Perspectives Online

CALS graduate students earn blue ribbon at annual Rural Sociological Society meeting

Stephanie M. Teixeira-Poit (left) and Abigail E. Cameron stand by their award-winning poster in Wisconsin.
Photo courtesy Dr. Michael Schulman

Two sociology graduate students received first-place recognition for their research at the 72nd annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (RSS) held July 30-Aug. 2, in Madison, Wis. Doctoral students Stephanie M. Teixeira-Poit and Abigail E. Cameron were awarded the blue ribbon for their poster presentation entitled “The Working Poor in North Carolina Counties.”

In North Carolina, the working poor are geographically concentrated in rural areas and especially in the Coastal Plain region. Teixeira-Poit and Cameron employed county level data to investigate working poverty in the state. In the course of their research, they determined that sources of working poverty include the quality of job opportunities, structure of the labor market and relative power of labor.

This research was inspired by Teixeira-Poit’s master’s thesis which examined the influence of spatial location, local opportunity structure, and household composition on poverty and working poverty in North Carolina counties. Together, Teixeira-Poit and Cameron updated this research by using improved measures of working poverty.

“This is an ongoing project aimed at understanding the persistence of working poverty in North Carolina counties,” said Cameron. “We plan to continue this research in order to further understand how the working poor in North Carolina are adversely affected by the current economic recession. Our intention is to make policy recommendations that would most effectively benefit these citizens of our state.”

Their research mentor is Dr. Michael D. Schulman, William Neal Reynolds Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and editor of Rural Sociology.

The RSS is a professional social science association that promotes the generation, application, and dissemination of sociological knowledge. The society seeks to enhance the quality of rural life, communities, and the environment. This year’s annual meeting had as its theme, “Climate Change and Societal Response: Livelihoods, Communities, and the Environment.”

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at N.C. State University is a joint department of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. – Terri Leith