The Heart of Religion

Description: Qualitative Interviews

Researchers: Matthew Lee and Margaret Poloma

Partner: Institute for Research on Unlimited Love


Two UA sociologists and their assistants conducted 120 interviews across the U.S. with people who have become known for their religiously based benevolence.  The ARM lab provided training on qualitative methods, including the use of NVIVO and grounded theory, that has shaped the collection and analysis of data for this project.  A book titled, “The Heart of Religion” describing the findings is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Neighbors, Neighboring and “Doing” Social Control: An Ethnographic Investigation of Informal Social Control in a Neighborhood Setting

Independent Project: Graduate Student
Jodi A. Henderson-Ross, Dissertation Research

My dissertation research explores the operation of informal social control in a neighborhood setting.  I use ethnographic methods and a constructivist grounded theory approach to articulate an interpretivist understanding of informal social control.  I conducted over four years of fieldwork in a neighborhood setting where I engaged in several forms of observation, collected and reviewed both official and informal documents and I interviewed residents, business owners, landlords and community activists.  This project was supported by the Department of Sociology and relied on materials and equipment belonging to the ARM Project.

Violence Against Transgender Populations in Ohio

Description: Graduate Student research project
Researcher(s): Daniela Jauk
Partner(s): TransFamily

Dani Jauk conducted an individual research project on violence against transgendered people in Ohio from Fall 2007 to Fall 2010. The project was based on participant observation of transgender advocacy and support groups in Akron, Clevand, and Columbus as well as interviews with transgender identified individuals about their life time experiences with violent victimization. The ARMlab equipment (tape recorder, video recorder, NVivo software) was used to collect and analyze the qualitative data in the form of fieldnotes, interview transcripts, and images. Dani has received the “Allied Student Activist of the Year 2008 – Transgender Illumination Award of the greater Cleveland LGBT community” in November 2008 for her work and collaboration with the local community.

Identity and Emotional Management Control in Health Care Settings

Description: Interdisciplinary and interinstitutional research using mixed-methods (i.e., written questionnaires, audio diaries, face-to-face interviews)
Researchers: Dr Rebecca J. Erickson, Dr. James M. Diefendorff, four graduate student researchers, and one undergraduate researcher
Partner: University Hospitals

The current project integrates identity and emotion management control theories to examine how the occupational context combines with self processes to affect individual and organizational outcomes. The researchers investigate these relationships using a mixed methods design with a sample of full-time registered nurses working in seven acute care hospitals in the Midwestern United States.  The researchers seek to specify how social contexts, interactional events, and the emotions which emerge from them, are experienced and managed in ways that impact key dimensions of individual health and the unit-based effectiveness of nursing care provided within hospital settings. The ARM Lab has provided crucial technology support by providing the handheld voice recorders needed to complete the audio diary phase of the project.

Pioneer Women: A Socio-Historical Exploration of Region, Ethnicity & Gender

Description: Interdisciplinary Research Project
Researcher(s): Drs. Elman, Feltey, and Wittman and Graduate and Undergraduate Research Assistants

Using a socio-historical life course approach and a multi-methods research design, this project focuses on the lives of pioneer women in the 19th century U.S.  We analyze multiple official data sources (census data, railroad data, health records, etc.) and first and second-hand accounts of women pioneers (letters, diaries, memoirs, children’s accounts) to tell a more complete story or set of stories about in-group and between-group differences on the frontier.  This project received funding from the UA Faculty Research Grant Program and used software (NVIVO) in the ARM Lab to organize and analyze the qualitative data.

Food for Thought

Description: An Undergraduate, Class-based Project

Researcher(s): Dr. Carolyn Behrman and 16 UA undergrads

Partner(s): Akron Public Schools


Anthropology 460, a community-based research and service-learning class, studied food insecurity in an elementary school in an urban, low-income neighborhood.  The project interviewed children and teachers, observed classroom and cafeteria behavior, worked with children to create home-food inventories and recorded food consumption patterns in the cafeteria.  This project received financial support from the Institute for Teaching and Learning, and used the facilities and equipment belonging to the ARM Project.