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open access

In-store Event Needs and Technology Use Among Half Price Books Customers

Description: Half Price Books, Records, Magazines, Inc. (HPB), fills a unique niche by selling a variety of new, used and rare merchandise primarily in their chain of 116 stores in sixteen states and online. The company has noticed increased mobile device use among customers in their stores while sales have declined in recent years. To remain viable HPB is attempting to adapt to market forces in a timely manner while remaining continually interested in growth and innovation. A major part of adapting, growing, and innovating is the adoption and astute utilization of technology in-store and a more complete understanding of their customers’ activities and preferences. The goal is to make Half Price Books a more technologically savvy destination for shopping, community events, and entertainment. One purpose of this study is to give the company a better idea of how customers use technology in searching for merchandise including information searches generated in-store from mobile devices and how customers use the internet to find merchandise prior to and following their experiences in HPB’s stores. Another important purpose is to also determine what kinds of events such as book signings, poetry readings and other special events customers would like to see at Half Price Books, since the company has indicated a strong desire to provide fun and memorable experiences as well as products. The major research aims of this study are (1) To explore how customers use technology in searching for books in relation to two Half Price Books locations in Arlington, Texas and (2) To determine what customers want in terms of in-store events at these same locations.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Wilson, Steven K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Re-Envisioning the Future: A Research Study about Increased Plastic Pollution from Desalination Plants and Environmental Education in Texas

Description: This study examines the relationship between proposed desalination plants and increased plastic pollution along the Texas Gulf Coast. It specifically focuses on their expected impact on communities in the area and was conducted for Society of Native Nations. The goal was to gather information about environmental ideologies and experiences from different environmental experts and scientists to educate community members and inform policy recommendations. The study relied on semi structured interviews and archival research to understand how environmental experts and scientists envision the future, how they interpret the impact of desalination plants as related to plastic pollution. Ideas that guided this research include decolonial methodologies, political ecology, Indigenous research agendas, environmental justice and knowledge, cultural hybridity, and the anthropology of the borderlands. This research provides actionable steps and recommendations to improve environmental education in Texas Gulf Coast communities on the U.S./Mexico border and to reduce plastic pollution in order to ensure that these communities have ample amounts of water supply without relying on desalination plants.
This item is restricted from view until December 1, 2022.
Date: May 2022
Creator: Gutierrez, Gabriela L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Awareness, Inclusivity, and Action in Western Historical Museums

Description: Dominant narratives in western historical museums often evoke a nostalgia for a Western Frontier that did not actually exist in the United States. Many Western historical museums, in particular, preserve nostalgia of an imagined Western Frontier through narratives of white masculine heroism, by featuring objects and artifacts symbolizing American exceptionalism and conquest, and by developing a sensory experience in exhibits to recreate an idealized time in history. As our understandings of history evolve, it is increasingly more evident that there is a significant need for Western historical museums as knowledge producers to shift narratives in exhibits from the dominant white-settler perspective. An integration of different value systems, cultures, practices, and beliefs in exhibits is possible by incorporating a diversity of thought in the frameworks used to interpret history, through the inclusion of diverse stories, and through creating accessible exhibits to reach a broader public audience.
Date: May 2022
Creator: Brown, Sonia Renee
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Credentialing in Higher Education: A User Experience Study of the University of North Texas' Student Learner Record

Description: This was a mixed-method user-centered study regarding the University of North Texas's student-owned learner record and credentialing system. Through methods of quantitative and qualitative inquiry, student perceptions were unearthed and recommendations to improve the system were provided.
Date: December 2021
Creator: Stutts, Sarah
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Ethnography of a Digital Archive: A Usability Study of the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA)

Description: Digital language archives are used for the preservation of documented language data, such as video and voice recordings, transcriptions, survey data, and ethnographic fieldnotes. This data is most often used for research and linguists and anthropologists are generally heavily involved in the creation of language archives. Ideally, Indigenous communities that are represented in the archives are also able to access their data, but this is not always the case, especially if poor internet access and lack of technological know-how prevent archive use. In addition, western epistemologies are embedded in archival logics, exacerbating the issues surrounding Indigenous access and pointing to the need for a decolonizing archival design that centers the needs of its users. Using ethnographic research methods and a decolonizing framework, I conducted a usability study on the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) to uncover the cultural-based meanings that inform AILLA use. Using linguistics and anthropology listservs, I recruited research participants for a Qualtrics survey and conducted semi-structured interviews that explore the user perspective on AILLA. I analyzed AILLA's Google Analytics data and used qualitative and quantitative research methods to build upon the previous literature in user-centered design approaches to language archives. As one of the largest online language archives in the world, AILLA serves an important role in the language documentation and cultural revitalization movement. Continued research in the field of user-centered design and non-Western epistemologies is necessary to ensure the accessibility of language archives and for AILLA to fulfill its mission of support for the survival of the Indigenous languages of Latin America.
Date: December 2021
Creator: Ewing, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Culture of Giving at Blue Ridge Literacy: Who Donates and Why?

