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 Department: Department of Sociology
 Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Living arrangements of elderly widows in India: Family convention, bad luck and abandonment.

Living arrangements of elderly widows in India: Family convention, bad luck and abandonment.

Date: 2016-5
Creator: Wilder, Ann
Description: In India, issues of gender discrimination and female empowerment have become more prominent in the last several years. Elderly women, specifically widows, are often abandoned or not well cared for by family members and are typically marginalized within Indian society, vulnerable, and susceptible to poverty. This is an exploratory analysis with a research hypothesis asking, who are the caregivers of elderly widows? Statistics indicate that women may be taking on more of a care giving role with elderly widows which in turn may exacerbate the already existing issues of poverty and neglect for this population. The purpose of this study was to examine in more depth the factors related to living arrangements of elderly Indian widows using the NFHS-3 (2005-2006) data set. Quantitative methods of secondary data analysis and systematic literature review are employed in this research. sociological factors related to family self-reported living arrangement, age of widow, education, caste, socioeconomic level, religion, and geographic region were analyzed using data from the respondents identified as older widows (N=2,176). Findings indicate 78% report living alone or in non-familial households while 22% reported living in various familial constellations. The odds of living with a relative versus not living with a relative were ...
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Migration Information Gathering by Mexican-origin Immigrants in the Pre-migration Phase

Migration Information Gathering by Mexican-origin Immigrants in the Pre-migration Phase

Date: December 2015
Creator: Hudson, Cassie
Description: U.S. immigration procedures are complex and may elude the average individual seeking admission to the United States. Understanding this, the current study investigates how information resources are used by potential migrants to learn about the migratory process. Using a mixed-methods approach, I interviewed 30 Mexican immigrants with unauthorized immigration experience about the process of gathering migration information in the pre-migration phase. Qualitative data were coded using seven themes generated from the primary research questions, including: Information Resources, Resources Used During Migration, Motivation for Migration, Method of Migration, Lack of Information/Misinformation, Types of Help and Types of Information. Findings suggest that the factors motivating migrants to come to the U.S. are combined in complex ways and lack of information about legal alternatives to unauthorized migration is an important factor influencing method of migration. Also, while access to new information resources is increasing, these resources are not being tapped for migration information.
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The Role of Family in Alcohol Consumption Among Turkish Adolescents

The Role of Family in Alcohol Consumption Among Turkish Adolescents

Date: December 2015
Creator: Gurbuz, Suheyl
Description: Alcohol consumption among adolescents is an important issue because of its link to many negative social and health problems, including depression, suicide, and aggression. Drawing from Hirschi’s social bonding theory and Agnew’s general strain theory, this study examines the effects of family relations on alcohol consumption among Turkish adolescents. Social bonding theory suggests that individuals with stronger social bonds are less likely to use alcohol than individuals with weaker social bonds. General strain theory, on the other hand, proposes that individuals with higher levels of strain due to financial difficulties and/or negative relationships are more likely to consume alcohol compared to individuals with lower levels of strain. In particular, this study proposes to examine how parental attachment, parental monitoring, time spent with family, parents’ religiosity, family economic strain, and negative life events in the family predict alcohol consumption among adolescents in Turkey. 2008 Youth in Europe (YIE) project data is used in the study. In general, the results indicate that social bonding and strain factors have significant effects on the adolescents’ alcohol consumption patterns. These findings will help to inform prevention programs aimed at reducing adolescent alcohol risk behaviors by explaining the importance of family relationships.
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Can Akers’ Social Structure and Social Learning Theory Explain Delinquent Behaviors Among Turkish Adolescents?

Can Akers’ Social Structure and Social Learning Theory Explain Delinquent Behaviors Among Turkish Adolescents?

Date: August 2015
Creator: Solakoglu, Ozgur
Description: The aim of this study was to examine to what extent Social Structure and Social Learning Theory (SSSL) explains delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. While Social Structure and Social Learning (SSSL) Theory have been examined quite frequently in the criminology and sociology literature, the present study is unique as it tests the theory in Turkey, a context with a mixed Islamic and Secular cultural structure. The data originates from a survey conducted in Istanbul in 2008 by the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA) under the auspices of their Youth in Europe project. The sample includes 2,445 Turkish high school students. The dependent variable includes a 13-item delinquency scale, and the independent variables consist of differential association, costs and rewards of differential reinforcement, definitions, imitation, differential location in the social structure, and differential social location of groups. The statistical analyses were conducted using a negative binomial regression approach. Results demonstrated that differential association (peer delinquency) is positively associated with delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. In addition, there is a significant and positive relationship between norms/beliefs that favor delinquency and delinquent behaviors. Moreover, parental reaction, a measure of differential reinforcement, has a negative impact on delinquency. Imitation variables, which ...
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Health-related Quality of Life and Social Engagement in Assisted Living Facilities

Health-related Quality of Life and Social Engagement in Assisted Living Facilities

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Amini, Reza
Description: This research project aims to clarify the factors that impact successful aging in Assisted Living facilities (ALFs) in Denton County, Texas. We hypothesize that social disengagement decreases physical and mental components of quality of life. This exploratory research project employed standardized questionnaires to assess residents in the following domains; HRQOL, social engagement status, level of cognition, depression, and the level of functioning. This study collected data from 75 participants living in five ALFs. The average of Physical Component Scale (PCS) and Mental Component Scale (MCS) was 35.33, and 53.62 respectively. None of the participants had five or more social contacts out of facilities, and two-third of them had two or less social contacts. On average, those participants who were more socially engaged had higher score of MCS compared with disengaged counterparts. The level of physical function significantly affects social engagement, when people with more disabilities are more likely to be socially disengaged. Social engagement and depression significantly impact MCS, when depression is a mediating factor between social engagement and mental component of quality of life. Considering the expansion in aging population in the United States within the next three decades, the demand for high quality long-term care will skyrocket consequently. ...
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Healthcare Utilization and Health Outcomes: Us-born and Foreign-born Elderly Asian Americans

