Matching Items (12)

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Teacher evaluation systems: how teachers and teacher quality are (re)defined by market-based discourses

Description

Teacher evaluation policies have recently shifted in the United States. For the first time in history, many states, districts, and administrators are now required to evaluate teachers by methods that

Teacher evaluation policies have recently shifted in the United States. For the first time in history, many states, districts, and administrators are now required to evaluate teachers by methods that are up to 50% based on their "value-added," as demonstrated at the classroom-level by growth on student achievement data over time. Other related instruments and methods, such as classroom observations and rubrics, have also become common practices in teacher evaluation systems. Such methods are consistent with the neoliberal discourse that has dominated the social and political sphere for the past three decades. Employing a discourse analytic approach that called upon a governmentality framework, the author used a complementary approach to understand how contemporary teacher evaluation polices, practices, and instruments work to discursively (re)define teachers and teacher quality in terms of their market value.

For the first part of the analysis, the author collected and analyzed documents and field notes related to the teacher evaluation system at one urban middle school. The analysis included official policy documents, official White House speeches and press releases, evaluation system promotional materials, evaluator training materials, and the like. For the second part of the analysis, she interviewed teachers and their evaluators at the local middle school in order to understand how the participants had embodied the market-based discourse to define themselves as teachers and qualify their practice, quality, and worth accordingly.

The findings of the study suggest that teacher evaluation policies, practices, and instruments make possible a variety of techniques, such as numericization, hierarchical surveillance, normalizing judgments, and audit, in order to first make teachers objects of knowledge and then act upon that knowledge to manage teachers' conduct. The author also found that teachers and their evaluators have taken up this discourse in order to think about and act upon themselves as responsibilized subjects. Ultimately, the author argues that while much of the attention related to teacher evaluations has focused on the instruments used to measure the construct of teacher quality, that teacher evaluation instruments work in a mutually constitutive ways to discursively shape the construct of teacher quality.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Transnationalizing intersectionality: gender, class and heteronormativity in neoliberal China

Description

This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in

This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in contemporary China. In this project, neoliberalism is conceptualized as an art of governance centering on the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality to create market subjects and sustain market competition. Focusing on China's recent socio-economic and cultural upheavals, this dissertation tries to address these questions: 1. How have class inequalities, binaristic gender and heteronormative discourses been employed intersectionally by the Chinese state to facilitate China's social transformation? 2. How has this process been justified and consolidated through the intersection of gender, class, sexuality and race? 3. How do the marginalized groups respond to these material and cultural practices? Building on the discursive analysis of China's televised 60th anniversary ceremony and If You Are the One, a popular Chinese reality show, as well as the data from the interview, focus group and participant observation of more than 100 informants, it is found that the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity is central to China's neoliberal transition. A group of flexible and cheap laborers have been disarticulated and rearticulated from the population as the voluntary servitude to China's marketization and re-integration with the global economy. New controlling images, such as the bourgeois nucleus family, are created to legitimize this process. However, these disparate material and discursive practices have entailed contradictions and conflicts within the intersectional biopolitical system, and created contingent spaces of ungovernability for the marginalized groups. Building on these discursive analyses and empirical data, I reconceptualize intersectionality as a multi-dimensional-and-directional network to regulate and manage power for social organization and regulation, which grounds the biopolitical basics for the neoliberal economy. Thus I argue that we need to engage with the dynamics between the intersectional biopolitical structure and people's emerging experiences to construct a grounded utopia alternative to the neoliberal dominance for substantive social changes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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New performance cartographies in the city of San Juan

Description

In this dissertation I use Henri Lefebvre's concept of the production of social space to study how political theatre companies and artists in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico,

