Student Research

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    The Rise of Political and Social Distrust, Division, and Disenfranchisement in Modern Institutions: A Composition of Previous Academic Research, a New Survey, and Learned Perspectives
    (2024-04-05) Collins, Mitchell; History, Social Sciences, and Philosophy; English, Rhetoric and Writing, and Media Communication
    This project, in exploring the rise in feelings of political and social distrust, division, and disenfranchisement in modern American institutions and its causes, is composed of three sections to (1.) consider what notable research on the matter has to say regarding this rise; (2.) present the methods and research of a survey of University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) students, staff, and faculty conducted for this project; and (3.) record firsthand accounts from academic experts and politicians on their perspectives and knowledge of this rise. As a whole, this paper outlines the state and causes of distrust, division, and disenfranchisement in America over time, defines—in a snapshot—the views of various demographic groups on political and social institutions, and lastly, reflects upon this research alongside thoughtful accounts from those in academia and politics on when, how, and why many Americans seem to have lost faith in not only their government but in the basis of American society itself.