, none of them exhibit stereotypically gay characteristics, such as the ones Charlie imagines would be dead giveaways for homosexuality “wearing women’s clothes, or running around uttering their eyelashes” . The ve love interests in these STNGS are, by all appearances, straight. I should also note the sexual practices that the protagonists share with their love interests. Despite the glistening abs and brooding looks of the lover-boys, their relationships with the heroes are surprisingly chaste. Charlie and Diego make out in some scenes, but their erotic exploration stays “above the belt” . raden and his boy toy never make it past rst base, and Caleo does not so much as kiss either of his love interests. Whether this chastity is a convention of the A genre, or whether it’s a response to the stereotype of the “promiscuous gay” is hard to determine. The nal character type that unites these STNGS is that of the villain. In his analysis of ond villains, Umberto co traces patterns of race, class, and sexuality that de ned this recurring character. In STNGS, a similar pattern emerges. First, the villains always operate in groups, usually with one or two leaders. And these evil groups are diametrically opposed to a “good” group from which they at one point diverged. For example, the evil witches in T WCFS broke off from the mainstream coven a decade prior, and are now at war with them. This same dynamic holds true in Caleo, where an organi ation of witches known as the lessed must contend with a group of rebels, who started off as lesseds themselves. It may be interesting to note that, in every case, the members of both
groups are possessed of the same magical abilities, and are similarly hidden from the public eye. This is to say, both the evil and the good groups occupy the same oppressed position in relation to mainstream society. When it comes to the physical descriptions of the villains, the reader will notice certain similarities. Let’s take Tony, from T WCFS, as an example. As the righthand man of villainess Grace, we rst see Tony Ambrosio killing three waiters at a hotel restaurant. Further scenes with Tony show him kidnapping various and sundry strangers before murdering them. What characteri es these scenes is not only the wanton violence, but also Tony’s over-thetop amboyance. Like a cinema shot of a classic beauty, the rst we see of Tony is his foot, clad in “a suede shoe, impossibly white” . From there we ga e on his nely “tailored” suit and impossibly good looks. He then proceeds to moonwalk “across the lobby,” check himself out in a mirror, and comment on how “sexy” his own “muscled” forearms are. He then drops into the splits. It would be easy to read this villain as simply a vain heterosexual man, if the author didn’t insist so rmly that Tony’s amboyance, and his villainy, correspond to sexual deviancy. Not only is it implied that Tony and the other evil witches engage in group sex with mortals , but Tony seems to place homosexuality and violence in tandem. Take for example a later chapter, where Tony tricks a edgling witch into his car and proceeds to strangle him to death Todd hit and slapped at Tony , who, barely blinking an eye, leaned in even closer and bit down on Todd s lower lip, drawing blood Todd gagged and
shook, trying to scream, trying to pull away Eventually he stopped moving, his head dropping orward on his neck, arms slack at his sides, unconscious You, my riend, are a lousy kisser, Tony said ( 27) Note the association of violence with Tony’s homosexual act, as well as Tony’s ippant, irreverent quip, which calls to mind the aesthetic disdain, the “disenchantment” said to characteri e gay sensibility Halperin, . All of these factors are echoed in Witch yes, where the author immediately associates the villain Lucien Fallon with vanity and arti ciality “The suit was tailored. The eyebrows twee ed. The ngers manicured. The shoes polished. The smile painted on” . He even goes so far as to “affect” a ritish accent . His attitude is glib and his tone disdainful “He waved his hand through the air with a dismissive gesture” . In other words, he perfectly embodies the “aestheticism” and “snobbery” associated with modern homosexuality Halperin, . If anything, Lucien’s physicality and tone remind the reader of the coded queer characters dating back before censorship laws permitted openly gay protagonists. Lucien is the gayest character in the book save for one thing he isn’t attracted to men. Just as Tony and Lucien link villainy with sexual deviance, so too does one of Caleo’s villains, Steve, link villainy with gender deviance. Steve is introduced in the same terms as Lucien and Tony we rst see him staring in a mirror, wearing skinny jeans, a crop top, and a fashionable avant-garde haircut . ut what really disquiets Caleo, what really leaves him “ama ed” ,
is the discord between Steve’s supposed gender and his gender expression. Steve’s “feminine clothes” hide “a very masculine gure,” and he keeps a gun in a pink makeup bag, of all places . Though innocuous enough as standalone details, these bits of information carry enormous weight when taken in context. These disquieting details immediately precede Steve’s murder of a renegade witch, a violent scene that takes place right in front of Caleo’s eyes. In this author’s imagination, the destabili ing of the gender binary corresponds to a rupture, a dangerous rift in the everyday. Generally speaking, these sexually deviant villains meet a patently unhappy end. When Charlie turns the tables on Grace and the evil witches, he incapacitates two of the four leaders with psychic magic. The third, he binds with fabric. ut to the fourth, Tony, he metes out a special punishment “several pieces of heavy furniture from different parts of the room arced through the air and descended on him , attening him to the ground as he screamed in gargled agony. Charlie could hear bones breaking” . And as for Lucien, a “single bullet had taken him through the eye, leaving a bloody and violent hole in its wake” . While one could argue the heroes were acting in self-defense, these punishments seem unusually cruel. None of the other villains are tortured like Lucien and Tony. These scenes are so excessive in relation to the general tone of the novels that the reader cannot gloss over them. They hint at a sense of punishment, a policing of the lines of deviancy. I would argue that the villains, being generally more amboyant and sexually “dangerous,” serve to normali e the chaste homosexuality of the heroes, making their
softcore homosexuality tame in comparison, even wholesome. These STNGS endeavor to “establish a division between the good and bad sexual citi en that is uncoupled from the homo hetero binary” Seidman by showing that, within the LG T community, as with the human community at large, there are both deviants as well as sexually responsible citi ens, and that queer sexuality doesn’t necessarily entail sexual deviancy. Part I Conclusion I hope this brief introduction to STNGS has helped outline the ways in which this genre negotiates with a troubled history of queer literature, eschewing certain tropes i.e. the “tragic queer” while perpetuating others i.e. the queer villain . Now that we have de ned STNGS, an in-depth analysis is called for, in which we celebrate the ways in which supernatural queer ction subverts oppressive narrative models, while at the same time acknowledging the ways in which the genre could grow truer to lived queer experience, more inclusive of a plural model of queer life, closer to an optimistic model of queer existence. e erences Castle, Gregory. Reading the odernist ildungsroman. Gainesville, FL University Press of Florida, . Print. Cawelti, John G. Adventure, ystery, and Romance Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture. Chicago U of Chicago, . Print. Felski, Rita. eyond Feminist Aesthetics Feminist Literature and Social Change. Cambridge, ass Harvard University Press, . Print. Gross, Claire. “What akes a Good a Coming-Out Novel ” The Horn ook aga ine. . . Web. Saxey, sther. . Homoplot The Coming-Out Story and Gay, Lesbian and isexual Identity. New ork Peter Lang. T.V. Tropes and Idioms. “Conveniently an Orphan - TV Tropes.” TV Tropes. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. . Tixier Herald, Diana. Genre ecting A Guide to Reading Interests in Genre Fiction. Fifth edition. Libraries Unlimited, Inc. . Tixier Herald, Diana. Genre ecting A Guide to Reading Interests in Genre Fiction. Fourth edition. Libraries Unlimited, Inc. . Woods, Gregory. A History of Gay Literature The ale Tradition. New Haven ale University Press, . Print.
THE MEAS REMENT OF EE IS A GROWING FIELD O F S T DY R E L E VA N T T O I O LO G I C A L P R O C E S S E S D R G D E V E LO P M E N T A N D T H E S T DY O F T H E O R I G I N S OF LIFE
A STRA T
Chirality is the handedness of a molecule, which describes its orientation in space. If a molecule is chiral, its mirror image is non-superimposable. The chirality of molecules is crucial for pharmaceutical applications, as one form may be helpful, whereas the other may have a detrimental e ect on health. This functional di erence in the body stems from the chirality of biological compounds such as amino acids and sugars, whose configurations slightly prefer interactions with one form over the other. The favorability of the chiral interactions is based on factors like steric (shape bulkiness of the molecule) and electrostatic (attractive and repulsive) forces. In a racemic (50 50) mixture, when one enantiomer preferentially binds to a chiral substrate, the other enantiomer is left in slight excess in the mixture. Measurement of low enantiomeric excesses may be crucial for high-throughput chiral catalyst screening in the pharmaceutical industry and developing a quantitative chiral recognition model. Current methods of measuring the ratio of these forms fail in the lower limit due to background signal. However, a new method called three-wave mixing rotational spectroscopy is a promising, no-background technique that can measure in the lower limit. Developing this method may be useful in industry to identify catalysts that slightly favor one enantiomer. The characteristic qualities of chiral molecules were used to design a threewave mixing rotational spectroscopy experiment that can be used to aid chiral catalyst screening.
Introduction A molecule is chiral if it has at least two unique physical conformations that are non-superimposable mirror images i.e. left and right hands called enantiomers. ecause enantiomers are chemically equivalent, many common separation techniques are incapable of separating enantiomers. If a chiral environment is induced, however, the enantiomers will interact differently with this environment, as in the techniques of chiral gas chromatography and three-wave mixing rotational spectroscopy. The ratio between the two enantiomers is known as enantiomeric excess ee . In a system where one enantiomer is in excess of the other, an ee exists, as shown in eq . NA refers to the number of molecules of enantiomer A, whereas N refers to the number of molecules of enantiomer .
The measurement of ee is a growing eld of study, relevant to biological processes, drug development, and the study of the origins of life. Within the pharmaceutical industry, there is a need for quanti cation of ee, as FDA regulations require active pharmaceutical ingredients APIs to be of high purity to be approved for sale. Highly pure ingredients are synthesi ed using chiral catalysts in asymmetric reactions. The reactions will favor the formation of one enantiomer over the other due to steric and electronic hindrance, thus producing an API with high ee. To ensure a high purity, high ees must be measured quantitatively. Less research has been devoted to developing quantitative methods of measuring
ee in the lower limits, though the measurement low ees could be crucial to the future of drug development. The trial-and-error process of selecting a reaction catalyst by high-throughput screening searches for molecules that create a slight ee out of a speci c racemic mixture, and such molecules that create advantageous ees can then be chemically optimi ed for use as catalysts in speci c asymmetric biological reactions. If a low ee could be precisely measured a small signal could be distinguished , then this high-throughput screening method would be faster, as the catalysts that create an ee could be more quickly identi ed and subsequently modi ed to create higher ees in a process that would eventually allow high-purity catalysts to be developed. Commonly employed techniques of determining ee include gas chromatography GC , vibrational circular dichroism VCD , and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy N R . These techniques lack the precision necessary to measure ee in the lower limit of less than ee. Unlike other methods, three-wave mixing rotational spectroscopy is a ero background technique, meaning any signal is a result of the speci c molecule targeted. This techniqueâ€™s precision is reported to be on the order of . to . . , The use of microwave frequencies in the rotational spectrometer design makes it theoretically feasible to obtain an uncertainty in the ee of only . . This system will be used to measure the ee of , -propanediol, a chiral molecule. Chiral ecognition Chiral recognition occurs when enantiomers behave differently when placed in a chiral environment. For instance, a com-
pound of known chirality substrate , forms a complex with each enantiomer of the compound probe whose properties are being investigated. These complexes can then be separated chemically or by another method, such as rotational spectroscopy. Chiral recognition is not completely understood and is qualitatively modelled. One relevant model is the Three Point odel. he hree Point Model The Three Point odel, proposed by ason and Stednam in the s, posits that the substrate and probe must have at least three points of interaction, attractive or repulsive, to make an ideal t, and an ideal t is required for chiral recognition to occur. These interactions can be broadly classi ed into the following categories steric interactions, electrostatic interactions including orbital overlap , dynamic or rotational interactions, and hydrophobic interactions involving the solvent. The more interactive forces, the better the t between the substrate and probe. These interactions can either be multi-point forces, meaning that the substrate and probe interact broadly across a region, or single-point forces, where the attraction is mainly locali ed to one bond. ecause multi-point forces deal with large areas, they are often stronger than single-point forces. Since probe enantiomers have different ts with the substrate, the binding equilibrium of one enantiomer will have a different change in free energy, G, than the other. This model is summari ed in Figure .
Figure . A pictorial representation of the three-point model. In this example, the substrate in the S con guration happens to have three favorable interactions with the S enantiomer of the probe, as illustrated by the dotted lines, making this pairing an ideal t. y contrast, the R probe only has one recognition site with the substrate, making this pairing a non-ideal t.
Chiral recognition goes beyond the Three Point odel, as it is a speci c case of the Four Point odel, which mandates four distinct points of interaction, and is thus only applicable when the substrate is adhered to a surface. Research indicates that the Four Point odel may also be insuf cient, that a six- or eight-center interaction model may be most appropriate. ecause of the lack of quantitative data surrounding chiral recognition, it is unclear which model correctly describes an ideal t. The small differences in G for each enantiomer t with the substrate needs to be measured to determine the ideality or non-ideality of the interactions, requiring accurate ee measurement in the lower limit. If an equal mixture of enantiomers interacts with a chiral substrate, a slight ee is produced by the small energetic difference between the different complexes that form see â€œThermodynamic Parametersâ€? . Thus, to quantify chiral recognition, a reliable method of low ee measurement must be developed.
One potential chiral probe is , -propanediol. Any interactions between this probe and a potential substrate would need to be quanti ed by computational simulation before a suitable chiral recognition scheme could be modeled. Lovas et al. developed a rotational spectroscopy protocol for , -propanediol based on quantum chemistry calculations. With this literature to which further research can be compared, quantitative results of this three-wave mixing experiment on , -propanediol can help validate or disprove a chiral recognition model. Low ee measurement would pave the way for the thermodynamic values of the forces between the , -propanediol probe and the substrate, -amino- -indanol, to which a chiral recognition model could be matched. Figure shows one set of points of interaction between , -propanediol and -amino- -indanol.
Figure . Structures and one potential set of hydrogen-bonding interactions head-to-head between the , -propanediol probe right and the -amino- -indanol substrate left . Several interactions are possible due to the exibility of the probe.
o Co plex or ation
Low ee solutions develop when one enantiomer of the probe binds slightly better with the substrate, leaving more of the other enantiomer in solution. Chiral centers are distinguished in nomenclature by being
of either R or S designation, so if an enantiomer of the substrate or the probe has only one chiral center, the whole molecule will be of either R or S form. If the substrate were of the R con guration, either the SR – PR R form of Substrate – R form of Probe or SR – PS R Substrate – S Probe complex would form in slight excess of the other, thus inducing a low ee in solution. Hydrogen bonding is often strong enough to shift the reaction equilibrium toward the formation of the complex. Different types of hydrogen bonding can occur between these molecules, as shown in Figure . The more hydrogen bonding sites, the more the equilibrium shifts in favor of complex formation.
Figure . Types of hydrogen bonds H-bonds between probe and substrate based on arbu-Debus et al. Far left depicts head-to-head bonding, which results from the opening of the two intramolecular hydrogens to form two strong intermolecular H-bonds Left depicts insertion of an OH group into the intramolecular H-bond of the substrate Right depicts addition, where a new intermolecular H-bond is formed, and the previous intramolecular H-bond in the substrate remains Far right depicts cyclic bonding, where two intermolecular H-bonds are formed.
her od na ic Para eters Thermodynamic parameters such as the equilibrium constant, , the change in free energy, G, and the difference in G values for the formation of each enantiomer’s complex, G, describe the binding
equilibria between the substrate and each probe. The equilibrium shifts toward complex formation when the complex is lower energy than the separated compounds. When is greater than one, complex formation is favorable negative G . The relationship between and G is shown by eq , where R is the ideal gas constant, and T is the temperature.
When the absolute value of G is considerably larger than the value of RT, the value to becomes exponentially large, indicating high favorability for product complex formation. There is a unique value of G for each probe enantiomerâ€™s binding reaction with the substrate. Therefore, the difference in binding for the enantiomers is described by G G - G . q derived in Appendix A describes the relationship between this G and the concentration of each probe enantiomer in the bound state.
Since computational chemistry generates a reasonable G, the ratio of bound enantiomers in the system can be calculated from this equation, since R and T are constants. From this ratio of bound enantiomers, the expected ee in solution can be calculated. Calculation o xpected o esults ased on literature, a G of J mol is a reasonable estimate for the , -propanediol probe.
y letting S R-P R x and S R-P S â€“ x , the mole fractions of each complex can be determined.
If a ratio of substrate to probe is obtained experimentally, there are moles of probe, leaving only one mole capable of binding to the substrate such that moles of probe remain unbound in solution. Of the probe that reacts with the substrate, . mol of one enantiomer and . mol of the other enantiomer will bind to the substrate which enantiomer binds more favorably to the substrate can be determined by threewave mixing rotational spectroscopy . When the binding occurs, new mole fractions of each enantiomer in the bulk solution can be determined.
This calculated ee is a suf cient estimate for the three-wave mixing experiment. To conrm that an ee was created, the three-wave mixing experiment can be repeated using the same racemic probe mixture with the opposite chirality of the substrate. The second
experiment should produce equal but opposite results, with the other enantiomer of the probe in excess. e el o Precision In most methods of measuring low ee, only a slight difference between enantiomers is measured, so high precision is vital an error of . - . would give the most reliable results. This level of precision is dif cult to obtain with N R and GC techniques because of background noise.
son and Doyle, the samples were cooled by a cold cell lled with helium carrier gas. In their three-wave mixing experiment, repeated measurements of low ee gave a precision of about . However, this method could be improved by the use of pulsed jets to cool down the sample to around , instead of using cold cells. Speci cally, the switch to a pulsed jet technique provides a possible improvement in the precision by a factor of to , making the goal of . to . precision feasible. xperi ental esign
Three-wave mixing rotational spectroscopy has the ability to reach a higher level of precision since it has ero background. , The R and S enantiomers of a molecule emit light waves that destructively interfere with one another, resulting in ero intensity when the enantiomers are present in equal proportion. The signal detected by the instrument is the amount of light that is not canceled out, which only happens when one enantiomer is in excess of the other, allowing the detection of ee in the lower limit. Other materials in the system which are not , -propanediol will not be excited and will not be detected, as the excitation wavelength is speci c to the probe, making three-wave mixing a ero background technique. To truly have a ero background system, other waves such as WiFi must be prevented from entering the instrument. While an error of . has been achieved with three-wave mixing, it has not yet been investigated whether these measurements can be improved to fall within an error range of . - . . Current research seeks to optimi e this technique and determine its usefulness and precision for measuring ee. In the method developed by Patter3
The apparatus depicted in Figure was designed to generate a low ee sample which could then be used for the three-wave mixing rotational spectroscopy experiment. The apparatus features a simple distillation setup modi ed to allow for the ow of the N carrier gas.
Figure . The apparatus used for collecting samples for the measurement of chiral recognition. A carrier gas N ows through A, transports vapor through , and the vapor condenses in C. Distillate collects in while the carrier gas exits through D.
The speci cations of the glassware used in the apparatus are listed in Table . The ask A contains the substrate dissolved in the racemic probe mixture, and the mixture can be gently heated to fully dissolve the substrate. ased on slightly different binding energies G from eq between
the probe enantiomers and the chiral
substrate, a slight ee is created in both the solution and in the vapor phase. The apparatus transports the vapor away from the solution via N carrier gas such that equilibrium is not reached, and the ee can grow larger. The vapor is then condensed and collected for analysis using three-wave mixing rotational spectroscopy. The condensed vapor will consist only of the probe molecules that did not bind to the substrate, so there will be an excess of the enantiomer that did not bind as well with the substrate. There are several limitations inherent in the apparatus design. The simplicity of the setup allows for rapid assembly, and the equipment is inexpensive. However, depending on the identity of probe used, vapor pressures may be so low that suf cient distillate collection may be overly time-consuming. This potential issue could be remedied by the use of gentle heat or by increasing the ow rate of carrier gas, although these actions may make the predicted ee calculation less accurate. It is also possible for the vapor to exit the apparatus before it can suf ciently condense. This problem can be addressed by ensuring that the receiving ask is submerged in an ice bath or alternatively using rubber stoppers over the open arms of the round bottom ask.
eagent Selection The chiral probe chosen is , -propanediol because it forms two hydrogen bonds in many con gurations with -amino- -indanol AI , the substrate, due to its exible structure Figure . Other probe candidates considered were -phenylethanol, -butanol, and -butyn- -ol, but there were fewer possible intermolecular interactions for these molecules with AI, so the binding would be less pronounced. For example, -butyn-ol, is only capable of forming one type of interaction with AI based on the Three Point odel. The more interactions that are available, the more likely chiral discrimination will occur, meaning that the G will usually be larger and generate a larger ee. Additionally, there is evidence showing that , -propanediol produces suf cient separation using another separation method, chiral GC. To con rm the effectiveness of the three-wave mixing experiment, the low ee sample can also be analy ed with chiral GC. Previous research has shown that AI prefers one enantiomer over the other. Switching the enantiomer of the substrate should yield the opposite ee, so experiments with R, S - -cis-AI and S, R - - -AI should be performed to con rm that the substrate does have different binding with each enantiomer. Collection esults The apparatus was used to collect samples of , -propanediol from solutions of AI, and the results are summari ed in Table . ased on the thermodynamic calculations of chiral recognition, . would be observed for a ratio. However, AI did not readily dissolve in , -propanediol, and 3
the actual ratio obtained was substrate to probe see Appendix . According to calculations, this ratio would yield an ee of . , too low for accurate or precise threewave mixing results.
The mole ratio of substrate to probe could be improved to the goal of . It is likely that the poor solubility of AI arose from strong intermolecular interactions with itself and likewise from , -propanediol interacting with itself. In order for proper solvation to occur, these interactions would need to be broken so that probe molecules would interact with substrate molecules. Slower addition of substrate into the mixture could potentially limit the extent to which substrate molecules could aggregate. ild heating could overcome this energy barrier, allowing , -propanediol and AI to interact in solution. If the solubility of the substrate could be improved, a more signi cant ee would be produced that could be measured using three-wave mixing rotational spectroscopy. hree
The strength of the dipole in each direction affects the rotational energy transitions measured by this technique. Figure illustrates an example of dipole moment vectors, where b and c are identical between the enantiomers, but a differs in sign direction .
a e Mixing
Three-wave mixing is a rotational spectroscopy technique used to distinguish enantiomers because it generates an opposite signal for each enantiomer. This technique is spectroscopic because it is measuring light waves, and it is called rotational because it 3
quanti ed energy transitions between rotational states of molecules. In order to accurately measure the low ee of a mixture of enantiomers, an instrument must be designed that can measure ee with at least a precision of . . In this technique, two successive polari ed pulses are sent in distinct directions that correspond to dipole moments vectors, , which describe the magnitude and direction of polarity in a molecule. Once excited by these pulses, the molecules respond by emitting oscillating light waves that are opposite in phase between enantiomers. , ecause the products of the dipole moment vectors are equal and opposite for a pair of enantiomers eq , enantiomers can be distinguished by rotational spectroscopy.
Figure . xample of equal and opposite dipole moment vectors for a pair of enantiomers, where a is opposite in sign between the enantiomers.
The excitation pulses have polari ations aligned with two of the three dipole moment vectors, and the emission is aligned with the third dipole moment. xperimentally, the excitation sequence of a Rabi pulse followed by a Rabi pulse Figure yields the strongest emission signals, which allows the signal to be measured despite a damping effect caused by the use of a pulse jet to inject the sample. , The two pulses create excitation waves that oscillate in time.
transitions between these states of the a-, b-, and c-types can be chosen to suit the frequency range of the instrument.
Figure . Three-wave mixing scheme involving the three energy transitions of a-, b -, and c-types. The frequency of each transition was determined from the rotational spectrum in Figure such that the frequencies fell within the ranges given by Figure .
Figure . Polari ation of the two pulses depicted graphically. On the left, a sample that is initially all in quantum state is excited by a pulse into a superposition of states and , a state which oscillates in time. On the right, the sample is excited by a pulse to a new superposition of states and which oscillates in time.
The emitted wave is the third wave in three-wave mixing. This emitted wave has a different frequency than either of the excitation pulses, as shown in Figure , such that the detector can distinguish it from the excitation pulses.
Of the calculated structures of , -propanediol, conformer , shown in Figure , had the lowest energy and was the most abundant form of the molecule. The dipole moment intensities of conformer were all greater than . debye, so its rotational energy transitions would be intense enough to generate measurable signals before damping. The dipole moments of conformer were a . , b . , and c . debye.
otational Spectro eter esign The three-wave mixing scheme shown in Figure illustrates the two excitation pulses and the emitted wave with the speci c energy transitions that were selected for , -propanediol. Since many rotational states exist for a molecule, speci c energy
Figure . Structure of conformer , which is the lowest energy con guration of , -propanediol. This -dimensional depiction shows that the oxygen atoms red lean in opposite directions, minimi ing the steric strain within the molecule.
Figure shows the predicted rotational spectrum of conformer based on a, b, c, and rotational constants given by Lovas et al. From the more intense peaks in the spectrum, frequencies of the three rotational transitions were chosen.
Figure . The predicted rotational spectrum of , -propanediol based on a . , b . , and c . and rotational constants given by F.J. Lovas et al., Table . ach peak represents an energy transition that can
is the magnitude of the signal , and time, t, using Rabi. This equation shows that a larger Rabi corresponds to a larger dipole moment, electric eld, and time. To maximi e the signal, damping is minimi ed by minimi ing the time. Since the Rabi is larger than Rabi since , the pulse is assigned the smallest dipole moment to minimi e time, so c. Therefore, the remaining pulse corresponds to a.
Thus, using the dipole moments of conformer , c, a, and b. The most ef cient three-wave mixing scheme is therefore displayed by Figure and tabulated in Table .
be classi ed as a-, b-, or c-type.
The energy exchanges associated with the dipole moment in the a direction are designated a-type transitions, and likewise there are b- and c-type transitions. ecause the amplitude of the emitted wave is proportional to the magnitude of the dipole moment, the largest dipole moment transition is assigned to the emission to maximi e the detected signal. Thus, the emitted wave will correspond to the large b-type transition, or b. aximi ing the signal increases the relative precision of the measurement, as the uncertainty of the measurements remains constant. q relates the dipole moment, , and the electric eld of the emission, which 3
The frequencies for the transitions of , -propanediol were chosen to yield maximum signal intensity as well as t within the speci c frequency ranges of the rotational spectrometerâ€™s microwave horns, which generate the excitations and receive the emission. Figure shows the spectrometer design and the ranges of the microwave horns, to which the transition frequencies have been chosen. The broadcast excitation horns are oriented perpendicular to each oth-
er with perpendicular polari ations to create a chiral environment. ecause of this chiral environment, signals unique to each enantiomer will be emitted and detected in the receiver horn.