In this dissertation I use Henri Lefebvre's concept of the production of social space to study how political theatre companies and artists in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, appropriate and resignify, through performance, their current social space as a strategy to contest Puerto Rico's neoliberal state policies. As Lefebvre suggests, modern industrial cities like San Juan maintain hegemonic power relations through spatial practices, processes through which users and inhabitants of the city conceive, perceive and live space. Lefebvre further suggests that for social justice to be possible, space must be resignified in ways that expose otherwise invisibilized struggles for social belonging and differentiation. I argue that theatrical performance, by staging various social conflicts and contradictions between the dominating space and the appropriating space, can produce new "performance cartographies" through which its audiences – in large part disenfranchised from the neoliberal processes so celebrated elsewhere on the island – may find ways to resignify space or envision new spaces for social justice on their own behalf. Specifically, I examine five theatre groups and artists from oppressed sectors in San Juan, whose work is to various degrees in opposition to neoliberalism, to reveal how both their artistic and quotidian performances might be resignifying space toward these ends. How does the work of Agua, Sol y Sereno, Y no había luz, Teatro Breve, Deborah Hunt and Tito Kayak strategically claim or appropriate space? What kind of knowledges emerge from these spatial tactics, and how are they helping envision new forms of living and social justice in the city?

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Neoliberal Dis/Investments at a Charter School Teaching the Whole Child

Description

There has been a robust and ongoing investment in demystifying the discursive and material conditions of neoliberalism. Scholars in communication have done much work to explore the various rhetorical effects

There has been a robust and ongoing investment in demystifying the discursive and material conditions of neoliberalism. Scholars in communication have done much work to explore the various rhetorical effects and processes of neoliberal discourses and practices. Many of these case studies have tethered their concerns of neoliberalism to the conceptualization of the public sphere. However, most of this research rests on the absence of those that try to “make do.” By privileging rhetoric after the fact, such studies tend to provide more agency to ideology than everyday bodies that engage in their own rhetorical judgments and discernments. In addition, scholarship across the board tends to treat neoliberalism as something dangerously and uniquely new. This framing effectively serves to ignore the longer history of liberalism and liberal thought that paved the path of neoliberalism the United States is now on.

With these two broad concerns in mind, this study centers a case study of a charter school in South Phoenix to focus on the vernacular rhetorics of those on the ground. Guided by public sphere theory, critical race theory, and intersectionality, I take up rhetorical field methods to explore how those involved with this charter school navigate and make sense of school choice and charter schools in the age of neoliberalism. Within this context, field methods permit me to locate the various discourses, practices, and material constraints that shape running, being educated at, and selecting a charter school. These various rhetorical practices brought to the forefront an interest and concern with the school’s whole child approach as it is rooted within Stephen Covey’s (1989) seven habits. Additional qualitative data analysis brings about two new concepts of neoliberal scapegoating and dialectical vernacular complicity. Finally, I discuss the implications of these findings as they speak to how rhetorical field methods, supported by intersectionality and critical race theory, invites critics to center more agency on people rather than ideas, and how that makes for a more complicated and nuanced neoliberal reality and modes of resistance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Postfeminist distortions: complicated discourses of feminist identity, choice and sexuality

Description

In what has been coined the postfeminist era, successes of the second wave feminist movement have been distorted by sociopolitical and economic structures to proclaim that sexism and inequality no

In what has been coined the postfeminist era, successes of the second wave feminist movement have been distorted by sociopolitical and economic structures to proclaim that sexism and inequality no longer exist within liberal American society, and thus feminism as a movement is no longer necessary. While theoretical and quantitative work has examined women’s relationship with feminist identity, limited research exists on women’s subjective, qualitative accounts of feminist identity. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research on women’s subjective identification across the spectrum of feminist identity, particularly from non-college and non-white populations. Using thematic analysis this study critically analyzed 20 qualitative interviews from a community sample of women in a large Southwest city (Age range: 18-52; Mean age: 35.35, SD: 12.0). Narratives revealed four themes surrounding women’s identification with feminism and conceptions of sexuality: 1) Feminist self-labeling associated with a collective identity 2) Empowerment as a personal endeavor 3) Female empowerment and relationships with men and 4) Investments in femininity and sexual empowerment. This data supports the notion that feminist ideals of equality and agency have been distorted by postfeminist and neoliberal ideology to prevent women from identifying as feminists. Additionally, data postulate that this distortion has permeated ideologies of feminist women, thereby discouraging collective action for change.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Queer intimacy: performance in a time of neoliberalism

Description

Performance is a public speech act that can present the experience of difference and generate relations across lines of difference. In personal narrative performance, performers do not just tell stories,

