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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Sociology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study
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It is commonly assumed that when confronted with an imminent hazard that people will react rationally, and prepare for, or at least attempt to avoid, danger from pending disasters. However, this conventional wisdom is not as evident as it appears. People prepare for, react to, or take social action to avoid hazards when they perceive the risk of danger to be threatening enough to warrant action, providing one has the will, insight and resources to do so. However, not all people perceive risks similarly. Risk is perceived differently by different people which affects risk perception and responses to hazards. This dissertation explores the relationships between American Indian worldviews, risk perceptions and disaster planning. To carry out this research 28 American Indians were interviewed. The sample consists of 14 American Indians residing in a rural are on the northern plains and 14 urban American Indians. The results only partially support that worldview is linked to risk perception and subsequent disaster planning. Other factors found to relate to risk perception and disaster planning for this non-representative sample of American Indians include various forms of social vulnerability.
Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory
This study examines the mediating effect of social bonding on delinquent behavior among Kurdish teens. Major influences to the study of self concept and delinquency based on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are reviewed. The data was collected from a sample of 100 Kurdish teens attending a Gülen affiliated school (Private Çaglayan Murat Anatolian Science High School in Şanlıurfa, Turkey) and 100 Kurdish teens attending a public (non- Gülen) school (The Public High School in Diyarbakır, Turkey). There are two dependent variables for this research project: Involvement in major delinquency and involvement in minor delinquency. The components of social bonding attachment, involvement, commitment, and belief were used as independent variables. Participants’ age ranged between 16 to 18 years. I hypothesize that the relation between the social bonding elements and delinquency should be stronger in the case of Kurdish adolescents who are more attached to conventional Turkish society. Results from binary logistic regression analyses indicate that in the absence of bonding, Kurdish teenagers tend to engage in major and minor delinquent activities. For further exploration and results, the Gülen Movement was examined as an independent variable. Findings suggest a strong relationship between the Gülen Movement and Kurdish adolescents’ probability of involvement in either major or minor delinquent activities. Finally, several directions for future research on Hirschi’s social bonding theory are recommended and some implications are drawn for deterring Kurdish adolescents from becoming involved in delinquent actions.
Are Alzheimer's Special Care Units Really Special? Effects of Residential Status on Family Members' Perspectives on High Quality Care for their Loved-Ones in Long-Term Care
This analysis of secondary data collected from family members of nursing home residents in North Texas (n = 422) used a mixed methods approach to determine if there is a difference in perspectives on quality care among family members of Alzheimer’s/Dementia Special Care Unit (ADSCU) residents compared to those of non-ADSCU residents. Descriptive content analysis was used identify and condense responses to an open-ended question into four meaningful categories of qualities of care. An independent t-test was employed to determine if there was a difference between family members of ADSCU residents and family members of non-ADSCU residents regarding their rating of their loved-ones’ nursing home on the important qualities of care they identified from the open-ended question. Closed-ended questions were organized into indices of these qualities of care, and ordinary least square regression was employed to determine if there were significant differences between perceptions of family members of ADSCU residents and those of non-ADSCU residents regarding care their loved-ones are receiving on these qualities of care, controlling for frequency of visit.
Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-risk Groups
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The primary objective of this research was to explore the impact of possible social factors on non-institutionalized adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States who exhibited severe mental illness (SMI). A holistic sociological model was developed to explain SMI by incorporating elements of social learning theory, social disorganization theory, and gender socialization theory with social demographic factors. Based on the holistic sociological model, the following factors were investigated: demographic aspects of age, education, income and gender; gender socialization; influence of neighborhood area; social network influence based on communication and interaction among peers and family members; and socially deviant behaviors such as frequently smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs specifically marijuana. The impact of these factors on SMI was examined. A sample of 206 respondents drawn from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 was assessed. These respondents had answered all the questions related to SMI; social deviant behaviors; neighborhood environment; and communications among peers, family members and friends; and the other studied factors. Ordinary linear regression with interaction terms was employed as a statistical tool to assess the impact of social determinants on SMI. Being female, living a disorganized neighborhood, and frequent and high levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol had a significant influence on SMI. This reevaluation and reexamination of the role of gender socialization path, socially deviant behaviors like smoking and drinking, and community construction on SMI provided additional insights. This research is one of the first to develop a more holistic sociological model on SMI and explored the previously untested interactive relationships. The limitations of this study suggest the need to test a potential recursive research model and explore additional bi-directional associations.
Behavioral Aspects of Latino Familialism: a Three Study Analysis
The existing research on Latino familialism draws a distinction between the attitudes associated with familialism and familialism-based action. Because attitudes tend to be more stable when considering variables such as immigration generation status, etc., social science researchers tend to employ measures based on attitudinal aspects of familialism, rather than action or behavior. Because of this preference, there is a lack of studies that examine familialism-based action and behaviors. This dissertation consists of three unique studies that examine actions and behaviors associated with familialism, while taking into account the methodological concerns expressed by previous researchers. The first study uses nationally representative U.S. data to compare the differences in the frequency of contact with various family members, among black non-Hispanics, Hispanics, and white non-Hispanics. The central finding of this study is that Hispanics maintain more frequent contact with family than white non-Hispanics, but there is no difference between Hispanics and black non-Hispanics, with the exception of contact with fathers. The second study, which employs qualitative data collected from a metropolitan area in the Southwest U.S., examines the locus of educational aspirations and expectations among a sample of Hispanics and white non-Hispanics. Among other things, this study finds that Hispanic females were more likely than other participants to make statements that suggest the aspirations or expectations of significant others were a strong influence in the decision to attend college. This study further argues that this tendency is related to the acquiescent nature of traditional Hispanic gender norms associated with the familial concept of marianismo. Using nationally representative U.S. data, the final study finds that, other things being equal, Hispanic college students are more likely than non-Hispanic students to attend a college or university that is within fifty miles of their permanent residence. The study further finds that this tendency mediates the gap between Hispanic students and white non-Hispanic students, in terms of the selectivity level of institutions attended.