Figure . Aerial view of the spectrometer setup. Three microwave “horns” are indicated, which either emit or receive a light wave in a speci c frequency range. Horns are chosen due to the transitions of a particular molecule. Arrows indicate directionality of wave propagation. The circled point indicates vertical polari ation perpendicular to the plane of the paper. The hori ontal arrow above the -
where is the frequency of the waveform. Therefore, for the . GH transition of states and the emission shown in Figure , a digiti er must collect samples more frequently than Giga samples per second Gs s . The digiti er used will be on the order of Gs s for precise light sampling. For the excitation to transition , the microwave horn needs to generate frequency on the order of . GH . Since the Automatic Waveform Generator AWG creating the excitation pulse can only sample at Gs s, meaning out GH , the output from the AWG will be mixed with a GH Local Oscillator LO as shown in Figure . The theory behind wave mixing stems from the fundamental trigonometric identity, as seen in eq ,
GH horn represents hori ontal polari ation.
A digiti er must be able to record data frequently enough to describe the sinusoidal emission of the light waves. The oscillation of a light wave is given by
There are three unknowns that characteri e the wave, A amplitude , angular frequency , and phase shift . Thus, three data points must be collected per period of the function to achieve the Nyquist frequency, shown in eq ,
according to uler’s identity for cosine. For mixers, this identity means that two input signals with distinct frequencies combine to produce two output signals corresponding to the sum and the difference of the input signals. An input signal can also combine with itself, yielding an output signal with twice the frequency of the input. Using a low pass lter, which only allows signals below a certain frequency through, unwanted frequencies can be excluded, and the frequencies chosen for , -propanediol can be selected, as shown in Figure . This setup is able to produce the necessary . GH signal required for the to transition. This AWG operates with a Single Pole, Double Throw SPDT switch which can alternate between the . GH signal of the pulse and the . GH signal of 3
pulse. Cali ration
Figure shows an example peak in the rotational spectrum of each enantiomer of conformer . The R and S enantiomers peaks are opposite in sign, and a racemic mixture of the enantiomers yields a ero-intensity spectrum.
Figure . The experimental setup for the generation of the GH signal. The low pass lter takes the four produced signals and blocks two fo them. The GH harmonic that still remains will not excite a transition that we will measure in , -propanediol, so its presence is not a problem.
of the ee can be used as a scale for future ee measurements. Once this enantiopure measurement is recorded, the ee of all mixtures, low or high ee, of , -propanediol enantiomers can be determined, with high precision in the lower limit. Conclusion
Figure . The sign of the peak is characteristic of either the R and S enantiomer of the chiral molecule. The line at intensity represents a completely racemic mixture. Calibration uses the relative intensities of the racemic and enantiopure species.
To determine the ee of the mixture and the phase of the emission of each enantiomer, a single point calibration curve must be created. Three-wave mixing must be performed on an enantiopure R or S sample of either the R or S form of , -propanediol to obtain the phase of that enantiomer as well as the intensity corresponding to ee. The other enantiomer will be opposite in phase, and because this technique is ero background, the intensity 3
The low ee three-wave mixing experiment has not yet been performed. Since the predicted ee of the prepared , -propanediol samples was . , an experiment on these samples would not be useful due to the projected precision of the instrument of . . . The use of heat in the distillation process to solvate the substrate would reduce the mole ratio. If a substrate probe ratio were obtained, a greater ee would be created that would be precisely measurable by the spectrometer. The Pate lab at UVa will be performing a low ee three-wave mixing experiment using a different substrate-probe pair than AI and , -propanediol. The development and improvement of this technique will become useful for detection of low ee, which is particularly useful for
the pharmaceutical industry. When low ee is determined, chiral catalyst screening will increase in precision and throughput. With a better selection of chiral catalysts, APIs with be purer and easier to produce. Appendices Appendix A Derivation of eq. Let indicate the equilibrium reaction between the R enantiomer of the substrate with the R enantiomer of the probe. Let indicate the equilibrium reaction between the R enantiomer of the substrate with the S enantiomer of the probe
y dividing by senses chirality.
, this ratio determines the fraction of G that
ecause the sample is expected to have a low ee, the ratio approaches , the expression can be written
that relates the G, the energetic difference between the interaction of the R probe and the S probe with the substrate, to the ee measurement. Appendix Calculation of
mole ratio of AI to , -propanediol
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Facts About the Current Good anufacturing Practices CG Ps . http www.fda.gov accessed ay , . P at , A. Drury III, W. J. Design of Chiral Ligands for Asymmetric Catalysis From C -symmetric P,P- and N,N-ligands to Sterically and lectronically Nonsymmetrical P,N-ligands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. , , . Jo, H. H. Gao, . ou, L. Anslyn, . V rische, . J. Application of a High-Throughput nantiomeric xcess Optical Assay Involving a Dynamic Covalent Assembly Parallel Asymmetric Allylation and e Sensing of Homoallylic Alcohols. Chem. Sci. , , – . Patterson, D. Doyle, J. . Sensitive Chiral Analysis via icrowave Three-Wave ixing. Phys. Rev. Lett. , , – . Lobsiger, S. Pere , C. vangelisti, L. Lehmann, . . Pate, . H. olecular Structure and Chirality Detection by Fourier Transform icrowave Spectroscopy. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. , , – . Healey, R. Ghanem, A. An Insight to Chiral onolith for nantioselective Nano and icro HPLC Preparation and Applications. Chirality , April , – . asson, L. H. Stedman, . Studies on the Relationship between Chemical Constitution and Physiological Action. iochem. J. , , – . Lammerhofer, . Chiral Recognition by nantioselective Liquid Chromatography echanisms and odern Chiral Stationary Phases. J. Chromatogr. A , , – . ao, . Snurr, R. . roadbelt, L. J. Insights into the Complexity of Chiral Recognition by a Three-Point odel. icroporous esoporous ater. , , – . Davankov, V. A. The Nature of Chiral Recognition Is it a Three Point Interaction Chirality , , Lovas, F. J. Plusquellic, D. F. Pate, . H. Neill, J. L. uckle, . T. Remijan, A. J. icrowave Spectrum of , -Propanediol. J. ol. Spectrosc. , , – . arbu-Debus, . L. roquier, . ahjoub, A. ehnacker-Rentien, A. Chiral recognition in jet-cooled complexes of R, S - -cis- amino- indanol and methyl lactate. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. , . Liang, . radshaw, J Dearden, D The Thermodynamic asis for nantiodiscrimination Gas-Phase easurement of the nthalpy and ntropy of Chiral Amine Recognition by Dimethyldiketopyridino- -crown- , J. Phys. Chem. , , . T. J. alle and W. H. Flygare, Rev. Sci. Instrum. , . A guide to the Analysis of Chiral Compounds by GC. Restek Technical Guide. Lit. Cat. . . Carr, . Holt, V. System Development for Low nantiomeric xcess Calculations. University of Virginia, CH , Collab. , - . Lovas, F. J. Plusquellic, D. F. Pate, . H. Neill, J. L. uckle, . T. Remijan, A. J. icrowave Spectrum of , -Propanediol. J. ol. Spectrosc. , , – . Spartan Student v . . . Hass, Jeffrey. “Nyquist Theorem and Aliasing.” Center for lectronic and Computer usic. University of Indiana, . Web.
mol , -propanediol
A STRA T This paper explores the link between Claude Monet’s notable Haystack series and Leo Tolstoy’s stance on the sanctity of rural life, especially as presented in Anna arenina. In his treatise What is Art , Tolstoy discusses his stance on French art, especially Impressionism, specifically discussing the landscape paintings of Camille Pissarro, the most political of the Impressionist artists. Pissarro was interested in French anarchist philosophers such as Pierre-Joseph Prouhon and Jean Grave, but was perhaps most inuenced by the anarcho-communist ideals of Peter ropotkin. In the 1 0s, Pissarro began transitioning to the Neo-Impressionist style. Examining Pissarro’s letters and figure paintings, this paper determines the extent to which Pissarro shared Monet and Tolstoy’s ideals of rural labor and explores how Tolstoy’s critique of Pissarro’s landscapes illuminates the sociopolitical purpose that Pissarro and Tolstoy thought art should (or should not) serve. Drawing upon Russian literary and philosophical sources, as well as French Impressionist paintings, this paper aims to revise our conception of the one-way transnational dialogue that is assumed to have existed between France and Russia at the end of the nineteenth century, showing that one of the most celebrated moments in French artistic innovation Impressionism was actually
spurred by advances in Russian literature and philosophy
Emily Cox is a graduating third-year studying art history. At UVa, Emily has researched Impressionist Camille Pissarro, using archives and collections in Switzerland, France, and England. Emily founded Thursdays Magazine and worked with Madison House and the Virginia Undergraduate Law Review. In her free time, Emily enjoys running, reading, and co ee shop scouting. Next year, Emily will pursue a Master’s in Art History at xford as an Ertegun Scholar, and will return to the U.S. the following fall to earn her PhD at Yale.
I T WA S I N T H E CO
N T R Y S I D E T H AT
L D E P LO R E
T H E R E L AT I O N S H I P ETWEEN MAN LA OR A N D N AT
In , Impressionist painter Claude onet wrote to his future wife, Alice Hosch d , about Russian literature “Je vous ai adress les deux Tolsto ,” he brusquely noted. ight days later, onet returned to the subject “Vous me dites pas votre impression sur Anna ar nine. Je vais vous en envoyer un autre de Tolsto que pourront lire les enfants ce sont des contes populaires tr s na fs et tr s jolis.” Previous scholarship has not seriously dealt with onet’s interest in Tolstoy, perhaps due to a lack of evidence of this tie in the artist’s published correspondence. Indeed, in the entirety of onet’s correspondence, we see no other direct mention of Tolstoy or his works. et we would be mistaken to dismiss onet’s fondness for Tolstoy’s writing Anna arenina, in particular as a coincidental or locali ed occurrence. Instead, onet’s penchant for Anna arenina is indicative of a broader cultural phenomenon in which both literary and artistic movements crossed uropean borders to shape the development of late nineteenth-century culture. In evaluating the signi cance of onet’s mention of Anna arenina, we can reframe the supposed one-way dialogue thought to have existed between France and Russia, delving into the ways in which the political and aesthetic debates raging through s Paris were fueled by some of Russia’s most brilliant nineteenth-century writers. y the s, Paris was divided along aesthetic and political lines. ehind the of cial art of the Acad mie and the increasingly popular Impressionist movement lay an avant-garde subculture. The Neo-Impressionists, attached to the burgeoning French anarchist movement, were the most political of these new movements. After nancial crises racked the economy, French
anarchism quickly developed a strong following among the progressive social circles of Paris-based artists and writers. The seemingly inevitable convergence of art and politics forced artists to take sides in the battle between aesthetic and political innovation. To refuse the choice outright was itself a political move. The Impressionists, who were a loosely bound entity until the nal Impressionist exhibition in , disbanded as artists including dgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, onet, and Camille Pissarro pursued individual paths. onet and Pissarro, who enjoyed a volatile but fruitful friendship, diverged in their artistic visions. While Pissarro renounced Impressionism and became a leading Neo-Impressionist, onet continued to produce solidly Impressionist art that fetched increasingly high prices in the private art market. It is at this moment of polari ation that we see Pissarro and onet turn towards Russian novelists and philosophers for inspiration. It is not immediately obvious why onet picked up Anna arenina in . After all, the novel had been seriali ed in the Russian essenger from to , and was published as a full novel nine years before onet mentions it in his letters. In , however, the French publishing company Hachette published La Guerre et la paix and Anna ar nine, making Tolstoy’s masterworks available to a French audience for the rst time. Les Cosaques became available in we might surmise that this is the “autre Tolsto ” to which onet refers in his letter to Alice. Ironically, it was the year after Tolstoy’s works rst became available to French readers, at the same moment mile ola’s in ammatory L’ uvre was published, that they gained prominence in Paris’s intellectual circles. Detailing the
tragic life of a bohemian painter, L’ uvre shocked the artistic community both for its romantici ed, though un attering, vision of the modern “starving artist” and for the harsh, realist style that belied such arti ce. In April , onet sought Pissarro’s opinion on the novel “Ave -vous lu le livre de ola J’ai grand’peur qu’il ne nous fasse grand tort.” Pissarro’s reply was brief but perceptive “ ola m’a envoy L’ uvre. Je suis en train de lire c’est un livre romantique Le Claude est peu tudi , le Sando est mieux, on voit qu’il l’a compris.” any visual artists felt that ola constructed an unfair comparison between the two main characters of the novel, Claude and Sando , to argue for the superiority of the novel over the painting. While Claude is portrayed as a deranged painter whose proximity to, but ultimate lack of, genius leads to his suicide, Sando represents the painter’s devoted friend whose powers of observation and literary virtuosity win him the recognition that Claude never achieves. The novel functions as a fanciful tableau of the late nineteenth-century avant-garde art world, exploiting the bohemian aura of the painter’s social circle to achieve a distorted dichotomy that privileges the writer over the painter. The literary and visual arts spent the late nineteenth-century competing to determine which was best suited to represent the modern world. ola conceived of his naturalist model as a literary mode that derived from the dispassionate, external observation of subjects, and it is this mode that Tolstoy critici es in Anna arenina “Levin said that the French employed conventions in art as no one else did, and therefore they saw particular merit in the return to realism. They saw poetry in the fact that they were no longer lying.” The
French naturalists and here, Tolstoy species ola as a major culprit “pushed to the point of coarseness” the expression of human life, mistaking their ostentatious show of realism for accuracy itself. To sacri ce authorial empathy on the altar of near-scienti c dispassion was to paint a super cially accurate portrait lacking in the genuine internal aspect so central to Tolstoy’s writing, and it was for this reason that Octave irbeau, a French novelist and art critic, noted that the true realist was a writer “bien qu’ennemi des etiquettes et des formules.” It was the “romanciers tels que Tolsto et Dosto evski, et non al ac, Flaubert, ou ola” who were the only realists “dignes de ce nom.” Writing in Le Gaulois in July , irbeau likely had the ola controversy in mind when he undertook an assessment of the works of the “incomparable crivain d’Anna ar nine,” lauding Tolstoy’s ability to lay bare man’s innermost thoughts and hidden desires. y situating the import of Russian literature within this context of French naturalism, we are better prepared to understand why Anna arenina made such a favorable impression on onet. It is clear why onet describes Tolstoy’s writing as “na f” in comparison to ola’s labored prose and dispassionate observation, onet must have admired Tolstoy’s commitment to conveying the inner essence of his subjects and settings, conjuring up reality by embracing the eeting vicissitudes of human feeling and behavior. Though scholars often see the French naturalists as the literary counterparts to the Impressionists, Tolstoy’s writing must have struck onet as a far more apt comparison. Having focused on landscape painting for over twenty- ve years, onet unexpectedly turned his attention to gure painting in
. The human gure, often a peripheral element in his landscape scenes, became the central object of his focus. In Woman with a Parasol, Facing Left Fig. , we see the elegant gure of Su anne Hosch d dominating the canvas. Veiled by a translucent blue cloth that wavers in the billowing wind, Su anne’s face remains a mystery. Only one of her hands is gloved, indicating the absurdity of social performance in a natural setting. Though her cream dress mingles with the bree e, the gure herself stands still and monumental, the sole anchor in a landscape de ned by movement. The sway of the green, pink, and golden grass suggests time without indicating placement, providing a nearly abstract perch for the female gure, who seems to ascend into the blue aureole de ned by the movement of the clouds behind her. Illuminated by sunlight whose source remains indeterminate, the pale green parasol forms a warped halo behind the woman’s elegant hat, an ironic marker of social dogma. onet playfully alludes to his proclivity for painting owers by depicting a delicately pinned rose on the gure’s white dress, emphasi ing that the landscape, he so often favored, is here employed as a foil to underline the importance of the gure. Just as Tolstoy conveys a sparse conception of Anna’s appearance through the use of a few vague descriptors her “sweet-looking face,” “shining grey eyes,” “thick lashes,” and “dark, curly hair” and instead emphasi es the total impression that Anna’s character emanates “the elegance and modest grace that could be seen in her whole gure” so too does onet eschew super cially detailed naturalist depiction in favor of a deeper portrait whose very ambiguity provides us more insight into the gure than would any polished portrait. Like ikhai-
lov’s portrait of Anna, onet’s Woman with a Parasol expresses the “sweetest innermost expression” of Su anne whose de nition is beyond verbali ation it is the visuali ation of the painter’s intimate knowledge of his subject, whose nature still eludes easy identi cation. He does not paint Su anne, but a woman like Su anne a gure whose universali ing essence embodies the spirit of the modern woman. As Anna’s individuality paradoxically strengthens the extent to which we can empathi e with her plight as universal in nature, onet’s Woman with a Parasol which seems to present the portrait of an individual woman intimately known to the artist pictures Su anne as the compositional tie between earth and sky, the human embodiment of civili ation itself. Tolstoy’s description of Anna seems the literary equivalent of onet’s lyrical painting of Su anne “it was as if a surplus of something so over owed her being that it expressed itself beyond her will.” The thin cloth of the woman’s dress and the stretched linen of her parasol prove only vacillating boundaries between the gure and her surrounding atmosphere the natural world streams through the gure’s blank body and disperses her essence in the swirls of the ambling wind. Though Suanne is as solid as any of onet’s gures, her essence is de ned by and in turn de nes external factors, acting as a liminal medium through which to view the complexities of modern life. Though we cannot conclusively attribute onet’s brief diversion into gure painting to the artist’s reading of Anna arenina, we may still view Woman with a Parasol as his conscious reply to the dispassionate nature of French literary naturalism, a visual parallel to Tolstoy’s own character sketches and literary style.
In , onet began what would become his rst major painting series Haystacks. y , he had undertaken two tentative haystack scenes, but the three paintings that followed the Giverny harvest are the more obvious precursors to the famous Haystack series that dominated onet’s production from - . Of these three scenes, Grainstacks at Giverny, Sunset Fig. is most redolent of the style that onet cultivated in his later Haystacks. In golden, buttery shades of red and gold, mixed with intermingling tones of blue, lavender, and pale pink, onet isolates two large, conical haystacks against a magni cent, color-streaked sky. There are no peasants or animals in sight, nor can we see a larger harvesting eld. onet’s haystack stands alone as a symbolic unit whose microcosmic presence and compositional placement mirrors that of Su anne in Woman with a Parasol. As part of a series that aimed to explore light and atmospheric effects, Haystacks ultimately included depictions of haystacks in all seasons and times of day, representing solid objects in a transient world. They are the results of a hard day’s work by the peasants who inhabited the countryside around onet’s home we see the haystacks in the ha y evening hours after the peasants have returned home from the elds. The thickly laid, choppy strokes of paint that make up the heavily textured haystacks are evidence of onet’s laborious facture the painter’s own constructive process mirrors that of the peasants. Though onet does not depict the peasants, who, like Tolstoy’s former serfs, may have slept overnight in the grassy meadows, his meadow matches the writer’s vision of the silent, utterly still wheat eld in which Levin spends the night enmeshed in the soft
con nes of a haystack. Like Levin’s racing mind, the haystacks witness the changing contours of the evening sky, and the shifting “mother-of-pearl shell of white, eecy clouds” whose appearance “mysterious ly change s ” the “inaccessible heights” of the vast void above. In a manner similar to onet’s later series of Rouen Cathedral, the Haystacks assume anthropomorphic qualities, standing in for the labor that created them and becoming witnesses to the natural phenomena that act on them. The haystacks, like land-based peasants, follow their own patterns and, in their locali ed existence, bear the marks of universal temporality. onet’s insistence on atmospheric speci city within his Haystacks emphasi es, rather than detracts from, their timelessness the haystack’s organic nature remains impeccably impossibly preserved precisely because it acts within cycles of weather and time. The writer Gustave Geffroy lauded the Haystacks as representing “the poetry of the universe in the small space of a eld a synthetic summary of the meteors and the elements” and another viewer noted the ways in which the piles of wheat recorded the “sensations of place and of time in the harmonious and melancholic ow of sunsets, ends of day, and gentle dawns.” The haystacks are therefore representative of the “life of simplicity and labor” with which Levin cannot be contented onet’s is an idyllic vision of the fruits of communal peasant labor. onet’s conception of peasant labor, like Levin’s, seems largely aesthetic a romantici ed representation of the monotony of agriculture work. It is therefore unsurprising that both Tolstoy and onet in Tolstoy’s description of Levin’s night in the haystack and onet’s Grainstacks, Sun3
set nd moments of brilliancy in the landscape of a silent eld, absent the workers whose toil crafted the very motif in which the artists were so interested. While Tolstoy’s vision of peasant labor seems admittedly romantici ed for aesthetic purposes, it is also largely political. His conception of the mythical, nearly primordial, existence of the peasant laborer was only one of many views of agricultural labor that dominated late nineteenth-century Russian thought. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, an in uential mid-century French socialist thinker, addressed this issue and provided the foundations for modern anarchism in his seminal text, What is Property u’est-ce que la propri t , rst published in . Advocating for the necessary decentrali ation of power and property, Proudhon argued that “in the order of justice, labor destroys property.” He believed that “neither a commercial, nor an industrial, nor an agricultural association could be conceived of in the absence of equality” and that “the right of labor was the right of society, the right of equality.” During his time in Paris in the early s, Tolstoy had the opportunity to meet Proudhon. In , Tolstoy commented on What is Property , asserting that the text’s central thesis “La propri t , c’est le vol” would “remain a greater truth than the truth of the nglish constitution as long as the human race exists.” It is unclear the extent to which Tolstoy upheld this opinion in the years to come indeed, we immediately notice a difference between this communist conception of shared property and Levin’s steadfast belief in the Russian nobility’s property rights. oreover, the title of Tolstoy’s celebrated novel War and Peace directly alludes to Proudhon’s treatise La Guerre et la paix. Just four years later,
in , Proudhon published Du Principe de l’art et de sa destination sociale, in which Proudhon urged artists to depict the realities of contemporary life in a way that stressed “enduring values of liberty and equality.” His writing would prove highly in uential for the young Pissarro. The strains of French and Russian anarchism that developed in the late nineteenth-century grew largely from Proudhon’s philosophic system. In , Pyotr ropotkin, a Russian activist and anarcho-communist, published Paroles d’un r volt , in which he devoted an entire section to “la question agraire.” ropotkin stressed the central role of the artist in creating a utopic future and an egalitarian labor force “Show the people what is ugly in contemporary life and make us understand the causes of this ugliness tell us what a rational life would have been if it had not been blocked at every stage by the ineptitudes and vileness of the present social order.” Under ropotkin’s conception, artists needed to create work accessible to the general public, whose situation the anarcho-communists were attempting to transform. It was this quality in Tolstoy’s writing that ropotkin admired “always Tolstoy appealed to the best, to the highest element in human nature, always he moved his readers to the very depths of their hearts, always he set them thinking Tolstoy’s art keeps us under its spell by means of something else, which is Truth Truth, full Truth above all ” In his article entitled “Leo Tolstoy His Art, His Personality,” ropotkin distinguished between Tolstoy’s “idealist realism” and that of the French realists, such as ola “The French realists considered it their duty to get rid of the old ideal characters, to reveal the bestial nature of man in its worst features They forgot that idealist tenden-
cies in man are as real as any other.” ropotkin construed Tolstoy’s literary style to t within his own vision for modern art, as “realism in the service of an ideal.” The French Neo-Impressionists allied themselves with ropotkin, whose ideal of anarcho-communism was actually supported in France through the work of Jean Grave. Taking over as editor of ropotkin’s anarchist journal Le R volt in , Grave developed close personal relationships with members of the new avant-garde, including Pissarro. In , Grave began incorporating prints into his journal, further solidifying the tie between visual art and the anarchist movement. Just a year later, Grave added a literary supplement to Le R volt which had, due to government interference, changed names to La R volte , publishing writers whom he thought conformed to the higher moral ideal to which he held artistic production. Prominent among those writers was Tolstoy Grave excerpted and printed War and Peace in his weekly publication. Two weeks after irbeau’s publication of “Un Fou,” in which irbeau praised Tolstoy’s realism at the expense of his French counterparts, Grave critici ed ola’s L’Oeuvre for its interest in style over social progress. In “L’Art dans la soci t bourgeoise L’Oeuvre par . mile ola,” Grave argued that “under this regime, the rebel artist is not a revolutionary who seeks liberty for all but an adventurer who cultivates the principle, Get out so I can replace you ” According to Grave, aesthetic innovation in the visual and literary arts had to be in service of political content. The intermingling of art and politics proved a major dividing factor between the Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist groups, and then between the Neo-Impressionists themselves. How could the Neo-Im-
pressionists push the boundaries of their art towards abstraction while retaining the visual legibility necessary to make their work accessible to a broad public And, if the two visions proved incompatible, which end ought to be sacri ced for the other Though such political art often managed to retain its signi cation as “high art,” transcending the crude artistry we often associate with propaganda, the Neo-Impressionists diverged in terms of the form and subject matter of their work. While etchings and prints were cheaper and thereby more accessible to the working classes, they did not allow for the scienti c pointillist technique that most of the Neo-Impressionists practiced. The Neo-Impressionists, based in Paris, tended to focus on images of the urban male laborer within the context of technological industriali ation, a trend exempli ed by the work of Paul Signac and aximilien Luce. y contrast, Pissarro, an artist whose life was rmly rooted in a small countryside village outside of Paris, explored rural subjects in his artistic practice. In the early s, he undertook a series of portraits of peasant laborers from the quaint towns nearby his home. We see these gures, often female, intimately painted in a context stripped of conventional signi ers of agricultural labor. They are peasants at rest, not at work, and their identities are largely divorced from their professional context. y , following the publication of ropotkin’s Paroles d’un r volt and in the midst of the growing tension between art and politics, Pissarro painted Haymaking, ragny Fig. , the rst work in a six-year series depicting communal peasant labor. Thirteen gures work a eld composed of small, mosaic-like brushstrokes. The eld extends backwards into a narrow
slice of empty sky four clouds hang contentedly above, neatly dividing the painting into fths. There are no markers of property in Pissarro’s scene his peasants work a fanciful land open to all and owned by none. en and women labor together in Pissarro’s bucolic vision though scholars have mistakenly identi ed all gures except the central one as male, it is clear that that the leftmost gure working in the haystack, as well as the two gures to the immediate left of the central gure, are also female. Pissarro’s is an egalitarian conception of labor men and women assist each other in tasks for which they have no need of supervisors. The couple working on the left side of the painting is particularly redolent of the young couple that Levin encounters while working in the elds, whose “young, recently awakened love” is strengthened by their mutual toil. Pissarro’s peopled eld re ects the “simplicity, purity, and legitimacy” of a world in which agricultural production is decentrali ed and anarcho-communist values reign the artist heralds a future where progress revivi es an imagined pastoral. Haymaking, ragny is a “hymn to an anarchist future in which all able-bodied people will work in the elds for at least part of the year.” Here, Pissarro embodies the sentiment that he would later espouse in a letter to his son “Je crois fermement que nos id es, impr gn es de philosophie anarchique se d teignent sur nos uvres.” Pissarro was able to maintain his artistic freedom by following ropotkin’s concept of the anarchist artist’s duty picturing the ideal world that would follow the anarchist revolution rather than dwelling on the social inequality that plagued France at the end of the nineteenth century. Pissarro also envisioned the scenes of leisure that the post-revolution peasants
would enjoy. In , the artist undertook a small watercolor that celebrated the small moments of joy that agricultural workers found in their moments of leisure. The Round Fig. depicts a circular throng of healthy-looking peasant women who hold hands and dance between newly-formed haystacks. We can practically hear the “thundercloud of merriment” that whirls about the women’s twirling dresses as they “mov e and heav e to the rhythm of this wild, rollicking song with its shouts, whistles and whoops.” In short, it is a scene of hearty country merriment that could have been painted by Tolstoy himself. Pissarro has translated Tolstoy’s ideali ed, aesthetici ed conception of agricultural reality into a scene that, addressing the harsh conditions of contemporary rural labor, pictures the anarcho-communist future ideal. Though we have no concrete evidence that Pissarro ever read Anna arenina although his close friendships with onet, irbeau and Grave make such a fact likely, as does his pronounced literary bent , Tolstoy elected to highlight Pissarro in his assessment of Impressionist works in his treatise What is Art uoting from the diary of an amateur artist, Tolstoy notes that Pissarro’s works in the Neo-Impressionist xhibition of were “comparatively the most comprehensible” of the works on view, yet they “lacked drawing, had no subject, and the colourings were most improbable.” It is with a certain irony that we recogni e the extent to which Tolstoy’s criticism of Pissarro’s works re ected the aesthetic-political tension bound up in the Neo-Impressionist movement. For Tolstoy, Pissarro’s pointillist works lacked immediate intelligibility and were therefore inadequate tools for the moral enlightenment of
the population. Tolstoy forcefully explicates this claim “Art cannot be incomprehensible to the great masses only because it is very good, as artists of our day are fond of telling us. Rather we are bound to conclude that this art is unintelligible to the great masses only because it is very bad art, or even is not art at all.” In Tolstoy’s view, the value of art as such hinges on its accessibility to a broad public aesthetic innovation must not impede legibility of content. While acknowledging that Tolstoy’s views were far from anarchist, we can still recogni e the extent to which they re ect with an admittedly individualist bent ropotkin and Grave’s exhortations that artists must privilege forthrightness of content over style and artistry. The artist’s duty was neither to the reali ation of his own creative genius nor to the annals of art history, but to the people themselves. The pursuit of the former was encouraged only insofar as it did not impede the latter. The intellectual culture of late nineteenth-century Paris questioned the very value and purpose of art. In , the conuence of seminal political and artistic texts, among them Tolstoy’s Anna ar nine, ola’s L’ uvre and ropotkin’s Paroles d’un r volt , created a transnational context in which visual artists and writers had to make dif cult choices between their artistic and political visions. Challenged in their artistic processes, groups regarded as quintessentially French namely, the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists sought innovative manipulations of the aesthetic-political binary in the works of modern Russian writers. The Russian emphasis on agriculture, in both ctional writing and political philosophy, proved fertile ground for avant-garde artists such as onet and Pissarro. It was
in the countryside that both artists could explore the relationship between man, labor, and nature, while picturing the necessary ties between reality and utopia, present and future. We must therefore revise our conception of nineteenth-century transnationalism rather than merely export their style to Russian visual artists, the French Impressionists were utterly dependent on Russian writers and philosophers for their artistic development. Russian thinkers offered artists such as Pissarro and onet a way to push the boundaries of artistic innovation. In looking ast, the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists were able to shape the aesthetic-political dialogues that framed the future trajectory of modern Western art. i liograph
rettell, Richard. “Can Art e Anarchist ” In Pissarro, edited by Guillermo Solana, - . adrid useo Thyssen- ornemis a, . rettell, Richard. Pissarro s People Prestel New ork, . rettell, Richard. Post mpressionism. Chicago The Art Institute of Chicago, . Hutton, John. eo- mpressionism and the Search or Solid Ground: Art, Science, and Anarchism in Fin-de-Si cle France. aton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, . ropotkin, Pyotr. Paroles d un r volt . Paris C. arpon et . Flammarion, . atual, David. “The Gospel According to Tolstoy and the Gospel According to Proudhon,” Harvard Theological Review . irbeau, Octave. “Un Fou.” In Combats litt raires, edited by Pierre ichel and Jean-Fran ois Nivet, . Lausanne L’ ge d’homme, . Novak, D. “An Unpublished ssay on Leo Tolstoy by Peter ropotkin,” Canadian Slavic Papers - . Pissarro, Camille. Correspondance de Camille Pissarro ol 2, edited by Janine ailly-Her berg Paris Valhermeil, . Pissarro, Camille. Correspondance de Camille Pissarro ol , edited by Janine ailly-Her berg Paris Valhermeil, . Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph. What is Property , translated by enjamin Tucker. New ork Dover Publications, . Reff, Theodore. “Degas and the Literature of His Time.” The Burlington Magazine . . Stenbock-Fermor, lisabeth. The Architecture o Anna Karenina: A History o ts Writing, Structure, and Message. Amsterdam John enjamins Publishing, . Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. New ork Penguin ooks, . Tolstoy, Leo. What is Art Translated by Aylmer aude. New ork Funk Wagnalls, . Wildenstein, Daniel. Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonn ol Lausanne La iblioth que des Arts Foundation Wildenstein, .
