Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, associate professor of sociology at Black Hills State University, and Dr. Pam Carriveau, assistant professor of sociology at BHSU, recently presented their paper “Voters Reframe the Social Policy Debate: South Dakota Abortion Legislation” at the Great Plains Sociological Society (GPSS) annual conference in Fargo, N.D.

In their paper, they explain the discrepancy between attitude preference and voting behavior by showing how the debate on abortion, in South Dakota specifically, but also across the nation, has been reconceptualized not as a rational calculation of preferences about abortion but as a much broader referendum on family values.

At the conference, Colmenero-Chilberg was elected vice president of the GPSS leading to her being president of the society in October 2009.

The GPSS is an organization of professional sociologists and students from colleges and universities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.  In October 2010, the conference will be held in Spearfish.

Colmenero-Chilberg has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 2005.  She earned her bachelor’s in English and history from South Dakota State University; her master’s in English from Pittsburg State University; and her doctorate in sociology from South Dakota State University.

Carriveau has been with BHSU since 2004.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wyoming and her doctorate in political science from Purde University.