Bundle of Joy: Pregnancy, Coping and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Girls
Using the stress process model, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms among adolescent girls was investigated. This model posits that stress resulting from social location and related disruptive life events may indirectly affect health by eroding coping, mastery, or social support mechanisms. The effect of low income, minority status and pregnancy on coping processes in adolescent girls was hypothesized and tested. Communication with parents, involvement in activities, and success in school were examined as positive coping strategies. Smoking tobacco, heavy alcohol use, and drug use were examined as negative coping. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health were analyzed. After combining the available cases from the 2006, 2007, and 2008 datasets, selecting girls aged from 12 to 17 years, and removing missing cases; the sample consisted of a total of 22,854 adolescents. A series of binary logistic regression models were estimated. Findings included that coping strategies partially mediate the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms. In particular, success in school, smoking tobacco, and drug abuse played a mediating role. When coping was accounted for, the relationship between pregnancy and depressive symptoms was reduced and became only marginally significant. Implications of the study include a focus on policy that promotes early intervention assisting at-risk adolescents with the development of coping strategies that may help them adjust to unexpected life events, such as pregnancy.
Can Social Disorganization and Social Capital Factors Help Explain the Incidences of Property Crimes in Turkey?
Organized crime and terrorism taking place in the Turkish provinces get more attention in the public agenda than other type of crimes. Although property crimes receive less attention, they pose a serious threat to public order and the social welfare of Turkish society. Academic researchers have also paid little attention to the analysis of property crimes at the macro level in Turkey. For these reasons, this study focused on the analysis of property crimes for three years period, 2005, 2006 and 2007 in Turkey, using a conceptual model of social disorganization. Provincial level data from Turkish governmental agencies were used. The findings of multivariate analyses showed that social disorganization approach, as measured in this study, provided a partial explanation of property crime rates in Turkey. Family disruption and urbanization had significant effects on property crime rate, while remaining exogenous elements of social disorganization (i.e., SES, population heterogeneity and residential mobility) did not have any expected effects. In mediation analysis, using faith-based engagement and political participation rates as mediators between the structural factors of social disorganization and property crime rate provided marginal support for the theory. Political participation rate partially mediated the relationship between property crime rate and urbanization rate, while faith-based engagement rate did not mediate the effects of social disorganization variables on property crime rate. These findings were consistent with the findings of research that has been completed in other nations, and made a unique contribution to the Turkish research on crime.
Correlates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified among Palestinian Child Ex-Detainees
The objective of this study is to investigate the variations in the type of trauma (post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified (DESNOS) resulting first from group membership, and second from variations in socioeconomic status, and last, from exposure to physical and psychological methods of interrogation due to imprisonment. I use a diverse sample of 202 child ex-detainees who served sentences in Israeli prisons and were 17 years of age or less at the time of arrest. Various regression techniques were utilized to determine the most parsimonious way to distinguish between the three groups in their trauma responses. The key finding in this study is that child refugee ex-detainees living in refugee camps, in general, did not report PTSD or DESNOS reactions compared to their counterparts. Continuing PTSD and DESNOS symptoms were more prevalent among the group of refugees living outside the camps. However, there is at least one finding that supported what I hypothesized: refugees living in camps were more likely to experience elevated levels of alterations in attention or consciousness (DESNOS2). For refugees in camps, the DESNOS absence tells us that the volatile childhood these children experienced was not associated with severe pathological reactions or heightened sensitization to trauma. In contrast, refugees living outside camps suffer from alterations in self-perception DESNOS4 symptomology, in addition, to elevated levels of complex trauma DESNOS and they qualified for the DESNOS diagnosis more than the other two groups of children. Refugees living outside camps were the only group subjected to interpersonal stressors.
Determinants of Mental Health Problems Among College Students
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Many college students have reported struggling with mental health problems while dealing with challenging demands of college. The initial theoretical framework for this research was Pearlin's stress process model (SPM). Building on the SPM, the three additional mediating variables of perceived control, meaninglessness, and financial worries were added to create a composite model for the research. Mental health outcomes in the model were measured by a comprehensive range of factors, which included: psychological distress, suicide, substance abuse, and anger. Data were collected from a non-probability convenience sample of 463 undergraduate students attending a large state supported university in the southwestern region of the United States. Among the social status variables measured, being married, female, and white were significant predictors of poor mental health in the sampled college students. Poor self-image, feeling of meaninglessness, and worrying about current and future finances were significant mediating variables. Poor mental health could make individuals overwhelmed and discouraged. This is a formula for failure in college. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the correlates of mental health problems among college students. A greater understanding means that families and college administrations will have better ideas about how to intervene to reduce the stress of students and to focus the available and often limited resources to help young adults in their college experience.
Diaspora Philanthropy: Identity and Obligation Among Indian Engineers in the United States
Diaspora philanthropy to India has grown rapidly over the past several decades. However, little is known about the motivations of Indians living in the U.S. to donate philanthropically to India. Extant studies have either focused on quantitative analysis of diaspora philanthropy or qualitative research on the receiving of diaspora philanthropy in India. The motivations and strategies of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. have not been explored, particularly, the informal mechanisms and strategies of making philanthropic donations to India and the obligations that underlie the practice of diaspora philanthropy remain neglected in the existing studies on diaspora philanthropy. My research addressed this gap in the existing literature on diaspora philanthropy by conducting qualitative face-to-face in-depth interviews with a snowball sample of 25 Indian engineers in San Diego, California. In my study, it was found that Indians preferred to channel funds for philanthropy in India through friends and family because of lack of trust in formal organizations and greater confidence in the activities of friends and family in India due to familiarity and better accountability. It was also found that Indians felt indebted to Indian society and the Indian nation-state for the free and subsidized education they had received in India, and therefore felt obligated to make philanthropic contributions to India in order to redeem the debt that they owe to India.
The Effect of Group Status on Moral Relativism and the Stigmatization of Mental Illness: a Social Dominance Theoretical Model
This dissertation created a model to explore the effect of dominant group status on stigmatization of mental illness and on moral relativism and the interactive effect of dominant group status on stigmatization of mental illness through moral relativism. The model was conceptualized according to social dominance theory. Latent variables were created to measure moral relativism and stigmatization of mental illness. The latent measures were conceptualized according to current theories in the fields of moral relativism and stigmatization. During statistical analyses the latent measure for moral relativism was found to be unreliable. The study then became confirmatory-exploratory in nature by first comparing the fit indices of three alternate models with single-measure latent variables. The model that best fit the data was then used to conclude the exploratory research on the effect of group status on moral relativism and stigmatization of mental illness. The model was not supported by the data based on fit index and standardized residual scores.