A STRA T
Every year, Pakistanis save billions of rupees in informal, interest-free saving groups, commonly known as isi or committees, o ering an alternative to the saving and borrowing facilities provided by more conventional financial institutions, such as banks, in the urban centres of Pakistan. As active participants in this long-practiced phenomenon, women from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds have markedly contributed to the eminence of bisi in various parts of the country. ased on interviews conducted in one of Pakistan’s biggest and busiest cities, arachi, this paper aims to discuss the salient features of the indigenous bisi model that render it increasingly popular among middle class women living in the urban areas of the country. Focusing specifically on the interest-free saving and borrowing bisi model, this paper aims to explore the workings of the system and delve into the reasons why middle class women in cities like arachi choose to get involved in bisi groups despite having easy access to formal banking facilities.
IL A L FTI Ilqua Lutfi graduated from UVa last year with a double major in South Asian Studies and Global Development Studies. She was the president of the Pakistani Students’ Association at UVa. She is currently teaching sociology at an A-level college in Pakistan and will be applying to PhD programs in Anthropology next year. Her research interests include gender studies, post-structuralist studies of women’s bodies and selves, domestic labor relations in South Asia, family and kinship ties,
T H E FA M I L I A R I T Y AND INFORMALITY T H AT M A R ISI GRO P INTERACTIONS A P T LY S I T THE LARGER S O C I A L FA R I C O F PA I S TA N I SOCIETY
hat is isi
It is widely held that individuals excluded from the formal’ nancial system tend to turn to more exible sources. Informal savings and credit groups based on interpersonal knowledge and trust are viewed as more accessible alternative to banks. While informal saving and borrowing mechanisms like bisi are certainly more visible in the absence of formal markets or nancial institutions, the formal’ versus informal’ binary is put into question when one considers the preeminence of bisi in Pakistan’s major cities, where banks and stock exchanges are well-established. As such, informal saving and credit groups, referred to as “bisi” in Pakistan, do not necessarily arise in conditions of material privation or as an adjustment tool to conditions of poverty. The practice of bisi in Pakistan’s megacities like arachi highlights the inseparability of the economic sphere “formal” institutions from the cultural “informal” institutions fabric. ecause the role of women in such informal socioeconomic practices is extensively discussed in the development literature, this paper attempts to discern why women living in urban centres like arachi choose to concomitantly participate in bisi despite having access to formal nancial institutions. y interviewing middle class and upper middle class women in arachi who were active participants in both banks and bisi groups, this paper aims to shed light upon some of the non-economic factors in this supposedly economic model that grant it the popularity that it holds among middle class Pakistani women living in arachi.
isi achat Committee or committee are saving committees in Pakistan that are commonly termed as ROSCAs Rotating Saving and Credit Associations in the academic literature. As an informal nancial system, bisi can be de ned as a “voluntary grouping of individuals who agree to contribute nancially at each of a set of uniformly spaced dates towards the creation of a fund, which will then be allocated in accordance with some prearranged principle to each member of the group in turn” Calomiris and Rajaraman . For instance, if a committee of twelve people is set for a year on the basis of monthly contributions of Rs. per member, then every month one member is bound to receive the accumulated sum or pool’ of Rs. . y the end of the committee cycle, every member of the group would have successfully received the amount they had paid over the course of the committee period. The order of the rotation can be determined in a variety of ways, but most usually by lottery, negotiations, or the need and or creditworthiness of the participants Callier . There are certain sociological preconditions for the creation of bisi that must be taken into account, such as the existence of a trust-based community and the income of potential members. The rst precondition for the emergence of the bisi structure is the presence of a community-based social setup characteri ed by trust relations among members Purcell . Purcell identi es four basic community types the workplace, e.g., a factory or of ce a community of common occupation, e.g., a bisi consisting of taxi drivers an urban
network or “metacommunity” consisting of a group of urban individuals who have long standing friendships or acquaintance and the village community of peasant farmers, teachers, and crafts people, who form bisi groups based on their income Purcell . Since my research was directed at the urban middle class women of arachi, the most popular forms of bisi were urban networks comprised of individuals who were well acquainted with each other and the workplace bisi, which was a customary practice in most schools and colleges among the staff members. All types of bisi structures shared a reliance upon social relations. The overall model rests on the concepts of “social connectedness” and “trust,” which make members comfortable participating. We will discuss the vitality of “trust” in detail later. The geographic proximity of participants is also an important feature of the bisi model because regular contributions must be made to the collective pot. However, it is not unusual for bisi to include individuals from a wide geographic area, forming a metacommunity which transcends geographical boundaries Purcell . In such groups, membership is based on occupation, kinship, or friendship Purcell . In spite of the variations that persist in the practice of bisi, the communal element is focal and shapes most interactions. Another precondition for the emergence of the bisi model is that potential members must have an income with a margin for “discretionary spending and saving” Purcell . The literature on these rotating saving and credit associations establishes that individuals and families with higher incomes are more likely to become bisi participants. Carpenter and Jensen in their research on bisi participation in Pakistan,
noted an upward trend in bisi participation with respect to increased income. There are several possible explanations for this trend rstly, committing one’s self to a bisi group requires one to set aside a sum of money on a regular basis, which households with higher and or more stable incomes are more likely to do Donoso et al. . Secondly, even though households with volatile income are more likely to want to save in order to smooth consumption, they are also more susceptible to being ltered out of saving committees Carpenter and Jensen . ichoto et een ational and Irrational cono uch of the mystery of the bisi model comes from its supposed “indigenous” and “traditional” structure. In an attempt to show that the achat Committee model is not redundant to the formal rational economy, scholars such as Geert have de ned ROSCAs as cultural practices that aid the transition into more rational nancial practices. Purcell . However, instead of challenging the rational irrational binary, Geert ’s description of ROSCAs as “middle rung” institutions that pave the way for more rational forms of credit further accentuated the divide Ardener . Such a view of the model is closely aligned with the positivistic approach adopted by many in economic thought, which assumes that economic rationality will naturally prevail over customary ties Purcell . Higher rates of bisi participation in urban as opposed to rural areas of Pakistan complicate the accepted correlation between traditional societies and informal economies. Challenging the super cial divide between “traditional” practices
and “formal” economy, Polanyi contends that cultural and historical practices are inseparable from economic ones. To Polanyi, economic systems run on non-economic motives such as social relationships, making the distinction between the economic and the cultural irrelevant Polanyi . Furthermore, onnett argues that even large scale nancial institutions are not entirely “rational” and sport their fair share of rituals Purcell . Interestingly, the predominance of bisi in urban centres speaks volumes about the coexistence of formal and informal economic structures Purcell . While there are arguments explaining bisi as a protection against economic uctuation, such narrow views only capture bisi as an economic institution, sidelining its cultural and historical aspects. In order to refute the positivist assertion that bisi is solely a poverty alleviation mechanism, it is important to question the model’s role in eradicating poverty. One of the prime motivations of bisi participants is a desire for upward social mobility, and informal savings groups are a means of self-improvement Purcell . Those who join saving groups have incomes large enough to regularly set aside money. Divorcing the bisi model from its historical and sociological context and painting it as purely economic veils the fact that bisi are not likely to materiali e if the socio-historic settings of the area are not conducive to it. he ole o
The bisi system is based on the social value of trust’. isi does not involve written documentation or formal transactions trust’ drives all interactions within the group. In fact, without a high degree of preexisting
trust among the members, the bisi is unlikely to arise tang et al. . The concept of trust is associated with the idea of social capital. conomists like Clive Thomas de ne social capital as the voluntary means and processes developed within civil society that bene t an entire community Purcell . Trust is at the heart of social capital, and trust underlies all informal collective practices Purcell .Trust can thus be de ned as the “historically placed belief and con dence in the collective support of the community as well as one’s self survival as a community member” Purcell . For trust to exist in a society, the atmosphere and history of the place should be embedded in interpersonal. Individual members must be able to not only conceive of society as a community of people acting as a collective, but must also be able to imagine themselves as members of that community. The understanding of one’s self as part of a larger social fabric helps instill one’s con dence in other individuals. While a certain degree of trust and familiarity is required, one’s conviction and faith in other group members is also likely to develop over time. People may start by contributing modest amounts to the pool but be more willing to contribute more once con dence and friendship grow Ardener . It is the risk of losing friendships and social status that enforces the informal contracts of the bisi model obius et al. . The viability of the institution is based on interpersonal relations in small groups to incur a bad reputation in the bisi, therefore, would also affect other aspects of one’s life Purcell . ecause participants in these committees share a common social bond, the desire to maintain the capital embodied
in those bonds prevents defaults Carpenter and Jensen . This brings up the question of how the model prevents defaults in instances where the desire to maintain social bonds is comparatively low. Anderson, aland, and oene argue that the threat of social sanctions is not strong enough to deter “opportunistic defection” Anderson, aland, and oene . ecause of the rotational structure of bisi, the person receiving the pot rst has an incentive to default on later contributions Anderson, aland, and oene . oreover, vulnerability to social sanctions is higher for individuals who are less mobile and have longer standing social networks and relationships. For individuals who are more mobile and less likely to have a stable social network, retaliation and reputation may not serve as strong deterrents from default Anderson, aland, and oene . Therefore, bisi groups may make use of the model’s exible design to address the enforcement problem. This means that instead of drawing lots, the leader s of the group may decide the order of the hands, assigning the newer or less reliable members a later position in the cycle. The vital role of women in the informal economy comes as no surprise. Women are viewed as representing the domestic sphere, making it appear organic for them to act as caretakers in the informal group saving model. Gendered notions of honour and respectability, heavily employed in Pakistan, are commodi ed and placed under the ownership of women. ecause women are considered the “honor” of the family, any action that could be a cause of social degradation or shame for them could be seen as an act against the standing of the family as a whole. This explains why
women’s participation in bisi groups is granted attention by their family members and husbands, who may even help women meet their regular payments. ales are also more likely to curb requests for small because all family members understand the shame involved if a woman failed to make a promised contribution Hospes . esearch Methodolog and Sa ple y research was focused in arachi. Snowball sampling was employed to gain a carefully selected sample of twenty women. The sample contained upper middle class and middle class married women in arachi living with their husbands. ecause the group of interest was married women living with their spouses, age was not used as a selection criterion. No income lter was used since those initially chosen to participate recommended their friends and family members from the same socioeconomic class. The monthly household expenditures of the women in the sample typically fell under the range of Rs. to Rs. , . Thus, an understanding of the women’s social class came into play when drawing the sample. Although class itself was not a prerequisite to one’s inclusion in the sample, the declared research objective of ascertaining why women choose to participate in bisi despite having access to traditional nancial institutions led to all of the respondents being middle class or upper middle class women with at least one source of stable household income. All of the women had a bank account and or used credit cards, con rming their connection to formal nance. I was also careful to include women from different parts of arachi since 3
the structure of bisi varies by location. Once the sample was obtained, participants answered questions in personal interviews. These ethnographic interviews aimed to especially capture the interviewees’ reactions, sentiments, and experiences related to various aspects of borrowing and saving in a bisi. The semi-structured but open interviews were carried out both in person and on the phone the responses of the interviewees were recorded using a voice recorder and were later analy ed. All the interviewees and the lengthy discussions prompted by the interview questions were carried out in Urdu, however, respondents occasionally resorted to nglish. The interview questions were divided into three broad categories individual’s information occupation, years of education, ethnicity, etc. , household information family si e, estimate of monthly household expenditures, etc. , and main questions pertaining to bisi and banking. The questions were particularly designed to gain a better understanding of the various aspects of the bisi model that were valued by women and the nuanced ways in which bisi either contrasted or complemented formal’ nance mechanisms, like banks. isi in Pa istan An indigenous saving and credit institution, bisi is widespread in both urban and rural Pakistan. ut bisi is not just an old variety of informal economic exchange it often outperforms other economic alternatives Stof e et al. . The bisi system has existed for a long time in the country with the purpose of both saving and borrowing funds to meet various needs, from nancial to social ones. isi is also
the country’s third most popular borrowing channel Dawn News . Studies indicate that bisi is one of the preferred forms of informal saving, with three-fourths of the bank-going population also participating in these groups Dawn News . isi takes two main forms in Pakistan. The rst type is the bidding committee, in which the order of the fund allocation is decided by bidding the highest to receive the pooled money the highest bidder receives the funds in the present period, or in exchange for higher future contributions to the committee or a one-time side payment to other bisi members esley . The second type is the random committee, in which members pledge to contribute a xed amount of money for that cycle and allocation is determined by drawing lots. Drawing lots is not the only method of assigning funds, as we will see later in this paper women in my sample also assigned positions based on the urgency of members’ needs. Interest distinguishes the bidding committee from the random committee. While all members of a random committee receive an amount equal to their contributions, some members of bidding committees end up paying more than what they receive. The surplus amount paid by such members in exchange for immediate access to funds may translate as “usury” in Pakistani society. The literature on ROSCAs is saturated with references to their prevalence in agricultural and rural settings in the global South. Identi ed as a part of traditional culture, there is an overwhelming tendency to view ROSCAs as an institution suited to the village. Pakistan is an important case study with regards to challenging these misconceptions. Firstly, contrary to common perception, the use of nancial saving
instruments in a “third world country” like Pakistan is quite high Carpenter and Jensen . Secondly, bank use is observed even among the poorest households in rural areas it is not rare to nd participation in formal banking institutions exceeding participation in informal saving groups in rural areas. Likewise, in urban city centres where banks are more widespread and accessible, we nd bisi dominating the saving and borrowing scene Carpenter and Jensen . With participation in committees being twice as popular in urban areas of the country as in rural areas, they emerge as a common occurrence in provinces such as Punjab and Sindh Dawn News . One possible reason for higher participation rates in bisi in urban areas is the spatial structure of urban living. ecause bisi sprout in settings marked by geographical and interactional proximity, the urban environments with greater concentrations of individuals occupying a particular space make the formation of bisi easier and lead to a lower cost of maintaining the group Carpenter and Jensen . eanwhile, rural households in Pakistan tend to be geographically dispersed, making it dif cult for individuals to initiate and maintain these saving groups Carpenter and Jensen . oreover, income is a major determinant of participation in bisi. People in Pakistan generally get involved in bisi as a means of improving their current standard of living, as desire and ability to save emerge only when one has suf cient resources to meet basic needs Carpenter and Jensen . Since rural employment is largely agricultural, making regular payments to a pool can be dif cult. Donoso et al. in their study on ROSCAs in olivia point out that households located in urban regions
are more likely to join ROSCAs because the consumption needs of families in urban areas are higher than ones in rural areas hence, bisi is more prevalent in cities. The discussion of bisi in the development literature rarely fails to mention the increased participation of Pakistani women in the informal saving system. Although studies establish that women in Pakistani cities have relatively more access to informal mechanisms, my research shows that despite the availability of banking services in the city of arachi, middle and upper middle class women preferred bisi as both a viable saving and credit option when compared to banks. The persistence of such a trend could be attributed to many reasons based on the interview ndings, I narrowed the four most frequently cited and extensively explained factors that led to increased bisi participation .
