Matching Items (33)

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Socio-Political Sentencing Reform Movements in 21st Century California: An analysis of gender injustice within the sentencing code

Description

Sentencing reform has been the subject of much debate in the 21st century and has resulted in a great deal of consternation in state and federal systems of government (Chesney-Lind,

Sentencing reform has been the subject of much debate in the 21st century and has resulted in a great deal of consternation in state and federal systems of government (Chesney-Lind, 2012). The public does not view incarceration as an important topic needing attention or requiring change, which makes invisible the needs and histories of prisoners as a consequence of not addressing them (Connor, 2001). Through an analysis of the spectrum of women’s crime, ranging from non-violent drug trafficking to homicide, I conclude within this paper that the criminal justice system was written as a male-oriented code of addressing crime, which has contributed to women being made into easier targets for arrest and female imprisonment at increasing rates for longer lengths of time.
In the last decade, California’s imprisoned population of women has increased by nearly 400% (Chesney-Lind, 2012). The focus of this thesis is to discuss the treatment—or lack thereof—of women within California’s criminal justice system and sentencing laws. By exploring its historical approach to two criminal actions related to women, the Three Strikes law (including non-violent drug crimes) and the absence of laws accounting for experiences of female victims of domestic violence who killed their abusers, I explore how California’s criminal code has marginalized women, and present a summary of the adverse effects brought about by the gender invisibility that is endemic within sentencing policies and practice. I also discuss recent attempted and successful reforms related to these issues, which evidence a shift toward social dialogue on sentencing aiming to address gender inequity in the sentencing code. These reforms were the result of activism; organizations, academics and individuals successfully raised awareness regarding excessive and undue sentencing of women and compelled action by the legislature.
By method of a feminist analysis of these histories, I explore these two pertinent issues in California; both are related to women who, under harsh sentencing laws, were incarcerated under the state’s male-focused legislation. Responses to the inequalities found in these laws included attempts toward both visibility for women and reform related to sentencing. I analyze the ontology of sentencing reform as it relates to activism in order to discuss the implications of further criminal code legislation, as well as the implications of the 2012 reforms in practice. Through the paper, I focus upon how women have become a target of arrest and long sentences not because they are strategically arrested to equalize their representation behind bars, but because the “tough on crime” framework in the criminal code cast a wide and fixed net that incarcerated increasingly more women following the codification of both mandatory minimums and a male-oriented approach to sentencing (Chesney-Lind et. al, 2012).

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The Balancing Act of Working Mothers: A Deeper Look into Women Pursuing Medical Careers

Description

The intent of this thesis was to explore current literature to further understand the work environments of medical fields and the obstacles that are unique to women pursuing medical careers.

The intent of this thesis was to explore current literature to further understand the work environments of medical fields and the obstacles that are unique to women pursuing medical careers. It is acknowledged that a significant glass ceiling exists for women in medical fields, specifically areas such as academia and surgery. Thus, the research is focused on determining explanations for a lack of women in said medical specialties, as well as understanding the source of the obstacles women face in medicine. This study was designed to obtain a general background from a literature review and then, to compare and supplement the findings with in-depth interviews of females in a variety of medical careers. From the literature review and the interviews, it was confirmed that the largest area of inequality women in medical fields faced was struggling to balance work and personal life, specifically motherhood. Furthermore, the knowledge gained from the literature review and interviews provided a framework for suggesting possible solutions to help women successfully balance a professional medical career and a personal life.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Emerging Environmental Justice Issues in Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination

Description

Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste,

Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste, and are subject to catastrophic contamination events. Justice concerns include plant locations and the large potentially exposed populations, as well as issues in siting, nuclear safety, and barriers to public participation. Other justice issues relate to extensive contamination in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, and the mining and processing industries that have supported it. To approach the topic, first we discuss distributional justice issues of NPP sites in the U.S. and related procedural injustices in siting, operation, and emergency preparedness. Then we discuss justice concerns involving the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and the ways that uranium mining, processing, and weapons development have affected those living downwind, including a substantial American Indian population. Next we examine the problem of high-level nuclear waste and the risk implications of the lack of secure long-term storage. The handling and deposition of toxic nuclear wastes pose new transgenerational justice issues of unprecedented duration, in comparison to any other industry. Finally, we discuss the persistent risks of nuclear technologies and renewable energy alternatives.