Description: As a nonprofit located in a nonprofit-dense region in Roanoke, Virginia, Blue Ridge Literacy is among many other organizations competing for similar funding. This qualitative research project explores the reasons why donors give, why they support Blue Ridge Literacy, and what they think their future priorities for giving might be. By examining data from 15 qualitative interviews, this research is able to examine what BRL donors care about and offer suggestions for donor engagement strategies.
Date: August 2019
Creator: Holladay, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Patient Experience of Cultural Competency in a Hospital Setting

Description: Anthropological research conducted in a local Texas hospital provides data to analyze cultural competency. Increasing health equity is a key aspect of cultural competency literature, hospital, and national goals. Examining the local context allows for the analysis of how one hospital can affect public health in the area by using patient-centered care. Using observational and interview data to create the ideal of the patient journey shows how patient families experience cultural competency. Overall, the patient families felt they experienced culturally competent healthcare, however from the hospital structure perspective there could more goals to attain.
Date: May 2019
Creator: Thomas, Ashley Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Identifying the Needs of Precollegiate Anthropology Teachers

Description: Anthropology is an underrepresented subject in precollegiate education. Despite concerted institutional efforts through organizations such as the American Anthropological Association (AAA), there has not been significant growth in the field. Although the field of anthropology has not shown significant growth at the precollegiate level, there does exist a presence of precollegiate anthropology, especially through the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and standalone courses at schools at the elementary through high school level. Many of these standalone courses were created by an individual teacher. This applied thesis used anthropological methods to identify if a social network exists among precollegiate anthropology teachers while also examining how the AAA can create and/or facilitate a stronger community of precollegiate anthropology teachers. Linking to institutions such as the Advanced Placement program in addition to IB may create the critical mass to encourage a positive feedback loop which produces more anthropology students at the college level and more individuals who create standalone courses. With a growth in precollegiate programs, the existing social networks within and outside the AAA will grow.
Date: August 2021
Creator: Hoffmann, Michael P
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Understanding Affluence through the Lens of Technology: An Ethnographic Study toward Building an Anthropology Practice in Advertising

Description: This thesis describes a pilot study for a new cultural anthropology initiative at Team One, a US-based premium and luxury brand advertising agency. In this study, I explore the role and meaning of technology among a population of affluent individuals in Southern California through diaries and ethnographic interviews conducted in their homes. Using schema theory and design anthropology to inform my theoretical approach, I discuss socioeconomic and cultural factors that shape these participants' notions of affluence and influence their presentation of self through an examination of their technology and proudest possessions. I put forward a theory of conspicuous achievement as a way to describe how the affluent use technology to espouse a merit-based model of affluence. Through this model of affluence, participants strive to align themselves to the virtuous middle-class while ascribing moral value to their consumption practices. Lastly, I provide a typology of meaningful technology artifacts in the affluent home that describes the roles of their most used tech devices and how each type supports conspicuous achievement.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Garcia, Steven R.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Building a Vegan Community of Practice: An Outreach Analysis for Vegan Society of PEACE, Houston, Texas

Description: This research is focused on a group of vegan and vegan-curious individuals who are creating, building and maintaining a vegan community of practice in Houston, Texas. Through ethnographic methods, including participant observation, in-depth semi-structured interviews, surveys, quantitative analysis, and use of geographic information systems (GIS), this thesis considers motivations, group hierarchies, core and peripheral membership, practices, beliefs and construction of identity within the vegan community of practice. Further, concepts from the anthropology of religion are utilized in discourse analysis around conversion to ethical veganism, preaching, and religious-ethical beliefs around enlightenment and the principle of ahimsa. Utilizing subcultural studies and social movement theory, this thesis also shows how the vegan community of practice fits into vegan subcultures and the greater vegan lifestyle movement. Finally, as an applied project, deliverables to the client Vegan Society of PEACE includes both personal and structural barriers to veganism which are understood with respect to a race-conscious approach to veganism, and with special consideration given to the capitalist commodification of animals. Suggestions are given and strategies for growth of the community are highlighted at the end of this paper.
Date: August 2021
Creator: McRae, Susan Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Emerging Ed-tech and Accessibility

