Matching Items (4)

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Increasing scales of social interaction and the role of Lake Cahuilla in the systemic fragility of the Hohokam system (A.D. 700-1100)

Description

Exchange is fundamental to human society, and anthropologists have long documented the large size and complexity of exchange systems in a range of societies. Recent work on the banking system

Exchange is fundamental to human society, and anthropologists have long documented the large size and complexity of exchange systems in a range of societies. Recent work on the banking system of today's world suggests that complex exchange systems may become systemically fragile and in some types of complex exchange systems that involve feedbacks there exists a fundamental trade-off between robustness (stability) and systemic fragility. These properties may be observable in the archaeological record as well. In southern Arizona, the Hohokam system involved market-based exchange of large quantities of goods (including corn, pottery, stone, and shell) across southern Arizona and beyond, but after a few generations of expansion it collapsed rapidly around A.D. 1070. In this case, increasing the scale of a pre-existing system (i.e., expanding beyond the Hohokam region) may have reduced the efficacy of established robustness-fragility trade-offs, which, in turn, amplified the fragility of the system, increasing its risk of collapse. My research examines (1) the structural and organizational properties of a transregional system of shell exchange between the Hohokam region and California, and (2) the effect of the presence and loss of a very large freshwater lake (Lake Cahuilla) in southeastern California on the stability of the Hohokam system. I address these issues with analysis of ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and archaeological data, and with mathematical modeling. My study (1) produced a simple network model of a transregional system of interaction that links the Hohokam region and California during the centuries from A.D. 700 to 1100; (2) uses network and statistical analysis of the network model and archaeological data to strongly suggest that the transregional exchange system existed and was directional and structured; (3) uses network and other analysis to identify robustness-fragility properties of the transregional system and to show that trade between Lake Cahuilla fishers and the Hohokam system should be included in a mathematical model of this system; and (4) develops and analyzes a mathematical model of renewable resource use and trade that provides important insights into the robustness and systemic fragility of the Hohokam system (A.D. 900-1100).

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The shared cultural knowledge and beliefs about cancer in the Yavapai-Apache community

Description

Native American communities face an ongoing challenge of effectively addressing cancer health disparities, as well as environmental racism issues that may compound these inequities. This dissertation identified the shared cultural

Native American communities face an ongoing challenge of effectively addressing cancer health disparities, as well as environmental racism issues that may compound these inequities. This dissertation identified the shared cultural knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a southwest American Indian community utilizing a cultural consensus method, an approach that combines qualitative and quantitative data. A community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was applied at all stages of the study. The three phases of research that were undertaken included: 1) ethnographic interviews - to identifying the themes or the content of the participants' cultural model, 2A) ranking of themes - to provide an understanding of the relative importance of the content of the cultural model, 2B) pile sorts - identify the organization of items within specific domains, and 3) a community survey - access whether the model is shared in the greater community. The cultural consensus method has not been utilized to date in identifying the collective cultural beliefs about cancer prevention, treatment or survivorship in a Native American community. Its use represents a methodological step forward in two areas: 1) the traditional ethnographic inferences used in identifying and defining cultural meaning as it relates to health can be tested more rigorously than in the past, and 2) it addresses the challenge of providing reliable results based on a small number of community informants. This is especially significant when working with smaller tribal/cultural groups where the small sample size has led to questions concerning the reliability and validity of health-related research. Results showed that the key consultants shared strong agreement or consensus on a cultural model regarding the importance of environmental and lifestyle causes of cancer. However, there was no consensus found among the key consultants on the prevention and treatment of cancer. The results of the community survey indicated agreement or consensus in the sub-domains of descriptions of cancer, risk/cause, prevention, treatment, remission/cure and living with cancer. Identifying cultural beliefs and models regarding cancer could contribute to the effective development of culturally responsive cancer prevention education and treatment programs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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A Study of Ethnogeological Knowledge and Other Traditional Scientific Knowledge in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic

Description

Ethnogeology is the scientific study of human relationships with the Earth as a system, typically conducted within the context of a specific culture. Indigenous or historically resident people may

Ethnogeology is the scientific study of human relationships with the Earth as a system, typically conducted within the context of a specific culture. Indigenous or historically resident people may perceive local places differently from outside observers trained in the Western tradition. Ethnogeologic knowledge includes traditional indigenous knowledge (alternatively referred to as traditional ecological knowledge or TEK), which exceeds the boundaries of non-Indigenous ideas of physical characteristics of the world, tends to be more holistic, and is culturally framed. In this ethnogeological study, I have implemented several methods of participatory rapid assessment (PRA) from the discipline of field ethnography to collect culturally framed geological knowledge, as well to measure the authenticity of the knowledge collected. I constructed a cultural consensus model (CCM) about karst as a domain of knowledge. The study area is located in the karst physiographic region of the Caribbean countries of the Dominican Republic (DR) and Puerto Rico (PR). Ethnogeological data collected and analyzed using CCM satisfied the requirements of a model where I have found statistically significance among participant’s agreement and competence values. Analysis of the competence means in the population of DR and PR results in p < 0.05 validating the methods adapted for this study. I discuss the CCM for the domain of karst (in its majority) that is shared among consultants in the countries of PR and the DR that is in the form of metaphors and other forms of culturally framed descriptions. This work continuing insufficient representation of minority groups such as Indigenous people, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Hispanic/Latinxs in the Earth Sciences.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Building a Sense of Place Research Program: A Study of Conservation Volunteers in Scottsdale, Arizona

Description

This dissertation addresses empirical, applied, and theoretical issues in the place literature through an ethnographic study of the volunteer stewards in the nonprofit McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (Scottsdale, Arizona).

The first

This dissertation addresses empirical, applied, and theoretical issues in the place literature through an ethnographic study of the volunteer stewards in the nonprofit McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (Scottsdale, Arizona).

The first phase of study explores Conservancy stewards’ phenomenological place meanings through participant observation, a photovoice protocol (N=18), and life-history interviews (N=53). Findings indicate that being a steward fosters deep, identity-based place meanings within the conservation land (the McDowell Sonoran Preserve) and City of Scottsdale.

The second phase of study measures stewards’ psychometric place attachments to the Preserve and broader community using the Place Attachment Inventory (PAI) survey. New stewards’ (N=29) PAI scores—collected before attending orientation and one year after—demonstrate a rise in Preserve place attachment and place identity in the first year of service. Established stewards’ (N=275) PAI data suggests no correlation between place attachment and volunteer intensity. These findings are complemented by phase I results and suggest that stewards experience a rise in place identity after earning the identity of an environmental steward, regardless of engagement.

The third phase of study experimentally combines the data from established stewards who participated in phase I and II (N=48) to test the hypothesis that those with identity-based place meanings would possess higher place identity scores. Data analysis found no significant differences in place identity scores between those with and without a Predicted High Place Identity. The outcomes of this experiment suggest construct validity issues with the widely used place attachment and place identity constructs.

While it is established that volunteers arrive at an organization with a strong sense of place, this study demonstrates empirically how place attachments increase and place meanings deepen further after joining a volunteer organization. Communities and organizations can learn from the Conservancy’s practices that help stewards easily establish and perform a place-based steward identity. Finally, the experimental mixed methods findings suggest a sense of place research program that measures attachment to a place’s meanings rather than attachment to a place. This shift will allow place meaning and place attachment to be studied concurrently, advancing the sense of place construct and broader place theory.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020