Since bisi operates on social solidarity and collective action rather than the rationality of the free market, we generally nd the concept of interest absent from a typical bisi model Callier . The interest-free nature of the bisi model is frequently cited by interviewees as a driving force behind their participation in bisi groups, despite having access to banking facilities. Concurring with the Purcell’s research ndings on ROSCAs in the Caribbean, my interviews revealed that most members opt to join bisi groups in addition to banks because they offer “ready” funds without requiring tax or interest payments Purcell . While the nancial perks of interest-free borrowing are evident, in Pakistan, interestfree nance is also preferred for religious
reasons. The uran places a prohibition on riba’, an Arabic term that signi es the predetermined return on borrowed money han . Despite differing views on the meaning of riba’, the Islamic legal consensus restricts the use of interest axiomatically han . Given the generally accepted Islamic ruling on the issue of interest and frequent attempts to Islami e Pakistan’s economy, interviewees’ responses re ected such a socio-economic climate in cities like arachi. ost women interviewed expressed a preference for bisi over bank loans or credit cards. ost of their justi cations concerned bisi structure’s lack of interest, citing interest as religiously problematic. The interviewees declared their participation in bisi groups to be an appropriate method of borrowing and saving, compliant with the teachings of Islam. Interestingly, however, most women who expressed religious reservations about interest were credit card users paying their monthly installments at the same time. According to ehtab, aheer and Ali , anti-riba slogans have never mobili ed uslim masses despite the erce condemnation of riba by the majority of Ulema and Islamic intellectuals ehtab, aheer and Ali . According to Pakistani scholar Shah Rukh han, when Islamic banking was introduced in the s, there was no sudden in ux of deposits to these banks Saeed . As such, there is no evidence to suggest that people were avoiding the banking system on a large scale because its interest dealings went against their religious sentiments Saeed . The prevalence of interest in the country’s nancial dealings, despite ardent efforts by the state to Islami e its economy, has given rise to an interesting state of cosmetic
religiosity. People may give lip service to the vitality of avoiding riba while still practicing it. People may add a religious coloring to their avoidance of interest, but the nancial bene ts of interest-free borrowing may supersede other motives. Sa ing Mechanis Viewing the bisi model from a neoclassical economic lens, one would assume that members would seek to maximi e their bene ts by demanding earlier draws Purcell . Consistent with research ndings on ROSCAs, my research con rms that not all bisi participants desire to receive the rst hand in the cycle. With the exception of the woman at whose request a bisi cycle is initiated, members in a group may request to receive their hands based on their motive for participating. Some interviewees explained their participation in multiple bisi rounds simultaneously, each one designated to cover a predetermined expense, most commonly children’s school and or college fees. Hence, members’ preference for a particular position in the bisi cycle depended heavily upon the nature of their expense and the time frame in which the expense was to be met. For example, one interviewee told us that she participated in a bisi every year to pay her son’s tuition fee, so her position in the cycle was xed to the month in which the tuition was due. Since participants do not always value earlier positions in the bisi highly, one can infer that borrowing credit may not be the only reason for participation in bisi groups Gugerty . Almost women interviewed indicated casual saving as one of their motives for getting involved. As described by one interviewee, partaking in
bisi is an excellent way to ensure steady savings for women possessing with the desire to save. The commitment mechanism embedded in the bisi model “ties participants’ hands” and commits them to saving patterns Gugerty . The bisi model also solves problems related of self-discipline by forming coalitions Donoso, Altunbas, ara . embers of a particular group are aware of the signi cance of keeping up with their monthly payments. Unlike a voluntary bank deposit, bisi members must contribute their hand or the entire cycle gets disturbed Purcell . The compulsory nature of bisi grants it primacy over banks. Some women in my sample saved money using bisi groups and later deposited the sum in a bank, since they found it unsafe to keep cash at home. Closely related to the saving function of the model is the household con ict motive identi ed by Anderson and aland . This theory argues that women use informal saving groups to enforce savings, as men are more likely to consume funds immediately Donoso, Altunbas, ara . The theory assumes that a con ict of interest exists between the husband and wife in a household, whereby women have a greater preference for saving for an indivisible good relative to men, who hold a larger preference for present consumption than saving Anderson and aland . Various scholars, like ruce, Hoddinott, and Haddad etc., contend that these differing interests in spending and saving trends within the household sphere are rooted in existing gender-based differences. In numerous societies it is commonly believed that men have a greater right to spend money to ful ll their personal and immediate needs, which they are perceived to “need” or “deserve,”
while women’s income is comfortably used for collective purposes Anderson and aland . One of the interviewees exclaimed “In Pakistan men do not take interest in household matters, it is us women who tend to look after such matters.” With the bargaining power of women within the household being relatively lower, urban women may nd informal saving groups helpful in protecting small sums of money against the casual requests by men and children because all family members understand the shame that any instance of non-payment of one’s hand in the bisi cycle would bring to the family Hospes . It is precisely the prevalence of strong social sanctions against non-payment that allow the wife to commit her household to a bisi cycle Anderson, aland, and oene . The social sanctions involved are so compelling that even if the husband discovers that his wife has been contributing to a bisi group against his wishes or without his knowledge, there is very little he can do to prevent her from paying her share for the remaining cycle. Under the household con ict motive, bisi can be seen as a tool employed by wives to alter the household saving pattern to suit a saving level and pattern of her own preference as per this rationale, a woman will always nd participating in bisi groups advantageous as long as it involves a contribution higher than what she is capable of saving alone, and closer to her preferred saving rate Anderson, aland, oene . The question that was put forth during interviewee sessions asked the interviewees if their husbands were aware of their participation in bisi groups. With the exception of one woman, all other interviewees in the sample admitted that
their husbands were made fully aware of their participation in bisi groups, but did not deem it necessary to familiari e their husbands with the speci cities of each and every cycle in which they were involved. It was important for the husband to have a general idea of his wife’s involvement in bisi groups so that in an occasion of default, he could help his wife meet her monthly bisi payments. Social class and economic well-being should be considered as crucial factors shaping a relationship of mutual understanding and trust between the partners. Since the sample was carefully designed to include middle and upper middle class married women in arachi with at least one stable source of income, disagreements over spending and saving habits were not an immediate threat to the livelihood and wellbeing of the entire household. lexi ilit The bisi structure owes its increasing popularity over formal banking facilities to the exibility of its structure. isi grants a great degree of autonomy and regulatory power to its members. Hospes highlights the tendency of institutional analyses of ROSCA to ignore its self-regulative and adaptive potential. “It is people that count people make rules, adapt rules, and compare rules and resources of different saving and credit arrangements” Hospes . ach aspect of the bisi structure, from the amount of money contributed to the order in which funds are received, can easily be customi ed according to the wishes of the members. Women collectively decide with whom they wish to participate in a bisi group. Women can also set speci c membership
criteria that women interested in entering must meet. For example, one interviewee described her neighbourhood bisi group’s strict rule against including tenants as group members. Women in this group felt insecure including individuals whose housing situation posed the possibility of making it dif cult for others to track them. y setting a membership standard, this group of landladies succeeded in establishing security and maintaining the trust and con dence of its members in the system. All women participating in bisi groups characterised by the contributions of only close family members and friends recorded closeness of the relationship as the key characteristic of a reliable bisi circle. Women in the sample who participated in bisi circles with individuals other than their close kin, such as colleagues and neighbours, emphasi ed on reliability’ and credibility’ of the members involved as immensely essential for a comfortable saving and credit experience. ecause bisi groups are formed mostly among members who are well acquainted, people are likely to be aware of each other’s personal and nancial circumstances. People with a history of non-payments or untimely payments, or those whose nancial condition may render it dif cult for them to pay their hands are ideally avoided. The group leader may excuse herself by politely telling such individuals “the group already has a suf cient number of members and cannot accommodate more individuals for this cycle.” Along with the duration of the cycle and the si e of the pool, the model also grants members the free hand to decide the level of their contributions. Depending on the speci c circumstances an individual nds herself in, she can throw multiple hands and can draw one or more hands each time her
turn comes around conversely, women who do not wish to contribute the regular amount in its entirety may share payments with friends and family members--women may throw a fraction of a hand by complementing another fractional contributor Purcell . As described earlier, the model entertains a wide range of methods to determine the order in which the hands can be received. All the interviewees noted that the order of hands is never a strict and stringent settlement the positions in the cycle are frequently negotiated among members. The distinct method that pervaded the rest in its popularity was the need-based assignment of positions in the bisi cycle, with a wide array of variations existing within such a mode of selection itself. ostly, women with compelling needs or requiring funds in a speci c time of the year would request for particular positions in the cycle. Once certain positions are reserved through mutual consensus, the remaining slots are negotiated among women with no pronounced demands for a precise position in the bisi cycle. At times, lots were drawn as a starting point after which members would extensively negotiate and swap positions according to their saving and nancial needs. Owing to the fact that women were mostly aware of each other’s personal and nancial circumstances, and a rm bond imbued with trust prevailed among them, reaching a consensus becomes an achievable task. The presence of feelings of trust and mutual understanding make it more likely for members to compromise on their personal interests for the well-being of the group as a whole. Thus, the exibility of the bisi structure allows members’ turns to be determined by drawing lots, negotiated
agreements with other members mediated by the group leader, or by negotiating with solely the group leader, depending on the particular circumstances of the members and permissibility of the practice Purcell . The person of importance in this model is the group leader, who is in a position to draw the boundary and lay out the rules for the group in collaboration with the other members. et, the very role performed by the group leader can also be altered to suit the group’s speci cities. Some groups may have a default group leader, while others may call for the members to choose a group leader from amongst them. Ardener adds that a group leader is not always compulsory to the workings of the bisi model because when dues are collected they are immediately given to one of the members, until all have taken their turns Ardener . ven in the presence of a banker, the administrative duties are quite limited as the model is inherently capable of functioning without a group leader as well, making the process transparent and cutting out on the administrative muddle Ardener . The feature of exibility also emerged in the interview responses that recalled the bisi system as being relatively “easier” compared to the banking system. The use of the term “easier” to describe the bisi system by interviewees was always followed by explanations highlighting the relative ease with which funds can be borrowed and saved. The absence of paperwork and the air of informality that surrounds bisi rendered it markedly different from the banking system some women, when asked which system, bisi or banking, they preferred for their saving and borrowing endeavours, delineated the
two as entirely distinct systems “ anking is a different thing, it is a bigger institution. isi is for household savings.” ven though a majority of the women prioriti ed bisi over banks, many women found comparing the two models quite impractical. On the contrary, it would not be wrong to state that quite often the systems complemented each other. For example, women would obtain money using the less cumbersome bisi process and later deposit the cash in their bank accounts for safekeeping. Women were also free to make their bisi payments by cheque, which once again demonstrates how conversant the bisi system is with the banking one for many urban middle class women in arachi. a iliarit Tightly interwoven with the notion of exibility is the element of familiarity and informality characteristic of the bisi structure. One of the most unexpected motives for participating in bisi, quoted by a few women in the sample, was the drive to “help other women.” It was not unusual for women to join bisi groups solely with the purpose of offering a helping hand to another woman in need of money--a motive that explanations inspired by classical economic approaches are prone to discount. Such a phenomenon is a common occurrence in urban areas. Geert in his study of arisans’, notes them to be a popular feature among the elite in urban areas the groups are usually based on “one or another of the do ens of sodalities, political parties, youth groups, labour unions, charitable associations, school societies, women’s clubs, athletic associations” etc. Hospes . In a variety of
instances, women in arachi would also treat a bisi group as a support group for women who are related or close to each other. Women in need of funds would reach out to familiar faces in hopes of forming a bisi group to meet their nancial needs. In this regard, bisi may act as an alternative to costly payday loans Ardener . However, unlike bank loans, which are conceived as burdensome or indebtedness, bisi funds are referred to as “warm money” being composed of contributions from neighbours and friends Ardener . Hence, bisi funds are viewed more as rights’ than loans since the recipient gets what is due to them. Along with being a practical way of accumulating money, bisi acts as a means for women to form social bonds with each other. urt , who describes ROSCAs in urban exico and the USA, reports about the adverse attitudes of the urban poor towards institutions of nance, such as banks and saving and loan companies. anks were considered exploitative, restrictive, and demanding compared to a “cundina” Hospes . While the more nancially stable, middle class families in arachi did not share the same feelings of hostility towards banks, the great level of familiarity and collective support promised by the bisi model contrasted sharply with the perceived formality and distance of the formal nance institutions. As a result, despite the accessibility to banks and other formal nancial channels, middle class women in arachi prefer a close knit bisi group that they can interact with and comfortably trust. The environment of “casual closeness” offered by bisi allows for a greater degree of sociali ation. As one respondent states,
“it is a fun way to meet friends as our bisi circle conducts weekly kitty parties.” For many women living in urban centres like arachi, bisi groups ful ll a compelling social function of not only forming social bonds but also as a mean of expressing community solidarity Stof e etal. . Where in some cases, members’ social and cultural identities may be af rmed, in others, social relations in changing contexts are restructured accordingly Hospes . Hence, not only do members get to enjoy a wide range of nancial services, including savings and affordable loans, they also receive support and advice from other members of the community Ardener . ecause bisi are formed by close and related individuals, scholars like esley assert that an easy repayment can be conceded when an unexpected event strikes a participant Donoso, Altunbas, and ara . The literature on Rotating Saving and Credit Associations frequently extrapolates on the model’s tendency to collapse if even a single member fails to contribute their regular dues. y research shows that while the ow of the bisi cycle is most certainly disturbed due to nonpayment by one of the members, the entire system does not crumble that easily. That is because the other members may volunteer to pay on behalf of a member who is unable to pay her dues for the time being. It is to avoid such a situation from culminating that bisi participants choose to include only close relatives and friends whose nancial conditions and reputation with meeting payments is known to them. New faces wanting to join the bisi circle are usually added to the group on an old member’s request one of the existing members must
vouch for their relative or friend for them to become a part of the group. As one of the respondents stated “the collector asks you to take responsibility of the person you recommend including in the cycle. When my sister-in-law wanted to join my bisi group, I had to vouch timely payment of dues on her behalf. If she would have failed to meet her monthly dues, I would have had to pay them for her.” In such cases, the group leader usually identi es and approaches the recommender when collecting the dues rather than the new member. Hence, if a default in the payment of one’s bisi occurs, the recommender is held accountable naturally. On the other hand, there are bisi groups in which members may not be acquainted, like those circles formed in schools and colleges. Interviewees who recorded teaching as their profession and noted participating in bisi with their colleagues were not necessarily close associates or living in close proximity to each other. If one of the colleagues were to default on their bisi payment, the group leader, who usually happens to be the initiator of the cycle, is compelled to pay the defaulter’s hand. As one of the interviewees narrated “We were a bisi group of female teachers. Once an of ce boy approached me regarding his inclusion in the circle. After receiving his pot, he left the job and was nowhere to be found. Since I was the group leader and the initiator of the circle, I ended up paying his share of the money for ve months”. Therefore, in a bisi, both familiarity and responsibility are signi cant factors that prevent the system from failing altogether. Conclusion isi is a diverse and dynamic saving and credit mechanism, the nuances and
depth of which cannot be fully grasped from a purely economic perspective. isi participation by middle class and upper middle class women in arachi raises important concerns regarding the super cial division between the “economic” and the “non-economic.” As a exible system predicated upon interpersonal relationships and trust’, it is essential to relate the diversity and development of these associations to local economic, social, and political developments to fully understand its workings Hospes . To further show the weakness of the “traditional economic practices” vs. “sophisticated formal economy” binary, this paper discusses the popularity of bisi groups in the megacity of arachi. Focusing speci cally on middle class women who actively participated in both banks and bisi groups, research revealed that in spite of having access to banking facilities, the women still preferred bisi as both a saving and credit mechanism for reasons that could easily qualify as being “non-economic” considering that the bisi structure rests on the foundation of trust and a pronounced sense of community. In an effort to fully comprehend patterns among women’s participation in the model, various possible motivations were discussed. ost of the factors motivating bisi contributions contain a distinct cultural element the opportunity to borrow money interest-free is cherished in Pakistan’s socio-religious climate. The binding nature of bisi encourages many savers to participate, helping with self-control issues. The exibility innate in the model allows saving to be based on the saver’s personal preferences the informality that marks bisi interactions suits the larger fabric of Pakistani
society. This study of the bisi model hints at the multitude of ways in which economic systems are run on “non-economic” motives such as social relationships, rendering an effort to distinguish between the two almost redundant. i liograph
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A STRA T This work explores the literature to determine the extent to which nursing students are adequately prepared for end-of-life (E L) care, including students’ satisfaction with preparation for E L care and undergraduate educational curricula for E L care that have proven successful. A review of the literature was conducted using VID MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PubMed with the search terms nursing students’ AND palliative care’ R end of life care.’ Selected articles addressed the state and perceptions of nursing education in E L care, evaluation of End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) education in the nursing curriculum, and E L educational program designs. The literature indicates a need for more and improved nursing education on E L care. Themes include nursing students’ perceived lack of preparedness for E L care, discomfort with emotional aspects of E L care, recommendation of didactic and experiential education, and support for high-fidelity simulations in E L care.
AT R FER ER athryn Ferner is a fourth-year nursing student from Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is interested in exploring the levels of preparation nursing students receive on palliative and end-of-life care. This semester, at the completion of her Distinguished Major Project, she conducted a study on whether baccalaureate nursing students at the UVa are adequately prepared for end-of-life and palliative care. After graduation, she is planning on remaining in Charlottesville as a registered nurse at the UVA Medical Center. Her interest is in Hematology- ncology
PPORT IS NEEDED FOR DENTS’ E POS
AND DISCOVERY OF THE E M OT I O N A L A S P E C T S O F END OF LIFE CARE
Nurses’ discomfort and ill-preparedness have been a problem with palliative and end-of-life care for generations. Fear of death and the stigma of dying in nursing have the potential to negatively impact patient care. A student nurse diagnosed with a fatal illness describes how the nurses “slip in and out of her room, give her medications and check her blood pressure” and she wonders if it is because she is a “student nurse herself that she senses their fright” Goleman, , p. . She implores that if “only we could be honest, both admit our fears, touch one another,” then perhaps it “might not be so hard to die in a hospital with friends close by” Goleman, , p. . This account humani es the experience of a dying patient when patient-centered end-of-life care was not provided out of discomfort and lack of preparation for end-oflife care. Poor palliative care can negatively impact patient satisfaction with care at the end-of-life. As life-sustaining technology continues to grow in the medical eld, more people are living out their last days in hospital beds than in their homes. With the aging population increasing, speciali ed nursing care demands are shifting and growing. As the incorporation of palliative care expands in healthcare, nurses will have a pivotal role in providing patient centered palliative care across all organi ational settings White, Coyne, White, . The focus on OL care has changed to emphasi e palliative care over the course of the illness, with conversations about OL planning at the time of diagnosis for patients with chronic and serious illnesses, and attention to physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of the patient O’Connor, . Palliative care services can be initiated into the care
plan at any point in the disease process and can be implemented continuously or episodically depending on the patient’s stage of illness White Coyne, . nowledge of palliative care and the needs at end-of-life OL are important to ensure the provision of patient-centered care and resultant patient satisfaction with care at the OL. ac ground The Institute of edicine IO stated in “Dying in America” that there is “insuf cient attention to palliative care in medical and nursing school curricula,” resulting in health care professionals who “are not always adequately prepared to deliver basic’ or primary’ palliative care” . There are increasing demands and expectations for nurses providing care at the OL, but research is not re ecting a parallel growth in palliative and OL care education. Research shows that nursing schools are not providing students adequate education, which is contributing to inadequate care for patients at the OL Gillan, van der Reit, Jeong, . As chronic illness increases, nurses are expected to implement the needs of palliative and OL care in any area of practice. Nurses lack competence and express a lack of con dence in providing palliative care, which indicates the importance of better educating pre-licensure student nurses in palliative care before they enter the workplace assah, Seymour, Cox, . White, Coyne, and Patel found the top three areas in which nurses wanted more education in OL care talking to patients and families about dying, pain control, and comfort. This discovery of seemingly insuf cient education stems from de cits at the undergraduate level. The American Association of
Colleges of Nursing AACN reacted to the inconsistency and neglect of education in preparing students for OL care in â€œPeaceful Death Recommended Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for nd-of-Life Nursing Careâ€? with the development of core competencies for learning . This has led to the integration of nd-of-Life Nursing ducation Consortium LN C education competencies into undergraduate nursing education American Association of Colleges of Nursing, . Purpose The purpose of this review is to determine what the literature reveals regarding whether nursing students are adequately prepared for OL care. Due to the exposed insuf ciencies in nursing education and competence with palliative and OL care, the following literature search questions were asked a What is the published evidence regarding whether SN nursing students are prepared to provide end-of-life care b What is the published evidence regarding nursing studentsâ€™ satisfaction with their preparation for providing end-of-life care c How are nursing curricula addressing end-of-life care covered in the published literature Methods An electronic literature search was conducted in OVID DLIN , CINAHL, and Pub ed in September . The searches included the following keywords nursing students AND end of life care OR palliative care. Inclusion criteria were nglish language published between and studies conducted in the United States of America including baccalaureate degree nursing students or new nursing
graduates within a year of practice. xclusion criteria were studies conducted with only rst year, diploma, or associate degree nursing students studies focused solely on interprofessional education studies exclusively on the spiritual aspects of OL care anecdotal articles studies on pediatric OL care studies on care of chronically ill or oncology patients and simulation proposals without measured outcomes. Articles were initially selected for review based on title and abstract. Those that did not meet inclusion criteria were eliminated. Full-text articles were acquired for those that seemed to meet the inclusion criteria and were further assessed after indepth reading. Related articles and articles from references were reviewed. Figure demonstrates the process of selection. The selected articles, including the purpose, method, sample, results, and implications, are summari ed in Tables and . esults Current State and Perceptions o End-o Li e ursing Education Five articles discussed the current state of nursing education, perceptions and attitudes of nursing students toward their level of competence and con dence, and the role of education in providing evidencebased palliative and OL care. irchhoff, eckstrand, and Anumandla evaluated the content related to OL care present in critical care nursing textbooks published between and . They assessed fourteen critical care textbooks in their analysis, which equated to . of the available textbooks in print at that time. This study was intended to determine whether there was adequate coverage of OL nursing
care in critical care textbooks and how signi cant that content was for preparing nursing students. The evaluation found that none of the textbooks addressed all of the AACN competencies for undergraduate nursing students, and there was no content on OL care in three of the textbooks. irchhoff et al. concluded that the results of this evaluation revealed a “signi cant need for improving OL content in critical care nursing textbooks” , p. . irkhol , Clements, Cox, and Gaume described an approach to teaching OL content based on the learning needs SN nursing students identi ed. The sample for this study came from an honor student leadership elective with junior and senior achelor of Science in Nursing SN students. The students created their own curriculum for OL care, and the end result indicated that the student created curriculum showed a strong connection with the competencies established by the AACN in regards to objectives and methods of learning. Through this course project, students expressed the need for improvement on OL care education, as well as the importance of incorporating didactic and experiential methods of learning. irkhol et al. described the small sample si e, encompassing only honors students, as a limitation of this study. One quantitative study Wallace, Grossman, Campbell, Robert, Lange, Shea, reported on the knowledge and perceived experience of undergraduate nursing students from a small university. The study evaluated the baseline knowledge about OL care through a -item multiplechoice test. The sample population included undergraduate nursing students with sophomores and seniors participating.
Analysis of the results of the baseline knowledge test revealed a signi cant difference t - . , p . between sophomore and senior students’ baseline knowledge of OL care with sophomores’ mean score of . and seniors’ mean score of . . This represents an increase in knowledge throughout the AACN program based curriculum, nd-of-Life Nursing ducation Consortium LN C program, from the sophomore to senior level however Wallace et al. claim senior students still have limited and inadequate competency in OL and palliative nursing care as evidenced by the room for improvement in the test scores. Despite the increase in knowledge with the AACN based curriculum, Wallace et al. believe there is a need for improvement and further learning to demonstrate adequate preparation for OL nursing care. Colley employed a phenomenological approach to understand nursing students’ perceptions, comfort level, and knowledge de cits in OL care to improve the undergraduate curriculum. This pilot study used an online survey to evaluate the participants. The participants in this study were nursing students in either the nal semester of the baccalaureate program or the second degree accelerated program. Results from this study revealed that the students were comfortable and con dent providing the physical care at the OL, but giving emotional care to patients and their families promoted stress due to lack of knowledge. Participants with a history of personal experience with OL care expressed a higher degree of comfort and con dence with the provision of care than those with no personal experience. The results of this study indicate a possible
disconnect between what faculty think is taught in the curriculum and what students perceive as learned successfully. This subgroup of studies approached the state and perceptions of nursing education on palliative and OL care from different avenues. irchhoff et al. assessed the content available in critical care textbooks on death and dying, and the results indicated that OL content is particularly weak. However, a limitation to this study is its age and the possible misrepresentation of the present content in critical care nursing textbooks. Further evaluation of the nature of OL content in textbooks is needed to ensure validity in this time period. irkhol et al. evaluated the results of a selfcreated OL curriculum by nursing students to compare the outcome with the nationally identi ed recommended competencies. This was a low rigor qualitative study with no parameters describing a method of consistent evaluation. Two studies revealed the need for increased palliative and OL education in the nursing curriculum based on nursing students’ perceived competence and con dence of care and quantitative knowledge scores. Wallace et al. revealed through the quantitative analysis of both sophomores and seniors that a mandated LN C class does increase knowledge from sophomore to senior year, but leaves room for further growth. Limitations to this study included the narrow sample population from a small liberal arts university. However, this outcome is similar to the response seen in the Colley study, in which students reported that personal experience increased their comfort level of care of a dying patient. One of the limitations to this study is its split sample, consisting of both SN
students in their nal semester and seconddegree accelerated students. The accelerated students may skew the perceptions toward care of the dying with more personal experience, but they also provide a method of eliciting the impact age and experience can have on care of the dying. O’Connor stated the signi cance of the nursing role in providing evidence-based compassionate palliative and OL care. This is a statement piece based in the necessary competencies for nursing education, which are adapted from the AACN mandated competencies for undergraduate nursing education. O’Connor claims that incorporating these learning competencies into the undergraduate nursing curriculum will “empower future nurses to be leaders in advocating for access to quality palliative care” p. . any nursing schools have dif culty adding more content into a dense curriculum, which poses a challenge for adequately incorporating all the mandated competencies for OL care. O’Connor addressed the dif culty of integrating more content into a packed curriculum through the development of a series of six online modules. These modules address the nd-of-Life Nursing ducation Consortium LN C core competences introduction to palliative care pain assessment and management symptom assessment and management communication loss, grief, and bereavement and care of the imminently dying patient. Online modules may provide a versatile form of teaching in the classroom or additional content outside the classroom.
aluation o C ducation Integration in ursing Curriculu Four articles evaluated the effectiveness of embedding the LN C core competencies into undergraduate nursing education. Three of these studies included undergraduate junior or senior nursing student participants, and one study evaluated the lived experience of new graduates. allory conducted a quasiexperimental, longitudinal study to assess the impact of the LN C education component and previous education on the nursing studentsâ€™ attitudes toward care of the dying. The participants were junior nursing students from two universities in the Appalachian ountains, who were broken into a control group n and intervention group n participating in a pretest, intervention, and posttest format. allory used the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying FATCOD scale for evaluation of the LN C education component with both didactic and clinical experience in hospices, funeral homes, anatomy laboratories, and role-play before and after implementation. A demographics questionnaire was administered to evaluate the previous experience and education regarding care of the dying. allory reported a signi cant difference p . between the mean scores pre and posttest in the intervention group with a mean pretest score of . and mean posttest score of . . The control group did not have signi cant improvement with a mean pretest score of . and mean posttest score of . p . . Previous education on palliative or OL care did not produce a signi cant increase in scores of attitudes towards care of the dying with
the mean score of . p . . The timing of the education component in the curriculum may impact how the students absorb and assimilate the information and affect how it changes attitudes towards OL care. allory concluded that improving attitudes towards care could enhance nursing care to dying patients and improve OL experience. allory recommends combining both didactic and clinical education in palliative care through the creation of an elective course to expand the learning experience over a semester and increase content time and exposure. In a cross-sectional and longitudinal design Ferrell, Virani, Grant, et al., , pre and post knowledge tests and pre and post surveys were used to assess the effects of incorporating the LN C modules into the curriculum on a one-year follow up. Ferrell et al. evaluated undergraduate nursing students from colleges and universities that volunteered for the study using volunteer faculty to aid the assessment of student improvement and teach at least four modules from the LN C curriculum including pain, culture, communication, and grief loss bereavement. The participants of the study expressed perceived improvement and knowledge in all nine of the core competencies placed in the curriculum. Faculty rated new graduates who participated in this study more effective in providing OL care than evaluation before the education program. Throughout the duration of the study, a signi cant increase in the amount of time given to the nine topics was reported. Data analysis of the test scores revealed a signi cant knowledge improvement in six of the nine competencies and statistically signi cant mastery improvements in all modules except grief and loss. Ferrell et al.
