Filter Dissertations and Theses By:
Impact of Ethnic Conflict on Development: A Case Study of Guyana
Year of Dissertation:
Abstract Impact of Ethnic Conflict on Development: A Case Study of Guyana By Visnoonand Bisram Adviser: Professor Stanley Aronowitz The study presents an alternative framework, from the dominant political and economic theories, for explaining the feeble and relatively slow pace of development of an ethnically divided, resource rich country. The study, using primary and secondary sources, empirical evidence, and interpretive analysis, examines the emergence and role of racial conflict and its stifling impact on national development in Guyana, which represents an extreme case of a society plagued by racial division. Organizations including labor unions and political parties, as well as occupations and aspects of the economy, among other social constructs, are all racially divided. Utilizing an inter-disciplinary (sociology, political science, economics, history, anthropology, culture) scope of investigation, the study explains: how Guyana became a multi-ethnic state, how ethnic rivalry emerged during colonialism; how ethnicity has shaped its development; how racial conflict was advanced by colonial forces to serve their interests; how it became institutionalized; how it was used by the US and UK to delay the independence of the colony; and how the race conflict affected the political and economic development of the post-colonial state including its debilitating impact on social change. The study determines that the failure of development in Guyana is tied to a range of interrelated social issues and problems associated with ethnic identity and rivalry. The study discusses various theories on economic development and on ethnic conflicts in order to explain Guyana's ongoing racial conflict and illustrates some effects of conflict on Guyana's development. It examines, discusses, interprets, and analyzes various variables (power and economic control) impacting on ethnic relations and politics in Guyana and their effects on the country's overall development. It also looks into the causes for heightened ethnic competition and conflict attributing blame to both major (largely ethnic) political parties, PPP and PNC, and their respective founding leaders, Dr. Cheddi Jagan and Mr. Forbes Burnham as well as their respective supporters, Indians and Africans. The study also proposes solutions as models of governance to manage ethnic conflict to facilitate development. The study has implications for similar societies serving as a guide to help resolve ethnic conflicts that could affect national development.
Arts Work: A Typology of Skills for Arts-Based Group Workers
Year of Dissertation:
The arts are utilized in groups across the applied humanities and social sciences with a wide range of populations to address a multitude of individual, group, and community needs. Despite literature suggesting challenges to the implementation of mutual aid based groups in social work, a body of empirical evidence exists on the use and benefits of the arts in working with groups across social science disciplines, including social work. In groups that utilize purposeful activity, balance of group process and task completion is integral to the development of the group as a system of mutual aid. Through interviews with a sample of expressive arts group practitioners, this study sought to identify the skills expressive artists used and to determine whether those skills had a significant impact on group dynamics. This study explored expressive artists' rationale for the intervention skills they used. It also explored whether their work with groups suggested additional skills beyond those articulated in the social work literature to promote group dynamics including development of a system in mutual aid and the balance of group process and creative task completion. The researcher developed a performance-based typology of skills in response to how expressive artists described the skills and tools they used in activity-based group work. This typology reflected a focus on performance-rooted traits, facilitative skills, and interventions that resembled aspects of the interactional or mutual aid approach to group work but moved beyond that model to address the unique aspect of creative arts in groups. The typology of skills presented in this study suggest an expanded and highly engaged role for the worker; it supports a fluid, cyclical quality in the use of skills and interventions that moves beyond the approach provided in traditional models of social group work. Most significantly, it suggests that arts-based group worker's primary and essential task lies in the consistent balance of group process and creative task completion. Engagement around both process and task promote the transmission of voice to group members, a significant aspect of this study that has implications for anti-oppression work across the field of social work.
