SPUR 2019 Projects: Transform

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SPUR projects are listed in alphabetical order by faculty mentor last name.

Sociology | College of Social & Behavioral Science
Gender Studies | school for cultural & social transformation


Managing Authenticity and Advocating Artisanship: Craft Spirits in the Global Marketplace
Sarita Gaytán, Associate Professor

This project will examine how craft spirit makers, and related stakeholders, manage and market authenticity in the marketplace. How do they communicate their product's fidelity to craftsmanship and traditional knowledge to different customer bases? How do they position themselves in relation to brands owned by large liquor companies? What challenges do they face in light of the growing global popularity of the craft spirit category? What happens to a brand's authenticity when it is acquired by a large liquor company?

The aims of this exploratory project are: 1) To shed light on the growing craft spirit industry as industry leaders navigate increased competition with transnational liquor companies; 2) To build on a growing body of consumers' perceptions of authenticity in different organizational realms (e.g. craft spirits vs. craft brewing); 3) To better understand the challenges of a new market category that is based on an ethos of smallness.

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Sociology | College of Social & Behavioral Science
Gender Studies | school for cultural & social transformation


What Would Happen? The Impact of (hypothetical) Unplanned Pregnancies, Pregnancy Attitudes and Contraception
Claudia Geist, Associate Professor

This project is part of the interdisciplinary research of the HER Salt Lake Contraceptive Initiative. HER Salt Lake provided free birth control to more than 7,400 people in Salt Lake County; 4,400 of those individuals enrolled in a longitudinal study and are helping us understand the social, health, and economic impacts that free contraception has on their lives. Physicians, public health researchers, and sociologists are part of the larger study team. The specific SPUR project has the goal to better understand how study participants think about how a (hypothetical) unplanned pregnancy would impact their lives at the 1 and 2-year follow-up surveys. We will focus specifically on whether economic resources, education, and partner status can help us understand how individuals describe the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. We further seek to understand how worries about the impact of a pregnancy, and general attitudes about pregnancy prevention and the intentions about when to have a planned pregnancy are linked. The study combines qualitative and quantitative methods and will shed light on how life course and economic context shape different dimensions of attitude about planned and unplanned pregnancies.

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Film & Media Arts | College of Fine Arts
Gender Studies | school for cultural & social transformation


The History, Present, & Future of Title IX's Role in Addressing Sexual Misconduct on University Campuses
Sarah Projansky, Professor

This project examines the association between Title IX and sexual misconduct in four contexts. (1) It looks at arguments made in court cases (1972-pesent) that use Title IX to protect against sexual misconduct. (2) It analyzes Office of Civil Rights (OCR) documents and investigations to identify how the OCR sets the parameters of Title IX's role in protecting against sexual misconduct, parameters that expanded significantly 2011-2016 but have since diminished and are now in limbo. (3) It explores strategies various universities have used, are using, and are planning to use to address sexual misconduct during this time of rapid change, in part by interviewing Title IX coordinators. And, (4) it looks at both mainstream and feminist media coverage of Title IX and sexual misconduct, including, for example, news programs, humor on YouTube, and social media activism. The overall goals of this project are (1) to develop a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of Title IX's ability to protect against sexual misconduct, (2) to understand how decades of feminist activism have influenced judicial, Federal, and educational policy and practices, as well as media representations and public opinion, and (3) to use history, analysis, and interviews to identify best practices going forward. This project is particularly important currently both because sexual misconduct has been highly visible since the #MeToo movement began, as well as because Title IX rules are currently in transition. By identifying best practices based on careful analysis, precedent, and the day to day experiences of Title IX coordinators, this project has the potential to have a significant impact as we all grapple with the on-going changes in Title IX.

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