Ashley Wahnschaff

Year: Senior

Major(s):  Anthropology

Mentor: Gomberg-Munoz, Ruth

Department: Anthropology

Project Title: Pulling Apart, Coming Together

Project Abstract: Political discourse on social issues in the contemporary United States is polarized around perspectives on the political left and political right. This project will focus on one such issue, marriage equality, to determine how perspectives on sexuality and marriage are embedded in broader worldviews that are shaped by our different understandings of God, humanity, race, and justice. Furthermore, I will explore how these worldviews tie into perspectives on other issues, such as abortion rights, gun control, and immigration. I will do this by utilizing participant-observation and formal interviewing techniques within activist meetings, marches, and protests on each side of these issues. By turning a lens on the broader worldviews that shape perspectives on social issues, I hope to shine light on apparent increasing polarization and potential points of compromise in political discourse of the United States.