Effects of Social Networks and Media on Pro-Environment Behaviors
In this study, pro-environmental behaviors are investigated by studying if one's primary information sources about environmental issues either from their social network or the media influence this behavior. Data was collected from the 2002 Detroit Area Study with a total of 267 respondents. Three indexes were constructed to separately measure all seven pro-environment behavioral items, five conservation behavioral items, and two consumption behavioral items. A complex sample model was utilized in these analyses. Findings suggest that information sources are correlated to self-reported environmental behavior. As predicted, the people whose primary information source was social network were more likely to obtain higher scores on all three separate indexes than those individuals who primarily received information about environmental issues from the media.
The Effects of Social Structure on Social Movements in Turkey
The main objective of this study is to provide an in-depth analysis the association between a set of social structural factors and the certain types of social movement events in Turkey. The changing nature and significance of social movements over time and space makes this study necessary to understand and explain new trends related to the parameters that constitute a backdrop for social movements. Social movements are a very common mechanism used by groups of people who decide to take action against an unfair socio-political system, usually an authoritarian government or dictatorship. This kind of reactions, seen in history before, gives birth to a more multidimensional understanding of the relationship between society and state policies. Understanding social movements depends on understanding our own societies, and the social environment in which they are developed. An effective way of understanding this type of social movements is to recognize the perceived concerns of discontented groups in relation to cultural, ideological, economic, and political institutions and values. Social movement events included in the study refers to collective activities organized by two or more people with the purpose of protesting public policies or of increasing public awareness about certain social issues related to human rights and freedoms, environment, feminism, etc. All these types of events are chased by police forces, and their concerns, statements, and activities are recorded.
Energy Paths and Political Commitments: Their Roles in Environmental Inequality
Decentralized renewable energy procurement has gained traction in recent years for its potential to alleviate rural energy poverty and environmental degradation in developing countries. Hence, this study investigates if deploying renewable energy can mitigate rural energy poverty in developing countries as often claimed. Because any energy regime cannot be initiated or sustained without the conviction of local political leaders, the study also evaluates the extent to which government investments in the development of renewable energy technologies and the energy sector, affect the environmental quality (i.e. greenhouse gas emissions) of developing countries. Energetic theory and environmental inequality constitute the key conceptual premises guiding this study. Ordinary least squares regression is utilized to analyze the relationship between key variables. The results reveal that as of 2010, use of renewable energy can indeed support rural electrification. Higher GNI per capita and use of conventional fuels are also positively related to rural electrification, all else equal. As for environmental degradation in 2005 and 2008, R&D investments actually tend to increase GHG emissions; procuring energy from either renewable or non-renewable sources is however, found to be environmentally detrimental, net of all other variables. Finally, some evidence is found for the role of aid funds and multilateral debt in abating GHG emissions.
Examining the Origins of Sociology: Continuities and Divergences Between Ibn Khaldun, Giambattista Vico, August Comte, Ludwig Gumplowicz, and Emile Durkheim
This thesis examines the extent to which Ibn Khaldun can legitimately be considered a founding father of sociology. To pursue this research, Khaldun's theoretical framework will be compared with four Western scholars: Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Giambattista Vico, and Ludwig Gumplowicz. This paper begins with an Introduction (Chapter I), followed by a general overview of Khaldun's work (Chapter II). Next, Khaldun's work is compared to that of Auguste Comte (Chapter III), Emile Durkheim (Chapter IV), Ludwig Gumplowicz (Chapter V) and Giambattista Vico (Chapter VI). In each of these chapters, Khaldun is compared and contrasted to the other social theorist, illustrating their similarities and considering their differences. Finally, in Chapter VII, I put forth conclusions that consider the extent to which Khaldun can validly be considered a founding father of sociology.
Exotic Femininity: Prostitution Reviews and the Sexual Stereotyping of Asian Women
Studies on prostitution have typically focused on the experiences, problems, and histories of prostitutes, rather than examining men who seek to purchase sex. Race has also been overlooked as a central factor in shaping the sex industry and the motivations of men who seek to purchase sex. This study utilizes online reviews of prostitutes to examine the way men who purchase sex discuss Asian prostitutes in comparison to White prostitutes. This paper traces the history of colonialism and ideas of the exotic Orient to modern stereotypes of Asian women. These stereotypes are then used to frame a quantitative and qualitative analysis of online reviews of prostitutes and compare the ways in which Asian prostitutes and white prostitutes are discussed. Further, the reviews are used to examine more broadly what services, traits, and behaviors are considered desirable by men who use prostitutes. The study finds that there are significant quantitative and qualitative differences in how men discuss Asian and White prostitutes within their reviews, and that these differences appear to be shaped by racially fetishizing stereotypes of Asian women. Prostitution also appears to reinforce male dominance and patriarchy in the form of masculine control and the feminine servicing of male sexual and emotional needs.
Explaining “Everyday Crime”: A Test of Anomie and Relative Deprivation Theory
Every day, individuals commit acts which are considered immoral, unethical, even criminal, often to gain material advantage. Many people consider cheating on taxes, cheating on tests, claiming false benefits, or avoiding transport fare to be wrong, but they do them anyway. While some of these acts may not be formally illegal, they are, at best, considered morally dubious and is labeled “everyday crime.” Anomie theory holds that individuals make decisions based on socialized values, which separately may be contradictory but together, balances each other out, producing behavior considered “normal” by society. When one holds an imbalanced set of values, decisions made on that set may produce deviant behavior, such as everyday crime. RD theory holds that individuals who perceive their own deprivation, relative to someone else, will feel frustration and injustice, and may attempt to ameliorate that feeling with deviant behavior. Data from the 2006 World Values Survey were analyzed using logistic regression, testing both constructs concurrently. An individual was 1.55 times more likely to justify everyday crime for each calculated unit of anomie; and 1.10 times more likely for each calculated unit of RD. It was concluded from this study that anomie and relative deprivation were both associated with the tendency towards everyday crime.
Explaining Marijuana Use Among Turkish Juveniles: A Test of Hirschi's Social Bonding Theory
Marijuana is the most prevalent illicit drug used in the world and among Turkish juveniles. Although studies have examined marijuana use among Turkish juveniles, none has tested Hirschi's social bonding theory, one of the most frequently tested and applied criminological theories in the United States and other Western and developed countries. This study investigated the empirical validity and generalizability of Hirschi's theory to juveniles' marijuana use in Turkey, a non-Western and developing country. Data on 2,740 Turkish tenth grade students from the 2006 Youth in Europe survey were used. Results from binary logistic regression analyses were generally consistent with the propositions of Hirschi's theory and the findings of previous empirical studies. Regarding the attachment component of the theory, Turkish juveniles who lived in two-parent families and those who were closely monitored by their parents were less likely to have tried marijuana. In addition, teens who were strongly attached to their school and religion were also less likely to have used the drug. As for the commitment component, language grade was negatively associated with marijuana use. None of the involvement items had significant effects on marijuana use in the predicted direction. Participation in club sports had a positive effect on marijuana use. Belief items, such as acceptance of societal norms, values, and rules, had the predicted inhibiting effects on teens' marijuana use. Of the six sociodemographic/controls included in the analyses, only gender had a significant effect; male students were more likely to have tried marijuana than the female peers. Policy implications of the results for adolescents, parents, and schools are discussed.