Performance is a public speech act that can present the experience of difference and generate relations across lines of difference. In personal narrative performance, performers do not just tell stories, the stories they tell are strategic hailings that call attention to discourses that produce the conditions of their exclusion and form intimate relations in public. Personal narrative performance renders the private public. Performers take to the stage, the space of the public, to offer their stories, their bodies, and their relations to audiences for collective consideration. In turn, the act of performance generates further relations: among performers and audiences, and between performance and discourse. This study analyzes these two layers of relation in performance through looking at the ways neoliberalism and performance interanimate one another. Through looking at three sites of neoliberal relationality--same-sex marriage, family, and immigration and multiculturalism, it asks questions of how performers narrate and represent non-normative experiences within neoliberalism, the historical and cultural context through which they are living and narrating. In order to understand the cultural work, the resistive and relational potential, of the relations that occur in and through personal narrative performance, we also need to understand the political, cultural, and historical conditions under which narratives in performance are produced. My argument is that in and through performance intimacy is queered: it takes the private--the stuff of the personal presented as aesthetic communication--and renders that private very public. In public and through relations, performance can raise awareness and shift consciousness, reify orders of relation or generate alternate imaginaries. This is to say that a lot of different types of work are done in performance, and although performance is often seen as resistance, under the weight of neoliberalism, it is important to tend to what arguments performances are making and how in turn that shapes the relations that occur in the site of performance. Queer intimacy offers a way of engaging performance, an analytic that considers the text of performance as well as the relational context among performers and audiences, and turns back on larger cultural questions of belonging. The potential of performance, of the concept of queer intimacy, provides a lens to read performance, to tend to the conditions that give rise to and inform performance in the current historical moment. It brings together the critical impulse of intercultural communication and cultural studies with performance studies. From a critical cultural perspective, it tends to the structural in performance, and through performance emphasizes the lived experience as narrated and embodied as and through communication. Coupled with the impulses of queer theory, queer intimacy offers both resisting normativity and imagining beyond it. To consider queer intimacy in performance is not only to recognize that relations are made possible, but to tend closely to the belongings we are making.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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On the sidelines: postfeminism, neoliberalism, and the American female sportscaster

Description

The term “female sportscaster” elicits a broad range of feelings among the sports media consumer base. Many of the women who fall into the category of “female sportscaster” appear to

The term “female sportscaster” elicits a broad range of feelings among the sports media consumer base. Many of the women who fall into the category of “female sportscaster” appear to be greatly admired while many others evoke considerable scorn, making the electronic sports media industry a seemingly dangerous and often vitriolic environment for women. The gendered mistreatment of women sportscasters is not unfamiliar to sports media scholars. Indeed, phenomena such as sex biases, double standards, and harassment have been documented, primarily through positivistic or quantitative research. What has not been investigated, however, is how these phenomena persist and evolve despite the extant research.

This dissertation employs Michel Foucault’s power/knowledge paradigm to take a discursive analytic approach to understand how the “female sportscaster” subjectivity, or imagined idea, is constructed through statements, images, and practices. That is, this dissertation investigates the way society “talks about” the “female sportscaster” and how those discussions affect the experiences of women sportscasters. Using one-on-one interviews with 10 women sportscasters, focus groups with sports media consumers, netnography, and textual analysis under the umbrella of a feminist methodological approach, this dissertation finds that the American female subjectivity is constructed through postfeminist and neoliberal discourses. These discourses “empower” women sportscasters to be responsible for their own success but, in doing so, normalize the obstacles women in sportscasting endure.

As a result of this normalization, the electronic sports media industry is seemingly justified in taking little to no meaningful action toward improving conditions for women sportscasters. Specific manifestations of these discourses are traced across phenomena such as double standards, bias in hiring and development, harassment, and the expectation of affective labor. Suggestions are made for improving conditions for women sportscasters.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Transnationalizing Title IX: neoliberal formations of women's sport

Description

Transnational feminist scholars have increasingly recognized the need to interrogate the dominance of the US and the global north in transnational transactions. Chandra Mohanty argues that transnational feminist scholarship needs

