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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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Iterative Size Reduction of Bead Placement in Nanosphere Lithography

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Nanosphere lithography is a high throughput procedure that has important implications
for facile, low cost scaling of nanostructures. However, current benchtop experiments have
limitations based on the placement of molecular species that exhibit greater than singlemolecular binding. In addition, reliance

Nanosphere lithography is a high throughput procedure that has important implications
for facile, low cost scaling of nanostructures. However, current benchtop experiments have
limitations based on the placement of molecular species that exhibit greater than singlemolecular binding. In addition, reliance upon bottom-up self-assembly of close-packed
nanospheres makes it problematic to resolve images using low-cost light microscopes due to the
spacing limitations smaller in magnitude than light wavelength. One method that is created to
resolve this issue is iterative size reduction (ISR), where repetitive ‘iterative’ processes are
employed in order to increase the precision at which single molecules bind to a given substrate.
ISR enables inherent separation of nanospheres and therefore any subsequent single molecule
binding platforms. In addition, ISR targets and encourages single-molecule binding by
systematically reducing binding site size. Results obtained pursuing iteratively reduced
nanostructures showed that many factors are needed to be taken into consideration, including
functionalization of nanosphere particles, zeta potential, and protonation-buffer reactions.
Modalities used for observation of nanoscale patterning and single-molecule binding included
atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ONI super-resolution and fluorescence microscopy. ISR
was also used in conjunction with zero mode waveguides, which are nanoapertures enabling realtime single molecule observation at zeptoliter volumes. Although current limitations and
obstacles still exist with reproducibility and scalability of ISR, it nonetheless exhibits limitless
potential and flexibility in nanotechnology applications.

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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

Human Physiological Adaptations to Starvation and Caloric Restriction

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Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of this, the human body has many physiological adaptations that allow

Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of this, the human body has many physiological adaptations that allow it to go extended periods of time consuming little to no food. These adaptations also allow the body to recover quickly once food becomes available. They include changes in metabolism that allow different fuel sources to be used for energy, the storing of excess energy absorbed from food in the forms of glycogen and fat to be used in between meals, and a reduction in the basal metabolic rate in response to starvation, as well as physiological changes in the small intestines. Even in places where starvation is not a concern today, these adaptations are still important as they also have an effect on weight gain and dieting in addition to promoting survival when the body is in a starved state.

Disclaimer: The initial goal of this project was to present this information as a podcast episode as a part of a series aimed at teaching the general public about human physiological adaptations. Due to the circumstances with COVID-19 we were unable to meet to make a final recording of the podcast episode. A recording of a practice session recorded earlier in the year has been uploaded instead and is therefore only a rough draft.

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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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Does chronic unpredictable restraint produce dendritic retraction in long-shaft CA3 hippocampal neurons?

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Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a widespread mood disorder that affects more than 300 million people worldwide and yet, high relapse rates persist. This current study aimed to use an animal model for depression, unpredictable intermittent restraint (UIR), to investigate

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a widespread mood disorder that affects more than 300 million people worldwide and yet, high relapse rates persist. This current study aimed to use an animal model for depression, unpredictable intermittent restraint (UIR), to investigate changes in a subset of neurons within the hippocampus, a region of high susceptibility in MDD. Adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to four treatment groups based on sex (n = 48, n = 12/group). Half of the rats underwent UIR that involved restraint with orbital shaking (30 min or 1 h) for 2-6 consecutive days, followed by one or two days of no stressors; the other half of the rats were undisturbed (CON). UIR rats were stressed for 28 days (21 days of actual stressors) before behavioral testing began with UIR continuing between testing days for nearly 70 days. Rats were then euthanized between 9 and 11 days after the last UIR session. Brains were processed for Golgi stain and long-shaft (LS) neurons within the hippocampal CA3a and CA3b regions were quantified for dendritic complexity using a Camera Lucida attachment. Our findings failed to support our hypothesis that UIR would produce apical dendritic retraction in CA3 hippocampal LS neurons in both males and females. Given that UIR failed to produce CA3 apical dendritic retraction in males, which is commonly observed in the literature, we discuss several reasons for these findings including, time from the end of UIR to when brains were sampled, and the effects of repeated cognitive testing. Given our published findings that UIR impaired spatial ability in males, but not females, we believe that UIR holds validity as a chronic stress paradigm, as UIR attenuated body weight gain in both males and females and produced reductions in thymus gland weight in UIR males. These findings corroborate UIR as an effective stressor in males and warrant further research into the timing of UIR-induced changes in hippocampal CA3 apical dendritic morphology.

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2020-12