Matching Items (17)

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Real Life Superheroes: An Ethnographic Exploration Behind Cosplay and Politics

Description

In this undergraduate thesis, I explore the relationship between politics and popular culture through an ethnography of Justice League Arizona, a cosplay ensemble devoted to costumed civic activism. While existing

In this undergraduate thesis, I explore the relationship between politics and popular culture through an ethnography of Justice League Arizona, a cosplay ensemble devoted to costumed civic activism. While existing scholarship addresses cosplay ensembles and political theory, there is very little that examines how the act of cosplay can be a form of politics and what the impact of that interpretation has on both individuals and the community at large. Through both participant observation and interviews with members of the ensemble, I discovered that cosplay has the ability to intensify aspects of the self, the ability to expose new aspects of the self, and the ability to bring one closer to a particular character. I also found cosplay to be political through the sensibility and situated knowledge that proves to be in practice during cosplay, ultimately having the power to be used as a form of political resistance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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State of the Union: A Third World Feminist Approach to Unions, Unity, and Advocacy

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Conducting an auto-ethnographic power analysis of a Service Industry Union (SIU) I use a feminist methodology to examine the ways women of color workers are accounted for, empowered, erased, silenced,

Conducting an auto-ethnographic power analysis of a Service Industry Union (SIU) I use a feminist methodology to examine the ways women of color workers are accounted for, empowered, erased, silenced, or disempowered within advocacy organizations. As I examine the micro and macro structures of power between the SIU and the grocery store, janitorial, slaughterhouse, and union workers who compose this institution, I write with the goal of amplifying the voices silenced and lost in the translation of power in our everyday lives. Critical to this analysis are notions of advocacy, home, voice, and empowerment.
In “Voices: Power and Powerlessness in Experiences of the Self,” I write about my authoethnographic journey and the complicated sense of power I had within this organization, which often became a source of penalty. Throughout my work, I play on the etymology of advocacy—to give voice to another—and the idea of advocacy groups as “voices” for the seemingly disempowered. Concepts of voice and voiceless-ness, who can give voice to another, how, and if we should even be a voice for others, are a constant theme. In “Shadowing: Blurring the lines between Empowerment and Disempowerment Roles,” I explore moments where my translator role as a bilingual, among other roles, became imperative to my understanding of my own actions and those of others within the SIU’s advocacy. Lastly in “Speaking and Speaking Over: Getting tangled in the Web of the Relations of Power,” and in “Erasure and Representation: the Silences between the lines,” I capture a few of the ways the voices of others and myself were either amplified, spoken for, or erased whilst the Union attempted to advocate (“give voice to,” “call forth”) for workers using what I perceived to be a classic business-unionism model.
From my observations of the relations between workers and the union employees, I argue that the SIU operated within systems of power, and was often on par with corporations in terms of power. Then, I theorize that what is needed is a third-world feminist approach to unity and unions that seeks to dismantle all systems of oppression and reorganize the systems of power to end all kinds of oppression—not just class-based, worker versus corporation, oppression. This would be a solution to the problems of speaking for, silencing, and erasure that the union encountered. As I use a full-force combination of theory and activism in my “Praxis” chapter to make such claim, I delve into feminist of color ideals of solidarity. In a feminist solidarity, individuals are united by their differences, not by homogeneous experience or identity. I advocate for a third-world feminist approach to unionism through feminist solidarity, and I emphasize love and friendship as the backbone of such an endeavor.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Rise of China and the Rise of Oceania: Exploring the Implications of China's Engagment in Oceania through a Pacific Island Perspective

Description

International relations scholarship in recent years has given great attention to the rise of China. In the developing countries of the Global South, China’s presence has increased significantly, challenging the

International relations scholarship in recent years has given great attention to the rise of China. In the developing countries of the Global South, China’s presence has increased significantly, challenging the dominating Western presence that existed hitherto. Of the developing regions, Oceania often warrants the least attention, as it receives the lowest share of trade, aid, and investment under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Despite this marginal role in China’s purview, international scholars offer the same, unbending conclusion: China is set out to challenge Western leadership and gain great power status in the region by incorporating countries into its sphere of influence. At the same time, Oceania has spawned anti-status quo sentiment against dominant western paradigms through the adoption of alternative regionalisms. Scholars attribute the rising anti-status quo sentiment to a ‘China Alternative,’ yet Pacific Islands continue to adopt positions counter to Chinese political and development tenants. In order to investigate the implications of China’s rise in Oceania, I depart from traditional realist and liberal models of the balance of power and soft power capabilities to explain international relations in Oceania. Through a constructivist theoretical framework conformed by an analytical process of Global IR, I set out to explain that anti-west sentiment does not signal the rise of China as a regional hegemon, but rather it grants more autonomy to the Pacific Islands that is sustained by islander agency.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-12