An Exploration of Altruistic Behavior of Substance-Abuse Facilities According to Their Ownership Status
Using the 2009 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), this paper uses logistic regressions to explore the effect of facility ownership on a facility’s show of altruism. Facility’s show of altruism is operationalized as a facility offering free treatment to all its clients, free treatment to some of its clients, or a facility offering a sliding fee scale to its client base in order to absorb some of the cost of treatment based on a potential client's income. Region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation are added as covariates in order to gauge whether the potential relationship between facility ownership and a facility’s show of altruism is genuine. Results indicate that private, for-profit ownership status of a facility is associated with a lower likelihood that a substance-abuse treatment facility would engage in altruistic behavior. However, receipt of public funds acts as a mediating variable, in that, its inclusion raises the likelihood that a private, for-profit facility would engage in shows of altruism. Furthermore, it appears that religious-affiliation increases the likelihood that a facility would display altruism by providing free treatment, to some of its clients, or to all, but less likely to display altruism by employing a sliding fee scale. Overall, inclusion of region, receipt of public funds, and religious affiliation all produce statistically significant results, along with facility ownership. This suggests that there are a variety of variables, apart from facility ownership alone, that might be influential over a facility's show of altruism.
Exploratory Analysis of Social E-health Behavior
Extant literature has documented well that people seek health information via the internet as patients and consumers. Much less, however, is known about interaction and creation behaviors in the development of new online health information and knowledge. More specifically, generalizable sociodemographic data on who engages in this online health behavior via social media is lacking in the sociological literature. The term “social e-health” is introduced to emphasize the difference between seeking behaviors and interaction and creation behaviors. A 2010 dataset of a large nationally representative and randomly sampled telephone survey made freely available from the Pew Research Center is used to examine social e-health behavior according to respondents’ sociodemographics. The dependent variable of social e-health behavior is measured by 13 survey questions from the survey. Gender, race, ethnicity, age, education, and income are used as independent variables. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the odds of engagement in social e-health behavior based on the sociodemographic predictors. The social determinants of health and digital divide frameworks are used to help explain why socioeconomic variances exist in social e-health behavior. The findings of the current study suggest that predictable sociodemographic patterns along the dimensions of gender, race, age, education, and income exist for those who report engaging in social e-health behavior. This study is important because it underscores the fact that engagement in social e-health behavior is differentially distributed in the general U.S. population according to patterned sociodemographics.
Exploring the Gender Role Ideology of Black and White Men Between Ages 18 to 30
This research is a qualitative study that explores the gender role ideology of Black and White men between the ages of 18-30. The study found that both groups are moving toward egalitarianism on different pathways. The pathways illustrate the effect of racial identity on gender role ideology. White respondents had a progressive egalitarianism which stemmed from ideas reflected individualism, secularization, and the identification with the grand narrative of the United States. Their respondents also reflected postmodern ideas. Overall their ideas reflect larger White racial identity and shows an overlap between the progressive understanding of modernity and with postmodernist ideas of non-deterministic definitions. Black respondents had a collaborative egalitarianism which stemmed from historical racial and economic deprivation. Subsequently, Blacks gender role ideology illustrates collaboration and communal interdependence between of Black men and women, and the Black church. Blacks tended to view things from a social perspective that was often reactionary. Overall, their ideas reflected the larger Black racial identity which emphasizes collaboration between men and women and a reliance on community based institutions like the Black church.
Factors Associated with Risky Sexual Behavior Among Homeless Youth
Homeless youth face numerous risks. Data on 602 homeless youth from the Midwest Homeless and Runaway Study and binary logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with their participation in risky sexual behaviors. Specifically, the effects of abuse/neglect and three potential moderating resiliency indicators, namely self-esteem, parental warmth, and parental monitoring, on having sex before adulthood and thinking about trading sex for food or shelter were examined. While none of the three resiliency indicators had the hypothesized moderating effects, controlling for abuse/neglect and various sociodemographic characteristics, parental monitoring had a direct, negative effect on having sex before adulthood, and self-esteem and parental warmth had direct, negative effects on thinking about trading sex for food or shelter. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.
Factors Influencing Psychological Empowerment of Nurse Aides in Nursing Homes
The purpose of this study is to identify predictors of psychological empowerment among nurse aides in nursing homes. Five structural factors (information exchange, decentralization of resources, co-worker support, supervisor support, and availability of training) and four control factors (age, sex, level of education, and race) are analyzed using multivariate linear regression to examine their effects on psychological empowerment. Two of the five structural factors, decentralization of resources and supervisor support, are shown to positively influence psychological empowerment. Nursing home managers can consider developing and implementing procedures that decentralize resources and demonstrate supervisor support in order to increase psychological empowerment. Based on the findings of this study theory and practice might benefit from additional study of decentralization of resources and supervisor support.
Family Structure and Marijuana Use Among Adolescents
Family structure as a predictive variable of juvenile delinquency has been studied for the last hundred years. This relationship originated due to societal belief that divorce was detrimental to adolescents. Due to the changing societal roles in the United States, family structure has been changing. More children are growing up in non-intact families, such as single-parent households, households with stepparents, cohabitating families, and households without a parent present. To study the effect family structure has on juvenile delinquency, researchers have utilized social control theory, differential association, self-control theory and general strain theory to conceptualize variables to explain why family structure influences delinquent behavior. A review of previous literature on this topic indicates that living in intact households, which are households with two biological parents who are married, have, on average, the lowest rates of delinquency. This thesis investigates the relationship between family structure and lifetime marijuana use among eighth and tenth grade adolescents in the United States through the use of secondary data analysis of Monitoring the Future Study, 2012. The results provide support for the relationship between family structure and lifetime marijuana use.
