Livingstone, Rhys J
01 January 2008
Colleges and universities in the United States have attempted for years to implement policies and procedures to promote racial diversity in their student bodies, as well as to ensure reflective minority representation in student programs at their institutions. I have done an independent evaluation assessment of the necessity and program theory for a policy aimed at assuring diversity of the undergraduate student government at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, covering the period 2003-2005. The policy in effect during those years was a system which guaranteed minority representation reasonably mirroring the known minority population of the undergraduate student body by reserving 13 percent of Senator positions in the Student Government Association for students affiliated with the African, Latino/a, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American caucus. The policy intent was to achieve campus fair and just minority representation in UMass student government. In reality, however, that policy produced unintended consequences instead – bitter, and sometimes violent racial tensions, and widespread and prolonged charges of reverse and illegal discrimination. As a result of this evaluation of that policy, and its attendant procedures for implementation, in the conclusion I offer recommendations which would allow UMass to replace a problematic policy with one which could achieve reflective minority representation in student government acceptable to, and supported by, the majority of the undergraduate population.
Quicke, Jenna M.
03 June 2017
<p> This paper used a qualitative data set of interviews to describe the phenomenon of community in ultrarunning, as well as to define what it means to be an ultrarunner as told from an insider’s perspective. The literature review summarized theories including: <i>social group structure, asset based community development, pain community, experience stretching, </i> and <i>positive psychology,</i> and how they form a unique shared experience within the ultrarunning community. In addition to interviews, participants provided a photograph to be utilized for <i>photo elicitation, </i> and a photo analysis by the researcher.</p><p> The results of this study suggest that ultrarunning communities may be structured around shared experience, and specifically the experience of multiple perspectives of ultramarathon racing. Stereotypes of ultrarunners are inaccurate, and everyone is welcome in the community so long as they are helping promote the sport in a positive way. The majority of ultrarunners views their role in the ultrarunning community as motivators and strive to maintain a positive and inclusive sport for current and future ultrarunning community members. The descriptive narratives of shared experiences gathered in this study of the values of the ultrarunning community illustrate how ultrarunning is an inclusive group that promotes the integrity of the sport through multi-faceted roles of ultrarunning events.</p>
30 August 2017
<p> Sex trafficking is defined as the use of force, coercion, or deception used to make someone work in the sex trade (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, n.d.). Sex trafficking is often associated with prostitution, but are the same means ever utilized to force or coerce people to work in pornography? The results of this research suggest this connection. </p><p> The purpose of this dissertation was to identify the intersections of pornography and sex trafficking, and more specifically, discover if victims of sex trafficking are ever used to create pornography. In other words, are adults who appear in different kinds of pornography ever victims of sex trafficking themselves? Sex trafficking is illegal in the United States, whereas the pornography industry is not. So long as the participants in pornography are willing adults, any sexual activity is legal under current laws. It is therefore critical to determine consent. </p><p> A review of literature demonstrated the need to further investigate any relation between the two industries and establish a legitimate connection. Literature relating to sex trafficking and its intersections with pornography are identified, compiled, and analyzed in order to conclude where there is room for further study. While statistics on the prevalence of sex trafficking are available, albeit unreliable, and information is also available on the experiences of trafficking victims, little has been written on the subject of victims who are then forced to work in pornography. This dissertation addresses that deficiency. Substantial qualitative literature is available on the experiences of sex trafficking victims, which serves to explain better the systematic processes that contribute to their victimization, but there are limited academic studies available that draw a direct connection between sex trafficking victims and those working in pornography. The review of the literature indicated the possibility that those in pornography are at times victims of sex trafficking. </p><p> Six anti-trafficking and/or anti-pornography activists, some of whom were victims themselves, were interviewed for their experiences and personal stories. It was ascertained that women in pornography are at times victims of sex trafficking during the filming or shooting. Whether they are trafficked in pornography only, or other sex industries such as prostitution, varies based on the experience. Further research is necessary to determine how common this is, and to better understand the systemic structures, which allow for this to occur.</p><p>
Dacamented| An Ethnographic Account of the Lives of Students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)Hernandez, Edgar 15 June 2018 (has links)
<p> This thesis addresses the lived experiences of seven undocumented students who are currently protected under the executive order signed by former President Barack Obama known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This thesis was written at a moment in time when undocumented students, and the undocumented student movement, were in the spotlight because of the Trump administration’s stance on immigration. To capture an in-depth account of the students’ experiences in the United States, the data gathering techniques I utilized were: (1) informal semi-structured interviews, (2) meeting participants at locations where they felt comfortable, and (3) spontaneous participant observation. To provide a holistic understanding of the student’s liminal lives in the United States, I followed their life trajectory from infancy to adulthood while drawing heavily on theoretical frameworks of structural violence, testimonials, and liminality, as well as anthropological and sociological scholarship. </p><p> My research revealed that DACA provided the students with the opportunity to pursue economic and academic opportunities. However, because DACA was designed to provide temporary and uncertain status, it not only failed to provide the students with a sense of belonging to their communities and “home,” but it also failed to significantly change their lives. Secondly, I uncovered that the students endure an extreme emotional toll as they continue to live in the United States as liminal human beings and “hard-working” students. To the students’, the common narrative that they are successful masks the realities of their lives and their emotional state of mind. Lastly, the students had a “love and hate relationship” with the term DACAmented, and there was no consensus regarding whether the term described their identity or served to appropriate their struggles.</p><p>
abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the generational differences among US commercial airline pilots regarding their attitudes toward safety. A survey was distributed to three different US airlines: one major commercial airline, one regional airline, and one charter airline. A total of 106 pilots participated in this study. The pilots were categorized into three groups of generations based on birth years: Baby Boomers: 1946-1964, Generation X: 1965-1980, and Generation Y: 1981-2000. Through the use of one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), the results of the analyses found that there was no significant difference between the generations of pilots regarding safety attitudes. In the subcategory of self-confidence, the results indicated no significant differences between the different generations of pilots. However, in the subcategories of risk orientation and safety orientation, significant differences were detected among the three generations of pilots. Baby Boomers were found to have the lowest risk tolerance, while Generation Y had the highest. Conversely, Baby Boomers were found to have the highest safety orientation, with the lowest being that of Generation Y. / Dissertation/Thesis / M.S.Tech Technology 2013
Hornung, Kristen Greider
27 April 2018
<p> The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore how the heroine’s quest to overcome her murderous husband in the fairy tale “Bluebeard” may speak to the development of insight into the presence of an archetypal predator and the process of separation in real-life situations characterized by intimate partner violence (IPV). Four women in relationships characterized by IPV during their adolescence, currently between the ages of 27 to 60, participated in individual semistructured oral interviews followed by a self-guided reading of “Bluebeard” with a reflection questionnaire. The thematic analysis identified a cyclical progression of disorientation and descent, numinous experiences and moments of change, recruitment of resources, and escape. Key themes included naïveté, ex-partner’s attractiveness, isolation, fear, confusion, substance use, silence, and others being aware of the abuse but not intervening. Discussing the abuse with their family, friends, and/or the police was associated with final separation. As they described the aftereffects of IPV, common themes were anxiety, anger, somatic reactions, and nightmares. Shared resiliency factors included graduate education, coping skills, and 12-Step Program participation. The depth psychological interpretation considered the possibility that the archetypal predator-prey relationship may manifest as a syzygy. In order to escape a woman may access her own predatory nature, transitioning from being naïve or disoriented by trauma to being resourceful or even aggressive. The recovery process was discussed in the context of the compensatory function of the psyche, psychic differentiation, and the relationship between embodiment and feminine insight.</p><p>
27 October 2016
<p> Despite a rich popular narrative that awe-inspiring nature experiences promote environmental behavior, empirical work on this subject is lacking. Recent research has determined that individuals often experience the emotion awe in nature, and that this emotion can lead to reliable shifts in cognition, interpersonal perception, and social behavior. In addition, although research has found that nature exposure can shift environmental behavior, the emotional pathways underlying this association, such as awe, are not yet clear. The current investigation explores through two studies the relationship between transcendent nature and awe experiences with environmental behavior. In study 1 (N = 405), a pre-post online survey assessed (1) the effect of describing a past nature-based transcendent experience in a value-based model of environmental behavior; and (2) what qualities of this experience, such as awe, were most prominent descriptively and as predictors in the model. Regression analyses revealed that describing a nature-based transcendent experience significantly improved the model, and increased participant’s openness to change values pre-post. Moreover, a sense of awe was the most prominent experience quality and was positively related to environmental behavior.</p><p> Study 2 employed an experimental design to more concretely explore the role of the transcendent emotion awe in nature on environmental behavior and engagement. A 2x3 factorial design (N = 277) explored whether two factors - (1) reading a climate change message or no message, and (2) viewing videos of awe-inspiring nature, an awe-inspiring built environment, or calming nature - influenced participant’s emotional state and environmental behavior intentions, including an in-situ measure of whether they signed a climate change petition presented outside of the building after leaving the lab session. Participants reported feeling less relaxed and interested after reading a climate message in the built (awe) condition compared to the nature conditions. Also, participants in the awe-nature condition reported feeling more relaxed when they were given the climate message to read. Although no significant interactions for environmental behavior intention emerged, for the in-situ measure, participants who viewed nature rather than awe videos were over three times more likely to sign the climate petition.</p><p> Overall, the results of study 1 suggest the theoretical value and interventional benefits of integrating transcendent nature experiences and the emotion awe into value-based models of environmental behavior. The results of study 2 begin to suggest that pro-environmental behavior may depend more on the setting participants are exposed to (nature versus built) rather than on the emotions induced by those settings, such as awe. Implications on education and nature protection policy and practices are discussed.</p>
Horangic, Craig P.
