Matching Items (11)

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Understanding the Social Value of Solar Energy Production in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future of residential solar energy fees, which has critical implications for distributed generation. As the debate grows, it is clear that solar policies developed in Arizona will influence other state regulators regarding their solar rate structures and Net Energy Metering; however, there is a hindrance in the progress of this discussion due to the varying frameworks of the stakeholders involved. For this project, I set out to understand and analyze why the different stakeholders have such conflicting viewpoints. Some groups interpret energy as a financial and technological object while others view it is an inherently social and political issue. I conducted research in three manners: 1) I attended public meetings, 2) hosted interviews, and 3) analyzed reports and studies on the value of solar. By using the SRP 2015 Rate Case as my central study, I will discuss how these opposing viewpoints do or do not incorporate various forms of justice such as distributive, participatory, and recognition justice. In regards to the SRP Rate Case, I will look at both the utility- consumer relationship and the public meeting processes in which they interact, in addition to the pricing plans. This work reveals that antiquated utility structures and a lack of participation and recognition justice are hindering the creation of policy changes that satisfy both the needs of the utilities and the community at large.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12

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Police Violence Against African-American Men: An Analysis of New York Times Media Representations

Description

The purpose of this study is to examine media representations of police violence. The scholarly literature suggests that issues of race, class, and gender within policing organizations contribute to police

The purpose of this study is to examine media representations of police violence. The scholarly literature suggests that issues of race, class, and gender within policing organizations contribute to police violence. Such works argue that mainstream media coverage tends to focus on the faults of individual police officers. This study uses a systematic sample and content analysis of sixty-one (61) New York Times articles to retrieve dominant analytical themes in media coverage of police violence. The New York Times articles are analyzed to look for the presence of themes of Individualization, Organizational Issues, Societal Level and Regional Problems of Race and Class, and Structures of Media Reporting that have been identified in scholarly literature. The most significant finding reveals that media coverage of police violence in the New York Times no longer centers only on individual police officers as "bad apples" in an otherwise solid "barrel/organization". The New York Times discussions include examination of organizational issues that contribute to police violence. However, police violence continues to be a societal issue that is in need of a long-term solution. It is recommended that Community Policing be implemented to help reduce police violence against African-American men.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

The Underrepresentation of Women in Firefighting

Description

Despite equal opportunity legislation, female firefighters (3.4 percent) remain underrepresented compared to their male counter parts (97 percent) in the United States (NPFA, 2012). I question why there are so

Despite equal opportunity legislation, female firefighters (3.4 percent) remain underrepresented compared to their male counter parts (97 percent) in the United States (NPFA, 2012). I question why there are so few women pursuing a firefighting career and if there are any organizational, cultural, or structural barriers which affect the retention and recruitment of women. My research entails observations and interviews with staff at three firefighting stations in my community; my data spanned both individual background and organizational dynamics. Across the firefighting occupation, my analysis focuses on understanding the recruitment process and early phases of firefighting careers to understand the ways in which women might be encouraged and discouraged into the occupation. In this paper, I begin with a literature review about the history and status of women in the field, comparisons with barriers faced by women in other traditionally male fields such as policing since there is limited literature on women in firefighting, efforts undertaken to increase the percentages of women in firefighting, and the organizational dynamics of firefighting highlighted in prior research. From this review I develop an analytic framework for my analysis. After a review of my research methodology, I turn to my analysis of recruitment and probationary stages in firefighting and how these stages affect recruitment and retention of women. First, I review how social networks facilitate pre-employment socialization which enhances candidate work opportunities in firefighting. Second, I examine the recruitment process and criteria for hiring and the ways in which the same social networks facilitate success in the probationary phases of employment. Third, I highlight issues of stereotypical masculine images associated with becoming a good firefighter. By focusing on the recruitment and hiring processes, training and probationary periods, and inherent masculinities prevalent in the fire organization, I am able to identify some key issues and apply them to the fire organization.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Digital Developmental Village: The Political Economy of China’s Rural E-Commerce

Description

This dissertation investigates how rural e-commerce survives and thrives in resource-scarce rural China in the contemporary era. Building upon literatures on developmental state, state capitalism, industrial policy, and platform economy,

This dissertation investigates how rural e-commerce survives and thrives in resource-scarce rural China in the contemporary era. Building upon literatures on developmental state, state capitalism, industrial policy, and platform economy, this dissertation proposes a new theoretical framework, termed Digital Developmental Village, to understand China’s rural e-commerce development against rural China’s broader socioeconomic and politico-institutional contexts and the evolution of China’s political economy by underscoring three levels of interactions between the central government, local governments, e-commerce platform giants, and rural entrepreneurs.

