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Social emanations: Toward a sociology of human olfaction.

Description: Within the discipline of sociology human olfaction is rich with social significance yet remains a poorly charted frontier. Therefore, the following discourse is aimed toward the development of a foundation for the sociological study of olfaction. It is formed by the dual goals of unearthing the social history of olfaction and of providing a viable sociological account of the manner in which smells affect human ontology. From these goals arise the following research questions: (1) Have the meaning and social relevance of odors and the olfactory sensorium changed throughout different periods of history?; (2) How have those in the lineage of eminent sociological thinkers addressed the phenomenon of human olfaction during these periods?; and (3) What is the process by which aromatic stimuli are transformed from simple chemical compounds, drifting in the atmosphere, into sensations in a sensory field and then on to perceived objects, to subjects of judgment and interpretation, and finally to bases of knowledge which form and continually reform individuals in the world? The weaving of the sociohistorical tapestry of smell is undertaken to provide examples from thousands of years lived experiences as to the fluid and sociologically complex nature of individuals' olfactory senses. This historical information is presented in a narrative format and is synthesized from data gleaned from books, advertisements, articles in popular non-scientific magazines, as well as from the findings of studies published in medical/neurological, psychological, anthropological, and sociological scholarly journals. Regarding theoretical aim of this discourse, insights are drawn from Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological theory of human perception for the generation of a framework for the sociological study of olfaction. Merleau-Ponty's theoretical notions are modified, modernized, and refitted to more specifically fit the subject of human olfaction and to include all that has been discovered about the biological specifics of olfactory perception since the ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Harris, Regina Gray
Partner: UNT Libraries

Edward O. Wilson's "Sociobiology: The New Synthesis": What it Means for Sociology

Description: The implications of sociobiology as presented in Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis are examined to determine to what extent 1) sociobiology can subsume sociology; 2) sociobiology is antithetical to sociology; 3) sociobiology reflects a movement within sociology. Basic assumptions of sociobiology pertinent to sociology--degree of determinism, existence of human universals, and definitions of society, culture, and human nature--are scrutinized alongside Wilson's view of sociology as a scientific discipline. The thesis explores weaknesses of both sociology and sociobiology and concludes that sociobiology, in ignoring culture as a source of behavioral motivation, is limited in reducing the sociological perspective to a biological one. Although the two disciplines have antithetical foundations, sociology has already begun to incorporate selected aspects of the sociobiological perspective.
Date: May 1978
Creator: Rowe, M. Edward (Montie Edward)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Brief Reevaluation of the History of the Idea of Progress in Regard to Social Philosophy and Sociology

Description: The thesis offers an exposition and tentative solution of two problems: a definition of the Idea of Progress, and classification of social philosophers and sociologists according to this definition. Twelve propositions, or assumptions, are used to define the Idea, and works of selected philosophers from Hesiod to Parsons are examined in the light of this definition. Historical examination reveals that the Idea's acceptance reaches a zenith in the early nineteenth century, after which it lost credibility, becoming virtually discarded by mid-twentieth century.
Date: December 1983
Creator: Kurtz, Steven J. (Steven John)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Origins of Sociology: Continuities and Divergences Between Ibn Khaldun, Giambattista Vico, August Comte, Ludwig Gumplowicz, and Emile Durkheim

Description: This thesis examines the extent to which Ibn Khaldun can legitimately be considered a founding father of sociology. To pursue this research, Khaldun's theoretical framework will be compared with four Western scholars: Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Giambattista Vico, and Ludwig Gumplowicz. This paper begins with an Introduction (Chapter I), followed by a general overview of Khaldun's work (Chapter II). Next, Khaldun's work is compared to that of Auguste Comte (Chapter III), Emile Durkheim (Chapter IV), Ludwig Gumplowicz (Chapter V) and Giambattista Vico (Chapter VI). In each of these chapters, Khaldun is compared and contrasted to the other social theorist, illustrating their similarities and considering their differences. Finally, in Chapter VII, I put forth conclusions that consider the extent to which Khaldun can validly be considered a founding father of sociology.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Soyer, Mehmet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Twenty-five years of Scholarship: A Sociology of The Review of Higher Education Contributors, 1977-2002

Description: Given today's hurried pace of change in higher education and its institutions, it is imperative for the higher education research community to reflect on its current composition and resulting ability to understand and respond to the breadth and rapidity of that change. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to identify selected social and academic characteristics of the primary contributors (authors, editorial board members, and editors) to The Review of Higher Education, to categorize institutional affiliations of contributors via the Carnegie Classification System and to synthesize the data in a historical and sociological perspective. The contributions to The Review's articles, editorial board positions, and editorships in its first 25 years have predominantly been from male members of the higher education professoriate affiliated with and receiving doctoral degrees from major research universities ranked highest in the Carnegie Classification System. Trends toward greater gender and disciplinary representation, especially among author contributors, began to appear by the mid-point (1990s) of the study period.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Moss, Ron W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Some Recent Developments in the Sociological Perspective of Socialization

Description: The primary significance of this inquiry is as a contribution to the continuing effort to categorize socialization studies and thereby to make more useful the accumulation of empirical knowledge in the field. This thesis presents a summary of sociological studies of socialization in the 1960's. It reviews articles published between January 1, 1960 and December 31, 1967.
Date: January 1969
Creator: Vlahon, Steven R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Topical, conceptual, and theoretical diversity in American sociological Sovietology

Description: Sociology has remained for years on the fringe of Sovietological pursuits, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Yet, few have made a serious effort to systematically examine sociological Sovietology. To partially compensate for such neglect, this study begins to explore the diversity of what sociology has studied and how it has gone about studying it.
Date: December 1990
Creator: Lackey, Chad
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Effect of Normative Systems on an Empirical Variable

