Update #1: Figuring it out

**Disclaimer: I forgot to post these progress reports throughout my research, but I will try to post reflective accounts of the different stages of my research**

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Update #1: How Democracies Die

This project was initially inspired by not only my study of revolutions and regime changes while at William and Mary, but also the 2016 election and the subsequent issues that have risen concerning how our government is run and the overall state of the United States’ democracy. I decided to study something that has applied to both of these areas of study: populism. One source that aims to explain and describe these events and the election of Donald Trump is How Democracies Die by Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.

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Post #1: Words Women Use

The first step in starting my summer research project was writing my survey. Since the project deals with people, I first needed to write the survey to complete my protocol for the Student Institutional Review Board. Another part of the protocol was completing an online course in ethics by CITI.

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Socioeconomic Determinants of Oral Health

Since posting my initial research plan in the spring, further reading has convinced me to slightly adjust my topic. While I was originally set out to uncover the reasons why some people feel uncomfortable at the dentist, I stumbled upon a much larger and perhaps more obvious problem: it’s not that most individuals don’t want to go to the dentist, it’s that many of them cannot go to the dentist. According to a recent study of the National Health Interview Survey, the main cause for adults to avoid the dentist is cost: over 40% of the surveyed population could not afford treatment or had no insurance, whereas only 10% of adults cited fear as the reason they had no recent dental visit. Certain populations within the United States are facing a serious disparity in accessibility to quality oral healthcare; many individuals either lack dental insurance and cannot afford it or don’t have access to a health center offering affordable services.

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