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The Impact of Legally Blonde on Women Entering the Legal Profession

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This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional

This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional workspaces—specifically in consideration of the legal profession. The feminism presented in Legally Blonde can be characterized through Elle Wood’s simultaneous displays of intelligence and focus on typical feminine interests: such as marriage, cosmetics, and the like (Marsh, 2005; Lucia, 2005; Hoffman-Longtin & Feldner, 2016). The “third-wave” feminist era surrounding Legally Blonde promotes the duality of women in expressing femininity and holding agentic capability (Dole, 2008). This thesis uses the film’s definition of feminism to consider the changes in women entering the legal profession, the identity of women who connect to the film, and the media’s responses and portrayal of the film. Legally Blonde defines feminism by presenting women as both intelligent and typically feminine—challenging the typical gender role of women in society with her expression of capability and seriousness. While the film elucidates a definition of feminism based on femininity and female agency, some women may not fit into this definition based on the lack of consideration of intersectionality in the film. While the film underlines a changing shift in acceptance of women’s expression of femininity, the film’s message may not apply to all women. Yet, Elle Woods remains a role model for many women to attend law school and her impact is emphasized in popular culture even today.

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2020-05

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Identifying Best Practices for Increasing Involvement in Volunteerism and Philanthropy

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In this thesis, I seek to identify the best practices that can lead to an increase in community service and volunteerism. After the loss of my mentor led me on a path to make a difference through community service, I

In this thesis, I seek to identify the best practices that can lead to an increase in community service and volunteerism. After the loss of my mentor led me on a path to make a difference through community service, I decided that volunteerism is an especially important area of interest to understand. Through secondary research, I have identified the many benefits of volunteerism specifically mental health, professional development, and more. Then to explain what drives people to volunteer, I investigate three major theoretical frameworks which are self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan), functional theory (Clary and Snyder), and social responsibility theory (Cheng et al) and relate them to peoples’ motivation to volunteer. In addition to looking into these theories, it is important to understand some additional factors which are the effect of mandatory volunteerism, age, and the missions of different organizations on an individual’s desire to volunteer. After analyzing the prior research, I found that social responsibility drives group volunteerism, functional motivation is what explains individuals’ drives to participate in community service, and the self-determination can help explain what creates strong volunteer retention. Furthermore, mandatory volunteerism, age, and the goals of organizations can have signifigant impacts on people’s drive to get involved in community service. After investigating the prior research, I interviewed four managers of non-profits to see if their views aligned with my findings. There answers and views were found to be consistent with the ideas I drew from prior research and helped me conclude that organization must factor age, mandatory volunteerism, and the mission of their non-profit into recruitment and retention efforts. Furthermore, non-profits should understand social responsibility theory and functional theory to recruit volunteers effectivly, and self-determination theory to retain their volunteers.

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2020-05

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Close as Lips and Teeth: How China Refuses Obligations to North Korean Refugees

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The North Korean refugee crisis is a long-standing political issue that has persisted since the Korean War, resulting in thousands of North Koreans fleeing each year. However, despite its persistent nature, both the Chinese government and the international community have

The North Korean refugee crisis is a long-standing political issue that has persisted since the Korean War, resulting in thousands of North Koreans fleeing each year. However, despite its persistent nature, both the Chinese government and the international community have failed to alleviate systematic migratory issues resulting from Chinese policy towards the refugees. This essay aims to analyze Chinese policy towards the North Korean refugee crisis, specifically through its categorization of North Koreans as “economic migrants” rather than refugees. After reviewing both the conditions within North Korea that cause refugee flight and the pathways of escape through China, the paper shows that China is violating multiple parts of international refugee law as set up by the 1951 Refugee Convention, such as issues of non-refoulement and discrimination. Additionally, I argue that North Koreans are refugees in the traditional definition and refugees sur place. Similarly, this paper discusses the historical and political reasoning for Chinese policy towards refugees in the context of its economic and security relationship with the North Korean state, as well as the implications of the relationships for North Korean refugees. From this, the resilient nature of the crisis is established, as well as the notable security obstacles that must be navigated and incorporated in any feasible solutions. Finally, this paper proposes possible solutions to the crisis, such as moving away from “defector” terminology, linking international policy to refugee outcomes, structuring refugee law around global burden-sharing rather than regional prioritizations, and expanding the definition of refugee to more accurately reflect causes of displacement in Asia.