concluded that understanding of grief and loss might result more from personal experiences than from formal education. arrere, Durkin, and LaCoursiere employed a quasi-experimental, longitudinal repeated measures design to evaluate the in uence of LN C education in the SN program on nursing studentsâ€™ attitudes towards care of the dying. Participants N in this pretest posttest study were senior traditional SN n and accelerated program n nursing students from one university. These participants completed a basic demographic questionnaire with age, gender, education level, and experience with OL care at the beginning of the study. The FATCOD scale was the main instrument for data collection of the educational component, which spanned from junior to senior year for traditional students and the entire program duration for accelerated students. The results indicated that the LN C education component had a positive effect on studentsâ€™ attitudes towards OL care t - . ,p . , but there are other variables that affect changes in attitude arrere et al., . Age was the most powerful predictor for a change in attitude, as measured by the FATCOD scale, and younger age was associated with a higher probability for positive change in attitude toward care of the dying p . , as the - year old group had a mean score of . whereas the - year old group had a mean of . . Six factors along with the LN C curriculum were evaluated age and previous experience with OL care had an impact on attitude change but gender, previous degree, previous education on death and dying, and type of nursing program did not correspond to signi cant change. Those students without any previous experience
with OL care had a signi cant difference in positive attitude scores p . , with a mean of . on the FATCOD, from those with experience, who scored a mean of . . arrere at al. concluded that LN C education in nursing classes with clinical experience could promote the development of positive attitudes towards OL care in nursing students. arrere and Durkin employed a phenomenological approach to explore the lived experience of new graduates who have cared for a dying patient in their rst year of practice following LN C education in nursing school. Interviews with recent nursing graduates employing open-ended semi-structured questions were tape-recorded. Four themes emerged from the interviews the importance and role of the nurse in facilitating a good death experiencing intrinsic rewards providing OL care learning through experiences and dif culty maintaining a balance between compassion and the nurseâ€™s role. The participants found OL care and communication dif cult, due to the process of trying to master basic nursing skills at the same time as complicated OL care. Though the LN C education was helpful, it was not enough. New graduates explained the importance of clinical practice and experience with OL care for actual learning, which re ects the suggestions of Transformative Learning Theory. Three of these studies took a longitudinal quasi-experimental approach, in which nursing students did pretesting, intervention, and posttesting. arrere and Durkin took a qualitative phenomenological approach with a small sample of new graduate nurses. The FATCOD scale was used for evaluation
in two of these studies, which gives high validity to the data collection process for allory and arrere et al. . allory had a control group, which increases the rigor of the study, as well as a varied sample population from two different universities. allory focused only on junior nursing students in a SN program, which may in uence the results due to less clinical experience. Ferrell et al. implemented a very large and diverse sample population. arrere et al. included a varied population of traditional and accelerated students, which impacted the results by establishing the signi cance of age. arrere and Durkin had a small sample si e and an unstructured evaluation method. There is not signi cant rigor in this study, but it came to similar conclusions as the other articles. There were three consistent ndings in these studies previous education does not signi cantly improve attitudes toward care of the dying previous experience does improve attitudes toward care and the incorporation of didactic and clinical learning experience is important because students are impacted by experience. Ferrell et al. and arrere and Durkin both discovered that all core competencies were signi cantly improved with LN C education with the exception of grief, loss, and bereavement. Ferrell et al. had a large sample with good participation, increasing the rigor of the study. Ferrell et al. suggested the importance of clinical experience for improving competence in grief and loss, as education is not adequate alone. ducational Progra esigns Three quantitative, one qualitative, and two mixed method studies implemented
a teaching tool or design and evaluated its effectiveness on learning, competency, and con dence with OL care. oreland, Lemieux, and yers implemented a mixed method, quasi-experimental design to evaluate the impact of simulation on undergraduate nursing students’ knowledge and selfef cacy in caring for patients who are at the OL. This simulation required caring for a patient with terminal lung cancer at the OL and incorporates a human patient simulator. oreland et al. evaluated the students’ knowledge of the physiologic changes at the OL and their perceived self-ef cacy with a nowledge Assessment Tool before and after the simulation, as well as open-ended debrie ng questions immediately after the simulation. The sample consisted of volunteer nursing students from the junior undergraduate nursing medical-surgical class in the traditional and accelerated nursing program. The results indicated that general student knowledge on OL improved signi cantly p . as evidenced by an increase in the mean presimulation score of to post-simulation score of . nowledge of the signs and symptoms of imminent death improved on respiratory secretions, respiratory rate and quality, blood pressure, and urine output, but knowledge decreased in regards to the emotional aspects of OL care. oreland et al. associated this decline in perceived self-ef cacy with students’ lack of expectations or decreased expectations regarding the impact a patient’s death can have on the caregiver. This study concluded that simulation did facilitate growth of knowledge and competency and can serve as a useful teaching technology for OL care. Twigg and Lynn conducted
a quantitative, pre-experimental design to evaluate the effectiveness of simulation on students’ knowledge and emotional preparedness for providing OL care. Clinical knowledge was measured using a short, eight question, NCL -style test, and the Concerns About Dying CAD scale measured emotional readiness in the participants. The sample consisted of nglish speaking volunteer SN students in their nal semester of nursing school from a school in the mid-Atlantic region. This simulation used a human patient simulator to give students the experience of providing care for a patient that dies during that shift and incorporated elements of family con ict and denial. Students reported in a focus group conducted after the study that the simulation increased their knowledge about OL care and gave them the opportunity to practice before joining the work force, but it also caused higher levels of stress related to providing care to a dying patient t . ,p . . It is possible that this stress is related to limited previous exposure and underestimation of the effects of death. Overall the study supports simulation as a method of preparation for OL care, with a signi cant impact on the student’s emotional preparedness. In a quantitative study, Grossman evaluates the impacts of simulation and weekly case study discussions to develop an algorithm to assist nursing students and nurses with facilitating a good death for acutely ill patients at the OL. Grossman employs a revised -item LN C- AT tool pre and post intervention, demographic tool, and the Palliative Care with Critically Ill survey. The sample for this study included senior nursing students during their critical care
course. The mean posttest score from the LN C- AT increased signi cantly from the pretest scores t . , p . . The study results revealed that students’ comfort levels doubled at the end of the course from a out of to a , and they found the algorithm helpful in the debrie ng for providing a consistent way of thinking about the therapeutic communication used in the simulation. Grossman concluded the need for nursing students to practice palliative care communication in simulated environments and classroom role-play. In a mixed methods study Fabro, Shaffer, and Scharton developed, implemented, and evaluated a high delity palliative care simulation in an elective SN program course. The rst pilot study was done with four nursing students, who gave feedback prior to its integration into the class. The sample for the study was nursing students enrolled in the elective, including the that completed the pilot. Fabro et al. used the ducational Practices uestionnaire to measure “active learning, collaboration, diverse ways of learning, and high expectations on a vepoint Likert-type scale,” p. as well as the Learner Satisfaction and Self-Con dence in Learning uestionnaire. Analysis of the feedback revealed that the mean scores for students on all components of evaluation educational practices, satisfaction, and con dence in their learning were between “agree” and “strongly agree” on the Likert scale. valuation of the mixed data indicated that students were satis ed with their learning and felt more prepared to give palliative and OL care after the simulation. Fabro et al. described bene ts of the simulation for students including “increased comfort in caring for dying patients and their families, 3
increased knowledge about the principles of palliative care as a guide for practice, greater comfort and con dence” in spiritual care and “improved communication skills” related to caring for a dying patient p. . Hold, lake, and Ward conducted a qualitative research design to examine the perceptions and experiences of students who completed the palliative care and OL nursing elective created on the basis of three professional apprenticeships knowledge acquisition, practical experience, and ethical identity. Nineteen students from the SN program in the southeastern United States participated in focus groups after completing the elective course, which guided discussion and promoted the analysis of themes. There were three themes that students expressed learning from stories, learning from being there, and learning from caring. Incorporation of all three apprenticeships increased students’ understanding of palliative and OL, helped to foster their application of nursing knowledge, and aided in the creation of a professional identity. The results from this study support including knowledge learning, hands-on experience, and ethical exploration into one palliative care course. Lippe and ecker conducted a quantitative, pretest posttest design to evaluate the effect of simulation on learning in regards to caring for a critically ill patient who is withdrawn from care after an acute decompensation. The sample n came from three cohorts of nursing students cohort one n included ten SN students and nine associate degree students, cohorts two n and three n were comprised of SN students in their nal semester of the nursing program. efore and after participation in the simulation, the
participants had to complete three methods of evaluation including the CAD scale, FATCOD scale, and Perceived Competence in LN C PC- LN C standards. Students demonstrated increased perceived competence and attitudes regarding OL care following the simulation in all three cohorts. ean scores of LN C-PC of only SN student cohorts increased from . to . in Cohort and . to . in Cohort p . . FATCOD scores signi cantly increased from . to . in Cohort and . to . in Cohort p . after the simulation. Lippe and ecker concluded that this simulation on palliative and OL care is a teaching method that can provide students with a safe and controlled environment to practice providing care to a dying patient. The tools used to evaluate and measure data in these studies were similar, well-known, and valid tools. FATCOD and CAD scales were consistently used to measure the attitudes toward care of the dying in multiple studies. Demographic surveys were given to participants in the Grossman study, but not to the others. This is a limitation for the others as the tool aids in evaluating the effects of age, experience, and education. The oreland et al. study included accelerated and SN students in the sample, which creates the possibility of skewing results. In a small sample n , having participants with different clinical experience can be impactful. Limitations upon the Twigg and Lynn , Fabro et al. , and Hold et al. studies include small sample si e. One commonality from these studies was the importance of incorporating knowledge learning, clinical practice through simulation, and roleplaying communication. Integrating a
multimodal educational teaching method fostered satisfaction with learning and increased competency. All of these studies discovered increased levels of knowledge, competence, and satisfaction with learning from the educational programs implemented. Two studies revealed a decreased posttest score or a newly verbali ed stress in regards to the emotional aspects of caring for a dying patient after the simulation. This may be dueattributed to a lack of preparation for the emotional impact a patientâ€™s death can have, especially upon students without previous palliative or OL care experience. This lack of con dence regarding the emotional aspects of care and communication with patients and families can lead to higher stress levels and dissatisfaction with care from both the patient and the student. Twigg and Lynn discussed the impact that simulation experience can have on the emotional readiness of students for OL care. All studies claimed that such experience creates a safe environment in which to practice physical aspects of care, communication skills, and recognition of oneâ€™s own reaction to death and dying. Grossman discovered a different outcome, but this study encompasses a class in which students participated in three simulations and weekly class case studies. This prolonged experience and practice in a simulation setting may have led to the studentsâ€™ comfort level doubling by the end of the course. The other studies were based off of a single simulation experience, which may have brought the emotional aspect into focus without providing an opportunity to resolve the con ict.
iscussion The studies in this literature review were evaluated to determine whether new graduates are prepared for OL care, what nursing curricula regarding OL care exist in the literature, and what level of satisfaction nursing students have with their preparation. Several themes were identi ed from these studies. An overarching conclusion from this literature review was that nursing students, and therefore new graduates, are not prepared, competent, or con dent in providing OL care. any of the articles evaluated the effectiveness of the mandated core competencies in undergraduate nursing education set by LN C. All the articles evaluated supported the incorporation of LN C competencies into curriculum. This incorporation led to increased knowledge on OL care in all the areas except for grief, loss, and bereavement. It was also discovered in multiple articles that grief, loss, and the emotional aspects of OL care cannot be easily taught and could bene t more from experience. In simulation studies, similar results were found. Simulation experiences for OL care led to increased con dence and competence in providing care to a dying patient in all aspects except the emotional issues related to caring for a dying patient. It is possible that emotional components of OL care cannot be taught and must be experienced to demonstrate more con dence. However, one study did show an increase in comfort that doubled after completing an elective course with three simulations and weekly case studies. Further research is needed to determine if multiple simulation experiences can improve competence and con dence with emotional issues at OL. any studies claimed that simulation is an environment that fosters learning in a safe
space and provides students the opportunity to practice care at the OL before joining the workforce. ost of the studies supported the need to incorporate both didactic and experiential learning into the nursing curriculum and supported simulation as a method of experiential learning. The implementation and evaluation of new methods in research provides a direction for improvement in OL care education content and methods of teaching. i itations There was a compilation of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches in this literature review. There has not been an abundance of studies done in the United States on nursing students’ preparation for OL care, which forced this wide publication range. The studies selected did not contain any high levels of evidence with systematic reviews or double blind control studies. The nature of this topic makes it dif cult to perform studies of this level, as it provides some students with less preparation for OL care. This increases the need to incorporate studies of lower evidence levels, which can lead to information on improving the curriculum and possibly future studies. There is a need for further high quality research in the United States on the education of nursing students and preparedness of new graduates in palliative and OL care and the effectiveness of a single educational experience versus extended educational program designs involving simulations. Conclusion This review of the literature evaluated the state, perceptions, and teaching methods for undergraduate nursing education on palliative and OL care. A majority of these
studies revealed the need for improved nursing education. The role of experiential learning to complement classroom learning was a theme supported by this review. The use of hands-on practice and roleplay scenarios greatly increased students’ satisfaction with their learning, knowledge, and comfort providing care to a dying patient. The recommended methods of incorporating experiential learning include simulation, case studies, and elective OL care courses. Support is needed for students’ exposure to and discovery of the emotional aspects of OL care, such as grief and loss. Further research on the effects of multiple simulations on a student’s comfort level with the emotional aspects of OL care would be bene cial. The importance of undergraduate education on palliative and OL care is emphasi ed in this review. Student and new graduate competency and comfort with care for a dying patient impacts the level of quality patient-centered care provided and impacts both patient and nurse satisfaction with care at the end of life. Stud Proposition The literature on undergraduate nursing education revealed that nursing students perceived their education and preparation on end-of-life care as inadequate. any students reported anxiety and experienced stress related to providing endof-life nursing care. ducation growth in the past decade resulted in some improvement in preparation and knowledge, but there is room for further growth. New methods of teaching are being evaluated, such as simulations, and have proven effective in increasing knowledge and skill learning, as well as improving attitudes towards care of the dying patient. Unprepared nurses can
contribute to poor OL care and decreased patient and nursing satisfaction with the care provided at the OL. In response to these ndings a mixed methods study will be conducted to evaluate the perceived competency, knowledge, preparation, and learning needs for providing OL and palliative care in nursing students. The participants will include third and fourth year SN nursing students at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. This study will take place in the Spring semester of , and the participants will be asked to take a survey. The instrument will be a survey modi ed by athryn Ferner used with permission from a validated survey instrument that will be web-enabled. This survey will include questions about demographic information, palliative care core competencies, and students’ perceptions of importance and personal competence, OL care education received as well as its usefulness, and experience and comfort with providing OL care. e erences American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. . Peaceful death Recommended competencies and curricular guidelines for end-of-life nursing care. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. . nd-of-life nursing education consortium. Retrieved from http www.aacn.nche.edu elnec arrere, C. C., Durkin, A., LaCoursiere, S. . The in uence of endof-life education on attitudes of nursing students. International Journal of Nursing ducation Scholarship, , - . arrere, C., Durkin, A. . Finding the right words The experience of new nurses after LN C education integration into a SN curriculum. edsurg Nursing Of cial Journal of the Academy of edical-Surgical Nurses, , - , . assah, N., Seymour, J., Cox, . . A modi ed systematic review of research evidence about education for pre-registration nurses in palliative care. C palliative care, , . irkhol , G., Clements, P. T., Cox, R., Gaume, A. . Students’ self-identi ed learning needs A case study of baccalaureate students designing their own death and dying course curriculum. The Journal of Nursing ducation, , - . Colley, S. L. . Senior nursing students’ perceptions of caring for patients at the end of life. The Journal of Nursing ducation, , . doi . doi Fabro, ., Schaffer, ., Scharton, J. . The development, implemen-
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A STRA T This paper analyzes the convergence of two very di erent groups on an unexpected topic queer theorists and traditional Christians on the topic of homosexuality. Although these groups are seemingly antithetical to one another in terms of their intellectual commitments and political goals, they both utilize post-structuralist techniques in their discussions of homosexuality, albeit to di erent extents and with entirely di erent aims. oth groups emphasize the non-essential nature of homosexuality, destabilizing the notion that being a homosexual is an all-consuming identity. They also both recognize this relative newness of ideas like sexual orientation and many reject identity labels such as gay and lesbian. The first section of this paper o ers a brief historical overview of homosexuality in the West, beginning with Ancient Greece and ending with the introduction of post-structuralism and queer theory in the 20th century. Special attention is paid to interactions between Christianity and homosexuality in this history. The second section consists of a few close readings of primary texts, analyzing the language that contemporary traditional Christians use to describe homosexuality and how it re ects post-structuralist technique. The third and final section of my paper surveys the growing field of queer theology and discusses its possibilities for the future.
RA EL RESTI I
Rachel Prestipino is a 2016 UVa graduate from Mechanicsville, Virginia. She studied religion and global development, focusing on issues of gender, sexuality, and race within Christian theology. After graduation, Rachel moved to Miami to work as a community organizer with People Acting for Community Together, a multi-faith non-profit that works to hold elected o cials accountable. Rachel feels that all academic work must be aware of its social implications she hopes this is the case with the following essay and all of her writings.
THESE POINTS OF CONNECTION ARE O N LY P O S S I L E W H E N C HRISTIANS LISTEN TO EER VOICES AND WHEN EER PERSONS LISTEN TO CHRISTIAN VOICES
I Introduction For conservative Christians, the terms “gay” and “straight” create a false tie between a person’s sexual orientation and her essential personhood. They believe that the true essence of every human being’s identity is that she is made in the image of God. There is nothing more fundamental than this, even seemingly innate homosexual tendencies. These tendencies are the result of sin’s corruption, but so are propensities towards other so-called vices. Thus, conservative Christians prefer terms like “persons struggling with same-sex attraction,” to “homosexual persons,” especially when the persons are Christians attempting to resist homosexual practice. This language detaches “disordered” sexuality from a person’s identity, thus distancing the person from their sin and enabling them to better overcome it. ueer theorists also reject these labels because they do not believe in the notion of an “essential personhood” that pre-exists societal construction. From their perspective, sexual identity markers reinforce the illusion of a natural, stable sexual identity that simply does not exist. ueer theorists push for greater uidity in our understanding of human sexuality than the strict categories “gay” and “straight” allow, believing that these societal structures are used to enforce a Foucaldian hierarchy of power. It is only by dismantling these structures and embracing “queerness” that human beings can live outside of these hierarchies. oth queer theorists and traditional Christians are interested in leveraging poststructuralist insights to enable people to achieve greater levels of human ourishing, whether that be de ned as freedom from sin
or freedom from non-egalitarian ways of life. ut what happens when these two goals come together ueer theologians occupy this liminal space. Theology, or “talk about God,” becomes “queer” both when it is LG T I people doing the talking and when such talk is purposefully transgressive. ueer theology allows anyone who is of a marginali ed sexual orientation or gender identity to reclaim space within Christianity. While queer theorists and traditional Christians resist congruence, even in their mutual usage of post-structuralist techniques, queer theologians are the products of a willing alliance between Christianity and queer theory. A note on de nitions In this paper, I use “traditional Christian” for lack of a better term. It is always a form of identity politics for any one sect of Christianity to claim ownership over “the tradition.” However, historical evidence supports the idea that the majority of Christian groups have “traditionally” considered homosexuality sinful. Thus, when I say “traditional Christians” I reference Christians that are non-af rming of same-sex sexual relations, desires, or romantic relationships. This may include Christians of any denomination or branch, from evangelicals to Roman Catholics. ven more speci cally, this paper addresses mainstream Christians that are at least sympathetic, although sometimes in a patroni ing manner, towards LG T persons. This paper does not address far right-wing Christian hate groups who condemn homosexual persons wholesale. This established meaning should be kept in mind as one reads the generali ations that
I make about how “traditional Christians” describe homosexuality. II
o osexualit Post structuralis and ueer heor
The terms “homosexual” and “heterosexual” were invented in the late th century by German psychologist aroly aria enkert. Prior to this invention, the terms used in his German and Frenchspeaking world to describe men who engaged in sexual activity with other men were the derogative terms “sodomite” and “pederast” it appears no such word was applied to women . These re ect the prevailing sexual ethics of the day, in which Christendom dubbed gay sex immoral and Prussian sodomy laws made such activities illegal. enkert’s world is not such a far cry from the world we live in today, in which engagement in same-sex relations is punishable by death penalty in ve countries and by imprisonment in seventy more. “Sodomy” laws which could apply to any kind of “non-traditional” sexual behavior were only repealed throughout the United States in . Furthermore, since making samesex relationships not illegal is not the same thing as ensuring rights for LG T persons, political struggles around homosexuality continue in every country worldwide. ecause same-sex relations have been controversial and often taboo in recent centuries, it is tempting to think that this has always been the case. However, scholars unequivocally agree that this is not the case across all time and cultures. For example, in Ancient Greece, it was widely assumed that anyone could respond sexually to members of either sex. There were, however, a different set of taboos around sexual activity.
In the ancient world, same-sex relationships at least between men were further validated by their inclusion in Greco-Roman cosmology. Same-sex erotic activities were attributed to gods, standing in sharp contrast to the Christian God, who has no consort except perhaps in the ancient Israelite traditions that preceded Judaism and whose status as either male or non-gendered has been negotiated throughout history. It was the introduction of Christianity into the Roman mpire, among other factors, that led to the demoni ation of homosexual activity in Western society. The medieval period brought with it relaxation in attitudes towards a broader spectrum of sexual activity. In fact, the clergy developed a host of erotic literature, such as the Hymns of Divine Love by St. Symeon the New Theologian. These writings demonstrate that the language of sexuality could be well suited for describing humanity’s relationship with God. Reformation-era monk St. John of the Cross carries on this tradition with “The Spiritual Canticle Songs etween the Soul and the ridegroom.” This hymn begins with irtatious foreplay between the bride and bridegroom, leading up to a sexual union that represents the climax of spiritual experience between Christ and the Church. Although this poetry is not explicitly homoerotic, it is latently so, as the author is a male monk describing his affections for a male God. oth male and female Christian readers are supposed to identify as the bride while Christ plays the role of the bridegroom. Ironically, St. John of the Cross, and all of the monks writing such erotic poetry, were chaste. For them, monastic life was not the suppression of sexuality, but instead a way to re-channel sexual desire towards God. Despite all of this monastic eroticism,
intolerance for same-sex relations gained force in urope once again in the th through th centuries. However, this cannot be called intolerance for “homosexuals,” because this identity marker still did not exist. Those who had sex with members of the same sex were called “sodomites.” They were not thought of as a different classi cation of people with a certain orientation, but as people who had made a choice, against nature, to sin. Lateran III of , “the rst ecumenical council to condemn homosexual sex stated that whoever shall be found to have committed that incontinence which is against nature’ shall be punished” emphasis mine . This appeal to “natural law” continued to undergird strict laws against homosexual sex in urope for the following few centuries. The next major movement in the history of homosexuality occurred in the th and th centuries with the rise of sexology the application of biological and psychological sciences to the study of sex. In this period, intellectuals xated on systems of scienti c classi cation. Figures like Sigmund Freud and others in the elds of psychology and psychiatry began to make “medical” distinctions between “normal” and “deviant” sexualities. Theological categories of sexuality began to lose in uence as “the psychiatrist replaced the priest as the confessional authority gure.” Gone were the days in which “sodomites” were simply people who chose to have illegal forms of sex. As Foucault describes in his History of Sexuality, “the nineteenthcentury homosexual became a personage, a past, a case history, and a childhood, in addition to being a type of life, a life form and a morphology ” Now, homosexual sex was not merely something a person did, it was “consubstantial with him sic , less as
a habitual sin than as a singular nature.” Homosexuality was no longer a practice but an inward condition a “hermaphrodism of the soul.” If “the sodomite had been a temporary aberration, the homosexual was now a species.” This idea of homosexuality as a xed sexual identity, encompassing not only behaviors but also desires, is still accepted in much of mainstream American society. This is due in part to the lingering in uence of these pseudo-scienti c systems of classi cation, but also to the efforts of early homosexual rights advocates. In the late th to late th century, these activists tended to promote the notion that homosexuality was an ingrained perhaps even biological identity from birth. The idea that homosexuality is not a choice but is instead something one is born with turned homosexuality from a sinful decision into something natural and, therefore, good. This, interestingly enough, is an inversion of the same appeal to “natural law” that their persecutors had used in previous centuries. This approach has helped homosexuals gain more political power and nd communal support, as they are able to rally around sexual identity groupings like “gay” and “lesbian.” However, in recent decades, queer theory has begun to challenge this understanding of sexual identity. ueer theory has its roots in post-structuralism, a movement that emerged in the s and s in continental urope with thinkers like Jacques Derrida, ichel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, and Julia risteva. Post-structuralism begins as a critique of structuralism, a system of thought that sought to understand elements of human culture in terms of their relationship to overarching structures. Post-structuralism rejects the existence of such all-encompass-
ing structures or organi ing principles in human society. For instance, in the eld of linguistics, structuralists believe that there is a pure intention of the self that is being conveyed through language, even though words themselves are arbitrary, so that the arbitrary becomes meaningful. Post-structuralists deny this, claiming that language is completely arbitrary and that there is no real relationship between words and their referents. Instead of language being a structure that provides meaning in this world, language is the collective process of meaning making, a series of signs, completely disassociated from the real world of objects. The arbitrariness of languages illuminates the ways in which all meaning is unstable. Thus, for post-structuralists, meaning can only be established through ideological and or physical force and people are only brought to accept humanly-constructed meaning as natural through social compulsion. Post-structuralist thinkers uproot systems of authority by reading the literary canons of each eld and “undoing them,” proving them to be arbitrary. This is a method that Derrida referred to as “deconstruction.” One of the most powerful tools that Western society uses to impose meaning is the concept of the binary, a human construct that becomes stable only via an imbalance of power in which one side of the binary is superior to the other. Post-structuralists deny the validity of binaries, declaring them to be authoritarian systems of control that have no concrete basis in reality. When it comes to both the male female binary and the hetero homosexual binary, queer theorists utili e post-structuralist technique. Foucault’s History of Sexuality, referenced above, introduces the idea that the heterosexual homosexual binary is a social construction,
like any other, and can be used by institutions as a form of social control. All of his work is grounded in understanding the relationship between knowledge and power, and the ways in which those in power get to determine what knowledge is. Thus, knowledge of the arbitrary categories “homo” and “hetero” were de ned by those in power in the th century and are used to oppress those who are not in power. Although Foucault identi ed as a gay man, he was resistant to the ways that society, both the dominant culture and gay subculture, attempted to de ne his identity for him. There was, for him, little relationship between his sexual partner preference and the gay identity as it was presented to him. ueer theorists like Judith utler and David Halperin draw heavily on these notions of power and social control, as well as the general post-structuralist impulse to deconstruct binaries. They began to destabili e the notion of a xed sexual identity, arguing for a more uid understanding of sexuality. They critici e the notion of human beings having an “essential self,” especially one that is tied up with the performance of gender and sexual roles as they are dictated by social norms. Instead, identity is thought of as the intersection between many unstable positions. The term “queer,” which was originally a pejorative term, become synonymous with anything that transgresses the mainstream, violating both heteronormativity and homonormativity. ueer can be a noun, an adjective, and even a verb i.e. “queering the classroom” . Post-structuralism birthed queer theory as an academic discipline, but it also had far- reaching effects outside of the academy. In the next section, I examine how Christian writings on homosexuality 3
have been in uenced, both consciously and sub-consciously, by post-structuralism’s intellectual revolution in the West. III Conte porar raditional Christian Perspecti es on o osexualit y the s and s, homosexuality had reached such prominence in American society that many Christian churches felt they were forced to respond. Flurries of statements were released during the period outlining particular churches’ positions on “the homosexual issue.” Although queer theory was just beginning to arise in the s, the idea of sexual orientation as a xed identity was still the dominant understanding in mainstream society and is thus re ected in the church statements from this period. For example, the Presbyterian Church in America PCA released a report in July of entitled “Pastoral Care for the Repentant Homosexual.” The report claims that the “homosexual inclination” is a “response to very early learning experiences,” implying that sexuality is not a xed reality that a person is born with, but is actually socially conditioned. However, this admittance is merely used to determine culpability. “It would be misleading,” the report notes, “to think of the homosexual as necessarily having made conscious choices’ in favor of the homosexual inclination. ut the gospel reminds us that God addresses man as responsible human beings not merely on the level of conscious choices’.” In other words, homosexuality may be socially conditioned, but this does not mean that homosexuals cannot be held responsible for their actions. Furthermore, there is still no attempt to challenge the notion that homosexuality is af xed to a
person’s identity. The report consistently uses the term “the homosexual,” as though “he” is an entirely different species from “the heterosexual.” In , the PCA released another report entitled “Resolution Regarding Homosexual Agenda.” This document is far less level-headed than its predecessor, which at least attempted to follow up a theological argument against homosexuality with compassionate albeit patroni ing attention to “problems the homosexual faces” and how the “congregation might be of help.” This resolution has a distinctly different tone, one of fearful militancy, perhaps brought on by the AIDS crisis that began in the interim period between these two reports. The “Homosexual Agenda,” this report warns, consists of the gay and lesbian community “ focusing their efforts on recruiting and changing the opinions of our young people and children of this nation to accept and defend the homosexual life” and seeking “inroads into public and private education.” This kind of language casts homosexuals as insurgents, seeking to invade and destroy good Christian family values. Also, religion and nationalism are bound together in this statement the document speaks not of the children of the church, to whom the resolution is addressed, but of the “children of this nation,” thus implying that upholding the church’s position is inextricably linked to maintaining the American way of life. oth of these documents create an “us” and “them” mentality, founded on the idea that being “homosexual” and being “heterosexual” are two essentially different ways of being human if the homosexual can even be considered fully human. The “heterosexual” goes unnamed in these documents because it is the default, the privileged position from