This dissertation draws upon the data from in-depth interviews with different kinds of participants involved with e-commerce at different places in which e-commerce-related activities occur through multi-site fieldwork across six East China provinces, together with data from secondary data gathering, to scrutinize interactions of four parties at each level. At the national level, this dissertation investigates the coevolution of the Digital Developmental Village model and finds that the bureaucratic evolution and emergence of new economic sector initially created and subsequently developed by private actors will be eventually subjected to the influence of China’s state capitalism. At the local level, in consideration of the factors of local governance approach, the pre-existing robust local economic sectors, and migration patterns, this dissertation creates a typological framework to explore the formation of e-commerce villages in varied settings of the combinations of three factors above. At the individual level, this dissertation finds that rural e-commerce entrepreneurs may achieve economic successes through some more intense forms of embeddedness, which are deemed commercially unwise in the extant literature, within differing local socioeconomic and politico-institutional contexts in China. Lastly, this dissertation analyzes the expansion of the Communist Party of China into rural e-commerce in the business incubator role and sees such organizational expansion as the efforts to implicitly exercise control over rural e-commerce. In sum, through top-down policy directives and bottom-up party organizational expansion, the Chinese state has been gradually transforming rural e-commerce to a new form of state capitalism with potential global impacts, which can empower resource-scarce villages and infuse two kinds of industrial policies to stimulate technological advances.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Constructing masculinities and the role of stay-at-home fathers: discussions of isolation, resistance and the division of household labor

Description

This qualitative study examines how fathers, who stay home with their children and identify as the main care-giver within their family, construct their role as the primary caregiver. I

This qualitative study examines how fathers, who stay home with their children and identify as the main care-giver within their family, construct their role as the primary caregiver. I analyze the narratives of stay-at-home fathers focusing on the thematic areas of isolation, resistance and the division of household labor. Unlike previous research, I examine the ways in which fathers construct their position as a stay-at-home father separate from the traditional stay-at-home mother role. Consequently, I focus on the constructions of masculinities by stay-at-home fathers that allows for the construction of the stay-at-home role to be uniquely tied to fatherhood rather than motherhood.

In this research, I explore three questions: 1) how do stay-at-home fathers construct their masculinity, specifically in relation to their social roles as fathers, partners, peers, etc.? 2) Is the negotiation of household labor, including care work and household tasks, in these families a reflection of shifting gender roles in the home where the primary caregiver is the father? 3) In what ways does social location and intersecting identities influence the ways in which fathers construct this stay-at-home identity?

My research emphasizes how these fathers understand their role as a stay-at-home father while challenging some traditionally dominant expectations of fatherhood. Specifically, I use themes of isolation, resistance, and the division of household labor in order to understand the multiple ways fathers experience their roles as stay-at-home parents.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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The survival strategies of immigrant, asylee and refugee women in times of economic crisis: a social enterprise environment in the United States

Description

This research examines the experiences and perceptions of immigrant and refugee women social entrepreneurs located within a context of economic instability, as well as the strategies that they develop to

This research examines the experiences and perceptions of immigrant and refugee women social entrepreneurs located within a context of economic instability, as well as the strategies that they develop to cope with such crises and volatility. To conduct this research I used a mixed-method, qualitative approach to data collection, including semi-structured, open-ended interviews and a focus group. I used feminist theory and a grounded theory approach to inform the design of my study; as such I acknowledge the participants as knowledge producers and allow for them to add in questions to the interviews and focus group and to comment on drafts of the written portion of the dissertation. The findings have indicated that these women are surviving the economic crisis by combining different income streams, including social entrepreneurship, traditional jobs and state and non-profit-aid. Moreover, the participants have found that besides monetary value, social entrepreneurship also provides alternative benefits such as personal sovereignty in their work environment, work-life balance and well-being. Also, personal history, and family and community embeddedness contribute to women's decisions to pursue social entrepreneurship. This research contributes to the growing body of research on gender and work and fills the gaps in literature currently existing in social entrepreneurship.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Holding up half the sky: a feminist investigation into the making of the Chinese urban female entrepreneur

Description

This dissertation focused on the links among micro-enterprise development (MD), social capital building, and the accompanying social lives of Chinese female entrepreneurs in two China's urban areas—Nanjing and Haikou. It

This dissertation focused on the links among micro-enterprise development (MD), social capital building, and the accompanying social lives of Chinese female entrepreneurs in two China's urban areas—Nanjing and Haikou. It engaged with a few important discussions concerning China’s liberal politics during the reform era, the global trend of neo-liberal capitalism, and the social construction of a new worker-subject—the Chinese urban female entrepreneur shaped by the hybrid marriage of state politics and global capital. The research findings from this research project contributed to the tradition of feminist theories, which endeavors to explore the relationship between neo-liberalism and gender. In particular, gender was found to concretize the ways in which neo-liberal ideological forces have attempted to capture and exploit the productivity of women’s labor

Drawing upon the data from in-depth interviews, participatory observations, and secondary data gathering, I examined the diffusion of the Western-centric concept and phenomena of social capital building in order to answer the question how Chinese women's life was inscribed in the larger context of China's relationship to global capitalism. My research findings manifested that the respondents considered affections (e.g., inter-dependence, obligation, and mutual trust) to be the foundation of establishing and maintaining their social networks regardless of the government's emphasis on market principles and the utility-based social capital conception. This opened up a new way of re-theorizing social capital. This dissertation also focused on how China’s integration with the global economy has affected women’s social identity construction. It emphasized the interaction between gender and class as one of the most salient sites where ideal citizens of China are imagined. Drawing from the perspectives of the respondents, I found that femininity has never been eliminated by the Chinese government. It has existed in China’s MD to challenge the government’s attempt of promoting the agendered (gender-neutral), universal model of women’s participation in self-employment. Moreover, I asserted that class was individualized while penetrating into other dimensions of identity (especially gender). The transformed dimensions of identity constituted a set of stratification schemes that constantly reshuffled social stratifications for maximizing the state’s profits from the control of citizens.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A bridge over troubled waters: power, exploitation, and gender in international online matchmaking