Description: Recent developments in the field of education have led to a proliferation of educational technologies (or “ed-tech”), yet access to educational content for students with special needs remains a challenge. This research study aims to assess the current state of accessibility in emerging ed-tech and to identify barriers in enabling educational content to be born accessible. Detailed discussions with various ed-tech platforms revealed less of a need for technical tools, but a more prevailing need for knowledge and education around accessibility – what it means and how best to incorporate accessibility into their platforms. The more experienced teams advocate incorporating accessibility into product development right from the design phase, while the younger teams expressed challenges in navigating accessibility laws and the dire need for easy-to-follow guidelines and best practices. A detailed review of educators' content creation processes reveals multiple dependencies in the ecosystem of ed-tech where partnerships and compatibilities are crucial in enabling accessibility throughout the process. Likewise, an urgent need exists for increasing awareness of accessibility among instructors authoring educational content using emerging ed-tech.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Vora, Disha
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Public Health Response to an Ebola Virus Epidemic: Effects on Agricultural Markets and Farmer Livelihoods in Koinadugu, Sierra Leone

Description: During the 2013/16 Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, numerous restrictions were placed on the movement and public gathering of local people, regardless of if the area had active Ebola cases or not. Specifically, the district of Koinadugu, Sierra Leone, preemptively enforced movement regulations before there were any cases within the district. This research demonstrates that ongoing regulations on movement and public gathering affected the livelihoods of those involved in agricultural markets in the short-term, while the outbreak was active, and in the long-term. The forthcoming thesis details the ways in which the Ebola outbreak international and national response affected locals involved in agricultural value chains in Koinadugu, Sierra Leone.
Date: August 2019
Creator: Beyer, Molly
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

On Preserving Games and Perseverance for the Future: A Developer Perspective

Description: Using ethnographic research methods, I worked with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) to conduct an exploratory study about developer perspectives on video game preservation. I conducted in-depth interviews with independent developers in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, a hub for Texas game development. These interviews explored developers' knowledge and awareness of game preservation as a topic of concern, archival culture and practices in the industry, and the IGDA's potential role in addressing issues related to preservation work. This research contributes to a growing body of literature on game preservation, urgently needed as many gaming technologies face obsolescence in the near future. I use Ellen Cushman's concept of "perseverance" to examine the difference between simply preserving video games for the future, and the perseverance of game development as a professional trade and artistic craft.
Date: May 2019
Creator: Gonzalez, Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Immersive Police Training: A User Experience Study of SurviVR

Description: Working with the public benefit corporation SURVIVR, I conducted a user experience study to determine how effective the Summer 2019 build of the virtual reality (VR) police training tool SurviVR was at meeting the product's goal of providing officers-in-training with realistic, immersive training experience. Two virtual training scenarios, entitled Active Shooter and Emotionally Disturbed Person (EDP), were the focal points of the study. At two of the product's pilot demonstration locations over eleven total sessions, I gathered observational data and audiovisual recordings and administered paper surveys based in qualitative methods (with a few quantitative elements). Using these data collection tools and techniques, I inquired into the themes of immersion and realism in the virtual scenarios and what design features the participants felt positively or negatively impacted their experiences of these themes. SurviVR's nature of containing both real-world and virtual elements that are pertinent to user experience necessitated a framework that addresses ethnography of virtual worlds, hybrid ethnography, and design anthropology. This study contributes to the expanding field of VR applications and understanding how improved immersion and realism can aid in the effectiveness of VR as a training tool.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Medina, Melanie
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Grace After Fire: an Analysis of Table Talk: Color Me Camo-realities of Female Veterans

Description: Beginning May of 2013 and ending in September, I worked with Grace After Fire (Grace), a virtual nonprofit organization that focuses on issues related to female veterans. Grace’s mission is to provide female veterans with the means to gain knowledge, insight and self-renewal. Grace’s mission is accomplished through peer support and resource referral. The aim of my thesis project was to conduct an analysis of Grace’s peer support system, Table Talk: Color Me Camo (Table Talk). Because Table Talk is a fairly new program for Grace, just over a year old, the outreach coordinators were eager to learn: 1) if they were indeed meeting their mission of empowering female veterans, and 2) the point-of-view of the peer facilitators who conduct Table Talk. To help Grace gain perspective, I interviewed women who had previously attended Table Talk, as well as peer facilitators responsible for coordinating the peer support system-all of whom are female veterans. The following is their story.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Phillips, Jessica Laureano
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Developing Policy for a Tech Program Based on Understanding Organizational Practices

