Matching Items (16)

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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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  • 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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How we wear water: creative learning for sustainability

Description

In this multi-media dissertation, water is used metaphorically to equate the process of learning with embracing change. Paradigm shifts needed for sustainability require transformative learning where one is open to

In this multi-media dissertation, water is used metaphorically to equate the process of learning with embracing change. Paradigm shifts needed for sustainability require transformative learning where one is open to being shaped by new knowledge and experience. Properties of water – such as molecular bonding and phase changes – uncover lessons for humans’ adaptability. Given that human bodies are comprised mostly of water – what implications exist for human capacity to similarly undergo continuous change? An arts- based research methodology is practiced to produce a four-chapter project. Artistic methods of data collection and communication retain subjective complexity of lived experiences central to learning processes. Each chapter is prepared for a target audience and addresses widening scales of creative learning for sustainability.

Chapter one is a narrative ethnography that focuses on a personal creative process for sustainability learning. Chapter two is a co- authored journal that covers creative learning tools and design principles for sustainable classrooms. Chapter three is an open-access and adaptive, online toolkit that shares creative methods to cultivate curiosity and critical contemplation. Chapter four is an interactive showcase event that explores how water can inform and inspire individual and collective learning for sustainability.

This four-chapter project addresses the power of creative learning for sustainability at the personal, familial, formal classroom, informal online learning community, and public scales. Arts-based methods harness aesthetic power, welcome subjective complexity, and allow multiple meanings to be interpreted from research results. This multi- media project stretches the conventional structure of sustainability dissertations. The bridge between the arts and sciences is strengthened as this project shows synergies between these two ways of knowing. This research invites what can be learned from the wisdom of water – to both change and be changed by circumstances.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Sustainability is a Spiritual Journey

Description

Predominant sustainability pedagogy and science largely focus on fixing existingproblems via solutions external to humans (e.g. carbon sequestration, renewable energy).
While external or outer interventions can support a transition to

Predominant sustainability pedagogy and science largely focus on fixing existingproblems via solutions external to humans (e.g. carbon sequestration, renewable energy).
While external or outer interventions can support a transition to a sustainable future,
internal or inner developments should also be highly valued. For this dissertation, I define
sustainability as the ability of any individual, community or country to meet their needs
and live happily without compromising the ability of other individuals, communities,
countries and future generations to meet their needs and live happily. Framed this way, a
sustainable and happy life should focus on both outer and inner development, the latter
largely unconsidered in sustainability science and scholarship.
I propose that emphasizing spiritual wellbeing and spiritual practices can support
individuals and communities to act with mindfulness, awareness, compassion,
connection, and love, transitioning to a more sustainable existence. This dissertation
consists of three studies: (1) the development of a theoretical framework identifying
spirituality as the missing link between sustainability and happiness, (2) an empirical
pilot study testing the theoretical framework via contemplative practices in a
sustainability classroom, and (3) an autoethnography exploring my inner development
and transformation as a sustainability and spirituality researcher over the past four years.
The theoretical framework found and posits, based on existing literature, that
spirituality indeed may be the missing link between an unsustainable existence and a
sustainably and happy future. Results from the empirical study suggest that a focus on
spirituality leads students to develop inner traits necessary for sustainable behavior and a
deeper understanding of sustainability. My autoethnography demonstrates the spiritual
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transformation possible from integrating spiritual well-being and intellect, while striving
to embody sustainability as a spiritual journey. My research supports further studies and a
greater understanding of the importance of spiritual well-being to sustainability and the
incorporation of contemplative practices in sustainability classrooms. Finally, I hope this
dissertation will (1) inspire sustainability scientists, researchers, and students to integrate
spiritual well-being as an important part of their lives and work, and (2) encourage deeper
conversations about the radical inner shift we need to achieve lasting sustainability for all
beings.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Transnationalizing intersectionality: gender, class and heteronormativity in neoliberal China

Description

This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in

This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in contemporary China. In this project, neoliberalism is conceptualized as an art of governance centering on the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality to create market subjects and sustain market competition. Focusing on China's recent socio-economic and cultural upheavals, this dissertation tries to address these questions: 1. How have class inequalities, binaristic gender and heteronormative discourses been employed intersectionally by the Chinese state to facilitate China's social transformation? 2. How has this process been justified and consolidated through the intersection of gender, class, sexuality and race? 3. How do the marginalized groups respond to these material and cultural practices? Building on the discursive analysis of China's televised 60th anniversary ceremony and If You Are the One, a popular Chinese reality show, as well as the data from the interview, focus group and participant observation of more than 100 informants, it is found that the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity is central to China's neoliberal transition. A group of flexible and cheap laborers have been disarticulated and rearticulated from the population as the voluntary servitude to China's marketization and re-integration with the global economy. New controlling images, such as the bourgeois nucleus family, are created to legitimize this process. However, these disparate material and discursive practices have entailed contradictions and conflicts within the intersectional biopolitical system, and created contingent spaces of ungovernability for the marginalized groups. Building on these discursive analyses and empirical data, I reconceptualize intersectionality as a multi-dimensional-and-directional network to regulate and manage power for social organization and regulation, which grounds the biopolitical basics for the neoliberal economy. Thus I argue that we need to engage with the dynamics between the intersectional biopolitical structure and people's emerging experiences to construct a grounded utopia alternative to the neoliberal dominance for substantive social changes.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Account/ability: Disability and Agency in the Age of Biomedicalization

