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Gender Differences in Perceptions of Water in Arizona: Insights from the Science of Water Art Project

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The Science of Water Art project is a collaborative work that brings together professionals, community members, college students and children to think about the role that water plays in each

The Science of Water Art project is a collaborative work that brings together professionals, community members, college students and children to think about the role that water plays in each of our lives. Using a sample of 4th grade classrooms in Maricopa County, over 3000 drawings of children's perception of water today and in the future were collected. The 9-11 year olds were asked to draw pictures of 1) how they saw water being used in their neighborhood today (T1), and 2) how they imagined water would be used in their neighborhood 100 years from now (T2). The artwork was collected and coded for nine different themes, including: vegetation, scarcity, pollution, commercial sources of water, existing technology, technology innovation, recreational use, domestic use, and natural sources of water. Statistically significant differences were found between boys and girls for vegetation, technology and domestic use themes. This project allows for a look into how climate change and water insecurity is viewed by younger generations and gives a voice to children so that they may share their outlooks on this vital resource.

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  • 2013-05

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Cultural Understandings and Lived Realities of Entrepreneurship in Post-Apartheid South Africa

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This dissertation examines cultural understandings and lived realities of entrepreneurship across South Africa’s economic landscape, comparing the experiences of Cape Town’s Black entrepreneurs in under-resourced townships to those of White

This dissertation examines cultural understandings and lived realities of entrepreneurship across South Africa’s economic landscape, comparing the experiences of Cape Town’s Black entrepreneurs in under-resourced townships to those of White entrepreneurs in the wealthy, high finance business district. Based on 13 months of participant observation and interviews with 60 entrepreneurs, I find major differences between these groups of entrepreneurs, which I explain in three independent analyses that together form this dissertation. The first analysis examines the entrepreneurial motivations of Black entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s largest township. This analysis gives insight into expressed cultural values of entrepreneurship beyond a priori neoliberal analytical frameworks. The second analysis compares the material resources that Black entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha and White entrepreneurs in downtown Cape Town require for their businesses, and the mechanisms through which they secure these resources. This analysis demonstrates how historical structures of economic inequality affect entrepreneurial strategies. The third analysis assesses the non-material obstacles and challenges that both Black entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha and White entrepreneurs in wealthy areas of downtown Cape Town face in initiating their business ventures. This analysis highlights the importance of cultural capital to entrepreneurship and explains how non-material obstacles differ for entrepreneurs in different positions of societal power. Taken together, my findings contribute to two long-established lines of anthropological scholarship on entrepreneurship: (1) the moral values and understandings of entrepreneurship, and (2) the strategies and practices of entrepreneurship. I demonstrate the need to expand anthropological understandings of entrepreneurship to better theorize diverse economies, localized understandings and values of entrepreneurship, and the relationship of entrepreneurship to notions of economic justice. Yet, through comparative analysis I also demonstrate that diverse and localized values of entrepreneurship must be considered within the context of societal power structures; such context allows scholars to assess if and how diverse entrepreneurial values have the potential to make broad-scale social and/or cultural change. As such, I argue for the importance of putting these two streams of anthropological research into conversation with one another in order to gain a more holistic understanding of the relationship between the cultural meanings and the practices of entrepreneurship.

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  • 2018