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  • 2016-07-12

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Border crossings: smuggling operations in the Southwest

Description

Following the implementation of federal immigration control measures in the 1990s, Arizona became the main point of entry for undocumented immigrants along the US border with Mexico in the early

Following the implementation of federal immigration control measures in the 1990s, Arizona became the main point of entry for undocumented immigrants along the US border with Mexico in the early 2000s. Since then, reports have blamed human smuggling facilitators for the increase of undocumented immigration into the state and the apparent development of violent practices targeting the undocumented. However, little is known about the organization of the groups who work at facilitating the transit of undocumented immigrants along the US Mexico Border. Based on interviews and narratives present in legal files of smuggling cases prosecuted in Phoenix, Arizona, the present study provides an analysis of local human smuggling operations. It argues that far from being under the control of organized crime, smuggling is an income generating strategy of the poor that generates financial opportunities for community members in financial distress. The study, raises questions over smuggling's perceptions as violent and instead identifies smuggling-related violence as a reflection of the structural violence carried out by the state against immigrant communities through policing, surveillance and the consistent and systematic exercise of race-based policies.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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The resonance of place: music and race in Salvador da Bahia

Description

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the aural, though in no way leaving behind the visual, opens the discipline to new areas of human and cultural geography invisible in ocular-centric approaches. At its broadest level, my argument in this dissertation is that music can no longer be simply an object of geographical research. Re-conceptualized and re-theorized in a geographical context to take into account its very real, active, and more-than-representational presence in social life, music provides actual routes to geographic knowledge of the world. I start by constructing a theoretical framework and methodological approach for studying music beyond representation. Based on these theoretical and methodological arguments, I present four narratives that unfold at the intersections of race and music in the northeast Brazilian city of Salvador. From the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to the troubled neighborhood of the Pelourinho, from the manic tempos of samba to the laid back grooves of samba-reggae, and in the year-round competition between the oppressive forces of ordinary time and the fleeting possibility of carnival, music emerges as a creative societal force with affects and effects far beyond the realm of representation. Together, these narratives exemplify the importance of expanding geographical considerations beyond a strictly visual framework. These narratives contribute to the musicalization of the discipline of geography.

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Date Created
  • 2011

Environmental justice issues in communities hosting US nuclear power plants

Description

This study explores the potential risks associated with the 65 U.S.-based commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the distribution of those risks among the populations of both their respective host

This study explores the potential risks associated with the 65 U.S.-based commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the distribution of those risks among the populations of both their respective host communities and of the communities located in outlying areas. First, I examine the relevant environmental justice issues. I start by examining the racial/ethnic composition of the host community populations, as well as the disparities in socio-economic status that exist, if any, between the host communities and communities located in outlying areas. Second, I estimate the statistical associations that exist, if any, between a population's distance from a NPP and several independent variables. I conduct multivariate ordinary least square (OLS) regression analyses and spatial autocorrelation regression (SAR) analyses at the national, regional and individual-NPP levels. Third, I construct a NPP potential risk index (NPP PRI) that defines four discrete risk categories--namely, very high risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk. The NPP PRI allows me then to estimate the demographic characteristics of the populations exposed to each so-defined level of risk. Fourth, using the Palo Verde NPP as the subject, I simulate a scenario in which a NPP experiences a core-damage accident. I use the RASCAL 4.3 software to simulate the path of dispersion of the resultant radioactive plume, and to investigate the statistical associations that exist, if any, between the dispersed radioactive plume and the demographic characteristics of the populations located within the plume's footprint. This study utilizes distributive justice theories to understand the distribution of the potential risks associated with NPPs, many of which are unpredictable, irreversible and inescapable. I employ an approach that takes into account multiple stakeholders in order to provide avenues for all parties to express concerns, and to ensure the relevance and actionability of any resulting policy recommendations.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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A socio-ecological understanding of extreme heat vulnerability in Maricopa County, Arizona

Description

This dissertation explores vulnerability to extreme heat hazards in the Maricopa County, Arizona metropolitan region. By engaging an interdisciplinary approach, I uncover the epidemiological, historical-geographical, and mitigation dimensions of human

This dissertation explores vulnerability to extreme heat hazards in the Maricopa County, Arizona metropolitan region. By engaging an interdisciplinary approach, I uncover the epidemiological, historical-geographical, and mitigation dimensions of human vulnerability to extreme heat in a rapidly urbanizing region characterized by an intense urban heat island and summertime heat waves. I first frame the overall research within global climate change and hazards vulnerability research literature, and then present three case studies. I conclude with a synthesis of the findings and lessons learned from my interdisciplinary approach using an urban political ecology framework. In the first case study I construct and map a predictive index of sensitivity to heat health risks for neighborhoods, compare predicted neighborhood sensitivity to heat-related hospitalization rates, and estimate relative risk of hospitalizations for neighborhoods. In the second case study, I unpack the history and geography of land use/land cover change, urban development and marginalization of minorities that created the metropolitan region's urban heat island and consequently, the present conditions of extreme heat exposure and vulnerability in the urban core. The third study uses computational microclimate modeling to evaluate the potential of a vegetation-based intervention for mitigating extreme heat in an urban core neighborhood. Several findings relevant to extreme heat vulnerability emerge from the case studies. First, two main socio-demographic groups are found to be at higher risk for heat illness: low-income minorities in sparsely-vegetated neighborhoods in the urban core, and the elderly and socially-isolated in the expansive suburban fringe of Maricopa County. The second case study reveals that current conditions of heat exposure in the region's urban heat island are the legacy of historical marginalization of minorities and large-scale land-use/land cover transformations of natural desert land covers into heat-retaining urban surfaces of the built environment. Third, summertime air temperature reductions in the range 0.9-1.9 °C and of up to 8.4 °C in surface temperatures in the urban core can be achieved through desert-adapted canopied vegetation, suggesting that, at the microscale, the urban heat island can be mitigated by creating vegetated park cool islands. A synthesis of the three case studies using the urban political ecology framework argues that climate changed-induced heat hazards in cities must be problematized within the socio-ecological transformations that produce and reproduce urban landscapes of risk. The interdisciplinary approach to heat hazards in this dissertation advances understanding of the social and ecological drivers of extreme heat by drawing on multiple theories and methods from sociology, urban and Marxist geography, microclimatology, spatial epidemiology, environmental history, political economy and urban political ecology.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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A comparative assessment of community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in Buckeye and Cave Creek, Arizona