Description

Over the last half century, global healthcare practices have increasingly relied on technological interventions for the detection, prevention, and treatment of disability and disease. As these technologies become routinized and

Over the last half century, global healthcare practices have increasingly relied on technological interventions for the detection, prevention, and treatment of disability and disease. As these technologies become routinized and normalized into medicine, the social and political dimensions require substantial consideration. Such consideration is particularly critical in the context of ableism, in which bodily and cognitive differences such as disabilities are perceived as deviance and demand intervention. Further, neoliberalism, with its overwhelming tendency to privatize and individualize, creates conditions under which social systems abdicate responsibility for social issues such as ableism, shifting accountability onto individuals to prevent or mitigate difference through individualized means.

It is in this context that this dissertation, informed by critical disability studies and feminist science and technology studies, examines the understanding and enactment of disability and responsibility in relation to biomedical technologies. I draw from qualitative empirical data from three distinct case studies, each focused on a different biomedical technology: prenatal genetic screening and diagnosis, deep brain stimulation, and do-it-yourself artificial pancreas systems. Analyzing semi-structured interviews and primary documents through an inductive framework that takes up elements of Grounded Theory and hermeneutic phenomenology, this research demonstrates a series of tensions. As disability becomes increasingly associated with discrete biological characteristics and medical professionals claim a growing authority over disabled bodyminds, users of these technologies are caught in a double bind of personal responsibility and epistemic invalidation. Technologies, however, do not occupy either exclusively oppressive or liberatory roles. Rather, they are used with full acknowledgement of their role in perpetuating medical authority and neoliberal paradigms as well as their individual benefit. Experiential and embodied knowledge, particular when in tension with clinical knowledge, is invalidated as a transgression of expert authority. To reject these invalidations, communities cohering around subaltern knowledges emerge in resistance to the mismatched priorities and expectations of medical authority, creating space for alternative disabled imaginaries.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Using the Master’s Tools to Dismantle the Master’s House: White Women’s Gendered and Racialized Citizenship, Pro-Immigrants’ Rights Advocacy, and White Privilege in the Borderlands

Description

This dissertation examines pro-immigrants' rights activism and advocacy among middle-class White women in and around Phoenix, Arizona, in order to analyze these activists' understandings and enactments of their racialized and

This dissertation examines pro-immigrants' rights activism and advocacy among middle-class White women in and around Phoenix, Arizona, in order to analyze these activists' understandings and enactments of their racialized and gendered citizenship. This project contributes a wealth of qualitative data regarding the operation of race, gender, class, (dis)ability, sexuality, and community in the daily lives and activism of White women pro-immigrants' rights advocates, collected largely through formal and informal interviewing in conjunction with in-depth participant observation. Using a feminist, intersectional analytical lens, and drawing upon critical race studies, Whiteness studies, and citizenship theory, this dissertation ultimately finds that White women face thornily difficult ethical questions about how to wield the rights entailed in their citizenship and their White privilege on behalf of marginalized Latinx non-citizens. This project ultimately argues that the material realities and racial consequences of being a White woman participating in (im)migrants’ rights work in the borderlands means living with the contradiction that one’s specific and intersectionally mediated status as a White woman citizen contributes to and further reifies the gendered system of White supremacy that functions to the direct detriment of the (im)migrants one seeks to assist, while simultaneously endowing one with the advantages and privileges of Whiteness, which together furnish the social capital necessary to challenge that same system of their behalf. The dissertation contends that White women committed to pro-(im)migrants’ rights advocacy and antiracism writ large must reckon with the source of their gendered and racialized citizenship and interrogate to what complicated and unforeseen ends they wield the Master’s tools against the Master’s house. In doing so, the project makes the case that White women's lives, as well as their experiences of citizenship and activism, are inherently and fundamentally intersectional and should be analyzed as such by scholars in Women's and Gender Studies.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Resisting displacement through culture and care: workplace immigration raids and the Loop 202 Freeway on Akimel O'odham land in Phoenix, Arizona, 2012-2014

Description

Low-income communities of color in the U.S. today are often vulnerable to displacement, forced relocation away from the places they call home. Displacement takes many forms, including immigration enforcement, mass

Low-income communities of color in the U.S. today are often vulnerable to displacement, forced relocation away from the places they call home. Displacement takes many forms, including immigration enforcement, mass incarceration, gentrification, and unwanted development. This dissertation juxtaposes two different examples of displacement, emphasizing similarities in lived experiences. Mixed methods including document-based research, map-making, visual ethnography, participant observation, and interviews were used to examine two case studies in Phoenix, Arizona: (1) workplace immigration raids, which overwhelmingly target Latino migrant workers; and (2) the Loop 202 freeway, which would disproportionately impact Akimel O'odham land. Drawing on critical geography, critical ethnic studies, feminist theory, carceral studies, and decolonial theory, this research considers: the social, economic, and political causes of displacement, its impact on the cultural and social meanings of space, the everyday practices that allow people to survive economically and emotionally, and the strategies used to organize against relocation.

