Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Rachel Ajung Ryoo

Race in US Coming-of-Age Films

This project aims to identify differences in ‘black (African American)’ and ‘white (European American)’ coming-of-age films. Over the past semesters, I have analyzed and collated such films that were screened between 1970 to 2015 and identified recurring topics and depictions. I mainly focused on portrayals of drug/alcohol usage, sex/sexuality, physical violence, oppression, and parenting/protection. Meanwhile, I have also collected previous literature on these films and themes.During summer internship, I will further the aforementioned study and review literature on group-expression through film and its effects on adolescent identity development. I hope this will lead into explicating notable differences between ‘black’ and ‘white’ films and understanding how these differences may impact the ‘black’ and ‘white’ adolescent communities.

Message To Sponsor

I chose both of my majors based on my interest in coexisting cultural narratives and issues of racial/ethnical discrimination in various societies. Meanwhile, I plan to obtain a Ph.D. in Anthropology and also study adolescent cultures. Thus, this project fits my fields of interests and future plans very well. I thank Professor Denise Herd for selecting me as her apprentice and giving me invaluable guidance in this journey, and the donors for making the continued research possible.
Profile image of Rachel Ajung Ryoo
Major: Global Studies / Anthropology
Mentor: Denise Herd, Public Health
Sponsor: Leadership Fund
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