which other groups are determined to be deviant. While documents like these were typical for a period of time, in the s, Christian literature on homosexuality began to show signs of adopting some elements of a post-structuralist or queer understanding of sexual identity. This shift is best exempli ed through a comparison of the “Letter to the Catholic ishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the United States Conference of Catholic ishop’s statement on “ inistry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination Guidelines for Pastoral Care” . The differences are already evident in the titles “Homosexual Persons” are now “Persons with a Homosexual Inclination.” What was once a xed part of a persons’ identity is now simply a tendency, The “Letter to the Catholic ishops ,” frequently uses the phrase “the homosexual condition,” as though being attracted to members of the same sex is some sort of medical status. ut in the newer document, “the homosexual condition” becomes an “experience of same-sex attraction.” The document only uses the phrase “homosexual person” when it is quoting other writings, instead favoring “persons with a homosexual inclination.” This serves to disassociate homosexual impulses and actions, which are deemed sinful, from a person’s true self. This trend continues and is even more prominent in an article published in the Journal of iblical Counseling in , entitled “Five inistry Priorities for those Struggling with Same-Sex Attraction” by ichael R. mlet. The post-structuralist in uence is again immediately evident in the title and the introduction, which calls
out churches that approach “the issue of Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction” with hushed discomfort. Never is the word “homosexual” used to describe a person, only behaviors. Furthermore, he resists the idea that homosexuality is an “all or nothing” – meaning either a person has a strictly homosexual orientation or a strictly heterosexual one. “ ut is it really that simple ” he asks, challenging this xed binary. Later, in one of his footnotes, he explains the choice to refrain from referring to “same-sex attraction” as a “homosexual orientation” “ homosexual orientation suggests an immutable, biological state of being that must be embraced as an identity rather than renounced.” This demonstrates that the post-structuralist move of questioning the “immutable, biological” nature of homosexuality and the notion of a “homosexual identity” is being leveraged to make a homosexual lifestyle easier to renounce. lmet also brings in post-structuralism by quoting Christian anthropologist Dr. Jenell Williams Paris, who explains that “sexual identity is a Western, nineteenth century formulation of what it means to be human.” He describes acquiescence to this historically located formulation as “drinking the ool-aid.” “ nowingly or unknowingly,” he warns, “we have bought into a sexual identity paradigm for categori ing ourselves and others instead of rooting our identity in Christ.” Thus, the post-structuralist in uence is not taken to the full extent of renouncing the idea that humans do have an essential nature, sexuality is just relativi ed in terms of its importance for human identity. Instead, Christians are encouraged to “emphasi e identity in Christ over sexual identity”
when ministering to “strugglers” those who “struggle with same-sex attraction . What exactly does this identity in Christ entail In lmet’s words, referencing a variety of New Testament texts, Christians are “children of the Father, brothers and sisters to ing Jesus, heirs of the kingdom, and ambassadors of the ing’s mission to the world.” And all this, he claims “has nothing to do with the direction of our sexual desire and everything to do with God’s pronouncement of our forgiveness and cleansing in Christ.” In order to further exemplify this shift in identity that comes with understanding one’s identity “in Christ,” lmet cites Paul’s words to the Galatians “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This verse dramatically relativi es ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender differences, emphasi ing the uni ed identity that comes with being “in Christ Jesus.” lmet argues that the same standard is in effect when it comes to “the direction of one’s sexual desire” From these scriptures and others it could be argued that the idea of disassociating one’s sexuality from one’s identity is “biblical,” and thus lmet’s insight pre-dates post-structuralist in uence. In some ways, this is true because none of the biblical texts were written in a time in which “the homosexual” was an established category. However, it is only via the insights of post-structuralist thought that contemporary Christians like lmet are beginning to recogni e sexual identity as a social construction. A major concern with traditional Christians like this using the notion of “social construct sexuality” is that they coopt the term and manipulate its meaning in such a way that it invalidates the real-life
experiences of Christians who “struggle with same-sex attraction.” any Christians who rmly believe that these desires are sinful and should be squelched are promised that their desires can be reoriented through enough prayer, repentance, therapy, etc., but this is often not the experience of “strugglers.” any “ex-gay” ministries began to crop up in the s with testimonials that promised homosexuality could be overcome. An infamous example was xodus International, an umbrella organi ation that included member organi ations in the U.S. alone. In it dissolved, with the President giving the following apology “I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change.” It appears that it was increased attentiveness to the realistic experiences of gay and lesbian Christians, rather than any ideological shift, that prompted xodus International to close its doors. One gure has proven especially signi cant in terms of encouraging increased attentiveness to the lived experience of Christian “strugglers” Wesley Hill. In , Hill published his book Washed and Waiting Re ections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. Part memoir, part exegetical work, and part practical theology, this book is deeply personal. It is clear that Hill’s story has not been appropriated by any group with a particular agenda. In the book, Hill describes the tension between his very real homoerotic inclination - “the steady, strong, unremitting, exclusive attraction to persons of the same sex”– and his conviction that the ible teaches that homosexual sex is a sin. He believes that desires directed towards members of the same sex are the result of
sin’s corruption of this world, but are not sins in and of themselves until they are acted upon. Thus, he is an out-gay, celibate, evangelical Christian – this puts him in an astonishingly small minority. Hill often refers to himself as celibate gay Christian. This identi cation ies in the face of much of the literature I have been exploring, which is careful to always avoid referring to repentant homosexuals as gay” or “lesbian,” usually declaring this to be for the bene t of the “struggler”. However, Hill is very intentional in the terminology that he uses to describe himself and Christians in similar situations. He chooses not to “discriminate between various terms for homosexuality” in the book. For example, “same-sex attraction,” “homosexual desires,” and “homosexuality” are all used interchangeably. Similarly, he refers to himself as a “homosexual Christian,” a “gay Christian,” or “a Christian who experiences homosexual desires.” He recogni es that all of these terms are “open to misunderstanding,” but determines that the “gains in using them outweigh the potential ha ards.” He feels that these terms are true to his experience, and seems less than concerned to participate in a post-structuralist deconstruction of sexual identity markers. They are useful to him. However, there is one speaking pattern that he purposefully avoids. He never makes “gay” or “homosexual” the noun these words are always the adjective. In other words, he speaks of “gay Christians” and “homosexual persons” but never “homosexuals.” In doing so, he hopes to send the message that every person, himself included, is more than just their sexuality. This choice is intentionally humani ing, even if it does not perfectly align with the post-structuralist notion of
“socially-constructed” sexual identity. In the end, he believes that his identity cannot be completely consumed by his sexual orientation, because it is a temporary part of his personality. It may be permanent on this side of eternity, but he rmly believes that, in the end, grace will erase all sin including his disordered desires. As part of my research for this paper I spoke with a woman who participated in a support group for Christians struggling with same-sex attraction right here on the grounds of the University of Virginia. When I inquired about the resources they use to inform the group, led by staff members of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, I was referred to Wesley Hill’s book. The woman who participated told me that the group never focused on addressing theological arguments for the sinfulness of homosexuality, at least when she attended. Instead, their primary goal was to hear one another in their struggles and provide a mutual network of support. Together, they worked towards replacing their “disordered” sexual identity with a stable identity in Christ. In this setting, guidance from the lived experience of a Christian “struggler” like Wes Hill has been deemed more appropriate than insights from biblical exegetes or post-structuralist theorists. It was in my analysis of Washed and Waiting that I began to observe a trend as is true with gay and lesbian activists, Christian “strugglers” may not always nd poststructuralist style analysis of their sexuality helpful, especially when it is manipulated by the church to make their desires seem more changeable than they actually are. One of the greatest critiques of queer theory is that it takes away from the sense of belonging and political expediency that comes from
identifying as “gay” or “lesbian.” Sometimes the language that was previously used to “diagnose” homosexuals as a species can be re-appropriated and used towards concrete political action. However, as Foucault so deftly observes and Slate writer Jesi gan summari es , “ the obsession with guring out the truth of our sexualities can also be a trap. After all, how do we know when to stop Who can tell us when we’ve peeled back the nal layer of social constraints and discovered our truest, most authentic selves ” Whether or not “discovering one’s sexuality” brings a person closer to guring out who they “really are” is up for debate. ut, as gan warns, it does “generate plenty of evidence that can be used to monitor, control, and discipline people when they deviate from the norm.” The nal piece that I will examine in this section is The nd of Sexual Identity Why Sex is Too Important to De ne Who We Are by Dr. Jenell Williams Paris. This book, which was referenced in ichael lmet’s article above, does not count as an example of a traditional Christian perspective on homosexuality. However, I cannot label it a work of queer theology either. Perhaps its most “queer” feature is that it resists categori ation. The author is a professor of anthropology at a Christian college in Pennsylvania. Thus, her book seeks to understand the socially-constructed nature of human sexuality which an anthropologist in postmodern culture cannot deny within a Christian framework. The rst chapter of her book, entitled “What is De ned as Real,” introduces the notion of socially-constructed categories like sex and gender, explaining basic insights from cultural anthropology in accessible language. The following two chapters
break down the terms “heterosexual” and “homosexual,” debunking the idea that these categories are “natural, neutral descriptions of human beings” and that sexual identity was “given by God at creation.” The fourth chapter, “The Promise of Sexual Holiness” moves beyond anthropology and into more constructivist theology, attempting “a contemporary adaptation of a time-honored Christian virtue.” The remaining chapters take on desire, sexual activity, and celibacy, ending with an exhortation for Christians to re ect on their own sexuality with this new perspective and consider the possibility of a “post-sexual identity Church.” She hopes the book will encourage Christians “to engage diverse sexual views in the church with respect.” At times, her presentation of anthropological concepts sits uncomfortably with her insistence on maintaining a Christian framework. Her discussion of intersex people illustrates this well. In the rst chapter, she explains the social construction of gender by referencing the work of Australian anthropologist Sharyn Graham Davies who documents ve possible gender identities within ugi culture an ethnic group in Indonesia . In contrast, Paris remarks, Western society thinks of gender as a binary consisting of two discrete categories male and female. ut, these categories are no more “natural” than the ugi’s ve categories. Futhermore, biological sex, which may seem more xed than gender, is also not a true anatomical binary. Intersex people, who are born with genitalia that cannot be described as “male or “female,” disrupt this binary. Viewing sex on a spectrum, rather than a binary, she says “makes a more credible space for intersex persons.” At this point, though, she begins to depart from the kind of lan-
guage that is recogni able in secular anthropology departments. She notes that intersex people are often considered abnormal when the male-female binary is upheld, but that this is not necessarily in con ict with her Christian understanding of the world. “God did create humans male and female,” she says citing Genesis , “but sin has in uenced every dimension of human life, even sexual development in utero.” She goes on to explain that sin’s presence in the world as a result of “the fall” has made it “broken” and that this is the cause of intersex people’s “physical abnormality.” This logic, she claims, only becomes problematic when it results in the dehumani ing of intersex people. In response, I would argue that calling intersex persons the abnormal result of sin’s presence in the world is inherently dehumani ing. Here it becomes clear that Paris only utili es post-structuralist technique to a certain extent, before falling back on what she believes to be the natural order of things as God created it to be. Later in the book she says, “God created sexuality. People created sexual identity.” . A truly post-structuralist thinker would say that there is no such essential or original form of sexuality, and that any understanding of sexuality is a social construction that is as arbitrary as the next. Instead, Paris seems to believe that there is an ultimate essence of sexuality and that human social constructions have obscured it from view. She asserts that God created sexual difference, citing Genesis “God created humankind in his image male and female he created them,” but that strict “sexual dimorphism and even the words male and female are cultural creations.” Paris makes such pu lingly limited
use of post-structuralist thought because, for her, it is less of a wholesale intellectual commitment and more of a technique to be used when it is ethically advantageous. She believes that helping Christians understand that the categories of “heterosexual” and “homosexual” are not eternal will help eliminate homophobia in the Church. “In the post-sexual identity church,” she says, “there’s no moral high ground for heterosexuals and no closet for homosexuals. There’s just people, each of whom is lover and loved.” However, this does not mean that Paris does not have a particular, personal sexual ethic. She calls herself a “’sex only within marriage between a man and a woman’ kind of Christian,” but also recogni es that other “Christians of good faith disagree about the meaning of personal sexual holiness.” She respects the spiritual insights of those who are af rming of samesex relationships, using an essay written by one of her students as an example. This young man, whom she calls Gregory, wrote about the experience of seeing a drag queen dancing in a club. The drag queen, moving in and out of the pulsating lights, appeared to move in and out of genders– “man one moment, woman the next” “Isn’t God like a drag queen ” he writes, “full of mystery and beauty, never entirely what we expect or imagine, moving in and out of our lives with grace ” This kind of analogy, which Paris lauds even as a traditional Christian, nds itself at home in the queer theologies taken up in the following section. I
The fact that both traditional Christians and queer theorists believe in non-essentiali ing sexual identity is an
ironic point of contact between the two. However, there is a eld of theology in which queer theory and Christianity form a willing alliance queer theology. This growing eld, which openly claims queer scholars like Judith utler to be among its greatest in uences, breaks down boundaries between secular and sacred in a manner that can only be described as “queer.” The insights that emerge from focusing on bodies and sexuality from a queer perspective call for a fundamental transformation of Christian thinking. These radical texts are often pejoratively described as “postChristian.” However, they always seek to be continuous with Christian tradition, whenever such continuity can be extricated from heteronormativity. A few examples of queer theologians are Grace . Jant en, Graham Ward, arcella Althaus-Reid, and Patrick S. Cheng. In her essay “Contours of a ueer Theology,” Grace Jant en provides a helpful overview of her goals in performing queer theology, rst suggesting that theology should be approached with the “Lesbian rule.” This is a tool that architects use to “measure curved or oddly shaped parts of a structure, where a straight, rigid rule would be clumsy or useless.” Aristotle found this rule to be a suitable metaphor for ethical deliberation, which he felt should always adapt to the situation and avoid rigidity. Jant en argues that theology has consisted of nothing but straight edges for far too long. The messy parts of human existence are sawed off in order to create the building blocks of “Christendom within which the divine can be contained.” She challenges the reader to instead imagine building a theology with “curves and utes and rounded columns,” “ releasing the divine and ourselves
from the straight prisons ” She goes on to reimagine the classic Christian doctrines of creation, incarnation, and the character of God through this lens. In order to follow the lesbian rule, she argues for a renewed focus on the theological category of aesthetics. ueer theology, she says, “will be fashioned by beauty as much as by truth and goodness.” She insists that beauty, which is often thought to be more “subjective” than truth, is as valuable of a category for theological re ection as truth or goodness. She reasons that “the insistence on straight truth has largely privileged powerful white men and heterosexual normativity, at the expense of those whom they master with this construction of rationality” and thus is no more objective than beauty. In the ible, as Jan ten points out, Jesus declares that he is the truth. Hence, truth in a Christian context is not a set of doctrines but a person. Truth is living, and therefore it is consistent, but not static. For Jant en, emphasi ing beauty brings an entirely different sensibility to theology, with real world implications. For instance, viewing nature’s beauty carries with it environmental and economic effects. When the entirety of creation is viewed as sacrament a medium through which God may be reached environmental justice must become a Christian concern. So too, Christians who see the beauty of God’s creation are freed to engage in a kind of self-creation they can recreate themselves without the inuence of outside forces that would try to sand their contours into straight edges. In the same way that theology should be approached with the lesbian rule, Jan ten upholds that human beings should apply this rule to themselves, avoiding straight lines and engaging in the freedom of self-creation.
Graham Ward’s “There is no Sexual Difference” is another provocative piece of queer theology. In this text, Ward argues that a Christocentric perspective on gender and sexuality eliminates a biologicalessentialist take on sexual difference. He illustrates this by analy ing two accounts of Christ’s interactions with his disciples post-resurrection. Jesus’ encounters with ary and Thomas have often been thought of as somewhat erotic in pop culture and Ward carries on this tradition. At rst, Christ’s disciples do not recogni e him in his resurrected body. ut, it is in their bodily encounters with Jesus that they discover his true identity, and their own, as followers of Christ. ary discovers who she is through her loving embrace of Christ and Thomas discovers who he is by putting his nger into the holes in Jesus’ hands. The rst encounter may be described as heterosexual, and the other as homosexual, but these terms are woefully insuf cient. Ward claims that sexual identity is determined via a person’s relationship to other bodies, and is therefore transient. Identity is discovered in relationship speci cally to the living body of Christ therefore humans are freed from believing that their identity is static or that it is exhausted by their maleness or femaleness. Sexual identity, he maintains, should be thought of as an achievement – it is a task given by God to explore. In this re-imagining of Thomas’ story, Jesus’ wounds may be cast as a vagina. Ward is aware that many readers will be uncomfortable with, or even disgusted by, this comparison, but his text challenges readers to examine this reaction. Is it because they believe female genitals are not worthy of being associated with the body of Christ Or that sex and sexuality are sinful
One of Ward’s intentions is to rede ne sex and spirituality and the relationship between them. Sex can be sacred. In some ways, he suggest, acts of sexuality can echo ary’s and Thomas’ encounters with the risen Christ. Jant en, Ward, and many others are charting new territory. ueer theology has only existed as an academic discipline for about two decades. And while it is, by de nition, interested in those at the margins of society, currently queer theology is largely the intellectual domain of elites at Ivy League universities. This brand of theology has the potential to bring two previously opposed forces together, Christianity and queerness, in new and creative ways. As it begins to expand beyond the walls of the Ivory Tower and into queer and Christian communities, its effects may be as boundless as the in nite God it imagines. Conclusion Throughout this paper, I have demonstrated the ways in which Christians and queers converge and diverge in fascinating ways. They align in the mutual usage of post-structuralist technique and in the creation of queer theology, and sometimes deviate in their assessment of the moral value of homosexuality and the extent to which they believe in the notion of an “essential self”. These points of connection are only possible when Christians listen to queer voices and when queer persons listen to Christian voices. ueer theology is a space where both of these phenomena occur. However, this discipline is still housed in quasi-Christian spaces religious studies departments, divinity schools, and seminaries. eyond the academy, too,
LG T groups and Christian groups may come together. ut, it appears that secular queer theorists in Women, Gender, and Sexuality programs and elsewhere do not consider religious identities as they theori e about sexuality in the same way that queer theologians consider queerness when they theori e about God. This leaves students and scholars in these departments, who may be wrestling with both religious and queer identities, without a place to do so within their own academic discipline. They may be able to utili e the methodological approaches of scholars of religion, but these do not replace the valuable insights present in their own discipline. Perhaps this presents opportunities for further interdisciplinary dialogue. i liograph “ ible Gateway Passage Galatians - New International Version.” ible Gateway. Accessed ay , . https www.biblegateway. com passage search Galatians A version NIV. “ ible Gateway Passage John - New International Version.” ible Gateway. Accessed ay , . https www.biblegateway. com passage search John A version NIV. Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic ishops. “ inistry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination.” United States Conference of Catholic ishops, n.d. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “Letter to the Catholic ishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” In Theology and Sexuality, edited by ugene F. Rogers, Jr., – . lackwell Readings in odern Theology. lackwell Pub, n.d. Deary, Vincent. How We Are ook One of the How to Live Trilogy. acmillan, . gan, Jesi, and Jim Newell. “Abusing Foucault How Conservatives and Liberals isunderstand Social Construct’ Sexuality.” Slate, arch , . http www.slate.com blogs outward sexuality as social construct foucault is misunderstood by conservatives.html. “ x-Gay’ inistry Apologi es to LG T Community, Shuts down.” etro Weekly, June , . http www.metroweekly. com ex-gay-ministry-apologi es-to . Foucault, ichel. The History of Sexuality . st American ed. New ork Pantheon ooks, c -. http search.lib.virginia.edu catalog u . Hill, Wesley, and athryn Greene- cCreight. Washed and Waiting Re ections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. edition. Grand Rapids, ich ondervan, . Jant en, Grace . “CONTOURS OF A U R TH OLOG .” Literature and Theology , no. – . “Lawrence v. Texas.” The Leadership Conference on Civil and
Human Rights. Accessed ay , . http www.civilrights.org lgbt lawrence.html. Loughlin, Gerard, ed. ueer Theology Rethinking the Western ody. alden, ass lackwell Pub, . http search.lib.virginia. edu catalog u . ichael R. mlet. “Five inistry Priorities for Those Struggling with Same-Sex Attraction.” Journal for iblical Counseling , no. – . Paris, Jenell Williams. The nd of Sexual Identity Why Sex Is Too Important to De ne Who We Are. Downers Grove, Ill IVP ooks, . Pickett, rent. “Homosexuality.” In The Stanford ncyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by dward N. alta, Fall ., . http plato. stanford.edu archives fall entries homosexuality . “Resolution Regarding the Homosexual Agenda.” inutes of the th General Assembly of the PCA, April , . Rev. gon iddelmann. “Pastoral Care for the Repentant Homosexual.” Report of the Study Committee on Homosexuality. Presbyterian Church in America, July , . St. John of the Cross. “The Spiritual Canticle Songs etween the Soul and the ridegroom.” In Theology and Sexuality, edited by ugene F. Rogers, Jr., – . lackwell Readings in odern Theology. lackwell Pub, n.d. St. Symeon the New Theologian. “Hymns of Divine Love, .” In Theology and Sexuality, edited by ugene F. Rogers, Jr., – . lackwell Readings in odern Theology. lackwell Pub, n.d. Sullivan, Nikki. A Critical Introduction to ueer Theory . dinburgh dinburgh University Press, c . http search.lib. virginia.edu catalog u . “Where Is It Illegal to e Gay ” C News. Accessed ay , . http www.bbc.com news world.
A STRA T Using nationally representative expenditure data from 19 6 to 2002, this paper shows that young people allocate more of their expenditures towards visible goods than do older generations. However, the di erence between the conspicuous consumption of young people and that of older cohorts has decreased over the length of my sample, and young people in the early 21st century spend less on visible expenditures than young people did in the mid19 0s. I also examine the age dependence of expenditures on specific categories of goods and services to focus on how the relationship between consumption allocation and consumer age has changed over time. verall, my findings undermine the modern perception that young people in the 21st century are more concerned with self-image than young people from previous generations, at least in terms of conspicuous consumption.
ETER ARR Peter Carr graduated from UVa in 2016, earning a .S. in Physics and completing the Distinguished Majors Program in Economics. He has worked in the Nuclear Physics Laboratory at UVa, modifying an ultra-stable proton source and testing silicon microchannel plate detectors intended for use in larger experiments at ak Ridge National Laboratory. Peter is currently studying in the M.S. in Financial Economics program at the University of xford, expecting to graduate in 2017, and is a member of Magdalen College there.
THIS RESEARCH IS M OT I VAT E D
P E R C E P T I O N T H AT YO
N G E R G E N E R AT I O N S
ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH SELF IMAGE THAN PREVIO
xpensive clothing, fancy cars, and lavish jewelry are often considered the hallmarks of wealth and luxury. Why do we perceive these goods, and others like them, as particularly valuable According to conventional microeconomic theory, these goods and services can provide utility in two main ways directly, where a consumer bene ts simply through the consumption of the good, and indirectly, where a consumer bene ts from the increase in social standing brought about by the consumption of that good. Such indirect bene ts stem from the visibility of the consumption of certain goods others can observe such consumption and perceive that the consumer must have a higher income. Therefore, the consumer gains utility from a higher social status because of others’ beliefs about his economic, a phenomenon known as conspicuous consumption, as coined by Thorstein. Luxury goods, such as the ones mentioned above, function indirectly as a status symbol, signaling to observers that the consumer has a high income and deserves high social status. Visible consumption is easily observable and portable across social interactions and therefore generates utility through the conspicuous consumption mechanism. This paper evaluates how the nature of conspicuous consumption relates to the age of the consumer and, more importantly, how this relationship has changed over time. ore speci cally, I investigate how the distribution of personal consumption and, in particular, visible consumption has changed for young people in the United States from the mids to the early st century, as compared to older cohorts. This vein of
research is motivated by the perception, especially common among older cohorts, that young generations of the st century are more “narcissistic” and more concerned with self-image than previous ones Dowdy, . Furthermore, recent polls report that over seventy percent of American adults today think of - to -year-olds as “sel sh” Reason-Rupe Poll, August .I address these perceptions in terms of visible expenditures. First, I perform a survey of University of Virginia students to identify which types of consumption are the most visible. Using the results of this survey, I label expenditures on clothing and jewelry, vehicle purchases, and recreational goods and services as “visible consumption.” Then, using the Consumer xpenditure Survey, I estimate the overall age dependence of total visible consumption over the years – . I nd that, controlling for demographic factors, family structure, and year xed effects, visible expenditures drop by about . for each year older a consumer is. Next, this paper evaluates how the age dependence of visible expenditures has changed over time. In fact, I nd that the age dependence of visible expenditures has become less pronounced over time the visible expenditure patterns of young people in the st century are more similar to those of older cohorts than they were in preceding decades. In , a oneyear increase in consumer age decreases expected visible expenditures by . , while in , a one-year increase in consumer age decreases expected visible expenditures by only . . Finally, I examine how the year of a consumer’s birth affects visible expenditures. I nd that at any given age, a one-year increase in a consumer’s birth year results in a . decrease in their expected
visible expenditures. A -year-old born in i.e. in spends about more in dollars than a -yearold born in i.e. in , ceteris paribus. These results contradict popular opinions about the increasing narcissism of young people, at least in terms of visible consumption. This study also explores how the age dependence of different categories of consumption, both visible and nonvisible, has changed over time. For visible goods, this paper examines if certain types of visible consumption are particularly prevalent among certain age groups or generations to identify the status symbols associated with these groups. I nd that young consumers favor expenditures on recreational goods, including computers and televisions, across the whole sample, but expenditures on recreational services, such as travel and live entertainment, have grown increasingly prevalent among young people into the st century. Furthermore, a change in visible expenditures among young people necessitates a change in other consumption categories. While young people can offset higher visible consumption with fewer health and housing expenditures, expenditures in both of these areas have increased for young people over time. The increase in these non-visible expenditures mirrors the aforementioned decrease in overall visible expenditures for young people over time. Overall, this paper’s results undermine popular viewpoints that assert that young people in the st century are more concerned with self-image than young people were in the past. Using nationally representative expenditure data from – , this study shows the opposite is true, in terms of visible expenditures. Although young
people continue to spend more on visible expenditures than older age groups, young people in the early st century spend less on visible expenditures than corresponding young people did in the mids. Perhaps the perceived increase in self-obsession manifests itself in other areas, but this perception is certainly not re ected in real expenditure data. This paper continues as follows Section II reviews pertinent literature, Section III details the survey I conduct to identify visible expenditures, Section IV discusses the data, Section V displays the results of my data analysis, and Section VI concludes. II
eter ining isi ilit
Conspicuous consumption does not have a speci c de nition a priori. From the theoretical de nition, it is impossible to tell what consumption counts as “conspicuous” and what consumption does not. It is crucial to de ne what I consider conspicuous consumption so that I can evaluate its dependence on age empirically. To qualify as conspicuous, consumption must be visible in order to provide any indirect bene ts from the income signal, the relevant consumption must be observable to outside parties and portable to many social interactions. Therefore, I use “visible consumption,” which is much easier to de ne, as a proxy for “conspicuous consumption.” As mentioned in Section II, Charles et al. and Heffet guide my approach to de ning visible expenditures. oth of these papers conduct surveys to determine the relative visibility of certain expenditures. Charles et al. choose a few of the most visible categories,
speci cally clothing and jewelry, vehicle purchases, and personal care goods and services, to aggregate into total visible expenditures, for which they measure racial differences. Given that this study focuses on young people in the st century, I perform my own survey to gauge current attitudes on consumption visibility and to isolate visible expenditures from non-visible expenditures. The survey itself follows Heffet in order to measure the visibility of a wide range of consumption items. Survey respondents report their age and answer the main visibility question for each of the consumption categories listed in Table , shown below. Responses to this question are coded between one immediately and ve never and then averaged over the sample to produce a relative measure of visibility for each expenditure category. I choose a handful of the most visible categories,
guided by previous literature and intuition, as my “visible” expenditures. y sample pool consisted of undergraduate economics students at the University of Virginia, all between and years old. These students received a link to respond to the online survey through class and economics major mailing lists. In total, people answered the survey. Although this sample might seem small, respondents were remarkably consistent in their evaluations of consumption visibility and their overall response produces results similar to those in Charles et al. and Heffet . Table shows the survey results and my choice for what quali es as “visible” expenditure visible categories marked with an asterisk . As shown in Table , I consider the ve most visible categories, excluding tobacco, as “visible expenditures.” I exclude tobacco from the visible expenditure aggregation
magine you meet a new person who lives in a household similar to yours magine that their household is not di erent rom other similar households, except that they like to, and do, spend more than average on expenditure category Would you notice this about them, and i so, or how long would you have to have known them, to notice it Would you notice it immediTable
xpenditure Categories Included in Visibility Survey
Visibility Survey Results
because, unlike the other categories, high expenditures on tobacco likely do not carry a strong, positive income signal and thus should not be considered conspicuous consumption. Although they are highly visible, due to stigmas surrounding tobacco use and its association with lower levels of education and income, I do not believe tobacco expenditures t the conspicuous consumption de nition as much the other highly visible expenditures. Therefore, I de ne them as non-visible. The other visible categories agree with the ndings of Charles et al. overall. oth surveys include car purchases, clothing, and jewelry as visible. However,
my survey, contrary to Charles et al., does not nd that personal care items essentially “ arbershops and Salons” in my survey are highly visible. Furthermore, my survey nds that expenditures on computers and televisions and on out-of-home entertainment are even more visible than car purchases and jewelry. Therefore, my visibility speci cation, denoted as “Survey Visibility” for the remainder of this study, differs slightly from previous literature. Table summari es what Charles et al. and this paper consider as visible expenditures for aggregation and analysis.
visibility speci cation, denoted as “Survey Visibility” for the remainder of this study, differs slightly from previous literature. Table summari es what Charles et al. and this paper consider as visible expenditures for aggregation and analysis. III
As with previous empirical literature on conspicuous consumption, the bulk of this study is based on the – Consumer xpenditure Survey C from the ureau of Labor Statistics LS . At any given time, the C consists of a rotating panel of approximately , households, randomly selected from those recorded by the most recent Census. ach household can be interviewed up to ve times, once every three months. The rst interview records household demographic information, including family and individual characteristics. Demographic data in the C includes age of the head of household “reference person” , race, marital status, Table
education, household location, family composition, and occupation. The second through fth interviews update this demographic information, record income information for the preceding twelve months, and detail expenditures for the most recent three months. These expenditures are reported through two separate surveys for each household, the quarterly Interview Survey, and the weekly Diary Survey. The Interview Survey documents total quarterly expenditures for relatively major expenditures such as housing, insurance and transportation. For the Diary Survey, respondents are instructed to record all purchases over two consecutive one-week periods in a diary provided by the LS the Diary Survey is designed to obtain data on frequently purchased items, such as food, personal care products, and housekeeping supplies. The data from the Interview Survey and from the Diary Survey are then integrated to capture a complete account of consumer expenditures.
