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 Degree Discipline: Sociology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study

American Indian Worldviews, Risk Perceptions and Disaster Planning: an Exploratory Study

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Date: December 2013
Creator: Bales, Rodney A.
Description: 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.
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Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory

Analyzing Delinquency Among Kurdish Adolescents: a Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory

Date: December 2013
Creator: Ziyanak, Sebahattin
Description: 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 ...
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Diaspora Philanthropy: Identity and Obligation Among Indian Engineers in the United States

Diaspora Philanthropy: Identity and Obligation Among Indian Engineers in the United States

Date: December 2013
Creator: Batra, Shikha
Description: 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, ...
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Light, Bright, and Out of Sight: Hollywood’s Representation of the Tragic Mulatto

Light, Bright, and Out of Sight: Hollywood’s Representation of the Tragic Mulatto

Date: December 2013
Creator: Brunson, Alicia
Description: 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.
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The Effect of Group Status on Moral Relativism and the Stigmatization of Mental Illness: a Social Dominance Theoretical Model

The Effect of Group Status on Moral Relativism and the Stigmatization of Mental Illness: a Social Dominance Theoretical Model

Date: May 2013
Creator: Cincotta, Julie Passmore
Description: 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.
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Behavioral Aspects of Latino Familialism: a Three Study Analysis

Behavioral Aspects of Latino Familialism: a Three Study Analysis

Date: December 2012
Creator: Comeau, Joseph Adrien
Description: 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 ...
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The "Good" Mother: Ideology, Identity, and Performance

The "Good" Mother: Ideology, Identity, and Performance

Date: December 2012
Creator: Vigil, Jennifer M.
Description: 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.
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Impacts of Postmodernity Factors on the Association Between Maternal Distress and Children's Delinquency Among Low-income Families

Impacts of Postmodernity Factors on the Association Between Maternal Distress and Children's Delinquency Among Low-income Families

Date: December 2012
Creator: Bessa, Yawo
Description: 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 ...
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Slogans and Opposition Political Culture: Online Discourse in Iran's Green Movement

Slogans and Opposition Political Culture: Online Discourse in Iran's Green Movement

Date: December 2012
Creator: Ryan, Trent
Description: In this study I investigate the Iranian Green Movement supporters' use of slogans as political discourse on the Persian-language opposition website www.kaleme.com. 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.
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The Structural Determinants of Americans' Justice Perceptions Toward Inequality in the Us

The Structural Determinants of Americans' Justice Perceptions Toward Inequality in the Us

Date: December 2012
Creator: Ong, Corinne
Description: 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.
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