Female Adolescents and Death: a Qualitative Analysis
The purpose of this research design is to explore the meaning of death for the female adolescent. A qualitative design was used as the method of research. Twelve participants were selected from a snowball sample ten females and two males. Four participants reported witnessing the death of an individual, five reported a moderated death experience in which they were not present but were told after the fact and three reported no significant experience with death. The study indicated relationships and cause of death as among the pre-conditions towards meaning development for the adolescent female. The two main themes derived from the pre-conditions are an understanding of the inevitability of death for themselves and the experience of death as qualia. Consequences to the experience of death include increased emotional tolerance under stress and a perceived increased maturity suggesting resilience in the adolescent female following a loss. Future areas of research are also addressed.
The Function of Social Structure in Controlling Violent Crime in Turkey
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This dissertation examines the relationship between social structural factors and violent crime rates in Turkey. The relationship between social structural characteristics and violent crime is worth exploring in areas that have attracted little academic attention, such as violent crime in Turkey. In order to understand and prevent the occurrence of crime, researchers have long investigated possible factors related to crime. Examining how crime varies across different regions can help us to understand underlying reasons for violent crime, which is considered one of the enduring problems in society. The findings of this research, to some extent, support the assumptions of social disorganization theory regarding the distribution of violent crime. Both the findings of multivariate and bivariate analysis indicated that poverty, unemployment, and family disruptions may have a positive effect on the distribution of violent crime in the cities of Turkey. The analysis of the effects of the social structure variables through the mediating variables, such as religious institutions, libraries and voluntary associations on the number of violent crimes and violent criminals, to some extent, support the tenets of social disorganization theory. However, all mediating variables cannot mediate all the indirect effects of social structural covariates. In brief, none of their indirect impacts on the social structural variables on the outcome variable was significant via mediating variables.
Geographic Distance, Contact, and Family Perceptions of Quality Nursing Home Care
The effect of frequency of nursing home contact on family perceptions of quality care is the focus of this research. A family member characteristic, such as geographic distance from the nursing home, affects his or her frequency of contact with the nursing home. Frequency of contact, in turn, affects family perceptions of the care his or her loved one receives in the nursing home. The theoretical framework for this study is based on Allport's intergroup contact theory, which posits that when four contact conditions - institutional support, equal status, common goals, and intergroup cooperation - are present in an intergroup situation, a reduction in anxiety between groups is likely to occur. Regression analysis tested the stated hypotheses using survey data collected from 275 family members of residents in 10 Dallas-Ft. Worth area nursing homes. This study is among the first to quantify family geographic distance, finding that family geographic distance is a significant negative predictor of nursing home contact. Additionally, results build on Allport's theory by extending its' usefulness to nursing home organizations in two distinct ways. First, findings support Allport's premise that contact alone between groups - i.e., family members and nursing home staff - is insufficient for increasing or decreasing family perceptions of nursing home care. Second, three of the four contact conditions included in Allport's theory were statistically supported by the data. In sum, findings of this research provide nursing homes with an empirically tested model for improving family perceptions of quality nursing home care.
The "Good" Mother: Ideology, Identity, and Performance
The purpose of this study is to understand the power and influence of the institution of motherhood and how it is shaped by culture. More specifically this research explores the ideology that shapes our understanding of the good mother in the contemporary United States; how this ideology affects the way mothers view their identity; and how both the ideology and identity shape actions and performance. Twenty women were interviewed in North Texas and the results were: first, this group of mothers recognizes the ideology of the good mother, but does not accept all components of this ideology; next, the identity of mother is the primary identity for most of these women; and, last, performance is most greatly influenced by socio-economic status and the support system that mothers have in place.
Impacts of Postmodernity Factors on the Association Between Maternal Distress and Children's Delinquency Among Low-income Families
This study investigates the effects of postmodern factors on the relationship between maternal distress and children's delinquency. It seeks to understand the factors associated with distress levels of mothers whose children exhibit delinquency in order to potentially decrease the cost associated with mental health problems especially in mothers. Another goal of this study is to contribute to the sociological analysis of mental health problems which seem to be the reserved domain of the discipline of psychology and related subfields. The data came from the third wave of the 3-city study with N = 1835. The ages of the children range from 5 to 18 years old. The analysis of the data using regression analysis suggests children's delinquency significantly affects maternal distress in mothers. The study also indicates postmodernity factors did not moderate the association between maternal distress and children's delinquency. However, postmodern factors have significant, separate, and direct effects on maternal distress. For example, employment and religion have positive influences on maternal distress. The research points toward weakness in the postmodern perspective. It also underlines the importance of a sociological approach to the assessment and treatment of distress problems among mothers with low-income. Agencies working with low-income families should integrate the sociological approach in their intervention programs. Additionally, the study uncovers possible problems with assessment criteria used by these agencies to determine eligibility for assistance among low-income families such as education levels; and consequently calls for further investigation.
Influence of Alevi-Sunni Intermarriage on the Spouses’ Religious Affiliation, Family Relations, and Social Environment: A Qualitative Study of Turkish Couples
What influence Alevi-Sunni intermarriage has on spouses’ individual religious affiliation after marriage was the initial research question addressed in this study. No official or unofficial data exist regarding the Alevi-Sunni intermarriage in Turkey. This study responded to the need to describe extant relationships by using a qualitative approach to gather detailed information from a sample of married couples in Corum city, Turkey. A case study method was applied to a sample of ten couples. Couples were selected using snowball and purposive sampling techniques. A team of researchers conducted forty face-to-face interviews. Each of the ten husbands and ten wives in Alevi-Sunni intermarriages were interviewed twice using semi-structured questionnaires. Additional demographic and observational data were gathered. Spouses in the Alevi-Sunni intermarriages sampled did not change their religious affiliation after marriage. The spouses reported few if any problems in their marital relationships and in child rearing. However, spouses did report many problems with parental families, in-laws, and other relatives. The disapproval and punishments from extended family members are related to the social stigma attached to Alevi-Sunni intermarriages. However, intermarriage, modernization including secularism and pluralism are challenging this stigma. Because of this transition further interdisciplinary studies on Alevi-Sunni intermarriage that explore different dimensions of intermarriage are needed.
