Spring 2013 Paper Topics

Normally by this point in a semester I have all but posted abstracts for my papers that I will be completing. This semester things have felt more in flux and I have been lax at discussing my academic work. Also I have been less certain of my topics this semester. Even at this point there is one that is still up in the air.

Theoretical Approaches to Gender: for this course my final paper will be a discussion of the cultural elements of masculinity and how they are presented and fetishized in sadomasochism, especially for gay men. Unlike my previous papers regarding alternative sexualities this one will be somewhat narrow. My first paper in alternative sexualities discussed BDSM, fetishism and other paraphilia collectively. In this paper I am going so far as to break up BDSM into its component parts. I am primarily interested in sadism and masochism (as well as the combined form of sadomasochism), with fetish as a supporting element for the implementation of SM. I do expect that when the paper is completed bondage will make an appearance as well, but dominance/submission themes will likely be completely absent. The key point of the paper will be establishing a framework for considering sadomasochism as a masculinizing sexuality for gay men. There will likely be some discussion of the origins of leather culture and the quest to “butch-up” gay culture.

Issues in Social Research: this course has a paper in a required format of a thesis research proposal. I will be proposing a research project that will seek to find information regarding the perceptions of members of the BDSM community about the stigma that surrounds their community and the activities that the members participate in. The design I am using for this paper is a content-analysis of existing blogs.

Complex Adaptive Systems: this project is not really fully fleshed out yet, but will likely take the form of a literature-review style paper covering the use of CAS in social science and perhaps discussing the arguments for and against the use of CAS modeling in policy issues compared with more traditional methods.