Description

This study examines the representation of Asian online brides by studying the images and profiles that are advertised on Asianonlinebrides.com. To do so, I combined the history and growth

This study examines the representation of Asian online brides by studying the images and profiles that are advertised on Asianonlinebrides.com. To do so, I combined the history and growth of the Human Trafficking industry, the idea of the Asian “exotic OTHER,” the power and structured/constrained agency, and social construction of gender theories. In particular, I utilized a mixed methods approach for data collection. The content and visual analysis in this study provided the two sides of the analytic coin: the written and the visual. I am particularly interested in the narrative comments offered by the prospective brides, e.g., what they state to be their preferences in their dream man/husband, and the personality traits, and characteristics that they write about themselves. The following were examined: the gender displays, picture frames, feminine touch, and the ritualization of subordination. For example, body language, clothing, skin, hair color, and texture, bone structure, posture, etc. I argue that this data alerts us to the whole host of ideas, assumptions, social, cultural, and gender constructions. The power relations that exceeds the text and inform us of these online brides. The findings have indicated that these women are vulnerable and caught within oppressive social structures. They have nevertheless utilized those structures to their advantage. By doing so, the brides have acted as assertive agents in that they have looked out for the interests of both themselves and their families. Moreover, a significant body of data was provided first hand through the written and visual narratives of the online brides. These brides have offered valuable insight into the field of Asian online brides. Their stories have presented a unique perspective to the online brides’ process that can only be captured through the narratives provided in this research.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Social Capital: Two Case Studies of Chinese Small Business in the Greater Phoenix and Los Angeles Areas

Description

As immigrants in the United States, Chinese small business entrepreneurs often encountered social and cultural barriers in the areas of finance, language, and employment in their new environment. This dissertation

As immigrants in the United States, Chinese small business entrepreneurs often encountered social and cultural barriers in the areas of finance, language, and employment in their new environment. This dissertation investigated how they utilized social capital to surmount the embedded disadvantages of an unequal market in their adopted country. The findings presented in this qualitative descriptive multi-case analysis, conducted in the greater metropolitan regions of Phoenix and Los Angeles, demonstrated the importance of social and transnational ties created in the United States within the local Chinese community as well as their social connections brought from China.

Drawing upon the data from in-depth interviews and informal observations, this dissertation was guided by three research questions: (a) What barriers do immigrant small business owners encounter? (b) What social connections provide help for immigrant small business owners to overcome those barriers or intensify their disadvantaged situations? (c) How do social networks influence immigrant small business development? The findings revealed many provocative facts on how social capital stimulated Chinese immigrant small business owners.

The influence of local and strong ties especially provided essential start-up funds, an affordable labor force. Those ties also provided authentication for business information provided by weak ties. Although the governments’ Small Business Administration empowers small business by various programs because it is an important social and economic element in the U.S. market, the Chinese community rarely utilized this support.

Transnational connections played an important role in the relatively mature market found in Los Angeles, but indeed all respondents in both case studies exhibited great interest in utilizing transnational connections to explore business opportunities. Regional connections provided a powerful resource for Chinese small business to create business alliance and increase their market competitiveness. Social capital embeds in a complexity of political, economic, social and personal backgrounds. In summary, social capital was an essential resource for Chinese small business when they encountered the barriers in the local market. From the findings, this dissertation’s scholarly contribution adds to the field of social capital studies by combining the investigation of social capital, embeddedness, intersectionality and transnational connections in respect to study immigrant entrepreneurship.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Seeing is achieving: assessment practice and student capital

Description

Assessment practices in U.S. schools have become a greatly debated topic since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. In response to these new guidelines, schools

Assessment practices in U.S. schools have become a greatly debated topic since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. In response to these new guidelines, schools and teachers have made adjustments in the ways they implement assessment practice and utilize assessment data -- ultimately impacting the lives of students and their educational outcomes. Using elements of Bourdieu's Theory of Practice as a lens to consider both context and implications of assessment practices within this new legislative era, a case study is focused on the lives of teachers and students within a single U.S. middle school. This study synthesizes secondary data in the form of standardized test scores, teacher grades in math and reading, a student grit survey, along with student narratives and teacher observations to reveal the ways in which assessment practice structures the classroom field. Findings reveal the conflicting ways in which teachers and students navigate a system framed by bureaucratic legitimacy. For teachers, issues of assessment rules and time constraints lead to frustrations and bureaucratic slippage. Conversely, students implement strategies to resist and manage the routine assessment practices of teachers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015