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Feminist Royalty: Assessing the Disney Princess and her Sociocultural Effects

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With each new Disney princess being hailed as finally representing a strong, positive female role model, the images presented by older princesses come into question. This investigation delves into the

With each new Disney princess being hailed as finally representing a strong, positive female role model, the images presented by older princesses come into question. This investigation delves into the messages put forth by the Disney princess films and the way in which these ideas are developed within each of their movies. By defining the core of feminism to revolve around agency and the freedom of choice available to the women in the films, each princess' adherence to feminist values was analyzed. All current and expected Disney princesses were evaluated (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, and Elsa). The princesses were split into five categories to offer comparison and conclusions between women with similar characteristics: the Traditionals, the Dreamers, the Adventurers, the Rebels, and the Non-Conformists. Major findings include the evolution of the marriage ideal presented by Disney, the issue between race and labor within the princess franchise, and the amount of agency each princess is allowed in her movie. Disney presents many stories where the individual wishes of a princess class with her society or community, but not all princesses are successful in going against their cultural values. A majority of the princesses do exercise their agency in their films, but this is done with varying degrees of freedom and choices available to them. Disney's representation of traditional love stories has slowly evolved, now allowing women to pursue other dreams concurrently with romance, or even dreams entirely devoid of love. Disney has also made an effort to branch out with princesses of color and from other cultures, yet these films often end up presenting a cultural critique as opposed to a feminist critique of gender roles. The franchise also seems to present labor as a form of oppression which white princesses must escape while princesses of color do not receive the same respite or salvation at the end of their films. White princesses end with a life of luxury and relaxation that isn't afforded to Disney's princesses of color. Though there is much room for improvement with future Disney princess films, the past princesses are not necessarily as "anti-feminist" as they have been portrayed. Each princess exhibits more autonomy and agency than the last, providing more paths and options for young girls to consider as they grow up watching these films.

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  • 2016-05

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How Can Humanities Interventions Promote Progress in the Environmental Sciences?

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Environmental humanists make compelling arguments about the importance of the environmental humanities (EH) for discovering new ways to conceptualize and address the urgent challenges of the environmental crisis now confronting

Environmental humanists make compelling arguments about the importance of the environmental humanities (EH) for discovering new ways to conceptualize and address the urgent challenges of the environmental crisis now confronting the planet. Many environmental scientists in a variety of fields are also committed to incorporating socio-cultural analyses in their work. Despite such intentions and rhetoric, however, and some humanists’ eagerness to incorporate science into their own work, “radical interdisciplinarity [across the humanities and sciences] is ... rare ... and does not have the impact one would hope for” (Holm et al. 2013, p. 32). This article discusses reasons for the gap between transdisciplinary intentions and the work being done in the environmental sciences. The article also describes a project designed to address that gap. Entitled “From Innovation to Progress: Addressing Hazards of the Sustainability Sciences”, the project encourages humanities interventions in problem definition, before any solution or action is chosen. Progress offers strategies for promoting expanded stakeholder engagement, enhancing understanding of power struggles and inequities that underlie problems and over-determine solutions, and designing multiple future scenarios based on alternative values, cultural practices and beliefs, and perspectives on power distribution and entitlement.

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Date Created
  • 2017-10-16

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Humanities for the Environment—A Manifesto for Research and Action

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Human preferences, practices and actions are the main drivers of global environmental change in the 21st century. It is crucial, therefore, to promote pro-environmental behavior. In order to accomplish this,

Human preferences, practices and actions are the main drivers of global environmental change in the 21st century. It is crucial, therefore, to promote pro-environmental behavior. In order to accomplish this, we need to move beyond rational choice and behavioral decision theories, which do not capture the full range of commitments, assumptions, imaginaries, and belief systems that drive those preferences and actions. Humanities disciplines, such as philosophy, history, religious studies, gender studies, language and literary studies, psychology, and pedagogics do offer deep insights into human motivations, values, and choices. We believe that the expertise of such fields for transforming human preferences, practices and actions is ignored at society’s peril. We propose an agenda that focuses global humanities research on stepping up to the challenges of planetary environmental change. We have established Environmental Humanities Observatories through which to observe, explore and enact the crucial ways humanistic disciplines may help us understand and engage with global ecological problems by providing insight into human action, perceptions, and motivation. We present this Manifesto as an invitation for others to join the “Humanities for the Environment” open global consortium of humanities observatories as we continue to develop a shared research agenda.

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  • 2015-12-21

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Decision-Making and Firearm Removal Legislation on Civil Domestic Violence Protection Orders in Arizona

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Rates of domestic violence (DV) gun homicide in Arizona consistently exceed the national average (Everytown, 2015). For perpetrators, firearms continue to be their primary weapon of choice in DV homicides

Rates of domestic violence (DV) gun homicide in Arizona consistently exceed the national average (Everytown, 2015). For perpetrators, firearms continue to be their primary weapon of choice in DV homicides (Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, 2015). In Arizona, civil DV protection orders (POs) help reduce the growing rates of gun homicide through firearm removal provisions. Questioning how firearms shape judicial decision-making, this thesis contributes to existing literature on firearms and DV by exploring how judges come to interpret findings of credible threat and which factors are associated with judicial decisions to grant firearm removal pursuant to Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601. This thesis reveals how courts navigate competing concerns around victim safety and gun rights.

Secondary qualitative and quantitative data collected as part of Dr. Alesha Durfee’s National Institute of Justice Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships Grant “Investigating the Impacts of Institutional and Contextual Factors on Protection Order Decision-Making” (Dr. Alesha Durfee, PI; Mesa Municipal Court and National Center for State Courts, co-PIs) (2015-IJ-CX-0013) are analyzed in this thesis.

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Created

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  • 2017