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Drought: Construction of a Social Problem

Description: Drought is a complex subject that has varied definitions and perspectives. Although drought has historically been characterized as an environmental problem from both the meteorological and agricultural communities, it is not considered a sociological disaster despite its severe societal impacts. Utilizing the framework developed by Spector and Kitsuse (2011) and Stallings (1995), this research examines the process through which drought is defined as a social problem. An analysis of the data revealed drought was well covered in Africa, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand, yet very little coverage focused on the United States. There were less than 10 articles discussing drought and drought impacts in the United States. The workshops/meetings examined also were lacking in the attention to drought, although their overall theme was focused on hazards and resilience. Six sessions in over 16 years of meetings/workshops focused on the topic of drought, and one session was focused on the condition in Canada. The interviews uncovered five thematic areas demonstrating drought understanding and awareness: Use of outreach to get the message out; agricultures familiarity with drought; the role of drought in media; the variability of what drought is; and water conservation. Drought's claims-makers who are dedicated to providing outreach and education to impacted communities. Drought is often overlooked due to its slow onset and evolving development makes it difficult to determine when to engage in recovery efforts. Drought defined as a social problem also expands theoretical conversations regarding what events or issues should be included within the sociological disaster list of topics.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Parham, Antoinette D

Determinants of Women's Autonomy in Nepal

Description: Nepal in recent times has witnessed a proliferation of community-based organization (CBOs). Established by local residents, CBOs are small level organizations that promote and defend the rights and interests of people especially that of minorities and the disadvantaged. One such minority group that CBOs greatly focus on are women. Despite dramatic increase in the number of CBOs in Nepal its impact on women is understudied. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the relationship between Nepalese women's participation in CBOs and their autonomy. Autonomy comprises of four different dimensions; physical mobility, financial autonomy, household decision-making, and reproductive autonomy. Modifying the conceptual framework used by Mahmud, Shah, and Becker in 2012, I hypothesize that women who participate in CBOs experience greater autonomy. Data from the 2008 Chitwan Valley Family Study is used for analysis. Using SPSS, separate logistic regressions are run to analyze the relationship between CBO membership and the dimensions of autonomy. The results support three of the four proposed major hypotheses. Nepalese women who participate in CBOs have greater autonomy in terms of physical mobility, financial autonomy, and household decision-making. No evidence was found to establish link between CBO membership and reproductive autonomy. The variables that are controlled for in the study include age, caste, religion, education, marital status, exposure to television, exposure to radio, and relationship with one's mother-in-law.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Neupane, Diptee

Dimensions of Acculturation and Sexual Health among U.S. Hispanic Youth

Description: Hispanic youth living in the U.S. share a disproportionate burden of risk for HIV, other STIs, and teen pregnancies. They also tend to report lower rates of condom use and higher rates of inconsistent condom use than other racial/ethnic groups. Furthermore, immigrant Hispanic adolescents experience a unique burden of sexual risk compared to their non-immigrant counterparts. These negative sexual health outcomes can severely derail the overall health, social mobility, and life opportunities of these adolescents. Social researchers have tried to explain these sexual risk disparities using the concept of immigrant acculturation, which is broadly defined as the process of adopting the cultural values and beliefs of a host society. Immigrant acculturation has been shown to play a key role in shaping youth attitudes and behaviors, including sexual risk behaviors (see Lee & Hahm, 2010). Yet, studies have largely overlooked the contextual components of acculturation that have been proposed in theoretical literature, specifically characteristics of the immigrant's receiving community. Furthermore, studies have not adequately explored the influence of acculturation on two crucial measures of sexual risk: teen pregnancy norms and condom use. Therefore, the current dissertation consists of two unique studies that examine the influence of acculturation, at both the individual and neighborhood level, on Hispanic adolescent teen pregnancy norms and condom use over time. The aim is to fill these important gaps in the literature and expand on earlier explanations of the relationship between cultural, place, and long-term sexual health. Both studies use nationally-representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Overall, findings suggest an immigrant advantage for both teen pregnancy norms and condom use, although this advantage functions differently for males and females. Furthermore, the studies demonstrate the importance of including contextual measures of acculturation into studies related to Hispanic adolescent sexual health.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Driver, Nichola D

Using Topic Models to Study Journalist-Audience Convergence and Divergence: The Case of Human Trafficking Coverage on British Online Newspapers

