Student Awards in Sociology and Anthropology
Horton Award for Best Anthropology Essay
Beginning in 2013, the Department began offering an award for the best anthropology essay. For 2014, we were very pleased to be able to offer two (2) awards of $500 for the best essay on an anthropological topic. In order to apply, students must be an undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology. Please see the award flyer for more information.
2014 Award Winners
Minimalist Running: Is Less More?
Barefooted and minimalist runners make up a subculture within running. This subculture was formed as a reaction against the status quo of traditional running shoes which had been marketed and sold as a mechanism to prevent and reduce injuries. However, a significant amount of literature was published suggesting that a root cause of the numerous injuries runners received was due to the traditional running shoe. Some of the literature suggested that if people ran barefooted/ minimalist they would receive fewer injuries. To see if barefooted/minimalist runners have sustained fewer injuries than traditionalist runners, this study surveyed local runners of both running groups and analyzed the results. Next this study looked at the barefooted/ minimalist subculture and analyzed what other practices are done to reduce injuries. Surveys, interviews, and participant observation were utilized to collect data on runners from Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia. The study contributes to the data on running injuries, specifically injuries of barefooted/ minimalist runners and what is done by the barefooted/ minimalist subculture to prevent injuries in an overall attempt to help all runners reduce their number of injuries.
Doceology: A New Ethnographic Approach
This paper attempts to create a new approach to doing ethnographic work, titled doceology. The approach is similar to participant-observation, except that the authority to ask questions would be on the group under study, rather than the ethnographer. Participants would set-up a school environment and decide what they deem is most important to teach the ethnographer. This would allow the ethnographer to understand exactly what a culture believes is important and worthy of passing down through the generations.
Steve Winn Memorial Scholarship
The Steve Winn Memorial Scholarship states that “the recipient shall be a full time undergraduate or graduate student majoring in Sociology who has done outstanding work in the areas of sociological theory and social stratification.” This scholarship is intended to support outstanding students in these areas while honoring the life and work of Dr. Stephen Winn who died tragically while on sabbatical in French Guiana on March 5, 1995.
Dr. Stephen (‘Steve’) Winn was born on September 22, 1947, in the shadow of Mont Shasta, in Redding, northern California. He earned his B.A. in 1969 and M.A. in 1971, both from the University of Chico. His doctorate in Sociology was granted by Washington State University in 1976. Steve also studied at the University of Bari, in Italy, the London School of Economics, the University of Lund and Stockholm University in Sweden, and in various French institutions, including the Sorbonne. Dr. Winn was particularly interested in the relationship between class status and voting behavior. His dissertation research examined electoral support for George Wallace in the years 1964-1972. He later turned his attention to an examination of similar questions in Sweden and France where he spent considerable time doing research.
Steve was a strong advocate of proportional representation (PR) in elections, having studied the voting behavior in some American cities where PR had once been used. The data he collected indicated that PR results in higher levels of political participation, greater representation for labor and minority groups, and greater governmental efficiency on the municipal level. He was convinced that the political right and centrist defenders of the status-quo had no real desire to attain such democratic goals. It was just this skepticism grounded in empirical research, coupled with a love for what democracy could be, that made Dr. Winn a much sought after and inspiring teacher.
Dr. Winn was the recipient of a number of Faculty Development grants from Marshall University and of a National Endowment for the Humanities Stipend in 1978. His research was further supported by generous financial grants from the Institute for Social Research (Stockholm University), and from various French institutions, including the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, the Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, and the Centre Universitaire de Recherches Sociologiques d’Amiens.