MSU Sociology students to present at ESPP 2021 Spring Research Colloquium Marathon

Wed, March 31, 2021 1:00 PM at Zoom

MSU Sociology PhD students Kayleigh Ward and Mark Suchyta will present their research March 31 and April 1 as part of the ESPP 2021 Spring Research Colloquium Marathon.

Kayleigh WardDay 1 of the Marathon will feature Kayleigh's presentation "The Consolidation and Diffusion of Social Capital in Japan During Reconstruction:

Taking place in the rural coastal community of Minamisanriku, Miyagi this dissertation chapter covers the consequences of social capital in the post-disaster reconstruction process following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Using two sets of surveys (n=400), the quantity, quality, and type of social capital held by residents was recorded using a network mapping exercise. Additionally, 800 organizational ties were investigated to understand residents’ civic engagement post-disaster. Data collection was facilitated by using a community-based research methodology that was predicated upon the project being partnered with local non-profits, residents, and other stakeholders. The surveys showed that the connection between resident’s social networks and their organizational involvement at the neighborhood, district, and town levels is highly dependent on their age, gender, and occupation. The primary theoretical contribution is that the inequitable distribution of bridging and linking social capital is exacerbated by social, political, and economic conflicts. More significantly, socially, politically, or economically influential individuals show consolidation of linking social capital or social ties that can exert power or authority. This has resulted in creating in-groups and out-groups that shun vulnerable members of the community from participating in decision-making processes. 


Mark SuchytaDay 2 will feature Mark presenting "Cross-National Environmental Influences on Life Satisfaction."

What is the relationship between the quality of the natural environment and human well-being? This study examines this question by assessing the effects of individual-level and country-level variables on life satisfaction, a common indicator of individual well-being. Individual-level data are from the 2019 installment of the Gallup World Poll, while country-level data are drawn from the World Bank. Results demonstrate that individuals on average reported higher life satisfaction if they were satisfied with their local air and water quality as well as with the efforts to preserve the environment in their country. CO2 emissions per capita were not a significant predictor of life satisfaction when controlling for national affluence, raising the question as to whether countries can develop and increase life satisfaction in a manner which minimizes stress put on the environment.  

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