Intimate Partner Homicide Rates in Chicago, 1988 to 1992: a Modified General Strain Theory Approach
Using data from the Chicago Homicide Dataset for years 1988-1992 and the Chicago Community Area Demographics, multiple regression and mediation analysis are used to examine various community level factors’ impact on Intimate Partner Homicide (IPH) rates per Chicago community area. The relationship between the percentage of non-white and IPH rate per Chicago community area is significant and positive, but disappears once economic strain is taken into account, as well as when family disruption is included in the model. There is a weak, but positive relationship between population density and IPH rates, but neither economic strain nor family disruption mediates the relationship between population density and IPH rates. Economic deprivation is positively related to IPH rates, but economic strain and family disruption partially mediate the relationship between economic deprivation and IPH rates. Finally, the relationship between the percentage of males aged 30-59 and IPH rates per community area in Chicago is moderately negative, but this relationship disappears once economic strain is accounted for in the model. However, family disruption does not mediate the relationship between the percentage of males aged 30-59 and IPH rates. These results indicate that some structural covariates impact IPH rates and that some relationships are mediated by economic strain and family disruption. These results also lend support to a modified approach to general strain theory (GST). More research is necessary to validate these results.
Light, Bright, and Out of Sight: Hollywood’s Representation of the Tragic Mulatto
The purpose of this research is to examine the longevity of the stereotype of the tragic mulatto in American film history. Specifically, my research focuses on the portrayals and perceptions of biracial actresses. Media informs, entertains, and influences how we, and especially youth, self-identify and interact with others. This research focuses on the portrayal of biracial actresses throughout film history. It is also important in its investigation of the perpetuation of the one-drop rule. In this research, I will examine if historical stereotypes of tragic mulatto are apparent in contemporary Hollywood film. The methodologies used in this research include a content analysis of films with biracial actresses and an online survey of respondents’ perceptions of four actresses. Statistical techniques used for analysis include ordinary least square regression and multinomial logistic regression. Findings suggest that the tragic mulatto stereotype is not blatant in contemporary Hollywood film, but issues of colorism may be apparent.
Macro Level Predictors of Community Health Center Hiv Testing Approach
Using a logistic regression model, this dissertation employed a macro level Gateway Provider Model to explore eight factors that may influence community health center HIV testing approach. The logistic regression model indicated that three variables related to community health center HIV testing approach. First, all else equal, the odds of offering routine HIV testing for community health centers that perceived their patients and community to be at average risk for HIV were 3.676 times the odds for those centers that perceived their patients and community to be at low or no risk for HIV. Further, the odds of offering routine HIV testing for community health centers that perceived their patients and community to be at high risk for HIV were 4.693 times the odds for those centers that perceived the community to be at low or no HIV risk. Second, all else equal, the odds of offering routine HIV testing for community health centers in which an HIV testing policy exists were 2.202 times the odds for those centers in which an HIV testing policy does not exist. Third, all else equal, the odds of offering routine HIV testing for community health centers that received funding specifically for HIV testing were 2.938 times the odds for those centers that did not receive such funding. No other individual predictor variables in the model were related to community health center HIV testing approach.
Microcredit, Women, and Empowerment: Evidence From India
Microfinance programs, by providing financial services to economically disadvantaged individuals, generally women, are intended to help poor self-employ and become financially independent. Earlier research in India has documented both positive and negative consequences of microfinance programs on women, from financial independence to domestic abuse. However, most of the research has been geographically limited to the southern states of the country, with a matured microfinance industry, and has given little attention to how variations in cultural practices across different regions of the country may influence the impact of microfinance programs on its members. To fill the gap in the existing literature, three related studies of Indian women were conducted. The first study was a qualitative study of 35 women engaged in microfinance programs in the northern region of India. The study found that women engaged in microfinance programs reported having increased social networks, higher confidence and increased social awareness. The second and third studies used nationally representative data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) 2005-2006. Controlling for a variety of other individual-level and community-level characteristics, the second study examined if getting a microloan affected women’s access to public spaces, and the third examined if getting such a loan influenced married women’s participation in household decision-making. Both studies further investigated if the microloan effect on these dimensions of women’s empowerment varied by the normative context of woman’s respective communities. The results indicated that, all else equal, women who had ever taken a microloan were more likely to go alone to places outside their home such as market, health clinics and places outside the community compared to women who had never taken such a loan. Getting a microloan also had a positive effect on women’s participation in decisions about large household purchases and husband’s earnings. The hypothesized moderating effect of the normative context of women’s respective communities was found only for women’s participation in decisions about large household purchases. Getting a microloan had a stronger positive effect on women’s participation in these decisions if they lived in communities with restrictive gender norms.
Modeling Place Vulnerability of HIV/AIDS in Texas
This study provides a measurable model of the concept of place vulnerability for HIV/AIDS that incorporates both community and structural level effects using data provided at the ZIP code level from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Sociological literature on the effects of place on health has been growing but falls short of providing an operational definition of the effects of place on health. This dissertation looks to the literature in medical/health geography to supplement sociology’s understanding of the effects of place on health, to the end of providing a measurable model. Prior research that has recognized the complexity of the effects of place still have forced data into one scale and emphasized individual-level outcomes. A multilevel model allows for keeping the associated spatial unit data, without aggregating or parsing it out for convenience of model fit. The place vulnerability model proposed examines how exposure, capacity and potentiality variables all influence an area’s HIV/AIDS count. To capture the effects of place vulnerability at multiple levels, this dissertation research uses a multilevel zero-inflated poisson (MLZIP) model to examine how factors measured at the ZIP code and county both affect HIV/AIDS counts per ZIP code as an outcome. Furthermore, empirical Bayes estimates are mapped to display how well the model fits across the state of Texas. Limitations of this research include the need to incorporate time, more specific predictors, and individual level factors. The methodology developed permits a more thorough understanding of place effects on the spatial variation of HIV/AIDS.
Negotiating Work-life Balance Within the Operational Culture of a Chaebol in the Southeastern United States
The purpose of this study is to examine the work life balance negotiations of three distinct culture groups employed by South Korean conglomerates located within the southeastern United States. These three cultural groups are: Korean nationals, Korean Americans, and non-Korean Americans. It is proposed that each culture will negotiate work life balances in their own manner based upon their specific inherent cultural understandings. This study is a cross-cultural examination through thirty-two open-ended interviews of employees working for large multinational Korean companies with facilities in the southern United States. Korean nationals, Korean Americans, and Americans implement different work-life balance negotiation tactics in the workplace based upon each one’s cultural association. While all three cultural groups experience difficulty in obtaining a work-life balance working for a Korean company, the Korean Americans seem to suffer the most.