Summary of Visible Categories
Descriptive Statistics of Full C
This study, as with previous literature, leverages C family-level extracts created by Harris and Sabelhaus and is made available by the National ureau of conomic Research N R . These extracts isolate individual family records from the raw survey data and aggregate expenditure and income categories to make them more general. For convenience, I use the same data source as Charles et al. , which consists of the – N R familylevel extract income and consumption measures, de ated to dollars using the June CPI-U, along with the race, age, marital status, and other demographic information of the household heads interviewed in the C available at the paper’s data page . In addition, this dataset reports average quarterly expenditures in each category to control for the timing of large purchases,
such as vehicles, that might not occur each quarter. I aggregate the N R expenditure categories even further, and my updated categories make it much easier to identify “visible” expenditures from my intended visibility speci cations discussed in Section III. Clothing, jewelry, and vehicle purchases correspond directly to the categories used by Harris and Sabelhaus . xpenditures on out-of-home entertainment and on computers and televisions form the bulk of the “recreational services” and “recreational goods” categories, respectively. Therefore, I aggregate C data from clothing jewelry, vehicle purchases, recreational goods, and recreational services into total visible expenditures Table shows descriptive statistics of the C data used in this paper. As expected, as the age of the household head
increases, the share of visible expenditures in total expenditure decreases, even as total visible expenditures increase. Through my regression analysis later in this study, I evaluate how the relationship between age and visible expenditures changes over the time range of the C dataset. I esults A Age Dependence o isible Consumption Full Sample I rst examine how visible consumption depends on the age of the consumer â€“ , the range of available C data. Figure shows the average total yearly consumption, average visible consumption for the survey visibility speci cation in Section III, and average yearly income by age for the C data, for household heads Figure
who reported non ero income. Figure demonstrates the well-studied phenomenon of consumption smoothing Friedman, . For young consumers, consumption exceeds income they must borrow money to fund their consumption. As a consumer ages, their income increases and exceeds their expenditure, allowing them to save money. Finally, as a consumer approaches retirement, their income decreases, but can fund higher consumption with the money they have saved. As shown by the graph, visible expenditures follow a similar pattern as total expenditures, increasing as age increases then decreasing near the end of the working career. Figure shows that, in general, older consumers spend more on visible goods than do younger consumers. However, I am more interested in how the share of visible consumption changes with age. Figure shows how the visible
Income and Consumption by Age
Visible xpenditure Share by Age
consumption share, de ned as visible expenditures divided by total expenditures, varies with age for my sample. Figure clearly shows that the visible expenditure share has a relatively steady decline as consumer age increases, starting near for twenty-year-olds and declining to near for sixty- ve-year-olds. Figures and show that young people spend less on visible expenditures on an absolute scale due to less total expenditure but allocate a higher proportion of these expenditures to visible goods than do older consumers. The results of Figures and motivate further regression analysis this study seeks to evaluate the age dependence of visible consumption, controlling for more variables than simply total expenditure. Naturally, permanent income affects a certain householdâ€™s expenditures lower-income families consume less overall than higherincome families with similar family structure. Standard consumption theory supports this
assertion odigliani and rumberg Friedman . Additionally, consumers must consider their familial responsibilities when allocating expenditures family si e and marital status may force a consumer to consume certain types of goods versus others. Finally, as shown in Charles et al. , race and culture play a role in determining consumption. However, as discussed at length in Charles et al. , the income measures in the C do not accurately re ect the income distribution of the United States reported in other surveys, such as the Current Population Survey CPS . As displayed in Table , approximately of all respondents ages to either report ero income or refuse to provide income, so using income in the model would provide biased results. Instead, I use C total expenditure data, which has much higher quality than the income data, as a proxy for total income. Furthermore, since total expenditures and visible expenditures 3
set because they affect total expenditure, but are assumed to affect individual expenditure categories only through their effect on total expenditures. Lastly, to complete the model, I include year xed effects, which encompass unobserved time-dependent variables that affect all individuals, such as business cycles, and more wealth controls found in the Harris and Sabelhaus extracts. quation summari es my complete model with the reduced form equation for the instrumental variable regression. is a vector of demographic and wealth controls, such as race, family structure dummies, and liquid wealth, is the vector of year dummies, and is the vector of income controls described above. and are residuals I allow to be correlated with but control for this correlation using the instruments discussed above. I assume that has ero expected value and no correlation with and that age is exogenous and unrelated to and . (1)
Table shows the estimates. I perform several regressions, beginning with the regression of on age with no control variables and adding on controls until reaching the nal model in equation . I also perform the same regressions again with a quadratic in age. We see the results from Figure replicated in Table for the regression with no additional control variables visible expenditures increase with age initially and then decrease later, as shown by the highly positive coef cient on and the negative coef cient on . Visible expenditures
peak near age and then subsequently decrease. After adding more controls, I nd that visible expenditures decrease as age increases, sharply at rst and then less so as age increases. The largest change in the coef cients comes between speci cations and , when I control for total expenditures. According to the nal linear model, on average, a consumer spends approximately . less on visible goods than a consumer that is one year younger, ceteris paribus. In absolute terms, for example, a -year-old spends in dollars in dollars, according to the most recent full-year CPI-U more per year on visible expenditures than a comparable -year-old with the same amount of total expenditures. This additional spending constitutes of a -year-oldâ€™s total expenditures. Interestingly, besides the coef cients on the age variables, the coef cient on total expenditures is greater than one, suggesting that visible expenditures are a luxury good, as predicted by Ireland and explored in detail by Heffet . To save space and to simplify quantitative interpretation of regressions estimates, I use the controls in speci cation , linear estimates of variables, and the visibility survey speci cation from Part III for the remainder of the paper, unless otherwise stated. To nd which particular expenditure categories contribute most to the age dependence of visible consumption, I estimate my model separately for each part of visible consumption clothes and jewelry, vehicles, recreational goods, and recreational services. I also estimate the model for all non-visible expenditure categories to determine where young people are forgoing consumption to offset their increased visible consumption.
stimating the Age Dependence of Visible Consumption
Table shows the age coef cient for each visible and non-visible category. As shown, recreational goods, which include consumer technology such as televisions and computers, vary the most with age out of all the visible expenditure categories. This result makes sense, as older people are less likely to adopt new, more expensive consumer technology than young people are Aaron Smith, . Of the nonvisible categories, expenditures on items such as utilities, housing, and health increase with age. Since young people are more likely to live in smaller houses or in apartments due to reduced likelihood of receiving a mortgage loan and increased likelihood of
living at home, their housing and utilities costs are lower than those for older cohorts U.S. Census ureau, . Similarly, health costs are much lower for young people. Since young people are healthier in general, health insurance is less expensive, and doctorâ€™s visits are less frequent. According to Table , a -year-old spends approximately less on health and less on housing and utilities per year and less in dollars than a -year-old with the same demographic characteristics, family structure, and total expenditures. ounger people can nance their increased visible consumption due to their lower housing costs and their reduced
Age Dependence by xpenditure Category
characteristics, family structure, and total expenditures. ounger people can nance their increased visible consumption due to their lower housing costs and their reduced need for health-related expenditures. B Age Dependence o isible Expenditures ver Time This paper deviates from previous literature by examining how the age dependence of visible expenditures, evaluated over the entire â€“ C sample in Part A, changes over time. Figure . shows the average total yearly consumption, average visible consumption, and average yearly income by survey year all ages for the C data and Figure . shows the average visible expenditure share by survey year.
As shown by Figure , total expenditures rise slightly over the length of the sample, and visible expenditures track that growth as well. Additionally, visible expenditure share remains at about for the entire sample, and stays bounded between and . Visible expenditure patterns for the overall C sample seem relatively consistent between and . This paper is particularly interested in how the age dependence of visible consumption changes over time. Speci cally, I investigate how the relative rates of visible expenditure of young people, compared to those of older consumers, shift over the period of the C sample. As a preliminary demonstration, Figure shows the visible expenditure share of - to -year-olds and the visible expenditure share of - to -year-olds over the length of the C sample.
between and , change over time. Visible expenditure shares between these two groups separate signi cantly between and , but then move closer together towards the end of the sample. In this data set, the ratio of visible expenditure share between - to -year-olds and to -year-olds begins at . to in and ends at . to in , peaking at . to . in , without controlling for any other factors. From this graphical analysis, it is dif cult to say whether the age dependence of visible consumption has changed over time, especially when not controlling for demographic factors. For the regression analysis, I use equation above with a linear time trend interacted with the age variable. The model is shown below, where is a variable for time in years and the year corresponds to .
In this model, I focus on Figure
the magnitude of the change in the age dependence of visible expenditures over time. Table shows the results of the regression, adding on the various control variables to the speci cation as in Table . ost importantly, we see from speci cation that the age dependence of visible expenditures increases that is, becomes less negative by . per year over the sample date range from â€“ . In , visible expenditures were expected to decrease by . for each additional year of age for a consumer, while in this rate is reduced to . . In absolute terms, a -year-old in spends approximately more in dollars than a comparable -year-old on visible expenditures, while in a -year-old spends only more than a comparable -year-old, a reduction of about . Although the magnitude of this relative change is small, these results do contradict the perception that young people have become more concerned with their selfimage into the st century, at least in terms of visible expenditures. The coef cient on the interaction between age and time in speci cation is statistically signi cant at
Income, Consumption, and Visible xpenditure Share by ear
otes These gures show the average total income, average total expenditures, and average visible expenditures (on le t Fig 1) and visible expenditure share (on right Fig 2) by CE sampling year See notes to Figure 1 or sample exclusion and aggregation details
of visible expenditures. The coef cient on the interaction between age and time in speci cation is statistically signi cant at the level and has a reasonable absolute effect on relative rates of visible consumption between young people and older people over time. At the very least, visible consumption patterns have not changed much the age dependence of visible and, by extension, Figure
conspicuous consumption has certainly not become stronger over time. For a deeper look at the changing age dependence of visible expenditures, I substitute age group dummies and their interactions with time into my main model, as shown in Table . Table gives us more insight into why the age dependence of visible consumption
Visible xpenditure Share over Time for Different Age Groups
Visible xpenditure Share over Time for Different Age Groups
has become less steep over the period of the sample. While all age groups are spending less on visible goods over time, the reduction in visible expenditure allocation has decreased the most for the â€“ age group. Therefore, the relative difference in conspicuous consumption patterns between young people and their older cohorts has decreased over time. Finally, I investigate the age dependence of each expenditure category to determine which goods have driven the changes in overall visible expenditures. I perform the same regressions as for Table , including the age-time interaction term. Table shows the results. According to Table , changes in the relationship of recreational goods and services expenditures and age are driving the changing age dependence of overall visible expenditures seen in Tables and . oth categories have a statistically signi cant coef cient on the interaction term of an approximate . change in their age dependence per year. oung people have reallocated this reduced expenditure on visible goods to increase expenditures on utilities, education, and food. The difference in most visible and non-visible consumption between the age groups has decreased over
time. For example, in absolute terms dollars , a -year-old in spends about more per year on recreational services than a comparable -year-old, while a -year-old in only spends about more than a comparable -year-old. Spending on these goods has converged by over time. Among non-visible goods, a -year-old in spends about less on utilities than a comparable -yearold, while a -year-old in spends about less than a comparable -yearold. However, the difference in health expenditures between old and young people has increased substantially from . In , a -year-old spends less on health than a comparable -year-old, while in , a -year-old spends less than a comparable -year-old, a divergence of over in dollars. ost likely, changing prices for each of these categories have contributed to the changes in age dependence of consumption, as well as cultural changes. C
enerational ects on isi le xpenditures
Finally, I investigate the generational effects on visible consumption. In Parts
A and , I compared consumers from one survey year to consumers who were the same age in another survey year. In this section, I compare consumers born in a certain year to those born in a different year. Rather than examine the difference between a -yearold in and a -year-old in , for example, I compare people born in the s – years old in , – years old in to consumers born in the s – years old in , – years old in . Instead of the relationship between visible expenditures and age, the following analysis focuses on the effect of birth year on visible expenditures, de ning birth year for a consumer as their survey year minus their age. I also examine the relationship of the various expenditure categories on birth year, to see if certain generations prefer different types of visible consumption compared to other generations. First, we must consider the differing age distributions within each of the birth Table
year groups. Since the C sample only runs from – , the age distribution for those born later is certainly younger. It is impossible for those born in to have the same distribution as those born in . No one born in can be older than in sample data therefore, I must control for changing age distribution across birth years in my regression analysis. With my regression analysis, I evaluate how visible expenditures depend on birth year for a person of the same age, family structure, and demographic characteristics. However, survey year, age, and birth year are perfectly multicollinear, since . One cannot include all of these in the same regression. I performed the regression with survey year and age in Parts A and . As shown, age has signi cant effect on visible consumption rates. Removing it from the regression and keeping birth year and survey year simply returns results suggested by Part
Changing Age Dependence for Speci c xpenditures
A in any given year, consumers with higher birth year are younger and spend more on visible consumption. In fact, when I perform a regression with speci cation from Table substituting birth year for age, I nd the same coef cient, as expected. ach oneyear increase in birth year and, therefore, one-year decrease in age increases visible expenditures by . . Therefore, to estimate generational effects , I remove the year dummies from my model and use birth year and age instead as shown in the model below. (3)
Table shows my estimates from this model, rst excluding age as a control variable, and then including it as shown in equation . efore controlling for age, visible expenditures increase signi cantly with the birth year of the consumer. Consumers with higher birth years have younger age distributions in the sample and therefore spend more on visible expenditures. However, when I control for age, the
coef cient on birth year becomes negative. As shown in Table , consumers spend approximately . less on visible expenditures than their counterparts born one year earlier did at the same age. This result agrees qualitatively with the ndings from Table young consumers in the early st century spend less on visible consumption than do young consumers from previous generations. This analysis focuses on the absolute change in visible expenditures over time for the young generation, rather the change in visible expenditures relative to older cohorts, as in Part . y the results of this regression, a -year-old in spends about less in dollars on visible goods than a comparable -year-old did in . This result provides evidence against the prevailing opinion that young people are more concerned with self-image into the st century than they were in the past, at least in terms of visible expenditure. Perhaps the economic conditions during oneâ€™s childhood and adolescence affect consumption patterns later in life. Those born in the s and s, having lived through the Great Depression, may have a certain proclivity to consume conspicuously later in their lives due to the
Changing Age Dependence for Speci c xpenditures
rarity of such consumption during the poor economic conditions of their formative years. As the economy improved throughout th the middle of the century, visible expenditure decreases as shown in Table . Such an analysis does not fall within the scope of this paper, but theory from Gla er and onradâ€™s signaling model suggests that lower overall income may lead to higher rates of conspicuous consumption. Finally, I investigate the preferences of these generations to identify certain types of visible and non-visible expenditures that â€œstickâ€? with a certain generation throughout their lifetime. To do so, as before, I substitute aggregate visible expenditures for the individual expenditure categories that I created and estimate the new model with the same control variables. Table shows my results. From Table , it appears that sharp decreases in clothing and jewelry expenditures have driven much of the
reduction in visible expenditures over the generations. On an absolute scale, a -yearold in , according to this model, spends approximately less on clothing and jewelry per year and more per year in dollars on entertainment services than a comparable -year-old in . The role of clothing and jewelry in conspicuous consumption has diminished considerably over the generations and seems to have been partially replaced by intangible purchases, such as entertainment and travel. Changes in vehicle purchases and spending on recreational goods are relatively small, while expenditures on recreational services, which includes expenditures on live entertainment, travel, and country club membership fees among other things , have grown considerably over the generations. oung people today value the income signal from experiences such as travel and entertainment more than that from material goods such as clothing and jewelry. Among
non-visible goods, recent generations spend more on housing and health, while spending signi cantly less on alcohol, tobacco, and home furnishings, controlling for age. For non-visible expenditures, a -year-old in spends more on housing, less on alcohol and tobacco, and less on home furnishings per year than a comparable -year-old in . Cultural changes surrounding alcohol and tobacco and a growing emphasis on preventative medicine likely caused the changes in spending on alcohol and tobacco and on health. Tobacco is no longer the “cultural icon of sophistication, glamour, and sexual allure” for young generations as it was for consumers born in the s and s arkel, . Additionally, home buying rates among young people have decreased over time therefore, furnishings are not as necessary U.S. Census ureau, . Su
This analysis accomplishes three speci c goals related to the age dependence of visible consumption. First, this study evaluates the overall age dependence of visible expenditures throughout the entire time range of the sample. Second, I examine how this age dependence has changed over time and how the relative rates of visible consumption between young and old age cohorts have changed – . Finally, this paper investigates how a consumer’s generation in uenced their visible expenditures and how the visible expenditures of young people in the early st century directly compare to those of young people in the mids. Through this analysis, we can make
some broad conclusions about visible expenditure patterns and their relationship to age between and . First, young people allocate a higher proportion of their consumption to visible goods than do older consumers do. I estimate that visible expenditures decrease about . per year of age of a consumer. Second, contrary to the widespread perception that young people in the st century are more sel sh and narcissistic than they were previously, I nd that the relative difference of visible expenditures between young people and older people has decreased over time. I estimate that in visible expenditures decrease by about . per year of age for the consumer, but in visible expenditures decrease by . per year of age for the consumer. While visible expenditures have decreased for all age groups over time, the visible expenditures of the youngest age group have decreased the most. Older consumers’ and younger consumers’ visible expenditure patterns have converged over time. Finally, contrary to common viewpoints, visible expenditures at any given age decrease as the birth year of the consumer increases. ounger generations spend less on visible goods throughout their lifetime than do older generations. I estimate that a one-year increase in the birth year of the consumer results in a . decrease in visible expenditures, controlling for family structure, total expenditure, and demographic characteristics, including age. Overall, the preceding analysis suggests that young people do devote more expenditure to conspicuous consumption than do older people, but young cohorts in the st century spend less on visible expenditures than they did in the past, both compared relative to older consumers and compared directly with 3
previous young generations. Conclusions and Suggestions or uture esearch In this paper, I evaluate changes in the relationship between visible expenditure patterns and the age of the consumer from st the mids to the early century. Consistent with popular perception, I nd that young consumers spend more on visible consumption than older consumers do, controlling for demographic factors, family structure, and total expenditures. y estimates show that this difference in visible expenditure is large and that young people offset increased visible consumption with lower spending on health and housing. However, contrary to current opinions concerning an increase in self-promoting behavior, young people in the st century demonstrate a reduced proclivity for conspicuous consumption compared to young people two decades prior. Not only do young people in the st century allocate less consumption to visible goods and services than do young people in the s, but also the difference between visible expenditures among young people and those among older cohorts has decreased over the period – . oung people today spend far less on visible goods such as clothing and jewelry, but do spend signi cantly more on visible experiences, such as travel and live entertainment. While during this time visible expenditures have dropped for all age groups, they have decreased the most among the youngest age group, causing visible expenditure patterns between young and old consumers to converge into the st century. oung people today spend less on visible goods, contrary to many widely-held
views. What do these ndings mean in the broader context of changing cultural attitudes toward consumption allocation and the importance of self-image Todorova explores the role of conspicuous consumption in the social provisioning process. Social provisioning, as de ned by Todorova, refers to “providing for the material means of life resulting in economic activities that generate the ow of goods and services necessary to meet the biological and socially created needs of individuals.” Todorova asserts that individuals have a social need to join a group and subsequently to protect their position within that group. No consumption by an individual is free from social context and “all consumption is conspicuous” ayhew . Therefore, Todorova argues, conspicuous consumption should not be considered extraordinary, but rather as a routine expenditure in the social provisioning process. I have found that conspicuous consumption has decreased for all age groups, especially for young people, both relative to young people in the mids and relative to changes in visible consumption among older cohorts.
e erences Charles, . ., Hurst, ., Roussanov, N. . Conspicuous Consumption and Race. uarterly Journal of conomics, , . doi http qje.oxfordjournals.org content by year Consumer xpenditure Survey. . Retrieved December , , from http www.bls.gov cex Current Population Survey CPS . . Retrieved December , , from https www.census.gov programs-surveys cps.html Dowdy, L. . “Why do millennials get such a bad rap at work ”. Retrieved December , , from http www.cnbc.com are-millennials-la y-entitled-narcissists.html Friedman, . . A Theory of the Consumption Function. Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press. Gla er, A., onrad, . A. . A Signaling xplanation for Charity. American conomic Review, Vol. No. , . Retrieved from http www.jstor.org stable seq page scan tab contents Harris, d and John Sabelhaus. . Consumer xpenditure Survey Family Level xtracts. http www.nber.org ces cbo Cexfam.pdf Heffet , O. . A Test of Conspicuous Consumption Visibility and Income lasticities. Review of conomics and Statistics, , . doi http www.mitpressjournals.org loi rest Ireland, N. J. . On Limiting the arket for Status Symbols. Journal of Public conomics, , - . arkel, H. , arch . “Tracing the Cigarette’s Path from Sexy to Deadly”. New ork Times. doi http www.nytimes. com health essay.html ayhew, A. . “All consumption is conspicuous”. Intersubjectivity in conomics Agents and Structures. th ed., pp. - . Fullbrook . New ork Rutledge. odigliani, F., rumberg, R. . “Utility Analysis and the Consumption Function An Interpretation of the Cross Section Data”. In . urihara d. , Post- eynesian conomics pp. . New runswick, NJ Rutgers University Press. Reason-Rupe August Poll. . Retrieved April , , from http reason.com assets db .pdf Roberts, . W., dmonds, G., Grijalva, . . “It is Developmental e, not Generation e Developmental Changes are ore Important than Generational Changes in Narcissism commentary on Tr esniewski Donnellan ”. Perspectives on Psychological Science, , . Smith, A. Adam . The Theory of oral Sentiments. Sixth dition. ed. Library of conomics and Liberty. Smith, A. Aaron . “Older Adults and Technology Use”. Pew Research Center, April . Available at http www.pewinternet. org older-adults-and-technology-use Todorova, . . Conspicuous Consumption as Routine xpenditure and its Place in the Social Provisioning Process. American Journal of conomics and Sociology, , . doi http onlinelibrary.wiley.com journal . ISSN issues Twenge, J. ., Campbell, W. ., Freeman, . C. . “Generational Differences in oung Adults’ Life Goals, Concern for Others and Civic Orientation, ”. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, , United States Census ureau. Homeownership. Retrieved April gov housing hvs index.html
. Housing Vacancies and , from http www.census.
SARA O In May 2017, Sarah och will graduate from UVa with a Distinguished Major in Middle Eastern Language Literature and will commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Next year, she will attend graduate school in the United ingdom as a Marshall Scholar to study identity, agency, and aspiration among refugee youth with a focus on the Middle East. She is currently conducting research on the United States’ failure to protect Afghan and Iraqi interpreters who worked with the U.S. military overseas.
rion Williams is a fourth year from Puyallup, WA, majoring in Middle Eastern Language Literature and Computer Science. In May 2017, rion will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Cyber branch of the US Army. efore attending the Cyber asic cer Leadership Course in the fall, rion will work at Rocky Mountain National Park.
A STRA T According to the 2015 results of the Programme for International Student Assessment, girls performed as well as boys on science exams in China, but boys outperformed girls in the United States. ecause this analysis was based solely on the results of a written exam, we traveled to China to compare high school girls’ and boys’ performance in science in a classroom environment. We studied (1) students’ behavior in the classroom, (2) girls’ and boys’ motivations, (3) the cultural definitions of intelligence and the social status of smart girls, and (4) relationship expectations with regards to intelligence and success. ur findings suggest that both boys and girls receive equal societal and parental pressure to be at the top of the class. However, Chinese teachers consider girls to be more mature, and thus more studious than boys, but boys are considered by both Chinese teachers and students to be more curious. In the long term, boys’ and girls’ paths diverge. Ultimately, we were told that a boy who is outperformed by his wife or girlfriend is considered a failure in Chinese society. Women who are intelligent in high school may have short-lived careers, while boys must pursue high salaries, have many bank accounts, and buy a house. Still, the question of gender and its relation to academic success is rarely asked in Chinese education students and teachers more frequently reference a correlation between socioeconomic status and academic results.
