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Cayes, Coral, Tourism and Ethnicity in Belize

Description: The development of tourism and more importantly eco-tourism has emerged as a primary objective for the government of Belize, Central America. This study examines two villages Seine Bight and Placencia located on a peninsula occupied by separate ethnic groups (Garifuna and Creole) that is located on a peninsula in Southern Belize. Seine Bight and Placencia are undergoing a change in economic activity to tourism. The study attempts to understand the role of ethnicity, socio-economic status, amount of contact with tourists, and the environment in regard to attitudes towards tourism utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods. The study also attempts to understand the organization and disorganization of productive activity on the peninsula and ethnicity over space and time. The point of diffusion and contact of different groups is reflected archeologically and historically in the marine landscape. The peninsula served not only as a natural harbor for those sailing up and down the coastline over time but also served as a point of diffusion of different groups reflected in changing place names, such as Placentia, Point Patient, and Pasciencia.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Key, Carol

The Characteristics of Sociological Practitioners: A Social Psychological Examination

Description: Questionnaires were sent by mail and e-mail to 143 members of the Sociological Practice Association. The purpose of the questionnaire was to measure the role expectations as qualities (competencies), role expectations as actions, and role enactments of the respondents'. An additional goal was to examine how respondents perceived their work to be sociological in nature, and how they saw their work as different from the practices of social workers, counselors, and psychologists. The first question that was addressed was, “Do sociological practitioners have clear and unambiguous role expectations for their work as practitioners?” The data showed that most role expectations measured as competencies were clear and unambiguous, and only a few were ambiguous and unclear. The second question addressed was, “Do sociological practitioners perceive their role enactments to differ from other helping professionals such as social workers, counselors, and psychologists?” The data showed that sociological practitioners do perceive their role enactments to be different because of their use of sociological theory and their focus on social structures. The final question asked was, “How do sociological practitioners perceive their work as sociological in theory, methods, or both?” The data showed that sociological practitioners perceive their work as sociological based on their use of sociological theory. Most respondents reported that they used common scientific methods, and few reported the use of psychological theory.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Carr, Joel Lance

Coming in From the Cold: Integration into the European Union and Public Opinion on Democracy and the Market Economy in Central and Eastern Europe.

Description: The political economy transformations of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have received a great deal of attention over the past decade. The focus of much research has been to examine the internal national reorientations of the countries with regard to the changes in political and economic conditions. The importance of the international reorientation of these countries toward Western Europe in general and the European Union in particular has been generally overlooked. This dissertation examines public opinion on the political and economic transformations within the framework of the direction of the international reorientations of the countries. The countries were divided into three categories, those that can be expected to be invited to join the European Union in the next enlargement, those that can be expected to join the European Union in a subsequent enlargement, and the countries not seeking European Union membership. Public opinion on democracy and the market economy and attitudinal factors that influence these opinions are compared in 16 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The data are from the Central and East European Barometers 3-7 (1992 - 1996). The findings suggest that general opinions regarding satisfaction with democracy are not related to the status of the country seeking membership in the European Union while support from the market economy does differ. When examining attitudinal factors that are related to satisfaction with democracy and support for the market economy, differences emerged between the three categories of countries. These findings suggest that public opinion is in part shaped by the international orientations of the country and that changes in public opinion are important in understanding the political and economic transformation processes.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Zottarelli, Lisa K.

Family Rituals and Deviant Behavior

Description: Many researchers have sought to identify the antecedents of deviant behavior. The purpose of this study was to explore whether family rituals might contribute to social control, and thereby reduce deviant behavior. Walter Reckless' containment theory provided the theoretical framework for the study. This theory suggests that both inner and outer containment variables control social behavior. It was proposed that meaningful family rituals would contribute to the development of inner and outer containment, and therefore, reduce the number of deviant behaviors committed by the respondents. In this study, the inner containment variable was self-esteem, and the outer containment variables were participation in conforming activities with family members both inside and outside the home, and participation in extracurricular activities. Two hundred and seven incarcerated respondents and 217 college students responded to three survey instruments, the Family Rituals Questionnaire, the Culture Free Self-Esteem Inventory, and a Family Information Inventory. Findings indicated that the college students reported experiencing more meaningful family rituals than the incarcerated respondents. Results indicate that the two groups differed significantly on all of the major variables. However, meaningful family rituals had little association with self-esteem, and self-esteem had no relationship with deviant behavior. Meaningful family rituals did account for some variation in participation in conforming activities with family members inside and outside the home and for participation in extracurricular activities. However, the variables that were most significant for explaining deviant behavior were the risk factors of age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, neighborhood crime, and parents's deviance. Future research should explore the role of risk factors in explaining deviant behavior and study the role of meaningful family rituals and the role they might play in creating a qualitative difference in family life.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Roberts, Joanne