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An Invisible Politics: A Feminist/Interpretive Approach

Description

Every day we pass people without thinking everyone has a story. If an individual looks “normal,” any struggles faced living with an invisible disability are left without words or

Every day we pass people without thinking everyone has a story. If an individual looks “normal,” any struggles faced living with an invisible disability are left without words or thoughts due to the dominant norm—ableism. Conversely, a more visible disability may not be dismissed as quickly. Who are unseen, ignored, and misunderstood are those who live with invisible disabilities not only in a dominant able-bodied society, but also within academic scholarship as well, because they do not fit into the dominant definition of disability. In turn, binaries form between power relations and within knowledge production that create exclusion. This thesis is an intersectional analysis on expanding the definition of disability, specifically invisible disability, in order to deconstruct, challenge, and transform the hegemonic conceptualization of disability and break binaries in order to give voice to ignored and misunderstood narratives of invisible disabilities as well as foster and create nuanced understanding within knowledge production and power itself. I particularly use an autoethnographic approach to conduct this analysis of my own everyday, lived experience as a young, mixed race woman living with an invisible disability, or chronic illness, on how ableism operates in the medical sphere and at the academy, further exploring what it means to be a “good” or “bad” chronic illness patient and categorized and labeled by the stigmas attached to the definition of disability.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The Red State Revolt The Uniqueness of Arizona's Red for Ed Teacher's Movement

Description

The ongoing Red for Ed movement in Arizona sparks an interesting discussion on its place as a social movement. This thesis examines the movement in close detail, particularly in regard

The ongoing Red for Ed movement in Arizona sparks an interesting discussion on its place as a social movement. This thesis examines the movement in close detail, particularly in regard to how it fits within the social movement literature’s insider/outsider framework. While partisanship is clearly important for understanding movement successes and failures, this study goes beyond party to explore through the case of Arizona how teacher movements are constrained by 1) teacher associations that operate as outsiders to state politics and 2) school districts that isolate the problem priorities (funding; teacher pay) from gaining large-scale public reaction that can be leveraged to change state policy. In short, I show how teacher movements face significant institutional barriers that localize their messaging and prevent insider access from state politics.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Patient narratives of myalgic encephalomyelitis: situated knowledge for re/constructing healthcare

Description

Medical policies, practices, and definitions do not exist solely in the clinical realm; they show up in the lived experiences of patients. This research examines how people with the chronic

Medical policies, practices, and definitions do not exist solely in the clinical realm; they show up in the lived experiences of patients. This research examines how people with the chronic illness called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) define their own illness experiences. They have situated knowledge about their illness onset, search for care, and clinical encounters. Their knowledge complicates and challenges the existing norms in clinical practice and medical discourse, as the experience of searching for care with ME reveals weaknesses in a system that is focused on acute care. Patient narratives reveal institutional patterns that obstruct access to medical care, such as disbelief from clinicians and lack of training in chronic illness protocols. They also reveal patterns in physician behavior that indicate the likelihood of receiving effective care. These patient narratives serve as a basis for continued examination of ME as well as further reconstruction of medical practice and procedure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Unveiled: France's inability to accept Islam

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The thesis I have written aims to investigate the underlying reasons why France has considered Islam as unassimilable and why it has targeted Muslim women’s bodies to force assimilation. In

The thesis I have written aims to investigate the underlying reasons why France has considered Islam as unassimilable and why it has targeted Muslim women’s bodies to force assimilation. In the first section of the thesis, I examine the colonial relationship between France and Algeria. I conclude that Algeria’s independence from France significantly influenced the negative treatment towards immigrants in postcolonial France. I then study the racist discourse that dominated French politics in the 1980s; and clarify how this has laid the foundation for the first attempt to ban the headscarves in public schools during the 1980s. The final section explores the 2004 ban on conspicuous religious symbols, a ban that significantly targeted the headscarf. I conclude that the prohibition of the headscarf undermined the rights of Muslim women and symbolized France’s inability to accept Islam, since France feared Islam’s visibility weakened a dominant French identity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Do battered women in rural India have access to freedom?

