Society

Society: Understanding Human Nature and Behavior

A Father for Social Science

The Odum Institute, the first social science research center in the world, has trained and supported hundreds of researchers specializing in everything from anthropology to city and regional planning to public health for the past 95 years. And it all exists thanks to the determination of one eccentric man.

Military Mindset

Before 2001, the use of prescribed psychoactive medications in U.S. Army warzones was restricted. But an increase in mental health awareness, low recruitment numbers, and longer deployments during the War on Terror — the longest-running conflict in American history — has shifted the rules and regulations for military mental health treatment. UNC medical anthropologist Jocelyn Chua speaks with active duty service members, veterans, and health care providers to learn more.

To Conquer the World

In the earth’s long history of rulers and warriors, few stand as tall as Alexander the Great. A Macedonian king who built an enormous empire across the Middle East and Asia in 11 years, Alexander was a man known for his strategic cunning. But in historian Fred Naiden’s groundbreaking work on Alexander’s role as a religious leader, he shines a new light on the ancient conqueror’s rise to the top.

A Veteran’s View

During his deployments to Afghanistan in 2012 and 2014, Reuben Mabry relied on his artwork for respite. Now a master’s student in UNC’s studio art program, he uses his eight-year career in the U.S. Army as the foundation for his work, creating paintings about the indoctrination of military members.

Combating Concussions

There are a thousand ways service members can receive mild traumatic brain injuries during training and active duty. Ten years ago, basic concussion testing protocols didn’t account for the intense activities required of this population. UNC researcher Karen McCulloch has worked to change that.

Cross-Cultural Connections

Documentary filmmaker Julia Haslett tells stories that transcend borders, giving her audience a window into worlds they couldn’t have explored otherwise, and are already connected to in ways they couldn’t have imagined.

Nichola Lowe

Nichola Lowe is a professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research unpacks the processes and practices that contribute to more equitable forms of regional economic development and labor market adjustment.

Restoring Rural China

While the United States and China take up roughly the same amount of land mass, China’s population is over four times that of the U.S. — and more people means more change in vegetation growth. How do these factors connect to climate change? Conghe Song explores this relationship, pursuing a project that has led to his return to his birthplace: rural China.

Karen Sheffield

Karen Sheffield is a doctoral candidate in the UNC School of Nursing. Her research focuses on developing strategies to reduce the long-term health effects of psychological trauma, anxiety, and depression on women’s health and birth outcomes.

Sprains and the Brain

Most people don’t think a sprained ankle is serious, but Erik Wikstrom disagrees. The UNC exercise and sports scientist studies the mechanisms and long-term impacts of lateral ankle sprains — exploring not only how they affect local tissues, but how they change the way the brain programs movement.