Postpartum Depression: A Sociocultural Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Adolescent and Adult Hispanic Mothers
This dissertation is a mixed methods analysis investigating postpartum depression as it is experienced by self-reported depressed Mexican American adolescent and adult mothers. The qualitative portion of this study explores pregnancy and motherhood to better understand meanings attached to depression. Six adolescent and six adult mothers, were recruited from the Dallas/Fort-Worth area. Each was interviewed twice, using semi-structured interview guides. The quantitative phase utilizes a national sample of self-reported depressed Hispanic mothers to identify breastfeeding behavior and mothers' perceptions of the physical health of their babies. Specifically, a secondary analysis of the National Survey of Children's Health, 2003 was used to supplement the qualitative data. This study provides a theoretical framework of fragmented identity to explain socio-cultural factors contributing to postpartum depression among Mexican American adolescent and adult mothers. Common themes leading to a fragmented identify were indentified. Contributors to postpartum depression include: unplanned pregnancy, internal struggle between cultures, body image and family conflict. Stigma associated with teen motherhood also contributed to depression among adolescent mothers while the medicalization of childbirth was a contributing factor of depression among the adult mothers. Additionally, the duration of breastfeeding and mothers' perceptions of their babies' physical health were impacted by depression, but breastfeeding initiation was not.
Race Differences in Religiosity, Social Support, and Quality of Life among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas/ Ft. Worth, TX
This study examines race differences and the relationship between religiosity/ spirituality and social support on quality of life (QOL) among people living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX. The data were obtained from the Project VOICES research study conducted by the Center of Psychosocial Health Research at University of North Texas in 2003. This study explores the hypotheses that religiosity/spirituality and social support positively influences quality of life among people living with HIV/AIDS. The current study uses a diverse, gender-balanced sample consisting of African Americans (n = 156), aged 20-68, 47% male, 52% female and 1% transgendered) and Non-African Americans (n = 131), aged 19-65, 50% male, 46% female and 3% transgendered) (Caucasian, Latino, & others) to evaluate the relationship among variables of interest. Multiple regression analyses revealed that social support was a significant factor explaining quality of life (QOL) for African Americans when controlling for medical variables but did not for non-African Americans. Religiosity/spirituality was not found to be significant in this study. The implications of the findings are discussed.
Relative Effectiveness of Anti-poverty Nonprofit Organizations in Assisting a Below Poverty Population in Dallas County and Tarrant County: Recipients of Faith-based and Non Faith-based Organizations
Recent orders from the executive branch of the United States’ government have encouraged participation from faith-based organizations in providing human services because they are more effective in aiding impoverished citizens. This study examined the effectiveness of faith-based and non faith-based anti-poverty nonprofit organizations to find if one organization type is more effective in providing social services. the data for this study were collected through a survey-questionnaire which was administered to a convenience sample of 82 participants seeking assistance from four different nonprofit organizations (two faith-based and two non faith-based) in Dallas County and Tarrant County. the results from this study indicated that when controlling for demographic and socio-economic variables, recipients from faith-based organizations were less likely to report that they at least received services desired as compared to those who visited a non faith-based organization. Therefore, non faith-based organizations were better at meeting the needs of respondents than faith-based organizations.
Routine Leisure Activities and Adolescent Marijuana Use: Moderating Effects of Family Structure
How adolescents spend their time is a crucial predictor of their engagement in delinquency. Activities with peers away from direct supervision of adults are of concern as more opportunities and motivation to use marijuana exist in such situations. However, adolescents may vary in their propensity to use marijuana when faced the opportunity. Especially adolescents living with a single parent may have a higher propensity compared to those from two-parent households to use marijuana due to reduced parental monitoring and increased peer attachment. This thesis investigates the moderating effects of family structure on the routine leisure activities and adolescent marijuana use relationship, using data from Monitoring the Future Study 2007, 12th Grade Survey. The results provide partial support for the moderating effects.
Slogans and Opposition Political Culture: Online Discourse in Iran's Green Movement
In this study I investigate the Iranian Green Movement supporters' use of slogans as political discourse on the Persian-language opposition website Data was collected from the website's Kaleme section in the form of 22 articles and 3,500 user comments. A coding scheme was constructed to measure the presence of categories and themes in the site's comments section. Findings support the propositions of narrative theorists (e.g. Franzosi, 1998; Benford, 1993) that frequent use of slogans in the comments may reflect a unique cultural element of Persian-language political discourse and reinforce the Green Movement's narrative of opposition to the government.
Social Capital and Delinquency among Turkish Juveniles
This study examined the relationship between aspects of social capital and self-reported delinquency among Turkish juveniles by using a secondary dataset, which is a part of the European Youth Survey. The survey was conducted among tenth graders in 2007 in Bağcılar, Istanbul. The dependent variable of this study, delinquency, was divided into two groups, minor and major, according to the stipulations of the Turkish Penal Code. Social capital was measured by assessing adolescents’ reports of their direct interactions with their parents, peers and community. In order to predict the likelihood of major and minor delinquency independently, two different subsets (N: 1879 and 1837, respectively) of the data set were used. The findings of the multivariate analyses suggest that a low level of social capital contributed significantly to Turkish juveniles’ engagement in major and minor delinquent activities. Among the social capital items, adolescents’ affiliation with delinquent peers had the strongest correlation with both dependent variables.
Social Capital and Health Among Older Adults in China: a Multi-level Analysis
Health and well-being of older adults has become a worldwide public health concern and has been attracting increasing attention from scholars across the globe. But little is known about the health of the Chinese elderly. Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) --Pilot, a pilot survey in 2008 in two provinces of China, Gansu and Zhejiang, this dissertation examines the association between social capital at both the individual- and community- levels and three health outcomes among older adults in China. A series of multi-level models were estimated using SAS 9.2. Statistical results indicate that such individual-level social capital variables as perceived help and support in the future, help from others, and birthplace significantly impacted health among older Chinese adults. When examining the relationship between community-level social capital and health, this study confirms the significant association between community-level social capital and good health independent of individual-level predictors. This study also indicates that the impact of gender and rural-urban Hukou status interacts with the province of residence. The results were discussed in terms of cultural legacy in the Chinese cultural setting, the current social dynamics related to old age support, health-related government reforms, and various disparities across different regions and across different social groups in China.
Social, Demographic, and Institutional Effects on African American Graduation Rates in U.S. Colleges and Universities.
