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Tricks of the shade: heat-related coping strategies of urban homeless persons in Phoenix, Arizona

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This research is about urban homeless people's vulnerability to extreme temperatures and the related socio-spatial dynamics. Specifically, this research investigates heat related coping strategies homeless people use and how the urban environment setting impacts those coping strategies. Semi-structured

This research is about urban homeless people's vulnerability to extreme temperatures and the related socio-spatial dynamics. Specifically, this research investigates heat related coping strategies homeless people use and how the urban environment setting impacts those coping strategies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with homeless people in Phoenix, Arizona during the summer of 2010. The findings demonstrate that homeless people have a variety of coping strategies and the urban environment setting unjustly impacts those strategies. The results suggest a need for further studies that focus spatial environmental effects on homeless people and other vulnerable populations.

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2011

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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

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A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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2011

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Challenges, inertia, and corruption in the Mexican federal judiciary

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This thesis examines the Mexican federal judiciary and the problem of corruption in this institution, particularly related to cases of drug trafficking. Given the clandestine nature of corruption and the complexities of this investigation, ethnographic methods were used to collect

This thesis examines the Mexican federal judiciary and the problem of corruption in this institution, particularly related to cases of drug trafficking. Given the clandestine nature of corruption and the complexities of this investigation, ethnographic methods were used to collect data. I conducted fieldwork as a "returning member" to the site under study, based on my former experience and interaction with the federal judicial system. I interviewed 45 individuals who work in the federal courts in six different Mexican cities. I also studied case files associated with an important criminal trial of suspected narco-traffickers known in Mexico as "El Michoacanazo." My study reveals the complicated nature of judicial corruption and how it can occur under certain circumstances. I conclude that the Mexican federal judiciary has become a more professional, efficient, and trustworthy institution over the past fifteen years, though institutionalized practices such as nepotism, cronyism, personal abuse of power, and gender inequalities still exist, tending to thwart the full professionalization of these courts and facilitating instances of misconduct and corruption. Although structural factors prevent full professionalization and corruption does occur in these courts, the system works better than it ever has before.

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2012

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Hard time and hard love: issues and challenges of visitation for men of incarcerated women

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The United States prison population is rapidly rising. Consequently, more families are losing loved ones to the system. While many researchers have focused on women of incarcerated men and children of incarcerated parents, none have looked at the partners of

The United States prison population is rapidly rising. Consequently, more families are losing loved ones to the system. While many researchers have focused on women of incarcerated men and children of incarcerated parents, none have looked at the partners of incarcerated women. This paper explores the issues and challenges of prison visitation for the significant others of women incarcerated at Perryville Prison in Goodyear AZ. It is known that prison visitation is important for supporting and maintaining romantic relationships. It is also beneficial to the prison institution. Visitation assists in social control and high inmate morale; both of which lower the instances of violent acts. However, it has been reported that visitation is a daunting task for the visitors. Many sources of information and data were used for this study; formal and informal interviews with family members and others with prison visitation experience, government websites that contain visitation policies, online forums for family and friends of inmates to discuss their concerns, existing research literature, direct observations, and discussions with scholar experts and prison activists. These resources act as a window to visitation at Perryville. With insights derived from symbolic interactionism and previous research guiding the project, it was found that visitation is a good experience for the significant others, incarcerated women, and Perryville. However, the troubles the significant others have with money, the institution and social support strongly suggest that these men encounter hurdles that make the positive act of visitation at times nearly impossible.

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2011