International Tourism in Developing Nations: An Empirical Study

Description: Theory: The literature on volume of tourism in developing nations, does not provide empirical measures necessary for rigorous hypotheses testing. While there have been ample studies on volume of tourism among developed nations, very little has been done regarding developing nations. Several theories from the dependency school, world systems and modernization offer theoretical explanations, but these explanations have not been adequately translated into empirical models, for studying the volume of tourism. Hypotheses: To improve the ability to explain volume of tourism and to identify the factors that affect the volume of tourism in developing countries, the study tests four hypotheses based on the theories of Modernization, World System and Push- Pull. Methodology: The study uses Confirmatory Factor Analysis to examine the factors that are likely to influence the volume of tourism. Shift Share analysis is also used to study regional variations in volume of tourism. Findings: The study found support for the fact that aspects of modernization are some of the most important determinants of volume of tourism. This finding has policy implications for developing nations trying to encourage tourism as an important economic sector. Shift Share analysis revealed that in the last decade Sub - Saharan Africa, East Asia Pacific and the Middle East have seen an increase in the volume of tourism compared to other developing regions of the world.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Sinha, Sangeeta

Intrinsic Religious Orientation and Mental Health in Later Life

Description: This dissertation research project was conducted to investigate religion as a coping resource in later life. The major proposition of the study was that intrinsic religious orientation is positively associated with mental health in late life. A forty three-item questionnaire was distributed to residents of four independent retirement communities resulting in a sixty-six percent return rate. The convenience sample of 214 individuals, with a mean age of 81.94 years, consisted of 156 female and 58 male respondents. Intrinsic religious orientation was held as the independent variable, while mental health was the dependent variable. Stress vulnerability characteristics were held as control variables including age, gender, education, stressful life events, marital status, perceived social support, and physical health. The zero order correlation between the independent and dependent variables was r = .128, sig. = .034 (1 tailed). When all control variables were entered, the relationship between intrinsic religious orientation and mental remained, r = .116, sig. = 046 (1 tailed). Regression analysis produced three predictors of mental health for females: stressful life events, age, and intrinsic religious orientation. Intrinsic religious orientation did not significantly change the relationship between stressful life events and mental health. A highly narrow variability in the sample limited stronger results. Findings indicate the importance of further investigation into religion as a coping resource, especially among older females.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Pruett, Charlie D., Jr.

Marxian and Weberian theory as explanations of the effects of industrialization on town development: A case study; Denison, Texas.

Description: While a great deal of historical literature has concentrated on the effects of industrialization on town development, most of the accounts relate to the introduction of industrialization into an established town. This study attempts to analyze, in sociological terms, the effects of industrialization (in this case, the emergence of the railroad) on the social structure of Denison, Texas which was created by industrialization. It is an attempt to combine Marxian and Weberian theory to produce a multi-dimensional theory that can explain town development without the usual economic bias as evident in most contemporary theory. This study proceeds on the assumption that the social order of a newly formed community is not based solely on economic factors. While economic considerations were important for the town of the study, social stability of the town was maintained by other “non-economic” elements. The purpose of the study is to construct a composite theory that can be utilized to analyze town development. The thrust is not the creation of new theory, rather it attempts to combine existing “classical” theories to present a balanced and, to an extent, “objective” explanation of community development. Adding the social aspects of Weber's theory to Marx's theory results in a theory that limits the economic bias associated with pure Marxian theory.
Date: May 2002
Creator: White, Jack A.

Reproductive Health in Yemen: A Theoretical Approach

Description: Several developing countries introduced family planning programs to reduce their population growth rates. The rapid spread of birth control programs in the developing countries was at times accompanied by measures which violated human rights. In response to the ethical violations and coercive policies on population control, toward the end of 1980s various international committees formulated a reproductive health approach to overcome the limited population control approach. Unlike other population control programs, the focus of reproductive health program is on “reproductive process,” where as the most immediate focus of family planning programs is on fertility. Although studies refer to reproductive health approach as an extension of fertility control approach, literature on reproductive health provides very few systematic approaches toward developing explanations of reproductive health. The current approaches on population control are influenced by the ideological shift towards a broad-based approach which involves fertility or family size as one of the components of reproductive health. The present study uses intermediate variables framework suggested by Davis and Blake to organize reproductive health explanations. The proposed framework suggests that the state of reproductive health is indicated by intercourse, conception, and gestation variables and assumes that reproductive health is a latent dimensional outcome indicated by the measures of the intermediate variables. Also, there is noticeable lack of studies on reproductive health in Muslim countries. Given this shortcoming in the literature on reproductive health, the proposed model on reproductive health is used to assess the reproductive health of women in Yemen. The data are from the Yemen Demographic and Maternal and Child Health Survey (YDMCHS) conducted in 1997. Structural equation analysis is used to analyze the data. It is found that gender power or women's empowerment is more influential than economic status in determining reproductive health outcomes. The results of the study provide support for the ...
Date: May 2002
Creator: Sunil, Thankam Sukumaran