Systematic studies of Elaphoglossum section Polytrichia (Dryopteridaceae)
Fernando Bittencourt de Matos
Year of Dissertation:
Elaphoglossum is the largest genus of the largest family of ferns, the Dryopteridaceae. It has over 600 species distributed in the temperate and tropical regions of the world, but it is especially diverse in the Neotropics, where ca. 80% of the species occur. Morphologically, the genus is usually characterized by simple entire leaves, free veins, acrostichoid sori, and phyllopodia. One of the major clades within Elaphoglossum is the “subulate-scaled clade,” which includes all species with subulate scales on the leaves. These scales are often patent and enrolled lengthwise, imparting a bristly or shaggy appearance to the plants. Previous studies have suggested that the subulate-scaled clade is composed of two subclades distinguished by the presence versus absence of hydathodes. The non-hydathodous clade corresponds to Elaphoglossum section Polytrichia and is the main focus of this study. The dissertation comprises four chapters that were prepared for publication in different peer-reviewed journals. The first chapter is a molecular phylogeny of the subulate-scaled species of Elaphoglossum based on DNA sequence data from three plastid markers (atpß-rbcL, rps4-trnS, and trnL-trnF). The results of this study provide the bases for the other three chapters, which include a nomenclatural synopsis of E. sect. Polytrichia, a monographic revision of the Apoda clade of E. sect. Polytrichia, and a floristic treatment of the Brazilian species of E. sect. Polytrichia. In Chapter 1, all well-established groups of Elaphoglossum were recovered with high statistical support, including a subulate-scaled clade composed of two (weakly supported) subclades distinguished by the presence vs. absence of hydathodes. Phylogenetic relationships within each of these subclades are discussed and several groups are suggested for future monographic study. In Chapter 2, I present a nomenclator for the 52 species of E. sect. Polytrichia (i.e., the non-hydathodous clade). All taxa are enumerated and accompanied by place and date of publication, information on types, synonymy, distributional notes, and pertinent remarks. A map of geographic distribution for the section is provided for the first time. One new species and several other nomenclatural changes are suggested. In Chapter 3, I provide a monographic treatment for the 13 species of the Apoda Clade of Elaphoglossum. Species of this clade are characterized by the presence of lustrous and brightly colored stem scales, small glandular hairs, and evenly distributed scales on petioles, costae, and laminar surfaces. One new species is suggested. To facilitate the identification of species, I provide illustrations, descriptions, comments, synonymy, distribution maps, and an identification key to all 13 species in this group. Chapter 4 follows the same format of the previous one, but includes only the species of E. sect. Polytrichia that occur in Brazil. Eleven species are recognized in this last chapter, including two newly described ones.
Meaning Making at the Interface of Gender, Disability, and Policy: Physically Disabled Women in London and Coventry, England Explore the Covention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Year of Dissertation:
Historically, persons with disabilities are socially, culturally, and economically underprivileged and neglected worldwide (WHO, 2006, 2011) and this is especially true of women with disabilities. The intersection between women's gender and their disabilities, although overlooked for many decades, has been described as the phenomenon of a dual handicap. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006) was created to protect the rights of all people with disabilities and, for the first time in history, identified women with disabilities as a population that has unique rights and needs that warrant special legislation and protection. This qualitative study explores the lived experiences of physically disabled women living in England, while contextualizing them within the discourse on disability rights within the sociocultural and historical-political context (England). The lived experiences of physically disabled women are posited to be mediated by human rights documents as well as by political discourses and practices that surround and accompany these documents. Framed in socio-historical cultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978) and Bakhtin's (1986) dialogical works, this study investigates how policy documents are meaning-making systems (Daiute, 2008, 2010) that shape and serve as the tools to organize and frame disabled women's experiences. Narratives collected through group meetings with 18 physically disabled women in London and Coventry, England, were first analyzed using a values analysis (Daiute, Stern, & Lelutiu-Weinberger, 2003) to understand the interactions between the CRPD and women's lives. Then a discourse analysis of group narratives and policy documents (Daiute, 2008) was conducted across the CRPD (2006) and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979) as activity- meaning making systems. Finally, a historical analysis of disability and gender within the UK and the UN was conducted. The major findings indicate that the intersection of gender and disability is historically absent within UK and UN activity-meaning systems (Daiute, 2008, 2010) as enacted in the CRPD and CEDAW treaty. The values analysis revealed disability and diversity education at local levels (schools, councils, hospitals) and their own participation in local politics, specifically for Lambeth, with a high level of value expressions. Surprisingly, both groups given their right to have a family and a home took an opposing view to the CRPD values. Interestingly, both groups described social practices such as staring, being ignored by others as being issues within their daily lived experiences, but still provided a subjective view to Article 6: Women and Disabilities. The study suggests that there is a need for further research on disabled women's perspectives and experiences within the discourse of human rights in order to develop socio-political practices that support rather than isolate disabled women.