Description: This thesis contributes to research that informs the studies of organizational management and organizational anthropology. It examines the internal hierarchy and organizational practices of a Tech Company and describes how findings contributed to policy recommendations aimed towards supporting a “guild” model for organizational success. The data collecting and research were undertaken while working as an employee of the Tech Program and subsequent analysis continued past the end of that phase of work. Methods included semi-structured interviews which captured the sentiments and understandings of employees within the organization, and a questionnaire which revealed sentiments and experiences from former employees. These were buttressed with participant observation engaged through a participatory action research methodology. Findings add to the work directed towards understanding the effect of Founder’s Syndrome within organizations. Additionally, this thesis contributes to a growing body of research centered on best practices for fostering positive organizational growth by creating lines of communication from front-line employees to management level employers.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Machado Perez, Luis Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

M.I.S.S.I.O.N. (Making Inquiries into the Significance of Safety, Identity, Observations, and Needs) for Warfighters

Description: This paper examines the concept of safety as it encompasses the personal and technological spheres as imagined by a group of active duty service members, veterans, a police officer, and civilians, as well as the agency exercised by those with military or police backgrounds when it comes to safety technology. A group of seventeen individuals took part in a battlefield simulation to test a wearable junctional tourniquet created by ARMR Systems, LLC, an innovative advancement in tourniquet technology. After the simulation, participants were interviewed, surveyed, and took part in a focus group to determine not only product suitability but also to explore the underlying reasons for their recommendations for product changes. Results showed that those with military or police background performed safety rituals prior to duty and exercised agency in the desire to obtain the best possible personal safety devices and technology to be used for themselves and their comrade-in-arms. All participants expressed concerns for their safety in regards to technology in general, specifically, the hacking and use of personal data and what is perceived as lack of governmental oversight. Almost all of the changes to improve product safety, comfort, and utility were adapted. The topics discovered during the course of this research proves a need for safety product testing from an applied anthropological perspective.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Urdzik, Patricia Stadelman
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Preface to the Proceedings of the University of North Texas Department of Anthropology’s 2011 National Science Foundation Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates

Description: Preface to the proceedings of the University of North Texas Department of Anthropology’s 2011 National Science Foundation Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates, as presented in the 2011 edition of The Eagle Feather.
Date: 2011
Creator: Gorby, Megan & Davenport, Beverly Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Product Management: the Decision Process

Description: This thesis builds upon several theoretical ideas. The first of which is the anthropologists’ transition into the corporate context and the particular type of skills and value that someone with anthropological training can bring to operations management. As anthropology is relatively new and unfamiliar to corporations, anthropologists are often hired without explicit knowledge of how they will address organizational problems. Frequently, this incremental relationship building between the anthropologist and the organization leads to shifting project goals which come only after the anthropologist is able to reveal initial findings to someone who has the power to grant the anthropologist further access to employees and company information. This refocusing comes from a building of trust that is crucially important for the anthropologist’s ability to identify social issues, which is the anthropologist’s expertise. In order to develop the context of this project the following paragraphs will explain in more detail and expand into particular cases in which anthropologists have helped organizations to identify and manage social, organizational problems. As a relationship needs to be built between the anthropologist and the organization, here I argue that there needs to be continual relationship building between anthropological, design, and management theories to optimally solve organizational problems.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pahl, Shane D.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Giving Voice to Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient and Provider Investigation

Description: With the advent of the telephonic and technological healthcare revolution, pharmaceutical corporations seek to improve patient compliance and quality of life by contracting with services providers. As an employee of one such provider, working for more than three years on a medication for the neurologically degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, this investigation utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In order to improve and diversify the clinical services provided to patients, I was contracted as a consultant. I interviewed phone and PRN nurses, developed and released a PRN survey, and interviewed patients living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. The combined experiences and expertise of the three groups who participated would serve to inform and develop new programs and services for patients with differing disease states. The research resulted in a re-imagining of the social networking theory of health, as well as the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, to serve the evolving tele-health and technologically based healthcare workplace.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cutler, Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Idaho National Laboratory Cultural Resource Management Office FY 2010 Activity Report

Description: The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site is home to vast numbers and a wide variety of important cultural resources representing at least a 13,500 year span of human land use in the region. As a federal agency, the Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID) has legal responsibility for the management and protection of the resources and has contracted these responsibilities to Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA). The BEA professional staff is committed to maintaining a cultural resource management program that accepts the challenge of preserving INL cultural resources in a manner reflecting their importance in local, regional, and national history. This report summarizes activities performed by the INL Cultural Resource Management Office (CRMO) staff during fiscal year 2010. This work is diverse, far-reaching and though generally confined to INL cultural resource compliance, also includes a myriad of professional and voluntary community activities. This document is intended to be informative to both internal and external stakeholders and to serve as a planning tool for future INL cultural resource management work.
Date: September 1, 2011
Creator: Gilbert, Hollie K.; Marler, Clayton F.; Olson, Christina L.; Pace, Brenda R. & Williams, Julie Braun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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