Matching Items (3)

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Negotiating healthy self-government: a grounded theory study of interactions in Arizona's WIC program

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Individual behavior change is a goal of many public policies directed at people of low socioeconomic status. Without evidence of behavioral change, these policies cannot be considered a success: a process of co-production where some level of cooperation between the

Individual behavior change is a goal of many public policies directed at people of low socioeconomic status. Without evidence of behavioral change, these policies cannot be considered a success: a process of co-production where some level of cooperation between the client and program administrators is required to successfully meet program objectives. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), is one example of a co-production design. WIC encourages women to engage in healthy behaviors by providing healthy food along with nutrition education to improve the health status of low-income families. However, while WIC is one of the most studied nutrition programs, little attention has been paid to the nutrition education portion or to interactions between staff members and participants. This research draws on the public policy and administration literature about street-level bureaucrats and co-production, which provides a framework for understanding the purposeful, inter-dependent relationships between front-line service providers and clients. However, neither literature explicates the process of interactions that is expected to lead to client behavior change and co-production. The primary contribution of this research is the creation of a grounded theory that identifies and explains the WIC interaction process as one of "negotiating healthy self-government". Based on analysis of three months of observations of WIC encounters in two clinics, this research finds that participants and staff members enter into tacit and explicit negotiations concerning the degree to which participants should govern their family's nutrition-related behavior. Clients actively shape the interactions by demonstrating their discipline and efforts to feed their families, while staff members refine and reinforce self-governing behaviors through assessing action, and providing advice to ensure behaviors meet recommendations. Finally, participants and staff members distinctly link self-governing behavior to identity: "good mothers" feed their children healthy food and govern their behaviors to meet nutritional recommendations. This research has implications for the study of behavior change promotion in public programs by introducing the concept of identity as a mechanism for governance and explicating the interaction process between front-line service providers and clients

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Date Created
2014

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Living in the Arizona Testbed: Mapping the Spaces and Work of Sociotechnical Imagination and Assembly

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Technology and society co-exist, influencing each other simultaneously and iteratively, in ways that are sufficiently interdependent that it can be hard to see where one ends and the other begins. A set of sociotechnical relations exist between and across society

Technology and society co-exist, influencing each other simultaneously and iteratively, in ways that are sufficiently interdependent that it can be hard to see where one ends and the other begins. A set of sociotechnical relations exist between and across society and technologies that structure the ways that people live and work. What happens to sociotechnical relations when technologies are introduced or changed? In this dissertation, I argue that key parts of the processes that link technological and social change occur in a liminal space between the invention of new technologies and their widespread adoption and integration in society. In this space, engineers, businesses, and users of new technologies imagine, explore, develop, and test new ways of weaving together technology and society in novel sociotechnical arrangements. I call this space between invention and adoption a testbed, which I theorize as an early phase of technological deployment where outcomes are explored and tested, and sociotechnical assemblages are imagined, assembled, evaluated, and stabilized. I argue that the testbed, which is often delimited in both time and location, should be understood, interrogated, and governed appropriately to anticipate and examine the possibilities of social disruption inherent in technological change and to design the relationships between technology and society to improve sociotechnical outcomes. To understand the testbed, I engage in a case study of the Arizona public autonomous vehicle testbed, leveraging a multi-method approach that includes public observations, interviews, a survey, and content analyses. Through this work, I analyze diverse aspects of the testbed and articulate how the work of testbed actors imagines, assembles, tests, and stabilizes sociotechnical assemblages and futures. The dissertation builds on the insights gained from this investigation to evaluate the testbed and develop recommendations about assessing the space between technology invention and widespread adoption. Ultimately, this dissertation concludes that testbeds are key places where futures get made and so should be given greater attention by theorists of innovation and by societies confronting the societal and ethical challenges posed by new technologies.

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Date Created
2021

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Design and Evaluation of a Concentrating Solar Power System with Thermochemical Water Splitting Process for the Co-production of Hydrogen and Electricity

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Thermodynamic development and balance of plant study is completed for a 30 MW solar thermochemical water splitting process that generates hydrogen gas and electric power. The generalized thermodynamic model includes 23 components and 45 states. Quasi-steady state simulations are completed

Thermodynamic development and balance of plant study is completed for a 30 MW solar thermochemical water splitting process that generates hydrogen gas and electric power. The generalized thermodynamic model includes 23 components and 45 states. Quasi-steady state simulations are completed for design point system sizing, annual performance analysis and sensitivity analysis. Detailed consideration is given to water splitting reaction kinetics with governing equations generalized for use with any redox-active metal oxide material. Specific results for Ceria illustrate particle reduction in two solar receivers for target oxygen partial pressure of 10 Pa and particle temperature of 1773 K at a design point DNI of 900 W/m2. Sizes of the recuperator, steam generator and hydrogen separator are calculated at the design point DNI to achieve 100,000 kg of hydrogen production per day from the plant. The total system efficiency of 39.52% is comprised of 50.7% hydrogen fraction and 19.62% electrical fraction. Total plant capital costs and operating costs are estimated to equate a hydrogen production cost of $4.40 per kg for a 25-year plant life. Sensitivity analysis explores the effect of environmental parameters and design parameters on system performance and cost. Improving recuperator effectiveness from 0.7 to 0.8 is a high-value design modification resulting in a 12.1% decrease in hydrogen cost for a modest 2.0% increase in plant $2.85M. At the same time, system efficiency is relatively inelastic to recuperator effectiveness because 81% of excess heat is recovered from the system for electricity production 39 MWh/day and revenue is $0.04 per kWh. Increasing water inlet pressure up to 20 bar reduces the size and cost of super heaters but further pressure rises increasing pump at a rate that outweighs super heater cost savings.

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Date Created
2018