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Unequally Educated: Arizona's Attempt to Undermine Educational Opportunities For Hispanics And Why It Matters

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The demographics of Arizona are changing as Hispanics children are passing through their youth and into adulthood. Yet, even with this changing population Arizona has demonstrated an unwillingness to provide

The demographics of Arizona are changing as Hispanics children are passing through their youth and into adulthood. Yet, even with this changing population Arizona has demonstrated an unwillingness to provide adequate educational opportunities for Hispanic school children. The state has perpetuated fear throughout the Hispanic community in an attempt to marginalize and stigmatize the race. Such attempts have extended to youth in schools creating an environment of fear. This fear limits the academic potential of young Hispanics who are wary of government officials and institutions. Arizona has also failed to provide appropriate funding for programs used predominantly by Hispanic students leaving them unprepared for a workplace that desperately needs them. Finally, Arizona has refused to allow course content with a record of increasing academic achievement and graduation rates amongst Hispanics to be taught in schools. Taken as a whole Arizona's efforts are creating a cadre of unskilled and unprepared laborers who will be desperately needed to take jobs in the Arizona economy in the coming years. This blatant disregard for the educational needs of a large segment of the population will have a devastating impact on Arizona's future.

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  • 2013-12

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This land is your land, this land is my land: an historical narrative of an intergenerational controversy over public use management of the San Francisco Peaks

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The sacred San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona have been at the center of a series of land development controversies since the 1800s. Most recently, a controversy arose over a

The sacred San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona have been at the center of a series of land development controversies since the 1800s. Most recently, a controversy arose over a proposal by the ski area on the Peaks to use 100% reclaimed water to make artificial snow. The current state of the San Francisco Peaks controversy would benefit from a decision-making process that holds sustainability policy at its core. The first step towards a new sustainability-focused deliberative process regarding a complex issue like the San Francisco Peaks controversy requires understanding the issue's origins and the perspectives of the people involved in the issue. My thesis provides an historical analysis of the controversy and examines some of the laws and participatory mechanisms that have shaped the decision-making procedures and power structures from the 19th century to the early 21st century.

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  • 2011

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The mythmaking of kings and capitalists: sovereignty, economy, and human rights along the U.S.-Mexico border

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In The Archive and the Repertoire, Diana Taylor discusses how performance, gestures, resistances within a community holds an embodied memory and enacts the transmission of knowledge within that community. Taylor

In The Archive and the Repertoire, Diana Taylor discusses how performance, gestures, resistances within a community holds an embodied memory and enacts the transmission of knowledge within that community. Taylor discusses how this embodied memory is alternative to the written archive of history, history of interaction, history of meaning, history of language. Through the consideration of performance, Taylor urges her reader to reconsider oral and performative transmission of culture, knowledge, customs, traditions, and resistance. This project considers whether this reconsideration can be extended or expanded to oral and performative transmission of law within a community. Specifically, this research explores the conflict between the project of nationality and the reality of social organizing on a community/collective level. It asserts that this conflict is manifested most dramatically within border communities. The dissertation examines how the role of written law in the borderlands divides land and inhabitants and reconstructs a new understanding of the borderlands through oral histories and resistance by border communities. The overall goal of the dissertation is to challenge current scholarship to address the conceptual and sociopolitical task of a world in which legal representations and abstractions supersede the complex reality of community relations. As legal anthropologist Sally Falk Moore identified, we must consider carefully whether or not law controls the social context and what this means for our own definitions of community, what are the boundaries and borders of communities, and the seemingly limitedness of social interaction that becomes based on such legal definitions. The dissertation analyzes the defining disconnect of law from the social context that manifests itself amongst border communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. By exploring how law creates, sustains, molds, and connects the phenomenon of sovereignty, economy, and international borders, we can begin to understand how actions of border communities along the U.S.-Mexico border define the disconnect of law from the social context by redefining community itself.

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  • 2012

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Marginalized Significance: Race and Scientific Evidence in the United States Supreme Court

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Law and science are fundamental to the operation of racism in the United States. Law provides structure to maintain and enforce social hierarchies, while science ensures that these hierarchies

Law and science are fundamental to the operation of racism in the United States. Law provides structure to maintain and enforce social hierarchies, while science ensures that these hierarchies are given the guise of truth. Biologists and geneticists have used race in physical sciences to justify social differences, while criminologists, sociologists, and other social scientists use race, and Blackness in particular, as an explain-all for criminality, poverty, or other conditions affecting racialized peoples. Social and physical sciences profoundly impact conceptualizations and constructions of race in society, while juridical bodies give racial science the force of law—placing legal benefits and criminal punishments into play. Yet, no formal rules govern the use of empirical data in opinions of the Supreme Court. My dissertation therefore studies the Court’s use of social scientific evidence in two key cases involving race and discrimination to identify what, if any, social scientific standards the Court has developed for its own analysis of scientific evidence. In so doing, I draw on Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Institutional Ethnography (IE) to develop a methodological framework for the study and use of social sciences in the law. Critical Race scholars generally argue that race is a social and legal construct and racism is endemic, and permanent, while Institutional Ethnography provides a social scientific method for rigorous study of the law by mapping and illuminating relationships of power manifested in social institutions that construct consciousness and place for marginalized groups in society. Combining methods of IE with epistemologies of CRT, I propose Critical Race Methodologies in the study of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. These two cases from recent terms of the Supreme Court involve heavy use of social sciences in briefing and at oral argument, and both cases set standards for racial inclusiveness in Texas. Throughout this dissertation, I look at how law and social sciences co-construct racial meanings and racial power, and how law and social science understand and misunderstand one another in attempting to scientifically understand the role of race in the United States.

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  • 2017