Matching Items (3)

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Assessing positive youth development programs for sustainable participant outcomes

Description

Positive Youth Development (PYD) programs include intentional efforts by peers, adults, communities, schools, and organizations to provide opportunities for youth to increase their skills, abilities, and interests in positive activities.

Positive Youth Development (PYD) programs include intentional efforts by peers, adults, communities, schools, and organizations to provide opportunities for youth to increase their skills, abilities, and interests in positive activities. The goal of PYD is to provide positive outcomes where youth are viewed as resources to be developed rather than problems to be managed. Future generations rely on youth as active contributing members of society and PYD programs promote sustainable futures for young individuals and the community. PYD programs started in the United States and grew out of interest in prevention programs targeting risky behavior of youth.

Interest is growing in expanding PYD programs internationally as they may promote resilient characteristics and sustainable life skills. In particular, and one focus area of this dissertation, interest is growing in rural Asia. However, given the interdisciplinary nature of PYD programs, there are no standard assessment metrics or tools in place. Without standards, comparing PYD programs effectively is impossible. Within this dissertation, in four papers, I 1) develop a universal PYD assessment tool, the Positive Youth Development Sustainability Scale (PYDSS), 2) apply the PYDSS to two PYD programs in rural Thailand as a quantitative analysis, 3) use the categories of the PYDSS as a coding guide for qualitative analysis of two PYD programs in rural Thailand, and 4) assess a PYD program in the Phoenix-metro area that integrates physical activity, academics, and ethics. Results indicate that the PYDSS can be applied to PYD programs in both Thailand and Phoenix and that a mixed methods approach is a suggested form or data collection. My research could lead to the further improvement of current PYD programs and their intervention role, while also promoting universal PYD assessment techniques that support sustainable impacts on youth as a result of program intervention and design.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Constructing religious modernities: hybridity, reinterpretation, and adaptation in Thailand's international meditation centers

Description

This dissertation project addresses one of the most critical problems in the study of religion: how new formations of religion are constructed and constituted. My work builds on the recent

This dissertation project addresses one of the most critical problems in the study of religion: how new formations of religion are constructed and constituted. My work builds on the recent revisions of the secularization theory, which demonstrates the alternative and hybrid ways people seek out religion in modernity. To this end, my project examines the emerging popularity and phenomenon of international meditation centers in Thailand, focusing on encounters between international meditation center teachers and their international students. Through participant observation and in-depth interviews at these sites throughout Thailand, my project explores the social processes of religious change and adaptation, and the construction of religious meaning. I detail the historical conditions that led to the formation of persisting ideas of Buddhism by tracing the continuities between Orientalist interpretations and modern-day spiritual seekers. My work contributes to a greater understanding of the most recent articulation of this engagement and interaction between Buddhism and the international community and adds to the burgeoning scholarship that reconsiders the relationship between religion and modernity. I investigate this relationship in regard to international meditation centers in Thailand through three angles: promotional materials concerning meditation in Thailand, experiences of international meditators, and teachings of international meditation center teachers. I contextualize this ethnographic analysis with an evaluation of the relationship of Buddhism to discourses of modernity and Orientalism as well as a historical inquiry into the rise of lay meditation in Thailand. Throughout I argue that international meditators' engagement with meditation in Thai temples constitutes a hybrid religiosity where the decontextualized practice of meditation is mixed with both non-religious and other religious beliefs and practices. Social discourses and practices involving meditation, even in a Buddhist country, demonstrate the deconstruction of traditional religiosity in modernity and the rise of hybrid religiosity. Through the decontextualization of meditation and the discourse of the practice having no religious boundaries, meditation becomes mixed with tourism, therapy, healing, as well as other religious and secular practices. This research contributes to studies of Theravada Buddhism as well as modern, global religions and the contemporary intersection between religion and tourism.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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An institutional approach to understanding energy transitions

Description

Energy is a central concern of sustainability because how we produce and consume energy affects society, economy, and the environment. Sustainability scientists are interested in energy transitions away from fossil

Energy is a central concern of sustainability because how we produce and consume energy affects society, economy, and the environment. Sustainability scientists are interested in energy transitions away from fossil fuels because they are nonrenewable, increasingly expensive, have adverse health effects, and may be the main driver of climate change. They see an opportunity for developing countries to avoid the negative consequences fossil-fuel-based energy systems, and also to increase resilience, by leap-frogging-over the centralized energy grid systems that dominate the developed world. Energy transitions pose both challenges and opportunities. Obstacles to transitions include 1) an existing, centralized, complex energy-grid system, whose function is invisible to most users, 2) coordination and collective-action problems that are path dependent, and 3) difficulty in scaling up RE technologies. Because energy transitions rely on technological and social innovations, I am interested in how institutional factors can be leveraged to surmount these obstacles. The overarching question that underlies my research is: What constellation of institutional, biophysical, and social factors are essential for an energy transition? My objective is to derive a set of "design principles," that I term institutional drivers, for energy transitions analogous to Ostrom's institutional design principles. My dissertation research will analyze energy transitions using two approaches: applying the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework and a comparative case study analysis comprised of both primary and secondary sources. This dissertation includes: 1) an analysis of the world's energy portfolio; 2) a case study analysis of five countries; 3) a description of the institutional factors likely to promote a transition to renewable-energy use; and 4) an in-depth case study of Thailand's progress in replacing nonrenewable energy sources with renewable energy sources. My research will contribute to our understanding of how energy transitions at different scales can be accomplished in developing countries and what it takes for innovation to spread in a society.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013