Description

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community water systems. Community water system managing entities and the biophysical and social characteristics of a place mediate communities' vulnerability to hazards such as drought and long-term climate change. The arid southwestern Phoenix metropolitan area is illustrative of the challenges that developed urban areas in arid climates face globally as population growth and climate change stress already fragile human-environmental systems. This thesis reveals the factors abating and exacerbating differential community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in communities simultaneously facing drought and rapid peri-urban growth. Employing a grounded, qualitative comparative case study approach, this thesis explores the interaction of social, biophysical and institutional factors as they effect the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of community water systems in Cave Creek and Buckeye, Arizona. Buckeye, once a small agricultural town in the West Valley, is wholly dependent on groundwater and currently planning for massive development to accommodate 218,591 new residents by 2020. Amid desert hills and near Tonto National Forest in the North Valley, Cave Creek is an upscale residential community suffering frequent water outages due to aging infrastructure and lack of system redundancy. Analyzing interviews, media accounts and policy documents, a narrative was composed explaining how place based factors, nested within a regional institutional water management framework, impact short and long-term vulnerability. This research adds to the library of vulnerability assessments completed using Polsky et al.'s Vulnerability Scoping Diagram and serves a pragmatic need assisting in the development of decision making tools that better represent the drivers of placed based vulnerability in arid metropolitan regions.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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The Belly Dancer Project: a phenomenological study of gendered identity through documentary filmmaking

Description

In this study, the researcher develops a documentary-driven methodology to understand the ways four women in the United States use their involvement in the belly dance phenomenon to shape their

In this study, the researcher develops a documentary-driven methodology to understand the ways four women in the United States use their involvement in the belly dance phenomenon to shape their ongoing individual identity development. The filmmaking process itself and its efficacy as a process to promote self-understanding and identity growth among the participating belly dancers, are also investigated phenomenologically. Methodological steps taken in the documentary-driven methodology include: initial filmed interviews, co-produced filmed dance performances, editorial interviews to review footage with each dancer, documentary film production, dancer-led focus groups to screen the film, and exit interviews with each dancer. The project generates new understandings about the ways women use belly dance to shape their individual identities to include: finding community with other women in private women's spaces, embodying the music through the dance movements, and finding liberation from their everyday "selves" through costume and performance.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Matter and matterings in historic habitation

Description

Residential historic preservation occurs through inhabitation. Through day-to-day domesticities a suite of bodily comportments and aesthetic practices are perpetually at work tearing and stitching the historic fabric anew. Such paradoxical

Residential historic preservation occurs through inhabitation. Through day-to-day domesticities a suite of bodily comportments and aesthetic practices are perpetually at work tearing and stitching the historic fabric anew. Such paradoxical practice materializes seemingly incompatible relations between past and present, people and things. Through a playful posture of experience/experiment, this dissertation attends to the materiality of historic habitation vis-à-vis practices and performances in the Coronado historic neighborhood (1907-1942) in Phoenix, Arizona. Characterized by diversity in the built and social environs, Coronado defies preservation's exclusionary tendencies. First, I propose a theoretical frame to account for the amorphous expression of nostalgia, the way it seeps, tugs, and lures `historic' people and things together. I push the argument that everyday nostalgic practice and performance in Coronado gives rise to an aesthetic of pastness that draws attention to what is near, a sensual attunement of care rather than strict adherence to preservation guidelines. Drawing on the institutional legacy of Neighborhood Housing Services, I then rethink residential historic preservation in Coronado as urban bricolage, the aesthetic ordering of urban space through practices of inclusivity, temporal juxtaposition, and the art of everyday living. Finally, I explore the historic practice of home touring in Coronado as demonstrative of urban hospitality, an opening of self and neighborhood toward other bodies, critical in the making of viable, ethical urban communities. These three moments contribute to the body of literature rethinking urbanism as sensual, enchanted, and hospitable.

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Date Created
  • 2013