Matching Items (19)

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Presentation of Selfie: Studying Performance and Social Media

Description

The selfie craze has taken over smartphone users. Despite a wealth of published opinion pieces on the matter, there lacks a constructive and academically-based dialogue about selfies. "Presentation of Selfie"

The selfie craze has taken over smartphone users. Despite a wealth of published opinion pieces on the matter, there lacks a constructive and academically-based dialogue about selfies. "Presentation of Selfie" is a creative, interactive space that analyzes a sample of collected selfies. The project takes a look at how age, relationships and identities play a role in the social significance of selfie culture.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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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Traditional entrepreneur networks and regional resilience

Description

The jobless recovery of the Great Recession has led policymakers and citizens alike to ask what can be done to better protect regions from the cascading effects of an economic

The jobless recovery of the Great Recession has led policymakers and citizens alike to ask what can be done to better protect regions from the cascading effects of an economic downturn. Economic growth strategies that aim to redevelop a waterfront for tourism or attract high growth companies to the area, for example, have left regions vulnerable by consolidating resources in just a few industry sectors or parts of town. A promising answer that coincided with growing interest in regional innovation policy has been to promote entrepreneurship for bottom-up, individual-led regional development. However, these policies have also failed to maximize the potential for bottom-up development by focusing on high skill entrepreneurs and high tech industry sectors, such as green energy and nanotechnology. This dissertation uses the extended case method to determine whether industry cluster theory can be usefully extended from networks of high skill innovators to entrepreneurs in traditional trades. It uses U.S. Census data and in-person interviews in cluster and non-cluster neighborhoods in Dayton, Ohio to assess whether traditional entrepreneurs cluster and whether social networks explain high rates of neighborhood self-employment. Entrepreneur interviews are also conducted in Raleigh, North Carolina to explore regional resilience by comparing the behavior of traditional entrepreneurs in the ascendant tech-hub region of Raleigh and stagnant Rustbelt region of Dayton. The quantitative analysis documents, for the first time, a minor degree of neighborhood-level entrepreneur clustering. In interviews, entrepreneurs offered clear examples of social networks that resemble those shown to make regional clusters successful, and they helped clarify that a slightly larger geography may reveal more clustering. Comparing Raleigh and Dayton entrepreneurs, the study found few differences in their behavior to explain the regions' differing long-term economic trends. However, charitable profit-seeking and trial and error learning are consistent behaviors that may distinguish traditional, small scale entrepreneurs from larger export-oriented business owners and contribute to a region's ability to withstand recessions and other shocks. The research informs growing policy interest in bottom-up urban development by offering qualitative evidence for how local mechanics, seamstresses, lawn care businesses and many others can be regional assets. Future research should use larger entrepreneur samples to systematically test the relationship between entrepreneur resilience behaviors to regional economic outcomes.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Home is where the work is: women, direct sales, and technologies of gender

Description

This dissertation examines how direct selling organizations compel women to believe that direct selling is, among other things, centered on the needs of women. Drawing upon feminist interdisciplinary methodologies, this

This dissertation examines how direct selling organizations compel women to believe that direct selling is, among other things, centered on the needs of women. Drawing upon feminist interdisciplinary methodologies, this dissertation brings together qualitative, archival, and ethnographic materials to analyze direct selling through a technologies of gender framework. I argue that multi-level marketing direct selling companies (like Avon, Tupperware, Mary Kay, etc.) are able to turn belief into profits because they strategically tap into gender ideologies. I show that discursive technologies of gender coalesce with race and class discourses and are put to work by direct selling companies to construct a specific type of direct seller. This dissertation attempts to unpack the complex technologies of gender that direct selling women engage with while constructing their identities as workers and women. I argue that the companies in this study deliberately tap into women's anxieties and desires to blend their perceived gender roles with their need for income. I find that direct selling companies are exceptional at branding their businesses as uniquely suited for women and that this branding hinges upon the construction of a direct sales imaginary. I argue that the direct sales imaginary taps into powerful discourses of race, class, and gender to market the American dream to women who are seeking out a space that is empowering and inclusive. Because the direct selling industry tends to see an increase in profits and recruitment during economic recessions, it is likely that the current economic situation has channeled even more women toward direct sales as a fallback for uncertain economic futures. While some women may be inclined to view direct sales as an attractive employment alternative it is not a realistic means of supporting families during difficult economic times and this study might help some women make more informed decisions. Furthermore, this study brings to light how gender might be used to organize structural relationships between markets, people, and businesses.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Mobilizing hope: an applied drama approach toward building protective factors in behavioral health

Description

The purpose of this mixed methods case study was to evaluate a dramatic arts curriculum focused on building protective factors including resiliency, cognitive flexibility, self-efficacy, and hope in eight to

The purpose of this mixed methods case study was to evaluate a dramatic arts curriculum focused on building protective factors including resiliency, cognitive flexibility, self-efficacy, and hope in eight to ten adolescent male sex offenders undergoing treatment at a residential behavioral health facility in Mesa, Arizona. The impetus for this research was suicide prevention efforts. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-24 in the United States (CDC 2013), and prevention efforts demand complex approaches targeting major risk factors like lack of belonging and hopelessness. Arts-based prevention efforts have shown promise for building pro-social preventative factors.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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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