THE POLITICAL ETHICS OF INTIMACY IN AMERICAN EVANGELISM
Year of Dissertation:
The Political Ethics of Intimacy is an ethnographic study of how conservative evangelical ethics are cultivated within religious communities and become linked to political projects. Based on fourteen months of participant observation research in evangelical churches and Bible study groups in Colorado Springs, I argue that evangelical ethical life is modeled on hierarchical relationships defined by gender and symbolized in the patriarchal family. As the heterosexual nuclear family has become both the central metaphor structuring evangelical ethics and the site where lived evangelicalism is practiced, issues perceived as threatening this family structure are seen as threatening to evangelical ethical life. Thus, abortion and gay rights receive continuing political concern by evangelicals, while issues not framed as directly affecting the family receive less political concern. I show how the familial ideals that shape white evangelical ethical and political life are tied to a racial history of seeing the normative, patriarchal family as the moral foundation of the nation, ideas that shaped resistance to racial equality in the United States from debates about abolition to the Civil Rights Movement.
Claiming Space, Redefining Politics: Urban Protest and Grassroots Power in Bolivia
Year of Dissertation:
This dissertation analyzes the role of space-claiming protests by primarily left grassroots social movements in Bolivia's current political transformation. Space claiming includes mass protests that physically control or symbolically claim urban space through occupations of plazas and roads, sit-ins, blockades, and other measures. As a theoretical construct, space claiming brings together tactics of collective action and meanings of public spaces, and looks at the consequences of their interaction. This dissertation is based on ethnographic engagement and oral interviews with protest participants and their state interlocutors during twelve months of fieldwork and archival research. By using detailed ethnographic evidence--of social life as experienced through the human body, the meanings attached to places, and social movement practices--it explains how grassroots movements exerted leverage upon the state through pivotal protest events. This study shows that the political import of these protests arises from their interruption of commercially important flows and appropriation of meaning-laden spaces in cities like Cochabamba and Sucre. Social movements used spatial meanings, protest symbols and rhetoric to build an imagined community of interest and sovereignty, which claims the right to direct the political course of the state. The presence of indigenous bodies, symbols, and politics in these spaces challenged and inverted their longstanding exclusion from power. The largest mobilizations exercised control over aspects of daily life that would otherwise be organized by the state. These interruptions of commerce and circulation, and the collective gatherings that directed them posed an alternate possibility of sovereignty. This put the existing order into question, forcing shifts in political life to resolve the temporary crises. At the same time, the practices of disruption were added to the routines of political practice, making future officeholders even less able to maneuver independently of the grassroots base. This dissertation explains why and how space-claiming protests work as political tools, and the ways that practices of cooperation, coordination, and decisionmaking within protest have become models for Bolivia's political culture. In doing so, it contributes to the study of social protest in Latin America, the theory of social movement practice, and the geographic study of political protest.
Place Attachment and Mobility in the Lives of HIV positive Men
Year of Dissertation:
This study explored how transformative effects of an HIV diagnosis inform our sense of place and connectedness to a setting/place attachment and the influence on our use and movement in social space. Using Bourdieu's Sociological perspective I explored the notion of `knowing' or `habitus,' by investigating the nature of a person's position and the conditioning (social learning) of that position which can be viewed as a transformative process that effects, changes, and creates both the position and the conditions that govern practice. Methods: The research included semi structured interviews and (2) focus groups, where one set of groups had the specific objectives of the study disclosed to them, and the researcher surveyed the respondents on the types of questions and information they believed needed to be collected to capture their sense of social space. The final group was presented with the results of the initial group and asked to critique and inform the results. A total of 36 subjects were interviewed or were a part of the focus groups. Using cognitive mapping, I explored the places they frequent, noting physical settings, how these settings were used, evaluated and perceived and how they spent their time. Research findings: The findings reveal themes related to respondents' sense of place and connectedness and their sense of connection to those people and places they deem significant. There are examples of life philosophies that appear connected to positioning and are connected in influential ways to ones sense of `constriction' or `expansion.' When dealing with socially impoverished, isolated men, and their HIV diagnosis, their positioning and conditioning in social space, it appears their `situatedness' directly effects and instructs their `practical sense,' or everyday practices and this allows creative and instructive thinking that transforms their experience of becoming HIV positive into an experience of expansion and growth. Broader, the meanings people attribute to their histories, suggests how one comes to choose, use, and is transformed by the spaces supportive of them, are themselves products of the same cultures and social structures that produce and reproduce the `practical sense' of an agent.