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2020-05

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The Right to Vote: A Broken Promise and How to Fix It

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This thesis discusses the current status of voting rights in the United States. In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to eliminate various “tests and devices” that disenfranchised minority voters. The Act received bipartisan support and

This thesis discusses the current status of voting rights in the United States. In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to eliminate various “tests and devices” that disenfranchised minority voters. The Act received bipartisan support and was reauthorized on four separate occasions between 1965 and 2006. In 2013, the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder struck down Section 4(b), a key provision in the Voting Rights Act. After the Court made this decision, states across the country began enacting second-generation voting barriers that have made it more difficult for minority citizens to vote. This is a direct result of the racial fears that emerged after the election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president. The purpose of this paper is to argue that Shelby County v. Holder was wrongly decided, and that Congress must act immediately to restore Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act.

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2020-05

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Perceived Polarization and Its Effects on Voter Behavior

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Political polarization is at an all-time high in the United States and people are more polarized in their beliefs than ever. The issue of polarization is one of the most divisive conflicts in America today. The following honors thesis analyzes

Political polarization is at an all-time high in the United States and people are more polarized in their beliefs than ever. The issue of polarization is one of the most divisive conflicts in America today. The following honors thesis analyzes how political polarization affects voter emotions and behaviors. To study this, I expose participants to a high polarization news article and a low polarization news article and observe the results. Out of the test came two key findings. The first is that participants who identify as Independents were much more likely to feel inspiration in a high polarization context than in a low polarization context. The second is that in a high polarization condition, Democrat and Republican participants felt more connected to their own parties compared to the control condition.

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2020-05

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Attitudes and Experiences with Period Poverty at Arizona State University

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In recent years, feminist activists have taken their fascination with and concern over access to period products in developing countries and diverted their attention to period poverty that exists in the United States. Backed by globalist approaches and the dee

In recent years, feminist activists have taken their fascination with and concern over access to period products in developing countries and diverted their attention to period poverty that exists in the United States. Backed by globalist approaches and the deep history of Menstrual Activism in the US, the Menstrual Equity Movement aims to make policy changes at the state and federal levels to ensure that all menstruators have the products they need to manage menstruation. This exploratory study aims to understand the experiences and attitudes about period poverty at Arizona State University’s campus. Undergraduate menstruators were asked to reflect on general, and on campus experiences with access to period products. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were utilized in conducting this research. This study concludes that menstruators’ education would benefit from having access to free period products in all bathrooms.

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2020-05

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Beyond Books: The Importance of Inclusive and Accessible Library Spaces

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Libraries have historical and contemporary importance as public spaces that serve a purpose beyond storing books. In our thesis project, we wanted to ensure that the ASU Library was fulfilling this role for our student community. Based on a survey

Libraries have historical and contemporary importance as public spaces that serve a purpose beyond storing books. In our thesis project, we wanted to ensure that the ASU Library was fulfilling this role for our student community. Based on a survey of 136 members of the Arizona State University community regarding accessibility of the Libraries, the results found that the ASU Library system could benefit from more accessible and digital content and programming. In response to our findings, we created a digital book display which highlighted resources about critical disability studies, the importance of community spaces and libraries in particular, as well as information about universal design. This book display serves as an example of what the future of book displays could be and how to create inclusive spaces in the university Library system.

"Access the project here: https://libguides.asu.edu/BeyondBooks"

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2020-12

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Are High Potential Programs Leaving Top Talent Behind?

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The purpose of this paper is to understand how companies are finding high potential employees and if they are leaving top talent behind in their approach. Eugene Burke stated in 2014 that 55% of employees that are labeled as a

The purpose of this paper is to understand how companies are finding high potential employees and if they are leaving top talent behind in their approach. Eugene Burke stated in 2014 that 55% of employees that are labeled as a High Potential Employee will turn over and move companies. Burke (2014) also states that the average high potential employee tenure is five years. The Corporate Leadership Council says that on average, 27% of a company's development budget is spent on its high potential program (CEB 2017). For a midsize company, the high potential development budget is almost a million dollars for only a handful of employees, only to see half of the investment walking out the door to another company . Furthermore, the Corporate Leadership Council said that a study done in 2005 revealed that 50% of high potential employees had significant problems within their job (Kotlyar and Karkowsky 2014). Are time and resources are being given to the wrong employees and the right employees are being overlooked? This paper exams how companies traditionally select high potential employees and where companies are potentially omitting employees who would be better suited for the program. This paper proposes that how a company discovers their top talent will correlate to the number of turnovers or struggles that a high potential employee has on their job. Future research direction and practical considerations are also presented in this paper.