01 December 2016
<p> In this phenomenographic study I examined the described experiences of participants in a community-based participatory research initiative that employed sensemaking techniques based on narrative inquiry and complexity science. My research, which involved an analysis of 21 interviews, revealed that participants frequently experience confusion and frustration, which provoked anger and defensiveness, as they engaged in the sensemaking process. Some participants move beyond this, particularly if given an opportunity to reflect upon the experience, and begin to identify positive aspects of the process. The sensemaking process can and does produce heightened self-awareness, greater empathy, and understanding of the underlying issue for some. </p><p> Conclusions include (1) Participants would benefit from greater grounding in the underlying theories and their role in the process. This is important because confusion about the process consumed a lot of cognitive energy, and in some cases, disengagement from the process. The defensive response limits acquiring enhanced understanding, resulting in decreased active participation as well as heightened skepticism about the outcome. (2) Reflection at the conclusion of the process aided in the growth of awareness. A number of participants specifically acknowledged the value of their personal reflection. However, there was no opportunity within the sessions for individuals to process their experience or for group reflection. Including a reflection process element into the sensemaking process would make it much more likely that participants will be able to incorporate the new insights into their underlying perceptions. (3) The described experiences of the participants reveal the growth of awareness about the subject in question, with their conceptions closely paralleling other learning processes. Some participants talked about the collective understanding of reality as depicted in the sensemaking processes.</p>
Growing narrative, conviviality, and security: community and gardening in the North Shore of MassachusettsProctor, Dylan Atchley 18 June 2016 (has links)
Growing Narrative, Conviviality, and Security: Community and Gardening in the North Shore of Massachusetts is an ethnography of the Highlands neighborhood of Lynn, Massachusetts. In this thesis I argue that the efforts of this community to combat the ills of their neighborhood seen through the lens of a community garden rely on three key factors. The first is their reliance and sharing of a narrative that reminds fellow community members of the difficult points in their past, but with the message that there is always a possibility of a brighter future. The second aspect is the reliance on the shared moments of celebration that the neighborhood actively supports and engages, which instill the bonds of community in an otherwise disparate, and multicultural setting. Finally, the narrative and celebration of community would not be sustainable if the community did not also provide the structure for security upon which the neighborhood can continue to improve their communal and social wellbeing. The lessons learned from this community are useful to understand how a multiracial, multicultural urban site can turn around their violent past in order to create a livable space.
Social Capital: Two Case Studies of Chinese Small Business in the Greater Phoenix and Los Angeles AreasJanuary 2019 (has links)
abstract: As immigrants in the United States, Chinese small business entrepreneurs often encountered social and cultural barriers in the areas of finance, language, and employment in their new environment. This dissertation investigated how they utilized social capital to surmount the embedded disadvantages of an unequal market in their adopted country. The findings presented in this qualitative descriptive multi-case analysis, conducted in the greater metropolitan regions of Phoenix and Los Angeles, demonstrated the importance of social and transnational ties created in the United States within the local Chinese community as well as their social connections brought from China. Drawing upon the data from in-depth interviews and informal observations, this dissertation was guided by three research questions: (a) What barriers do immigrant small business owners encounter? (b) What social connections provide help for immigrant small business owners to overcome those barriers or intensify their disadvantaged situations? (c) How do social networks influence immigrant small business development? The findings revealed many provocative facts on how social capital stimulated Chinese immigrant small business owners. The influence of local and strong ties especially provided essential start-up funds, an affordable labor force. Those ties also provided authentication for business information provided by weak ties. Although the governments’ Small Business Administration empowers small business by various programs because it is an important social and economic element in the U.S. market, the Chinese community rarely utilized this support. Transnational connections played an important role in the relatively mature market found in Los Angeles, but indeed all respondents in both case studies exhibited great interest in utilizing transnational connections to explore business opportunities. Regional connections provided a powerful resource for Chinese small business to create business alliance and increase their market competitiveness. Social capital embeds in a complexity of political, economic, social and personal backgrounds. In summary, social capital was an essential resource for Chinese small business when they encountered the barriers in the local market. From the findings, this dissertation’s scholarly contribution adds to the field of social capital studies by combining the investigation of social capital, embeddedness, intersectionality and transnational connections in respect to study immigrant entrepreneurship. / Dissertation/Thesis / Doctoral Dissertation Justice Studies 2019
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