On the Arithmetic and Geometry of Quaternion Algebras: a spectral correspondence for Maass waveforms
Year of Dissertation:
Let be an indefinite rational division quaternion algebra with discriminant d equal to pq where p and q are primes such that p,q > 2 and let pq be a maximal order in . Further, let pq,p2rq2s,r,s ≥ 1 be an order of index p2rq2s in pq with Eichler invariant equal to negative one at p and at q . Finally, let pq,p2rq2s1 be the cocompact Fuchsian group given as the group of units of norm one in pq,p2rq2s. Using the classical Selberg trace formula, we show that the positive Laplace eigenvalues, including multiplicities, for Maass forms on pq,p2rq2s1 coincide with the Laplace spectrum for Maass newforms defined on the Hecke congruence group Γ0(M) where, M, the level of the congruence group, is equal to p2r+1q2s+1, i.e., the discriminant of pq,p2rq2s.
An Examination of the Goodness of Fit Model: How is the Relationship Between Child Temperament and Behavior Expressed in Different Types of Classroom Environments?
Year of Dissertation:
The present study examined how the relationship between child temperament and behavior is expressed in different types of classroom environments in prekindergarten settings. Other goals of the study were to further operationalize the goodness of fit model in school settings and to evaluate possible interactions of process variables indicative of classroom quality with child temperament to see if these interactions predicted child behavior and social skills. Participants included 130 students and their teachers (N = 11) in three prekindergarten settings. Child temperament was measured using the Total Temperament score from the Teacher and Caregiver Temperament Inventory for Children (TACTIC; Billman & McDevitt, 1998). Classroom quality and environment characteristics were measured using the Program Structure scale of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales-Revised (ECERS-R; Harms et al., 2005) and the Sensitivity subscale score from the Caregiver Interaction Scale (CIS; Arnett, 1989). Outcomes in behavioral and social domains were measured using the Externalizing Behavior Problems and Social Skills subscales on the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales- Second Edition (PKBS-2; Merrell, 2002). Hierarchical linear modeling indicated that child temperament alone was the sole predictor of child externalizing behavior, while child temperament, disability status, and school program structure predicted child social skills. Overall, the study indicated that the goodness of fit model when operationalized in terms of the transactional relationship between temperament and environmental demand factors of characteristics of the classroom setting (as informed by the classroom quality literature) has predictive value and describes child behavioral and social outcomes in prekindergarten settings.
Pilgrimages to the Past: Place, Memory, and Return in Contemporary Life Writing
Year of Dissertation:
Pilgrimages to the Past draws from recent scholarship on autobiography, memory, and trauma, while attending to the historical and ethnic specificities of each text. Extending beyond an inquiry into how autobiographical narratives evoke place and how they present the interplay between location and remembering, my dissertation aims to show that the autobiographical impulse, or the desire to tell one's life story, is intimately bound with specific locations that inspire and facilitate remembering. Return lends the past new urgency and propels its narrative reconstruction. An important concept in this project is the dialogic dimension of the homonym routes/roots, which Susan Stanford Friedman sees as integral to processes of identity formation in an age of increased mobility. This analysis of the recuperative potentialities and reparative limits of return seeks to explore place as identity's foundational and transformational site. Going back affirms the returnees' connection to places from the past; at the same time, return changes how they perceive and inhabit their location in the present. Although returns are retrospectively oriented, they propel a prospective engagement with the past that both acknowledges its relevance and accepts its irretrievability. Insofar as visiting places of ancestral or personal significance ultimately leads to an incorporative separation from the past, Pilgrimages to the Past posits that journeys of return are, in fact, journeys of departure that result in the returnee's turn towards present and future. The diasporic quest for origins organizes Eva Hoffman's After Such Knowledge: Memory, History, and the Legacy of the Holocaust (2004) and Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (2006). In Running in the Family (1982) and My Brother (1997), Michael Ondaatje and Jamaica Kincaid, two writers of the postcolonial experience now living in North America, play on "the return of the native" theme as they describe visits to their home islands, Sri Lanka and Antigua, respectively. The predicament of exilic homecoming, in turn, is the key theme in Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (2003). Revisits to places of personal significance, rather than to a place of origin, give narrative shape to Susan J. Brison's Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self (2002), Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), and Alix Kates Shulman's To Love What Is: A Marriage Transformed (2008).