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2018-05

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Gender and Army ROTC at ASU: Women are hyper-visible and under-recognized within masculine military culture

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This study asks the question: does gender-based discrimination exists within Arizona State University's Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and if so, what are the effects of such discrimination? Within this study, discrimination is defined as: the treatment or consideration

This study asks the question: does gender-based discrimination exists within Arizona State University's Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and if so, what are the effects of such discrimination? Within this study, discrimination is defined as: the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs, rather than on individual merit. The researcher predicted that this study would show that gender-based discrimination operates within the masculine military culture of Army ROTC at ASU, resulting from women's hyper-visibility and evidenced by their lack of positive recognition and disbelief in having a voice in the program. These expectations were based on background research claiming that the token status of women in military roles causes them to be more heavily scrutinized, and they consequentially try to attain success by adapting to the masculine military culture by which they are constantly measured. For the purposes of this study, success is defined as: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence . This study relies on exploratory interviews and an online survey conducted with male and female Army ROTC cadets of all grade levels at Arizona State University. The interviews and survey collected demographic information and perspectives on individual experiences to establish an understanding of privilege and marginalization within the program. These results do support the prediction that women in Army ROTC at ASU face discrimination based on their unique visibility and lack of positive recognition and voice in the program. Likewise, the survey results indicate that race also has a significant impact on one's experience in Army ROTC, which is discussed later in this study in regard to needs for future research. ASU Army ROTC includes approximately 100 cadets, and approximately 30-40 of those cadets participated in this study. Additionally, the University of Arizona and the Northern Arizona University Army ROTC programs were invited to participate in this study and declined to do so, which would have offered a greater sample population. Nonetheless, the results of this research will be useful for analysis and further discussion of gender-equality in Army ROTC at Arizona State University.

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2018-05

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Prisoners for Profit: The Private Prison System Should Be Abolished

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In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the

In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the US government $80 billion annually. Over 50% of the individuals incarcerated in America are of black or Latino descent. This massive growth in the incarcerated population of America began in the 1970s and with the passive support of American citizens has created an industry whose players profit from the detention of people. Currently, the privately run detention facilities in the United States hold 7% of state prisoners, 18% of federal prisoners, and nearly 75% of ICE's undocumented detainee population. The detention of people for profit is an idea rooted in the same profit motive that allowed the institution of slavery to flourish. However even after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S., the oppressive forces behind slave-era economics have been perpetuated through legislation and policies that continued the stratification of society and reinforcement of the social order. With the help of corporate lobbyists, political action committees, and organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate shareholders of private prisons, such as CoreCivic and The GEO Group, are able to directly align their profit-driven interests with those of federal and state legislators. By the incorporation of legislation and policy into state and federal law, the shareholders of private prisons are able to directly affect legislation as well as their own potential for profit. The justification for the usage of private prisons is thought to be seen in the price savings and flexibility that it provides for federal and state governments. However, due to the law enforcement contractor's exemption from public record laws, there is no clear evidence of where the cost savings occur, or even if there are cost savings at all. Is it ethical for a for-profit-prison corporation to be responsible for the care, security, and rehabilitation of an individual, when if they fail to rehabilitate the individual, it will add to the number of inmates under their control? The measure of a prison's failure to rehabilitate an inmate is considered the recidivism rate, and is affected when an inmate leaves a detention facility, commits another crime, then is arrested. This profit motive is causing our society to incarcerate increasing numbers of people in private prisons. For-profit prisons financially benefit from long-term incarceration and recidivism. The passive investments from public and private employees and institutions through investment corporations are the legs that allow the private prison industry to stand. Twenty-nine investment firms, such as The Vanguard Group and Fidelity Investments, own nearly two-thirds of the two largest players in the private prison industry. This includes the passive investments by public institutions such as the Arizona State University Foundation's $600 million endowment fund as well as the $500 million directly invested into CoreCivic and GEO Group from the University of Texas/ Texas A&M Investment Management Company. The goal of abolishing private prisons will require years of litigation against the giants of the industry as well as the governmental entities supporting them. However, we can start today by demanding divestiture by our school and similar institutions as well continuing to share the knowledge of the oppressive forces associated with the detention of individuals for profit.

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2018-05