Conspicuous Consumption and American Political Behavior

Conspicuous Consumption and American Political Behavior

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Bouressa, Andrea Kelly
Description: The following premise is based on the ideas of social theorists who have contributed to understanding the importance of image in society. This proposal argues that political participation is susceptible to exploitation in the form of conspicuous consumption as defined by Thorstein Veblen. The analyses that follow will test the degree to which Americans who demonstrate more traditional forms of conspicuous consumption also tend to show more activity in political venues. While the correlation of these two variables is not sufficient to demonstrate cause and effect, it may be significant enough to attract more researchers to this question: are Americans using political involvement to positively influence the way that their social status is perceived by others?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Topical content in sexuality education and sexual health outcomes.

Topical content in sexuality education and sexual health outcomes.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Cudhea, Maia Christine
Description: Secondary analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health is used to examine possible explanatory variables for sexual health outcomes. Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between sexual health outcomes and topical content in sexuality education, controlling for race, biological sex, low socioeconomic status, and religiosity. Results indicated increasing topical content in sexuality education had a positive effect on knowledge acquisition and confidence, but no statistically significant effect on engagement in sexual risk behavior or likelihood of reporting sexual coercion. Control variables were significant predictors and overall model fit was low, indicating topical content in sexuality education is minimally important in creating adolescent sexual behavior. Further exploration of differing aspects of sexuality education is suggested.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
New Reality Resembles Old: An Examination of the American Public's Social Construction of Reality Following September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

New Reality Resembles Old: An Examination of the American Public's Social Construction of Reality Following September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Date: May 2004
Creator: Stoutmeyer, Stacie L.
Description: This thesis examines whether the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks caused a significant, lasting change in the American public's social construction of reality. A framework of everyday reality was created which focused on beliefs, behaviors, and cultural institutions in the United States. Data regarding specific beliefs and behaviors was collected from numerous survey sources, and content analysis was performed on media literature from September 11, 2001 to September 11, 2003. Findings from this study show that beliefs examined did change, while behaviors on similar topics did not. These finding represents an interesting paradox to be evaluated in future studies. Cultural institutions, as related to the public's knowledge of and relationship with each, also appeared little changed. Therefore, while some aspects displayed adjustment, this study cannot conclusively state that American public's social construction of reality experienced a "new reality" paradigm shift as proclaimed by the media immediately following the attacks.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Acceptance and use of corporal punishment among parents of biologic and non-biologic children.

Acceptance and use of corporal punishment among parents of biologic and non-biologic children.

Date: May 2006
Creator: Hall, Ellie Tiedeman
Description: Objective: Differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance and use of ordinary corporal punishment and use of explaining/reasoning as a disciplinary tool are examined from a sociobiological theoretical perspective. Method: Cross tabulations are used on data from a national survey conducted by the Gallup Organization in 1995. Results: Contrary to predictions, differences between biologic and non-biologic parents' acceptance of ordinary corporal punishment and the use of explaining/reasoning are not statistically significant. In addition, biologic parents are found to use ordinary corporal punishment significantly more often than non-biologic parents. Conclusions: The sociobiological theoretical perspective likely underestimates the influence of culture and social structure on parent-child interactions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
A multi-state political process analysis of the anti-testing movement.

A multi-state political process analysis of the anti-testing movement.

Date: December 2006
Creator: DeMerle, Carol
Description: I applied McAdam's political process model for social movement analysis to examine the level of collective resistance to high stakes testing in California, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, and Texas from 1985 to 2005. Data on protest occurrences in those states were gathered from online news reports, anti-testing organization websites, and electronic interviews from individuals associated with the anti-testing movement. Variables used in the analysis included each state's key educational accountability legislation, political affiliations of state political leaders, state political leaders' support of accountability issues, student ethnicity profiles, poverty indicators, dropout rates, and collective bargaining laws. I examined the relationship between those variables and protest development in terms of the political process model's three components: framing processes, mobilizing structures, and political opportunity. I concluded California and Massachusetts, with their strong networks of anti-testing organizations, showed more instances of protest than any other state. Slightly fewer protests occurred in New York. Texas showed few instances of anti-testing protests and there were no reports of protests in South Carolina. There was evidence of framing efforts from both proponents and opponents of high-stakes testing, with proponents' framing efforts tending to be more covert. I found that anti-testing protests were primarily initiated by middle-class ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Inequality and School Performance: The Effect of the No Child Left Behind Act on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test

Inequality and School Performance: The Effect of the No Child Left Behind Act on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test

Date: December 2007
Creator: Martinez-Cantu, Veronica A.
Description: This thesis examined the impact of teacher quality and the socioeconomic status of students on school performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test. The data were obtained from the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) 2005-2006 Report. Disparities in education were used to examine the use of teacher quality in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. A multiple regression model was used and included other factors such as socioeconomic status of students, teacher salary, school funding, and student-teacher ratio. Using an ordinary least squares regression, I found that socioeconomic status of students had the most significant impact school performance. Two other variables, teacher salary and student-teacher ratio, had a significant effect on school performance suggesting alternative means of eliminating inequality in education.
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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Weapons in the City: Weapon Use in Chicago Homicide Cases

Weapons in the City: Weapon Use in Chicago Homicide Cases

Date: December 2007
Creator: Johnson, Natalie Jo
Description: This study used data from the homicides in Chicago 1965-1995 dataset (N=9,340) to examine the relationship between the use of certain types of weapons in criminal homicides by gender, race, age, victim-offender relationship, motive, location, and changes over time. Differential association and sex-role theory were utilized to argue why gender differences would occur in type of weapon used in a homicide. Subculture of violence theory was used to emphasize that the place where the homicide occurs, the relationship between the victim and offender, motive of the offender, and the remaining variables affects the type of weapon used to kill. Significant relationships were found for all bivariate analyses performed. The type of weapon used to kill differs most by sex of offender, resulting in a moderately strong association. The type of weapon used to kill differs least by age of offender and although statistically significant, the association between the two is very weak.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Socioeconomic variables associated with the reports of controlling behaviors in current relationships among abused and non-abused females.

Socioeconomic variables associated with the reports of controlling behaviors in current relationships among abused and non-abused females.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Hunt, Megan Elaine
Description: This study examined the relationship between reports of controlling behaviors and education/income in a sample of 297 abused women and 2951 non-abused women in married or cohabitating relationships. This study confirmed that women who reported abuse were more likely to report all five of the controlling behaviors than women who did not report abuse. However, the abuse and non-abuse samples did show similar relationships between the controlling/isolating behaviors and the SES variables. This study found that the higher the respondent's or their partner's education and income, the less likely they were to report controlling/isolating behaviors. Also, the respondent's education and income had the same number of statistically significant relationships with the controlling behaviors as the partner's education and income.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Effects of Labeling and Stigma on the Social Rejection of Striptease Performers

The Effects of Labeling and Stigma on the Social Rejection of Striptease Performers

Date: December 2006
Creator: Ebeid, Omar Randi
Description: This study uses survey data collected from a convenience sample of undergraduate students (N=89). A vignette survey design is employed to measure social rejection of striptease performers compared to a control group. Data is also collected on negative stereotypes held about striptease performers, which are correlated with social rejection. Link and Phelan's conceptualization of the stigma process provides the theoretical framework for this analysis. Findings suggest that striptease performers experience higher levels of social rejection and are perceived more negatively than the control group and that endorsement of negative stereotypes is associated with social rejection.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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