Description

This thesis reviews options available to women in rural India and whether these opportunities grant them freedom. Initially, I distinguish the term freedom from autonomy, recognizing the flaws in the

This thesis reviews options available to women in rural India and whether these opportunities grant them freedom. Initially, I distinguish the term freedom from autonomy, recognizing the flaws in the theory of autonomy. I identify freedom as a human's ability to make choices without external coercion. This differs from the concept of autonomy because autonomy does not recognize culture as a form of coercion; autonomy also neglects to consider the possibility of a person making a decision that affects his or her life negatively. These concepts tie into battered women in rural India because of the pressure they receive from cultural forces to make decisions reflecting practiced gender norms. Through case study research, I found that battered women in India lack access to freedom, being unable to access their freedom because of the constant threat of violence and/or ostracism. I drew this conclusion after reviewing opportunities of financial freedom through micro-credit loans, land-owning, and women’s employment. I reflect on freedom of mobility, and examine women’s threat of violence in both the public and private sectors. Lastly, I reviewed women’s political freedom in rural India, reviewing laws that were passed to ensure women’s equality. Women in India are already in a vulnerable position because of existing gender norms that require women to perform tasks for the benefit of the men in her life. A woman under the threat of domestic violence is twice as vulnerable because of her positionality as a woman in her culture, as well as a wife in her marriage. She is bound by gender norms in society, as well as her expected marital duties as a wife. Being unable to escape the threat of violence in both her private and public spheres, a woman experiencing domestic violence has virtually no access to freedom. I suggest that state and community-level empowerment is necessary before individual-level empowerment is effective and culturally accepted.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Women Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Understanding the Political Engagement and Civil Society Inclusion of CSA Survivors

Description

Do adult women survivors of childhood sexual abuse see their past victimization as having any relation to or impact on their current political engagement? While it is important to know

Do adult women survivors of childhood sexual abuse see their past victimization as having any relation to or impact on their current political engagement? While it is important to know how having experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA) impacts women survivors’ adult personal relationships, health, and wellbeing, more research must be done on how these abuse experiences affect women survivors’ political engagement. Nearly 25,900,000 women voters in the United States have likely experienced childhood sexual abuse (National Sexual Violence Resource Center 2011), therefore it is imperative and participation. This interpretive autoethnographic and ethnographic study examines the narratives of six women CSA survivors currently attending a counselling support group, and employs feminist methodology to conceptualize the women’s beliefs and feelings on the impact of CSA on their political participation. The findings of this study, however, do not seek to be generalizable to all women survivors of CSA, but instead reveal how six adult women survivors of CSA cope with and interpret their victimization as having an impact on their adult political engagement and participation. Utilizing interpretive concepts of power, citizenship, and civil society, this study finds that adult women survivors of CSA may be more politically active if they have a safe space to disclose their abuse experiences to fellow survivors of CSA. This study suggests that a civil society community of adult CSA survivors might be beneficial for survivors and may encourage survivors to see political engagement as a viable avenue for healing from the trauma of CSA.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Orange is my Favorite Color: An Autoethnographic Account of a Volunteer Educator in the American Prison System

Description

The United States of America incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, with the rate of growth for the imprisonment for women being currently twice that of

The United States of America incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, with the rate of growth for the imprisonment for women being currently twice that of men. Despite these alarming numbers women are often deemed the forgotten population within the carceral system. Using feminist inquiry within an interpretivist framework, I employ an autoethnographic account to examine my experience as a volunteer educator within the American Prison system. The 'data' within the autoethnography include my thoughts, eventualities, and reflections that are analyzed through an iterative cycle. Due to the creative nature of this thesis, 'data' are represented through a series of concepts, including art, photographs, and shifting narratives that mediate the language between theory and the lived experiences of incarcerated women. The data within this thesis however are not mine alone, they are cogenerated with the women of the Perryville Correctional Facility. Using feminist-based practices the representations of incarcerated women come from the women themselves , thus serving as a method of survival, as a form of activism, and as a tool of healing and justice that is not linked to reform. This thesis serves to simultaneously challenge and contribute to the traditional scholarship surrounding female incarceration by centering the voices of incarcerated women, and in turn serving as a form of liberatory action.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020