Description: Despite the accessibility of online news and availability of sophisticated methods for analyzing news content, no previous study has focused on the simultaneous examination of news coverage on human trafficking and audiences' interpretations of this coverage. In my research, I have examined both journalists' and commenters' topic choices in coverage and discussion of human trafficking from the online platforms of three British newspapers covering the period 2009–2015. I used latent semantic analysis (LSA) to identify emergent topics in my corpus of newspaper articles and readers' comments, and I then quantitatively investigated topic preferences to identify convergence and divergence on the topics discussed by journalists and their readers. I addressed my research questions in two distinctive studies. The first case study implemented topic modelling techniques and further quantitative analyses on article and comment paragraphs from The Guardian. The second extensive study included article and comment paragraphs from the online platforms of three British newspapers: The Guardian, The Times and the Daily Mail. The findings indicate that the theories of "agenda setting" and of "active audience" are not mutually exclusive, and the scope of explanation of each depends partly on the specific topic or subtopic that is analyzed. Taking into account further theoretical concepts related to agenda setting, four more additional research questions were addressed. Topic convergence and divergence was further identified when taking into account the newspapers' political orientation and the articles' and comments' year of publication.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Papadouka, Maria Eirini

Living Arrangements of Elderly Widows in India: Family Convention, Bad Luck and Abandonment

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 found to be significant for three variables: age, religion Muslim, and region Northern. Living arrangements for elderly widows in Indian society are determined based on a complex system of logic embedded in a patrilineal descent, family convention, religion, and regional cultural practices. Understanding these complex factors is important in predicting the needs and available services for this population of vulnerable elderly women.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Wilder, Ann

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

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 outcomes in elderly Asian Americans.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Huang, Jacob Chao-Lun

Sociological Applications of Topic Extraction Techniques: Two Case Studies

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 landscape of the British and the American sociological journals. My findings confirm the theoretical assertions describing Sociology as a fractured field, and partially support the existence of more globalized topics in the discipline.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Zougris, Konstantinos

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

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 include witnessing an argument and witnessing violence in the family, also appear as significant predictors for delinquency. Gender is the only social structure variable significantly related to delinquent behaviors. Furthermore, results indicated that social learning variables mediated the relationship between social structure and delinquent behaviors. Policy implications and suggestions for further studies are also provided at the end of the dissertation.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Solakoglu, Ozgur

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

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. This study reveals that external social engagement can sustain HRQOL of residents in assisted living facilities.
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Amini, Reza

The Effects of Neighboring, Social Networks, and Collective Efficacy on Crime Victimization: an Alternative to the Systemic Model

Description: The systemic model posits that informal social control directly reduces crime victimization and social networks indirectly reduce crime victimization through informal social control. While empirical testing of the systemic model advanced the theory, important analytical issues remain. First, social networks are inconsistently conceptualized and measured. Second, the conceptual relationship between social networks and informal social control remains unclear. This study addresses these issues by testing an alternative to the systemic model, including new constructs and hypotheses. The goal is to develop better indicators for the model and refine the theory, rethinking and deepening the existing theory about neighborhood effects on crime victimization. The data come from the 2002-2003 Seattle Neighborhoods and Crime Survey (N=2,200). Structural equation modeling (SEM), a multivariate statistical technique, was used to analyze these data. The SEM included five latent constructs (neighboring, neighborhood and non-neighborhood social networks, collective efficacy, and crime victimization) and six social structural variables (racially homogeneous neighborhood, resident tenure, household income, family disruption, male, and non-white ethnicity). One of my 9 hypotheses was supported; the remaining hypotheses were partly supported. The results support my argument that the systemic model is too simplistic, but the relationships among the variables are not exactly as I hypothesized. The results provide insight into the complexities of the systemic model and areas for future research.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Guerrero-Soto, Anthony Jaime

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

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.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Magness, Penny J.

Peer Networks and Health Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents

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 in these areas, using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). The first study investigates the influence of generational peers on alcohol misuse among immigrant youth. Testing hypotheses derived from sociological theories of generations regarding race/ethnicity, gender, and immigrant generation, findings from this study demonstrate generational ties are inversely related to alcohol misuse for immigrants and these effects depend partly on race/ethnicity and gender. The second study investigates the effects of specific network forms of social isolation on heavy episodic drinking and cigarette use among adolescents. The central finding from this study is that ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Niño, Michael David

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

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 of market-friendly religions and for the societies of the global South.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Huang, Lindsey A.

