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Kelsey Fisher at the Research Forum

Social Sciences Congratulates Kelsey Fisher

The Department of Social Sciences congratulates Kelsey Fisher for presenting her honors thesis research at the Undergraduate Research Forum. Kelsey’s work, “Got no love to be someone’: the hyperreality of millennial sexuality” was supervised by Dr. Samantha Christiansen, with Dr. Laurie McMillan as a reader.

This research project examines millennial sexuality in the context of Jean Baudrillard’s theory of hyperreality. Using data from media analysis, PEW social surveys and cultural productions such as Youtube videos, I demonstrate that millennial sexuality can be seen as being portrayed in a continuum--on one end there is pervasive hookup culture, and on the other there is rape. My research looks at how our generation both consumes and produces these depictions of sexuality in the media - ultimately resulting in an analysis that both uses Baudrillard as a foundation while also demonstrating a practical application of the social theory. Because I am a millennial, I use my own social location within this context in order to describe it, in effect humanizing the experience. Interspersed throughout the paper are fictional vignettes meant to present some of the aspects of millennial sexuality that would otherwise seem to only be discussed in third party conversations. This is important because not only does it depict a more honest relationship between millennial students and the research, but it also exemplifies the blending of fact and fiction into a hyperreality, where experience is lived. My poster will include an overview of the project with examples of the analysis I have completed. I will discuss the research, as well as my own position in relation to the subject, in my poster presentation.