Improving the retention and graduation of African Americans and other minority groups in higher education is an important but highly politicized issue on college and university campuses. Prior studies emphasize the relationship between minority retention and achievement, cultural diversity, and racial policies and climates at predominantly White colleges and universities in the United States. In response to the need for further research, the effects of institutional actions related to diversity, minority group and African American retention, and social integration initiatives on African American graduation rates were examined for a national sample of United States (U.S.) colleges and universities. From a potential list of 7,018 colleges and universities, 2,233 met the inclusion criteria for the study. But necessary and complete information from national directories and the census could only be found for the final sample of 1,105. After dropping 30 outliers, several multiple regression analyses identified the institutional actions, social, and demographic factors that best predicted graduation rates. Public U.S. colleges and universities located in the Midwest region had lower African American graduation rates than private colleges and universities located in the South. Higher African American graduation rates occurred in colleges and universities with Black cultural centers, higher first-year retention rates, higher women enrollment rates, a higher number of student organizations, and Division III athletic programs. Colleges and universities located in a town had higher African American graduation rates than those located in a city, suburb, or rural area.
Social Vulnerability and Faith in Disasters: an Investigation Into the Role of Religion in New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina
Disasters are an ever increasing phenomena in our society, resulting in many people being adversely affected. the social vulnerability paradigm explores the social, economic and political factors which contribute to certain populations being disproportionately affected by disasters. However, the paradigm has not yet begun to investigate the cultural or religious ideologies which may affect a population's behavior in disaster. This study is an exploratory investigation into whether religious ideologies may impact a person's decision to prepare, or not, in the event of a disaster. Specifically, it seeks to investigate whether a person who holds a belief that natural disasters are under God's control will prepare for the hazard? the study undertaken five years after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans show that religious ideology is closely linked with one's capacity to prepare for the hazard which is closely tied in with social structure. It may appear that a person's 'fatalistic' attitude is tied to economic inability to prepare for a hazard. This does not mean that they will not prepare but that preparation may include prayer as their initial attempt to mitigate.
Socioeconomic Status and Prosperity Belief in Guatemala
A popular belief in the exploding Pentecostal movement in the global South is the idea that if an individual has enough faith, God will bless them with financial prosperity. Although historically Pentecostalism has been identified as a religion of the poor, this study examines recent arguments that the current Pentecostal movement in Guatemala is a religion of the socially mobile middle and elite classes. Data from the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life’s 2006 survey Spirit and Power: Survey of Pentecostals in Guatemala is used to conduct a logistic regression, in order to measure the effects of socioeconomic status on adherence to prosperity belief. Results suggest that, contrary to the current literature on Guatemalan Pentecostalism, prosperity belief is not necessarily concentrated among the upwardly mobile middle and upper classes, but rather is widely diffused across social strata, and in particular, among those that have lower levels of education. These findings have implications for the study of Pentecostalism in Guatemala and in the global South in general.
The Structural Determinants of Americans' Justice Perceptions Toward Inequality in the Us
In accordance with structural theory and distributive justice theory, this study investigates if Americans' personal encounters with the opportunity structure and their existing reward conditions will influence their perceptions toward distribution outcomes in the U.S. I argue that higher-status individuals possessing various "attributes of structural privilege" will exhibit less support for regulating income inequality in society than lower-status individuals. Upward mobility should also be negatively related to support for restoring greater equality in allocation outcomes. However, the effect of mobility on justice perceptions should vary by class status, since class has been known to be a reliable predictor of these attitudes. The study employed a sample of 438 American adults from the GSS 2000 dataset, and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was applied in the analyses of the data. Two of the three above hypotheses received partial confirmation, that is, there were class, race, and gender differences in distributive justice perceptions. Class also interacted significantly with occupational mobility in altering distributive justice perceptions.
Testing the Impacts of Social Disorganization and Parochial Control on Public Order Crimes in Turkey
The primary focus of this study is to investigate the effects of social control mechanisms on public order crimes in Turkey. Supporting efforts of parochial control is a rising trend in crime control activities. Statements regarding the relationship between social disorganization variables, parochial control variables, and spatial distribution of crime have long been studied by researchers. Using the same assumptions in this study, I test their applicability to public order crimes in Turkey. The poverty and residential mobility variables had significant positive effect on public order crimes holding other structural and parochial variables constant. The number of public order crimes seems to be higher in provinces where there are more disrupted families. The number of public order crimes seems to be lower in provinces where there are more religious institutions. Overall, the results reveal that social structural variables and parochial control factors affect the institutional bases of provinces and partly affect the occurrence of public order crimes. Based on the study findings, several policy implications and recommendations for future research are suggested.
To Date or Not to Date? Religious and Racial Dating Choices Among Conservative Christians
This study focuses on exploring the reasons behind dating choices concerning religion and race. Studies report that race is more important than religion in choosing dating partners. Understanding religious and racial dating preferences and choices can help uncover group relations in the larger society. The present study examines the reasons why someone may be willing to date a group outside their religion but not a group outside their race. A pre-interview survey questionnaire was used to locate interview participants. The first 20 respondents who met the specific criteria of being White, single, and a conservative Christian were selected for a qualitative phone interview. To qualify, the respondents needed to be willing to date at least one group that was not Christian, but unwilling to date certain groups outside their race. The interviews were transcribed and the content was analyzed for patterns and themes using the Grounded theory. The results revealed that all the respondents except one were unwilling to date a Black individual and five were unwilling to date any race but White. The least likely to be considered as dating partners for religious groups were the Muslims and atheists. For race, many of the participants viewed Hispanics and Asians as more culturally or physically similar to them than Blacks. The main reasons why the respondents indicated they were willing to date Jewish and agnostic individuals were that they perceived them as similar to themselves in their belief systems. For both religion and race, the respondents were more willing to consider dating groups that were considered to have less stigma in society. The concept of stigma provides a framework for examining the respondents dating choices.
“What Are You?”: Racial Ambiguity and the Social Construction of Race in the Us
This dissertation is a qualitative study of racially ambiguous people and their life experiences. Racially ambiguous people are individuals who are frequently misidentified racially by others because they do not resemble the phenotype associated with the racial group to which they belong or because they belong to racial/ethnic groups originating in different parts of the world that resemble each other. the racial/ethnic population of the United States is constantly changing because of variations in the birth rates among the racial/ethnic groups that comprise those populations and immigration from around the world. Although much research has been done that documents the existence of racial/ethnic mixing in the history of the United States and the world, this multiracial history is seldom acknowledged in the social, work, and other spheres of interaction among people in the U.S., instead a racialized system based on the perception of individuals as mono-racial thus easily identified through (skin tone, hair texture, facial features, etc.). This is research was done using life experience interviews with 24 racially ambiguous individuals to determine how race/ethnicity has affected their lives and how they negotiate the minefield of race.