Introduction When considering gender expectations, dynamics of power within relationships, and occupational equality, women in science and engineering should be at the forefront. Not only will science and technology shape the future, but they also form the foundation of everything we take for granted in the present. The men and women working in these elds have the opportunity to direct the future, and their discoveries are directly related to a nation’s standard of living and prestige. Clearly, science and technology are in uential and powerful, so women’s limited presence in these elds, especially at upper levels, perpetuates historical gender expectations and the historically hierarchical relationship between women and men. In , more women will graduate from college than men in the United States, so what is keeping these women away from these opportunity- lled and prestigious elds Although women in the U.S. have become as likely as men to take lower level math and biology courses in high school, they continue to be underrepresented in advanced math classes, physics, and chemistry. Research on representation by gender in science and the workplace has shown that women are making it into the general employment pool, but they are not making it to positions that require advanced degrees . This situation indicates that the roots of this gender disparity lie within the United States’ education system. arly encouragement and later training are key to success and occupational equality. In the past few decades, women’s education has increased dramatically in economies like the United States, but women are continuing to seek degrees in “female” areas of education
and are falling behind in the hard sciences . Currently, women in the United States are awarded of undergraduate degrees, but only of computer and information science degree recipients and only of engineering degree recipients are women. The mportance o High-School Science Education: Some educators and researchers claim that understanding and correcting this disparity in undergraduate education is essential to lessening the disparities between women and men in science and engineering. However, if a college-aged student does not have a strong science and math background by the time of his or her undergraduate study, it is very dif cult to step into that sequence of study at a later stage. Undergraduate study may be regarded as the latest possible point of entry into the science and engineering elds, but Orion and I would argue that a good high school education in science and math and a stellar performance in these subjects in high school most strongly correlates to a student’s decision to pursue science and engineering as an undergraduate. Given our era of AP exams and Science Olympiads, students with a limited exposure to these elds will be put at a signi cant advantage at a college or university. In our experience, students will often decide to drop their science and engineering degrees after one or two years at a university, but they rarely start pursuing degrees in these elds as sophomores and juniors. Harvard professor Philip . Sadler’s research on the correlation between enrollment in physics and advanced math classes prior to attending a university and students’ performance in college-level
physics clearly supports our observations. nrollment in high school physics had a positive relationship with students’ grades in introductory physics courses. The addition of variables concerning school quality increased this relationship. Sadler found that advanced math courses, such as Calculus, had similar effects on students’ college physics grades. Arguably, this success in college could then steer the students who received rigorous high school math and science educations towards ST elds while scaring other less-prepared students away. Due to this presumed correlation between high school science and math education and students’ degree choices in higher education, Orion and I chose to study women’s science education at the high school level. Women in STEM Fields Around the World: Around the world, the number of women in science has been steadily increasing. In fact, February , , was the rst ever International Women in Science Day. The United Nations created this day to recogni e women’s achievements in science and to encourage more women to enter ST elds. One of the UN’s goals
is to reach “full and equal access to and participation in science.” However, currently, only of the world’s researchers are women. Interestingly, the percentage of women in science varies dramatically from country to country and from region to region. In France, of scientists are women, while in olivia, are. ven more dramatically, women make up . of scientists in Arab States, but only . of scientists in Central and astern urope. A more extensive breakdown of gender representation in science around the world is given in Table . Though this data set presents the problem on an international scale in the post-education phase of a woman’s life, my research project was inspired by an article that focused on women’s involvement in ST elds long before they entered the workforce. The article, titled “Girls Lead in Science xam, but not in the United States,” was published in the New ork Times in . According to the article, -year-old girls outperformed their male counterparts on a standardi ed science exam in the majority of nations where the test was administered. However, this tendency was true in Northern and astern urope, Asia, and the iddle
ast, but not in the United States, ritain, or Canada. Jordan, atar, and Albania had the greatest difference in performance. In Jordan, girls performed almost better on average than boys. In Shanghai, girls and boys performed equally well. The United States, where boys performed better than girls, was an outlier. The Programme for International Student Assessment PISA test results were analy ed in this article. These exams are not tied to any speci c curriculum, but are instead designed to judge a student’s preparedness for real-life situations and later participation in the work force. However, this data was gathered from a written examination. Therefore, another question arose how do high-schoolage girls perform in the classroom in these nations where girls performed as well as or even outperformed their male counterparts on the PISA exam This question formed the premise of my research project, which led me to compare girls’ and boys’ classroom performance in Hong ong, eijing, and Shanghai. Chinese Education: Due to China’s high test scores, the Chinese education system is the envy of many Western nations. It is frequently hailed as one of the best systems internationally and is lauded for the mathematicians and scientists it produces. Additionally, it is the largest education system in the world, with . million students taking the higher education entrance exam in . Nine years of schooling are compulsory according to Chinese law, and the inistry of ducation currently estimates that over . of the population has complied with this requirement. After four years of
rigorous high school education, students take a nine-hour college entrance exam, the gaokao. Students who are pursuing a future in science will be tested in physics, chemistry, biology, and advanced math. Top marks on this exam, without consideration for students’ backgrounds, extracurricular activities, community service, or leadership skills, are the sole ticket to a prestigious Chinese university. Due to these high stakes, students experience enormous amounts of pressure from parents, teachers, and peers to perform well. As one student told loomberg usiness, “I studied hours a day, six days a week in high school and I wasn’t even the hardest-working student in my class.” Given Chinese women’s high scores on the science-focused PISA exam and the perceived superiority of the Chinese education system, Orion and I sought to analy e how high-school-aged girls perform in a classroom environment. Our study examined whether or not young Chinese women outperformed their male counterparts in the classroom. Teaching methods and girls’ and boys’ performance were compared in Hong ong, eijing, and Shanghai. Girls in these cities have already been shown to perform as well as or better than their male counterparts on the standardi ed science-focused PISA exam. ecause girls and boys received very similar standardi ed tests results, we hypothesi ed that their performance in the classroom would also be comparable. ecause boys in the United States outperform girls in science, this result would imply that the United States is not maximi ing the potential of the female half of its population in science. As girls in other nations are excelling, girls in the United States are falling behind their male counterparts. The United States may
be able to learn from teaching styles and methodologies in other nations that appear to keep young women engaged and seem to result in more successful young female scientists. Methodolog Chemistry and physics classes in premier high schools in Hong ong, eijing, and Shanghai were shadowed for several days in order to observe student-teacher interactions, student-student interactions, and teaching methods. We spent days in Hong ong, days in eijing, and days in Shanghai. The high school in Hong ong was an upper middle tier public school, while the school in Shanghai was lower middle tier. Instruction was in a combination of nglish and andarin, and the students’ socioeconomic backgrounds spanned from lower to upper middle class. In eijing, we attended classes in a private school. All of these students’ families were from the Chinese upper class. This study focused on three kinds of qualitative observation passive observation, in which we observed classes without actually interacting with the students select interviews and collection and review of classroom materials. Interviews were conducted with one teacher and one female student, selected through an application process, in each location. This application method was at the request of and in deference to schools and parents. Parental permission was required for any student to be involved in the interview process, and applications were given directly to us in order to remove teachers from the application process. uestions revolved around students’ experiences in classes,
personal interactions and motivations, and their experience with the scienti c method and scienti c inquiry. We prepared a script of questions for each interview, but some questions were formulated as the interview developed. Handwritten notes were taken during the interviews, and these notes were later synthesi ed into transcripts. Additionally, we had casual, open-ended conversations with teachers and students in all three schools. esults Perceived Academic Scienti c Ability: When asked, students and teachers explained that both girls and boys perform equally well on written assignments, during laboratory experiments, and in the classroom. All three female students interviewed explained that boys and girls have the same ability and receive the same marks. They had not observed any de nitive trend in regards to gender and performance all seemed taken aback that we would consider the question in the rst place. Their hesitant answers and confusion indicated that the question is not frequently asked in Chinese classrooms. The United States tends to hyper-focus on performance and participation by gender, race, and socioeconomic class. However, both student and teacher interviewees appeared to nd our question comparing male and female students’ grades in science classes entertaining. The teachers in Hong ong and eijing laughed before answering, and two of the students asked us to repeat the question. Our female interviewee in Hong ong asked, “Just boys and girls in general ” before continuing. All interviewees answered our query in one or two sentences.
In Hong ong, we followed this query on boys’ and girls’ classroom performance with a related question, “Does society look at female science students differently than male students ” The professor did not hesitate before responding
echoed this sentiment during our interviews. Still, students don’t get treated differently whether they are a boy or a girl, and teachers and students clearly both believed that girls and boys were equally likely to succeed academically during secondary schooling.
o, this stereotype does not exist in China Even in my time, girls studied very well n lower orms early secondary education the girls did better They were more mature As they got older, the rankings changed some, but girls and boys did equally well n lower orm, hard work led to success n upper orm, a student who worked hard but did not have a lot o natural ability would only be number 20 or 0 in the class A smart student would be success ul Still, across girls and boys, individual di erences were much larger than gender di erences There are smart boys and less intelligent boys, same or girls
De ning Smart and ts Place in Society:
Students explained that the top ten students in any given class would be a mixture of boys and girls. The top student in a class is not typically male or female. However, the students interviewed gave varied responses about the innate abilities of boys and girls, especially in regards to math and science. In Hong ong and Shanghai, the students claimed boys’ and girls’ natural ability in science and math is “mostly the same.” In eijing, one female student claimed that though the students at the top of the class were both boys and girls, “still, boys are smarter than girls. If they stop messing around and just focus on the teacher, they can learn.” Teachers in the middle tier public school in Shanghai also
As we conducted our interviews, we reali ed that, while we were asking about innate ability when we used words such as “smart” and “intelligent,” students and teachers did not perceive our intent in the same way. To them, these words implied success and results. The Hong ong student explained this dichotomy well “ eing smart is the most valued characteristic in Chinese society but, being “smart” depends on exam results.” In Shanghai, we had reali ed this discrepancy and rephrased our question. We asked the student in Shanghai “Is it important to be naturally smart eaning you’re born with the ability to understand science and math or other subjects easily ” The Shanghai student responded, “No, it’s not important to be smart as you’re explaining. It is important to get good marks and to work hard.” Chinese culture, as we encountered it, values education and encourages students to study hard. Not being smart enough is looked down upon. As many students explained, the kids who do not perform well in class are frequently ridiculed and, at times, even made fun of by the teachers. eing stupid is considered shameful. A female student in eijing noted an even worse effect on subpar academic performance or ability, “In China, if kids are not smart, some people may mock them and they may kill themselves.” ecause academic success is incredibly valued in
China, students who fail to perform are disappointments in the eyes of their parents, teachers, and society. Skill in certain subjects is considered “less smart” than success in other subjects, such as science and mathematics. This trend will not seem unfamiliar to students in the United States. As the Hong ong student explained, “It’s much more important to study science than literature or art. ou can’t get into all the subjects in the university with just literature and art. If you study literature and art, you will seem less smart than the others.” When all three students were asked why they enjoyed their science courses more than their other classes, each one answered with some variation of “I get good marks.” We found not only that being “smart” in elds like math and science is valued above innate artistic and literary ability, but also that being “smart” is valued above being sympathetic, empathetic, and compassionate. One of our teacher interviewees tried to be a father to many of the kids when he began teaching and explained that exam results, transcripts, AP scores, and GPA did not make up a human being. However, he quickly discovered “A wolf will always be a wolf.” He further explained To me, attitude counts rst m not very concerned with what s in the head care about what s in the heart have a lot o students who are good in the head only They lack sympathy, empathy, and compassion Caring is not natural Few are good overall This is not their ault They are not exposed to good morals n China, because your end, your success, is who you are, the end justi es the means
As we discovered during our interviews, Chinese culture does not focus on your path when labeling you with characteristics like “smart” and “successful,” instead, the Chinese focus on the end result Did you get good marks Did you get into a good school Did you make a lot of money Classroom Behavior: In general, girls were more attentive than their male counterparts. The majority of female students were taking notes in class or at least had notebooks on their desks, while most male students were either jotting notes in their textbooks or had empty desks. One physics teacher in eijing explained Girls seem to have a better work ethic They take notes in class and read the book Boys won t write anything and then the exam comes along and they are just like, kay, alright, got the score Girls take care ul notes and really care about the details In Hong ong, the majority of students were staring at their textbooks throughout the teacher’s lecture. However, a few of the girls were quietly and intently taking notes. y the middle of class, all but one girl had a notebook to write in, while most of the boys were scribbling a couple words here and there in their textbooks. Not a single boy had a notebook on his desk . During our rst day in eijing, only one student was taking notes a girl. Over the next few days, as the material got noticeably more complex, more girls had notebooks on their desks. According to the chemistry professor, “girls are better disciplined to work in class. The 3
boys are more carefree they just want to be carefree and not worry about the work.” In the Shanghai public school, the most disciplined and regimented school we attended, all of the girls in our view were taking notes. Several boys had closed notebooks sitting on their desks. In the middle of class, the teacher walked around the classroom to check the students’ homework from last night. They were told to stand if they did not complete the work. Six girls and six boys were told to stand. These students were then expected to answer content-related questions red at them by the teacher. After this event, all of the students begin working on the next day’s assignment. No one was chatting or messing with items around the rooms. All of the students, both boys and girls, were highlighting and writing notes in their textbooks. Half of the girls were also using notebooks none of the boys in our view were taking notes outside of their textbooks. A Shanghai student explained, “The boys and girls study differently. The girls take notes of everything the teachers says the boys only take notes on the most important thing.” The teacher then continued, “The girls are more mature. Some girls are curious in some curriculums. Girls make more efforts in their studies, but boys are more curious. Girls pay more attention to their lessons so they compare academically with boys.” The discrepancy between boys’ and girls’ involvement in question-answer sessions and classroom activities was less cut and dry than the difference between their note-taking habits. In Hong ong, the teachers used leading questions to teach the material. A teacher would ask a question using a microphone, give the student a couple seconds to answer, and then state the
correct response. Teachers did not comment on whether a speci c student was right or wrong. Students were never singled out to give answers. During our rst class in Hong ong, only one student, a boy, asked a question for the duration of the class. Later in the class, a teacher did call on one girl because she raised her hand to solve a hard chemical balancing equation. She was the only person to volunteer an answer. In this rst class, the girls were the most engaged in the second class, the girls were much quieter than the boys. In eijing, none of the students were very attentive. The overall classroom atmosphere was chaotic, with books and trash scattered about the room. The students’ uniforms were in varying states of disarray. As a teacher explained, “All of the students misbehave. The boys are more active, the girls are louder.” In general, the students never stopped talking during class the volume just went up and down. The students were frequently called to the board to work problems, but the other students who were not currently working a problem would continue to talk amongst themselves. During one class, when one boy could not nish the work he’d been asked to do at the board, one of the girls volunteered to nish it. However, when she got to the board, it became clear that she did not know how to complete the problem either. The other student who had been called to the board completed her work impeccably. oys kept yelling the answers, though most of them were wrong. Constructive asking of questions was balanced between boys and girls. Periodically, boys appeared to display more willingness to experiment and genuine curiosity than the girls. In Hong ong,
far more boys assembled the laboratory apparatuses than girls. However, with the exception of two girls, everyone seemed very engaged in the laboratory experiments. In one experiment, only two girls out of approximately thirteen actually followed protocol and blew on a carbon block with iron, but the non-participating girls were watching intently. During the second experiment, approximately two times as many boys as girls were actually holding equipment. In a physics class later that week, the students were asked to gather at the front of the room for a demonstration of the gas laws. The majority of the students were laughing and obviously enjoyed it. ost of the girls remained seated while the boys stood at the front of the room. One teacher in Shanghai explained “The girl students answer my questions directly. They know the material, but they do not study more. The boys are more curious.” Asking For Help: If a student’s grades are dropping and his or her parents can afford it, the parents will pay for extra lessons. oth girls and boys ask for help. According to the teacher we interviewed in Hong ong, whether or not a student will seek help is more dependent on age than on gender. The older students had so much work that they frequently fell asleep in class. They were not awake enough to ask questions during class time, nor did they have the time available to seek out their teacher after class. This trend was the same for girls and boys. Teachers claimed that female students were more studious, but that male students were more genuinely interested in the material.
Motivation: Neither the students nor the teachers differentiated between boys’ and girls’ motivation. According to a teacher in Hong ong, “The study of science is very valued. oth parents and the government encourage it. They see it as a means to a good, respectable job. Students usually study science or commercial studies.” This teacher also felt that students genuinely enjoyed science courses at his school due to the laboratory component. He did, however, concede that students still study for exams, not a love of the subject. In eijing, the view of science and academics in general was very different from both Hong ong and Shanghai. However, this difference was due to the socioeconomic class of the students attending the school that we shadowed in eijing. ost of the students’ parents were old businessmen, so few would pursue higher education in science or engineering. In reality, most of these students did not even want to bother to study. According to the teachers, most of the students did not want to go to university in the US. They did not even want to be enrolled in a prestigious high school in eijing. These students “are the princes and princesses of their homes. They are given everything. Their parents are very rich, so why bother studying ” The students enrolled in the public school in Shanghai were much more similar to the students we met in Hong ong most wanted to study science, engineering, or mathematics at university. They too hoped to become doctors, though some of the female students expressed interest in becoming teachers. However, their teachers felt that the girls were not genuinely interested in
the material. oys showed more interest in the materials through displaying curiosity and engaging material beyond the scope of the class. According to the teachers, the girls rarely showed this level of interest. One female physics teacher claimed “They boys are better at abstract thinking than the girls. The imagination of the boys is better. They can put mental images into reality.” However, we never had a student express this sentiment. However, one form of motivation united students in all three schools parental pressure. During our interviews, every student noted that parents put a lot of pressure on students to do well in school and on the major exams. In Hong ong, teachers and students said parental pressure to perform at the highest level possible is equal for both boys and girls. According to a chemistry teacher in eijing, “The parents command all the students, boys and girls equally. In eijing, we learned more about the effects of parental pressure from a group of exchange students at a school-sponsored talent show. The group of exchange students explained “As long as students get good marks, their parents don’t care what they do on the weekends. They drink like cra y and skip class, but they study right before the exam so they get a good grade. Grades were most important to students’ parent, and, arguably, grades were the only thing that the parents at this eijing school cared about. As long as the students had a good transcript at the end of the semester, his or her parents did not care how the grades were obtained. To any Chinese parents, “The best thing is to say his or her child goes to a prestigious school in the US.” However, a student in eijing implied that the long-term expectations for boys and girls might be
different. She explained that both boys and girls are expected to attain stellar marks, but girls’ and boys’ paths after high school may be different “If a family has a boy, they tell him to nd a job in a bank, but, for a girl, parents want her to learn just a little and its okay.” Gender Expectations in Relationships: During high school, hard-working students often refuse interpersonal relationships. According to teachers, girls rarely date during junior year of high school. They are preoccupied with getting high SAT and TO FL scores, so they use all of their free time to study. In eijing, one girl would open her TO FL book the minute class ended and start reciting words. Senior year, these girls reali e their grades do not matter as much anymore and start having interpersonal relationships. According to one foreign-born teacher, “ ven my female colleagues mention that they weren’t allowed to date until college.” However, a second teacher explained that this rule generally only applies to women, though “ oys are told to focus and work hard so they can buy a house and settle down.” Though strong female students generally choose not to date until later in high school, being smart does not detract from a girl’s attractiveness to the opposite gender. An American teacher who is now working in China explained “Women don’t pretend to be less smart here to impress men. That social construct in America is not part of Chinese culture.” We asked one seventeen-year-old if it’s hard socially to be a very smart girl. She replied “No, boys like the pretty girls. Some are smart, some aren’t. It’s not bad socially to be smart. If you are
really smart, boys will still like you. oys and girls will study together when they want to date.” Smarter girls do not have trouble nding a boyfriend, nor do the really smart boys or girls form their own social groups. However, after explaining at length that a smart, attractive girl will never struggle to nd a partner, she said “Still, I don’t know that a boy should want to date a smarter girl. When I look for a boyfriend, my boyfriend should study better than me.” We then asked, “So there’s always a smarter boy to date a really smart girl ” In her opinion, there is always a smarter boy, or the boy will work very hard to impress the smart girl. He will need to match her marks or do even better. Another student explained “Any guy de nitely wants to be smarter than his girlfriend. If a girl is really high in her education, maybe has a PhD, not many boys will want to date her.” According to every student and teacher we spoke to, the desire for the man to outperform the woman in any couple is a well-established expectation in Chinese culture. This imbalance is desirable both in high school relationships and in marriage. In China, both parents generally work, but the man should be more successful. As one Hong ong student said, “Women want a man who is better, who earns a higher salary.” We asked a teacher in Shanghai if a husband should always hold a higher position in his career than his wife and she replied, “Sure, he must be, of course. Otherwise how would he support and raise a family I think the husband should support the family and the wife should do housework and look after the kids. This is how it has always been.” Fathers spend very little time with their children. After discussing gender expectations in marriages with a few students
and teachers, we began asking about stayat-home fathers as a point of curiosity. One student responded, “For my parents, I can’t accept that.” I eventually explained to one teacher in Shanghai that my father raised me while my mother worked as a lawyer. She laughed and replied, “ our family is opposite. Recently, there was a comedy TV series about a mom who is more powerful than the dad. The mom is the tiger and the dad is a cat. The mom rules the family. It is very funny.” A couple students and teachers did explain that staying home to raise children is not looked down upon it is considered a necessary and honorable position. Still, men and women have different positions. A man at home would be shameful. However, in most of China, families do not have the economic luxury of a stay-at-home mother. Teachers in eijing and Shanghai did explain that the place of a woman in Chinese is slowly changing. However, the place of women in business and academia is changing faster than the social expectations surrounding a woman’s place in a marriage. ven if it is socially acceptable, even desirable, for a woman to be very smart in China, her husband must always be smarter and more successful. In a wealthy family, she will stay home to raise her children while the father works. In a middle to lower class family, both she and her husband will work, but she should never earn more than her husband or be promoted above him. Conclusion According to our interviews and observations, both boys and girls receive equal societal and parental pressure to be at the top of the class. We observed that academic success is highly valued in Chinese
society this societal norm transcends gender, background, and socioeconomic class. In general, intelligence’ is de ned by the end result, or, in this case, good marks. Though these expectations transcended gender, some teachers and students did express various gender stereotypes. While some Chinese teachers considered girls to be more mature and thus more studious than boys, boys were viewed by some teachers and students as more curious. In the long term, boys’ and girls’ paths typically diverge. We were told that, ultimately, a boy who is outperformed by his wife or girlfriend is considered a failure in Chinese society. The girls who are intelligent in high school may have short-lived careers, while boys are expected to pursue high salaries, have many bank accounts, and purchase a home. Still, the question of gender and its relation to academic success is rarely asked in Chinese education students and teachers more frequently reference a correlation between socioeconomic class and academic results. We were repeatedly told that parents are proudest when their children are able to attend a college or university in the United States. However, only wealthy children can afford the essay writers, tutors, and, most importantly, tuition that are necessary for most students to attend foreign schools. Regardless, this achievement is the epitome of success and one of the markers of a smart’ student. We observed that socioeconomic class had a much stronger correlation with academic success than gender. Though we did not observe a strong correlation between gender and performance, young Chinese girls did have one advantage over their US counterparts in the sciences they did not have to pretend to
be less intelligent than they were. This social construct, commonly observed in US schools, was not a phenomenon that we observed in Hong ong, eijing, or Shanghai. Intelligence would not afford a girl a more popular friend group or alienate her from other students in the school. The Chinese students that we observed had shared values that shaped their social, familial, and academic lives simultaneously every student was striving for the same high level of academic achievement.
e erences Hanson, Sandra L., aryellen Schaub, and David P. aker, “Gender Strati cation in the Science Pipeline A Comparative Analysis of Seven Countries,” Gender and Society Vol. , No. Jun , . Web. http www.jstor.org stable accessed Feb . Hanson, Sandra L., aryellen Schaub, and David P. aker, “Gender Strati cation in the Science Pipeline A Comparative Analysis of Seven Countries.” Fox, ary Frank, Gerhard Sonnert, and Irinia Nikiforova, “Programs for Undergraduate Women in Science and ngineering Issues, Problems, and Solutions,” Gender and Society Vol. , No. Oct , . Web. http www.jstor.org stable accessed on Jan . Sadler UN SCO, “Women In Science” UN SCO Science, Technology, and Innovation. UN SCO Institute for Statistics, Nov . Web. http www.uis.unesco.org accessed Dec . Fair eld, Hannah. “Girls Lead in Science xam, but Not in the United States.” The New ork Times. Feb. . Web. Nov. . About PISA. O CD etter Policies for etter Lives. O CD, . Web. Nov . http www.oecd.org pisa aboutpisa Sadler “The grueling nine-hour gaokao is all that matters when applying for universities in China. No one has ever got full marks.” loomberg News. Jun . Web. loomberg.com. Accessed on Jan . Ibid.
Dear Readers, It is a privilege to write this letter as the Chair of the Undergraduate Research Network URN for the term. URN provides catalytic support for students at UVA to pursue extracurricular intellectual inquiry, independently or with faculty, and a few of our resources are summari ed below. We invite you to visit our website, www.uvaurn.org, for more information. etting Started Finding the right research project can be daunting. URN and the Center for Undergraduate Research CU recommend the following starting points The USOAR program, which provides funding for rst- and second-year students to conduct research with faculty http www.virginia.edu cue usoar.html. UNL ASH, a centrali ed database of professors’ research projects with a standardi ed application process http uvaurn.org unleash Appl ing or rants We encourage students to pursue grants to travel, purchase equipment, or fund summer research. The “Resources” tab on our website has more information about how to apply for popular grants at UVA, and the CU website has the most comprehensive list http www.virginia.edu cue scholarships.php. ello s This is a new opportunity for grant recipients and D P students. eginning in Fall , URN will organi e groups of students to meet tri-weekly, providing structure and feedback throughout the research process. For more information, check out our website or contact me at jbb sj virginia.edu Sta ing ngaged Lastly, we hope that you will “Register with URN” on our website to receive our weekly newsletter. We provide information about national and local opportunities for research, grants, and more. We also encourage you to apply to serve as an URN Of cer in the fall Research is and should be an integral part of the undergraduate experience. It fosters habits of independent and critical thought, empowering us to identify and develop our intellectual interests. We are glad that you are interested in this uniquely rewarding pursuit, and hope that we may assist you on the way. est regards, Jack rake
The Center for Undergraduate Excellence The Center for Undergraduate Excellence advises students regarding undergraduate research opportunities and national scholarships and fellowships. Students are encouraged to visit the Center throughout their undergraduate careers. For more information about the Center, please visit its website at www.virginia.edu/cue or its office at 305 Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library.
The Undergraduate Research Network The Undergraduate Research Network (URN) was formed in 2001 to foster an undergraduate research community at the University of Virginia. URN encourages students to initiate research projects and also offers guidance and mentorship to those interested in research. To achieve this goal, URN presents information about current research opportunities and publicizes funding availabilities and research-related events. Each semester, URN puts on a series of workshops on topics ranging from finding funding for research to giving an effective research presentation, as well as an undergraduate research symposium where students who have completed significant research projects can present their findings. If you are interested in learning more about URN or becoming a part of the organization, please visit www. uvaurn.org.
This fifteenth volume of The Oculus showcases the best undergraduate research done at the University of Virginia during the 2016-2017 academ...
Published on Aug 27, 2017
This fifteenth volume of The Oculus showcases the best undergraduate research done at the University of Virginia during the 2016-2017 academ...