For African countries during the 1960s and 70s, decolonization marked the first step in a slow crawl toward complete independence. For Western powers and the Soviet Union, however, decolonization presented an opportunity to exert new influence over countries in desperate need of aid, investment, experts, and trade. Amidst the backdrop of increasing Cold War tensions, the US and USSR used foreign aid to pressure development according to either capitalist or Marxist agendas. Thus, sub-Saharan Africa became a battleground of proxy wars and neocolonialism. The Cold War superpowers would back opposing regimes in Angola and prop up, oust, or assassinate leaders in Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania. This disrupted natural political development and created instability and violence, which was compounded by the arrival of the AIDS epidemic in the mid-1980s. AIDS ravaged African societies and destroyed the remaining fibers of leadership. The disease illuminated harsh historical realities as it spread among the conflict-stricken countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the motivations behind US and USSR foreign aid during the Cold War, understand how their involvement halted the natural progression of pan-Africanism and leadership in newly-independent African countries, and link the resulting violence to the devastation of the AIDS crisis twenty years later. It begins with a look at European colonization in sub-Saharan Africa and traces the legacy of western influence in the region. The paper will then analyze specific examples of the consequences of historical interference, such as in the Angolan Civil War, the Congo Crisis, and the Rwandan genocide. It will introduce the AIDS crisis—coincident with major civil conflict and the end of the Cold War—and reveal the foreign aid response of the international community in the late 1990s and early 2000s, once Cold War-era pressures were gone. Through realizing the continued impact and spread of HIV/AIDS, the objective of this paper is to present a comprehensive view of the modern-day consequences of historical interference.
The electronic dance music (EDM) rave community prides itself in fostering an all- accepting subculture for people to unite in style, song, and dance. Based on the principles of Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect (PLUR), rave events have unique and colorful themes, bass levels you can feel in your heart, bright and invigorating laser light shows, and in many cases, a heavy presence of both legal and illegal drug use. Because of the association with illegal substances, open discussions regarding drug presence, use, and harm reduction have been stigmatized and limited in the rave community. This study aims to evaluate the current level of knowledge and attitudes regarding drug presence and harm reduction among “ravers.” All participants were required to be of 18 years of age or older and have attended at least 1 EDM event in the past 5 years. The study involved two stages: (1) collecting qualitative data through in person, phone call, or Zoom interviews (n=14), and (2) collecting quantitative data through closed-ended, anonymous surveys via QuestionPro (n=64). The results indicate that a significant portion of participants in both stages express a desire for easily accessible harm reduction information and increased measures prior to and at EDM events. Starting an open dialogue about drug use and harm reduction efforts within this subculture could help create a safer environment and reduce the negative consequences of drug use.
The term “Iraqi American” defines any person of Iraqi origin who is residing in the United States. From 1960 until 2014, Iraq experienced numerous armed conflicts and international sanctions. As a result, a great surge of Iraqis migrated out of the country to seek refuge elsewhere. The United States alone currently houses about 400,000+ persons of Iraqi descent, many of whom identify as its citizens. Despite that, Iraqi Americans remain severely understudied. Therefore, this study aims to understand the cultural barriers Iraqi American women face while seeking healthcare in the United States, and how these barriers can impact their behaviors. I collected data via semi-structured interviews with eight Iraqi American women. In this study, I identified five major themes that contributed to women’s healthcare seeking behaviors: societal/familial pressures, staying “pure,” shame associated with performing medical procedures, taboo surrounding discussions of female health conditions, and issues regarding being in the presence of male doctors. Many of these themes involved cultural stigmas and pointed to potential pathways to destigmatize women’s healthcare in the community. This study acts as an initiative to understanding Iraqi Americans better and lays groundwork for further research.
Existing research has shown that both ethnic discrimination and household wealth can shape child well-being and development. However, little work examines ethnic discrimination and its relation to income in predicting childhood health globally. This study explores two possible explanations for disparities in infant mortality between ethnic groups across countries worldwide. The first is an explanation based on wealth differentials across ethnic groups. The second is the impact of forms of ethnic discrimination such as past lethal violence or forced labor experienced by the group. This study examines the correlation between ethnic discrimination and infant mortality using household wealth as a covariate. Analyses focused on 266 ethnicities in 40 low- and middle-income countries globally, drawing on infant mortality data from Demographic and Health Surveys and data on ethnic discrimination compiled by the Inclusive Human Learning Lab at Arizona State University. Findings without the inclusion of household wealth show that ethnic groups that predominantly spoke the state language had significantly lower rates of infant mortality. However, this trend disappears when income is added as a covariate. No other measures of discrimination or privilege were associated with infant mortality. Across all analyses, the wealth of the ethnic group was a significant predictor of infant mortality. Future studies should examine whether these trends persist in high-income countries, and whether the general lack of association of discrimination and privilege variables with infant mortality is influenced by how the variables were coded.