Undergraduate Honors Theses

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You Are What You Eat: Malnutrition and its Determinants in Ecuador
Why do we eat the foods that we do? This question is one that is not often considered by individuals as they go about their daily lives, but can have large implications on public health – for, there is a strong, physiological connection between food consumption and one’s health and wellbeing. Accordingly, when reflecting upon the health of a nation it is often important to consider its nutritional status. Ultimately, many determinants can contribute to how and why an individual eats certain foods, as can be seen in Ecuador. In this Latin American country, for instance, historical, socioeconomic, cultural, behavioral, socioeconomic, and environmental factors (among others) can be seen to influence the different diets – and by extension, the nutritional statuses – of different ethnic, regional, and geographic populations. Though common across Ecuador, discrepancies among these groups are particularly noticeable in the highland region, the Sierra. Overall, this paper examines the different forms of malnutrition, their implications on one’s health, and their prevalence across Ecuador. Additionally, it considers how the Ecuadorian diet was shaped, and how different subcuisines lend themselves to varying forms of malnutrition. Specifically, this paper focuses on the Sierra, given that levels of malnutrition are noticeably higher in this region, and that this highland area is home to large rural and indigenous communities who are most significantly impacted by the region’s nutritional conditions.
Youth in China
The cultural face of modern China is constantly changing, whether through economic reforms, political campaigns, or social values. The ultimate inheritors and current carriers of this society in flux is the current post socialist, post 1989 youth generation. This paper examines the cultural changes that are occurring in China through six documentary films made in the 21st century that focus on youth and young adults as the representatives of the issues that the directors explore. In two films, the issue of the Single Child Policy will be examined in terms of the social repercussions the policy has created for modern youth, including gender, ethnic, and class inequalities. In the next two films, the economic conditions that have produced millions of migrant examined as it relates to the changing family values in much of China. The last two films explore the consumer culture of today’s modern youth, and how this culture impacts the expressive output of this generation. I conclude through these films that although the youth of today have been irrevocably shaped by these, and other, cultural changes that have occurred during their lifetime, they are still most fundamentally influenced by the traditional values of Chinese culture including relationships, family, and collective expression.
Zapatista Women Warriors
The Ejrcito Zapatista de Liberacint of the Zapatista platform. It will demonstrate that external conditions have influenced and frustrated realistic improvements in Zapatista gender relations. Finally, this thesis will assess the future of female participation within the Zapatista movement, and illustrate the limited social and political changes in indigenous communities.
“Say Me/See Me/Say It”
In the last ten years, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues has morphed from a successful off-Broadway production into an activist movement that fosters fundraising productions of the play by community and campus groups in almost every country. In this thesis, I examine how the ‘body stories’ told by actual women made it to community stages all over the world through a series of translations: first, how Ensler poetically/theatrically interprets their stories; second, how the monologic form (and the current multiple-actor form) of the play affects the meaning of those stories; third, projecting how the audience reacts to those stories; and last, suggesting possibilities for broadening the audience’s experience into community discussion and social change.

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