Description: This investigation is concerned, with the problem of the normative constraints upon scientific research within the broad theoretical framework of the sociology of knowledge, i.e., the contention that knowledge is functionally related to the social system. The concepts "knowledge" and "Social system" are open to wide interpretation; however, in this study knowledge refers to an empirically verifiable variable and the social system is synonomous with the normative system.
Date: December 1971
Creator: Sizemore, Mark T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determinants of Refugee Production: an Exploratory Analysis

Description: The issue of refugees and the factors which result in forced migration are of growing importance. Currently, one in every 120 people is living outside of his or her nation of origin by force. There appears to be no end in sight to this situation. This paper seeks to examine conditions within a nation which contribute to the production of refugees. Using a model based on Clark's (1989) early warning system, this paper examines both proximate and root causes of refugee migration. The findings suggest that human rights violations have a proximate causal relationship to refugee production. High levels of state autocracy, low per capita energy consumption, larger rural populations, and a recent negative net migration have an associative relationship to refugee production. Further studies are needed to examine the interrelationship between the proximate and root conditions and their effect on refugee flow.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Zottarelli, Lisa Katherine
Partner: UNT Libraries

A new way of statecraft: the career of Elton Mayo and the development of the social sciences in America, 1920-1940

Description: Considered "the father of the science of human relations," Elton Mayo was instrumental in the development of industrial psychology and sociology in America. The career of Elton Mayo and his attraction to influential figures like John D. Rockefeller, Jr., provide a chronological order and interpretive force to understand this development.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Cullen, David O'Donald
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Affects of Religiosity on Anomie

Description: This study explores the relationship between religion and anomie. The theoretical framework of Durkheim and Merton was used to suggest the hypothetical relationship between the two variables: as religiosity increases, anomie decreases. A secondary analysis was conducted using the 1991 General Social Survey (GSS). The GSS is one of the largest annual surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. There were 1517 adult respondents composing the 1991 cross-national sample. Questions measuring both the belief and action dimensions of religion were used to measure respondents' level of religiosity. Questions from the Srole Scale of Anomia were used to measure respondents' level of anomia. Durkheim's theory that religion functions to integrate individuals into the larger society and therefore diminish levels of anomie was not supported with this data. While the lack of significant findings did not support the theory, neither did it disprove it. The hypothetical inverse relationship between class and anomie was supported with this data. Another hypothetical relationship, that of the most religious, women experience less anomie than men, was also not supported due to the lack of a significant relationship among the primary variables. Continued use of comprehensive and large scale surveys such as the General Social Survey is crucial. This research suggests the need for further testing of these hypotheses using more elaborate measures.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Wilson, Dwain R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Karl Marx and Max Weber: Interpretations of Their Relationship in Social Thought

Description: The thesis is an investigation into the writings of Karl Marx and Max Weber, and the interpretations of their relationship in social thought. The interpretations of the relationship of these ideas have become polarized between Weberian and Marxist camps, characterized by Parsons and Weber. The paper begins with an examination of the writings of Max Weber, specifically with respect to his concepts of institutions, developmental theory, and theory of domination. The work of Marx is next examined with regard to these three topics. The interpretations offered by Parsons and Zeitlin are reviewed. The paper concludes that neither argument offered by Parsons or Zeitlin is altogether correct nor incorrect.
Date: August 1977
Creator: Weniger, Anna L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Online Pornography and Its Effects on the Behavior of College Students

Description: The primary goal of this study was to investigate the habits of college students who use pornography. The study was designed to collect data on the use of online pornography by college students. Through the use of an online survey, the study collected general demographic data and data on the frequency with which students used online pornography. The study also collected data on the general attitudes of college students towards online pornography. Participants consisted of students enrolled at the University of North Texas during the Spring 2016 semester. The participants of the study were contacted by an email requesting the student to respond to an online anonymous survey regarding their use of online pornography. The survey consisted of thirty questions and statements, primarily utilizing a five point Likert scale. Analysis of the data collected as well as a discussion of the findings are included.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hassell, Michelle Stefanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Selected Dichotomous Typologies in Modern Social Theory

Description: It is the purpose of this thesis to examine systematically the theories of selected sociologists and anthropologists with the end in view of determining whether or not or to what degree the various dichotomies are valid and useful. In addition to specific criticisms of doctrines peculiar to individual theorists, an attempt will be made to answer the following questions: What are the theoretical sources from which the dichotomies of types of social life in modern sociological and anthropological theory are derived? Are the dichotomies based upon legitimate contrasts which can be demonstrated empirically? To what extent do the value orientations of the theorists bias their results? How valuable are the dichotomies as guides to empirical investigation? To what extent do the dichotomous theories contribute to an understanding of the causes and directions of social change?
Date: August 1952
Creator: Middleton, Russell
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Preliminary Investigation of the Relationships Among Life Satisfaction, Status Inconsistency, and Selected Demographic Variables

Description: The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationships among life satisfaction, status inconsistency, marital status, sex, race, and age. Status inconsistency is determined through a comparison of the status indicators of education, occupation, and income. Life satisfaction is determined by the responses to five areas of satisfaction which are presented in the 1976 General Social Survey conducted annually by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). The five satisfaction variables are factor analyzed to assure the appropriateness of their use in the construction of the life satisfaction index. Analysis of the data consists of the use of chi-squares, Cramer's V, and Kendall's tau-b. Findings are reported and suggestions are presented for future research.
Date: December 1979
Creator: Agamau, Terry Jeane Nashert
Partner: UNT Libraries