Although raids are often represented as momentary spectacles of danger and containment, from a worker's perspective, raids are long trajectories through multiple sites of domination. Raids' racial geographies reinforce urban segregation, while traumatization in carceral space reduces the power of Latino migrants in the workplace. Expressions of care among raided workers and others in jail and detention make carceral spaces more livable, and contribute to movement building and abolitionist sentiments outside detention.

The Loop 202 would result in a loss of native land and sovereignty, including clean air and a mountain sacred to O'odham people. While the proposal originated with corporate desire for a transnational trade corridor, it has been sustained by local industry, the perceived inevitability of development, and colonial narratives about native people and land. O'odham artists, mothers, and elders counter the freeway's colonial logics through stories that emphasize balance, collective care over individual profit, and historical consciousness.

Both raids and the freeway have been contested by local grassroots movements. Through political education, base-building, advocacy, lawsuits, and protest strategies, community organizations have achieved changes in state practice. These movements have also worked to create alternative spaces of safety and home, rooted in interpersonal care and Latino and O'odham culture.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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I wouldn't want to be anyone else: disabled girlhood and post-ADA structures of feeling

Description

Spotlighting the figure of the exceptional disabled girl as she circulates in the contemporary mediascape, this dissertation traces how this figure shapes the contours of a post-Americans with Disabilities Act

Spotlighting the figure of the exceptional disabled girl as she circulates in the contemporary mediascape, this dissertation traces how this figure shapes the contours of a post-Americans with Disabilities Act structure of feeling. I contend that the figure of the exceptional disabled girl operates as a reparative future girl. As a reparative figure, she is deployed as a sign of the triumph of U.S. benevolence, as well as a stand-in for the continuing fantasy and potential of the promise of the American dream, or the good life. Affectively managing the fraying of the good life through a shoring up of ablenationalism, the figure of the exceptional disabled girl rehabilitates the nation from a place of ignorance to understanding, from a place of nervous anxiety to one of hopeful promise, and from a precarious present to a not-so-bleak-looking future.

Placing feminist cultural studies theories of affect in conversation with feminist disability studies and girlhood studies, this dissertation maps evocations of disabled girlhood. It traces how certain affective states as an intersubjective glue stick to specific disabled girls’ bodies and how these intersubjective attachments generate an emergent affective atmosphere that attempts to repair the fraying fantasy of the good life. Utilizing affect as methodology and object of analysis, this dissertation interrogates ambivalent visual artifacts: ranging from the “real” figure of the disabled girl through YouTubers, Charisse Living with Cerebral Palsy and Rikki Poynter, to a fictional disabled girl in Degrassi: Next Class; spanning from physically disabled beauty pageant contestants to autistic girls learning how to dance; and, finally, looking to a black disabled girl in her life and death, Jerika Bolen. I contend that through their roles as disability educators, shared objects of happiness and optimism, and pedagogues of death, exceptional disabled girls have been deployed as guides on a new roadmap to ideal, affective post-ADA citizenhood.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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I am one of 'those' women: exploring testimonial performances of stillbirth in/as intervention, support and advocacy

Description

The stillbirth of a wanted baby is a devastating and life altering experience that happens more than 26,000 times each year in the United States, but the impacts and implications

The stillbirth of a wanted baby is a devastating and life altering experience that happens more than 26,000 times each year in the United States, but the impacts and implications of this loss on families is rarely discussed in public spaces. While another kind of pregnancy ending, abortion, dominates political discourse about reproduction, the absence of talk about stillbirth prevention or support in those same contexts is worthy of further investigation. This project explores stillbirth as a communication phenomenon and draws upon narrative, performance and rhetorical articulations of testimony to extend our understanding of how narratives of stillbirth circulate in current conditions of discourse. A model for viewing how dominant and counter narratives circulate is explained (Narrative Loop Model) and a new model for illuminating the unique functions of testimony is given (Testimonial Loop Model). This dissertation employs performance and rhetorical methods to explore testimonies of stillbirth, both naturally occurring and solicited through interviews, in order to create several performance texts that put pregnancy-ending narratives in conversation with each other on stage. Analysis of the performance text and choices, as well as reflection on the embodied performance experience and member checking, yielded several findings. The discovery of somatic sentience and its influence on performance ethnography is discussed. Themes of relationality and temporality were found in the performance of testimonies of stillbirth. The implications of these findings add to the communication discipline’s understanding of how and why stillbirth testimony may circulate, its impact on conditions of discourse for pregnancy ending and its potential use as/in intervention, support, and advocacy. Ethical considerations and limitations are addressed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015