Healthcare Utilization and Health Outcomes: Us-born and Foreign-born Elderly Asian Americans

Date: August 2015
Creator: Huang, Jacob Chao-Lun
Description: In order to better understand variations of health behaviors between US-born and foreign-born elderly Asian Americans (65+) in the United States, the research aims to explore relationships among health outcomes, healthcare utilization, and sociodemographic characteristics. Data from the National Health Interview Survey 1998-2012 is used to construct structural equation models for the US born group and for the foreign born group. The results found that there is a reciprocal relationship between health outcomes and healthcare utilization in both groups. Use of healthcare services can positively affect health outcomes, while better health outcomes reduce the need for healthcare utilization. In addition, some sociodemographic characteristics, such as age, sex, and marital status have a direct effect on health outcomes, but some others, such as education, family size and combined family income, have an indirect effect on health outcomes via healthcare utilization. The region of residency has both direct and indirect effects on health outcomes. Regarding the effects of predictors on health outcomes, US-born elderly Asians usually receive more health advantages from using institutional health services than foreign-born elderly Asians. Practitioners, social gerontologists, and policy makers should be cautious about assuming that there is a positive impact of increased healthcare utilization on health ...
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Sociological Applications of Topic Extraction Techniques: Two Case Studies

Sociological Applications of Topic Extraction Techniques: Two Case Studies

Date: August 2015
Creator: Zougris, Konstantinos
Description: Limited research has been conducted with regards to the applicability of topic extraction techniques in Sociology. Addressing the modern methodological opportunities, and responding to the skepticism with regards to the absence of theoretical foundations supporting the use of text analytics, I argue that Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), complemented by other text analysis techniques and multivariate techniques, can constitute a unique hybrid method that can facilitate the sociological interpretations of web-based textual data. To illustrate the applicability of the hybrid technique, I developed two case studies. My first case study is associated with the Sociology of media. It focuses on the topic extraction and sentiment polarization among partisan texts posted on two major news sites. I find evidence of highly polarized opinions on comments posted on the Huffington Post and the Daily Caller. The highest polarizing topic was associated with a commentator’s reference on Hoodies in the context of the Trayvon Martin’s incident. My findings support contemporary research suggesting that media pundits frequently use tactics of outrage to provoke polarization of public opinion. My second case study contributes to the research domain of the Sociology of knowledge. The hybrid method revealed evidence of topical divides and topical “bridges” in the intellectual ...
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Prosperity Belief and Liberal Individualism: A Study of Economic and Social Attitudes in Guatemala

Prosperity Belief and Liberal Individualism: A Study of Economic and Social Attitudes in Guatemala

Date: May 2015
Creator: Huang, Lindsey A.
Description: Globalization has facilitated the growth of “market-friendly” religions throughout the world, but especially in developing societies in the global South. A popular belief among these movements is prosperity belief. Prosperity belief has several characteristics which make it compatible with liberal individualism, the dominant value in a globalized society. At the same time, its compatibility with this value may be limited, extending only to economic liberalism, but not to liberal attitudes on social issues. 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 quantitative analysis regarding the economic and social attitudes of prosperity belief adherents in Guatemala in order to examine the potential, as well as the limits, of this belief’s compatibility with liberal individualism. Results suggest that support for liberal individualism is bifurcated. On one hand there is some support for the positive influence of prosperity belief on economic liberalism in regards to matters of free trade, but on the other hand, prosperity belief adherents continue to maintain conservative attitudes in regards to social issues. As prosperity belief and liberal individualism continue to grow along global capitalism, these findings have implications for the future ...
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Peer Networks and Health Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents

Peer Networks and Health Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents

Date: May 2015
Creator: Niño, Michael David
Description: Adolescence is a time of great exploration and change. During this time, youth are transitioning both biologically and sexually into adults. Adolescents are also testing the boundaries of self-reliance and making choices about their personal relationships. Not surprisingly, aggressive urges are often driven by peers in pursuit of some form of identity (Masten 2004). Peers can have both positive and negative effects on the wellbeing on youth. Peer groups can provide emotional, physical, and social support to youth during a time of immense change (Parker and Asher 1987; Gest, Graham-Berman, and Hartup 2001). Peers can also model delinquent and risk-taking behaviors that have lasting health, social, and economic consequences throughout the life course. In an effort to understand the role of friendships in adolescent health, social scientists have increasingly focused on adolescent network structures within schools and the role various positions and peer group formations influence behaviors such as alcohol and cigarette use, violent and serious delinquency, and sexual risk-taking. While informative, peer networks studies have yet to adequately address how peer network structures based on immigrant generation and types of marginalized social positions influence health risk behavior engagement among adolescents. In three studies, I address the dearth of research ...
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An Application of Marxian and Weberian Theories of Capitalism: the Emergence of Big Businesses in the United States, 1861 to 1890

An Application of Marxian and Weberian Theories of Capitalism: the Emergence of Big Businesses in the United States, 1861 to 1890

Date: May 2015
Creator: Magness, Penny J.
Description: This study was an examination of businesses that became big businesses in the United States during the time period between the years of 1861 and 1890, a period of time frequently referred to as the “big business era.” The purpose of the study was to identify actions taken by businesses that enabled them to become and remain big businesses. A secondary purpose of the study was to show that these actions were explained by theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber. The results of the study showed that businesses which took specific actions were able to become and remain big businesses and these actions were explained by the theories of Marx and Weber. The results of the study demonstrate the ability of classical sociological theory to explain macro-level social change.
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