INVESTIGATING THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF FEAR
Sociology 2306 Group Projects

Each term that this social psychology course is taught there is one overarching theme which also is the topic area for group research projects.  During the Spring 2006 semester this theme involved the social psychology of fear.  A common reading was Barry Glassner's The Culture of Fear.

The following,  from the course syllabus, lays out the research problem and possible lines of research: Poisoned Halloween candy, pesticides in our water and steroids in our food, asbestos, bad carbs, 911 and Al-Quaida, Britney Spears, SARS, avian flu, guns, global warming, earth-killing asteroids, obesity, Ebola, cloning, school yard shootings, cancer, accelerating extinction rates, identity theft, alien abduction, globalization and job loss, flammable clothing, mad cow disease, bad breath, immigrants, balding, Catholic priests, same-sex marriages, germs, growing old, insufficient insurance, road rage--there seems no shortage of things that people are fearful of these days.  Instead of examining whether these fears have any basis in fact (which seems to be the popular social science approach to such phenomena), this term we will attempt to answer such questions as:

Here are the summaries of the groups' presentations:

 
Fear Content of PostSecret.com
Xenophobia in America
Misplaced Fears Over American Identity
Homophobia in America: Why the Fear?
Horror Films
Fear, Politics & Group Cohesion
 

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