Bundle of Joy: Pregnancy, Coping, and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Girls

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Kaiser, Karen Claiborne

Microcredit, Women, and Empowerment: Evidence From India

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Singh, Swati

Macro Level Predictors of Community Health Center HIV Testing Approach

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Patty, Lyndsay

The Effects of Social Structure on Social Movements in Turkey

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Can, Ali

Negotiating Work-life Balance Within the Operational Culture of a Chaebol in the Southeastern United States

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Pulliam, Wheeler D.

Disaster Experience and Self-efficacy As Factors Influencing Emergency Planning in Community-dwelling Older Adults

Description: This study design was to identify and examine how disaster experience, self-efficacy, and demographic factors influence disaster preparedness in community-dwelling older adults. Current data indicates the United States is rapidly aging. Parallel to this significant increase among the elderly population, natural disasters are more prevalent. Consequently, older adults are affected adversely by these disasters and exposure to social vulnerabilities during the disaster cycle. For the purpose of this study, non-identifiable secondary data were analyzed. Sources of the data were the 2007 and 2008 National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveys. The sample focus of this study was adults 50 and older. Regression analyses identified important predictors of disaster preparedness in the survey respondents. Sample adults with previous disaster experience are two times more likely to be in a higher category for having an emergency plan than those respondents with no observable effects of self-efficacy and no previous disaster experience. The frequency of natural disasters in the United States has generated a renewed interest in disaster management, in particular, disaster preparedness. Nevertheless, the focal point of disaster preparedness is no longer the rudimentary stockpile of water, a first aid kit, and a battery operated radio. To advance the field of disaster management it is vital for gerontologist to approach disaster preparedness by differentiating between stockpiling supplies and social cognitive interventions that fundamentally alters preparedness behavior.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Symonette, Erika

The Distribution of Environmental Contaminants: a Socio-Historical Study of Selected Neighborhoods in Dallas County, Texas

Description: This research expands on recent sociological studies which maintain that environmental contaminants in America are disproportionately placed in neighborhoods inhabited by minorities and the poor. Prior studies have focused on the predictor variables which identify areas of contamination near residential neighborhoods, yet fail to explore the socio-political and historical factors which contribute to these phenomena. The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory 1990 database, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's Annual Report of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Program for 1992, and the U.S. Census Bureau's 1990 Census Data for Dallas County were utilized in pinpointing industries violating toxic release standards. Socio-historical data was obtained from government and historical records and reports, books, and newspaper clippings on Dallas County. Maps and data were obtained from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the cities of Dallas and Garland. Chapter I discusses the synergetic forces of capitalism, urban growth, uneven development, and settlement patterns resulting in the distribution of environmental contaminants. Chapter II reviews the literature and presents evidence that race and class are strong predictors of where environmental contaminants are located. Chapter III outlines the data and methods employed. Chapter IV traces the historical development of Dallas County. Chapter V details those political, economic, and social factors contributing to the convergence of people and contaminants within three selected neighborhoods. The forces which historically relegate minorities, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, and the poor to less desirable jobs, cheaper housing, and land costs are also explored. Cheap land and labor attract industry which, in turn, attracts more laborers. Chapter VI, the summary and conclusions, utilizes the socio-spatial approach in examining urban infrastructure development (i.e. roads and railways) which also reduces adjacent land costs making housing more affordable for minorities and the poor. This study concludes that because of historical development and ...
Date: December 1997
Creator: Cutrer, Jennifer G.

Internet Health Information and Patient-health Professional Relationship

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate patient use and presentation of Internet health information and its effect on patient-health professional relationship from a sample of residents at active adult communities in Texas. Five sites were used to recruit the 260 participants between November 2012 and January 2013. The data were received using a self-administered survey. Using Cronbach’s alpha, logistic regression and regression analysis through SAS, the data revealed that older respondents are less likely to discuss web-based information with health professionals. In addition, logistic regression analysis indicated that four of the variables, IHI Sharing, educational status (bachelor degree), marital status (married), and perceived health status (excellent and very good health) predicted varied of the 20 indicators making up the patient-health professional relationship scale. Further studies are needed to enhance this research.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Williams, TimMarie Chloe’ Uvonne

Exploring the Gender Role Ideology of Black and White Men Between Ages 18 to 30

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Strong, Myron

Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups

Description: 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.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Sun, Qi

Energy Paths and Political Commitments: Their Roles in Environmental Inequality

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Ong, Corinne