Transnational feminist scholars have increasingly recognized the need to interrogate the dominance of the US and the global north in transnational transactions. Chandra Mohanty argues that transnational feminist scholarship needs to “address fundamental questions of systemic power and inequities and to develop feminist, antiracist analyses of neoliberalism, militarism, and heterosexism as nation-state-building projects” (2013, p. 968). Following this call for analyzing power from feminist, anti-racist stances, this dissertation interrogates Title IX as a nationalist discourse with global reach. As a law created in the era of liberal feminism, Title IX still operates today in neoliberal times and this dissertation makes sense of Title IX as an instrument of neoliberalized feminism in transnational sporting contexts. The following three case studies focus on Title IX as it travels across nation-state borders through 21st century ideas of equity, empowerment, and opportunity.

This dissertation begins by exploring at how transnational sporting policy regarding the participation standards of transgender and intersex athletes operates under the neoliberalized feminism of Title IX. It then moves to a discussion of a Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) project--Women Win’s digital storytelling project. In analyzing SDP projects, I map the cultural logics of Title IX’s neoliberalized feminism in the context of training girls and women to record their stories sport participation. Finally, the dissertation connects the context of the first Saudi female Olympians to Oiselle’s branding campaign of Sarah Attar, one of the first Saudi Olympians. It traces her image as an import-export product for the Olympic Committee and Oiselle through equity, opportunity, and empowerment.

Finally, these case studies are bridged by networking the discourses of investing in a girl (commodifying girls becoming autonomous actors through education and economics) to Title IX’s focus on gender equity in order to show how these discourses simultaneously increase and negatively impact participation in sports by women from the global south. Moreover, it offers how future research in women’s transnational sports can more ethically incorporate the standpoint of women from the global south in sport policy, SDP projects, and branding campaigns.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Development goals for the new millennia: discourse analysis of the evolution of the 2001 millennium development goals and 2015 sustainable development goals

Description

Through critical discourse analysis, this thesis explores the construction of poverty and development within and across the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the proposed post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals texts.

Through critical discourse analysis, this thesis explores the construction of poverty and development within and across the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the proposed post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals texts. The proposed post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals frame the international development landscape for the next 15 years, therefore it becomes imperative for civil society to understand their dominant economic schemes for poverty alleviation in order to adopt or oppose similar methods of poverty abatement. Deductively, this thesis investigates Keynesianism and neoliberalism, the dominant economic discourses whose deployments within the goals have shaped transnational frameworks for interpreting and mitigating poverty. It assesses the failures of the Millennium Development Goals, as articulated both by its creators and critics, and evaluates the responsiveness of the United Nations in the constitution of the proposed post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals in relation to these critiques through the lens of liberal feminist and World Social Forum discourses. These activist and oppositional social discourses embody competing values, representations, and problem-solution frames that challenge and resist the dominant economic discourses in both sets of goals. Additionally, this thesis uses an inductive approach to critically analyze both sets of goals in order to identify any emergent discursive frameworks grounded in each text that assist in understanding the problems of, and solutions to, poverty.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Does mixed-income housing facilitate upward social mobility of low-income residents?: the case of Vineyard Estates, Phoenix, AZ

Description

Mixed-income housing policy has been an approach to address the problem of concentrated poverty since the 1990s. The idea of income mix in housing is founded on the proposition that

Mixed-income housing policy has been an approach to address the problem of concentrated poverty since the 1990s. The idea of income mix in housing is founded on the proposition that economic opportunities of the poor can be expanded through the increasing of their social capital. The current in-depth case study of Vineyard Estates, a mixed-income housing development in Phoenix, AZ tests a hypothesis that low-income people improve their chances of upward social mobility by building ties with more affluent residents within the development. This study combines qualitative and quantitative methods to collect and analyze information including analysis of demographic data, resident survey and in-depth semi-structured interviews with residents, as well as direct observations. It focuses on examining the role of social networks established within the housing development in generating positive economic outcomes of the poor. It also analyzes the role of factors influencing interactions across income groups and barriers to upward social mobility. Study findings do not support that living in mixed-income housing facilitates residents' upward social mobility. The study concludes that chances of upward social mobility are restrained by structural factors and indicates a need to rethink the effectiveness of mixed-income housing as an approach for alleviating poverty.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013