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SSA could not be possible without the generous support of Drs. Herbert A. and Betty Lou Lubs and the Science, Society, and the Arts Research Conference Endowment. We are deeply grateful!
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Friday, March 17 • 10:30am - 11:45am
Lost in the Working World — Huntley 327

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Directional Empathy at Washington and Lee University: “Not Unmindful of Our Service Workers” (Paper)
Tara Loughery, Elena Diller, Austin Frank, Riley Wilson
Directional empathy, the ability to understand the perspectives of others in lower status, has consistently been shown to better relationships between individuals of different social positions. Moreover, this ability can be developed in various ways. In pursuit of improving campus dynamics, we examine how students’ service employment and community service develop students’ directional empathy towards service employees on Washington and Lee’s campus. We hypothesized that service employment and community service experience respectively would be more effective in developing directional empathy than having neither of these experiences. Though we did not find significant support for community service, we did find significant support for the effectiveness of previous service employment on directional empathy development. Finally, we hypothesized that service employment would be more effective than community service experience in developing directional empathy. Although we did not find significant support for this hypothesis, a promising trend in the data warrants further exploration.

Treatment of Low-Skilled EU Immigrant Workers in Denmark: A Copenhagen Photo Story (Digital Story)
Keith Denning, Hermione Wang, Kellie Harra, Kelsey Park
Low-skilled workers from other EU countries come to Denmark in search of better employment. Due to the welfare state and an excellent education system, most Danes have little incentive to take jobs in the construction and service industries, resulting in many of these jobs falling to low-skilled foreign workers. Low-skilled workers are under pressure to find work and therefore are willing to accept lower pay with worse working conditions. Hence, they are at risk of being treated unfairly by employers. This digital story will address the issue of the treatment of low-skilled EU immigrants by Danish firms through exploring the history of immigration in Denmark and looking at examples from three companies. We will examine facility services company ISS, pump manufacturer Grundfos, and metro construction firm Metroselskabet. The story concludes with an analysis of the actions by these three firms in the context of Danish society.

A Supply-Side Estimation of the Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment (Paper)
Chris Curfman
The continuously-falling headline unemployment rate over the past two or three years in the absence of a corresponding rise in inflation has led to uncertainty about the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of the equilibrium rate of unemployment (ERU), the rate below which inflation is expected to begin to rise. For this reason, the ERU plays a key role in the setting of monetary and fiscal policy. This paper adds to the discussion on the matter by utilizing the Wage-Setting Price-Setting (WS-PS) micro-founded macroeconomic model, first created and employed in the 1990's, to analyze current macroeconomic conditions and estimate the equilibrium rate of unemployment in the US over the last 20 years, with a particular emphasis on the period since the Great Recession.

Their Voices: The Refugee Crisis in Greece (Digital Story)
Maren Lundgren, Elissavet Chartampila
Greece has seen hundreds of thousands of refugees pass through its borders, either to stay or to migrate further north to other European countries (Refugees/Migrants Emergency Response). This summer we spent one month in Thessaloniki, Greece where we undertook a project to look at the impacts the refugee crisis has had on Greece, as well as the impacts this crisis has had on refugees. We worked with two NGOs (Antigone and Oikopolis), visiting a refugee camp and providing activities to its inhabitants. We also spent some time conducting interviews with urban refugees and taking pictures. Our digital storytelling project, seen through a small sample of the pictures and interviews we collected, represents the stories of the people we met and worked with the aim of humanizing the refugee crisis.

Analyzing Omni-Channel Interaction (Digital Story)
Phil Bennett
I would like to present a project that explores the connections between digital and physical interactions. In detail, the project cross-references and correlates social media data and real life events to give meaning to the relationship between the digital and physical planes. This presentation answers questions like: how and why information flows through the web as it stems from its geographic origin; how and why videos become viral; and do articles and stories published in traditional news sources (print, television) have meaningful effect on how information is processed and retained by online agents (social media user)? Essentially the presentation and study addresses the cause-effect relationship between the digital and physical worlds, including how effective this process is and whether such models can be used to predict future events. Ideally, the presentation would be oral and backed by a PowerPoint that explains findings and guides further conversation.


Friday March 17, 2017 10:30am - 11:45am
Huntley 327

Attendees (2)