Filter Dissertations and Theses By:
The Role of Homophobia and Gender Role Beliefs in Judgments of Same-Sex Intimate Partner Violence
Year of Dissertation:
The primary purpose of this study was to examine whether straight and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals differ in their perceptions of same-sex and opposite-sex IPV, and whether gender-role beliefs and homophobia can help explain any differences. We were also interested in whether factors such as the type of violence depicted and participants' gender moderated perceptions of intimate partner violence. Using a 2 (type of violence: situational couple violence vs. intimate terrorism) x 2 (gender of batterer: male vs. female) x 2 (gender of victim: male vs. female) between-groups design, 240 straight and 240 LGBT participants were randomly assigned to an experimental condition and asked to read a vignette of a domestic altercation. Participants completed a questionnaire designed to assess how they perceived the batterer's and victim's responsibility for the situation, the seriousness of the situation, how likely the abusive behavior was to reoccur, and how likely the abusive behavior would get worse over time. Participants also completed a demographics survey and measures of gender role beliefs and homophobia / internalized homophobia. Overall, both straight and LGBT participants attributed less blame to batterers and more blame to victims, and perceived the abuse as less serious, when the scenario involved a same-sex couple. However, contrary to our hypotheses, participants' gender role beliefs and homophobia / internalized homophobia did not fully account for these findings. Participants' gender and the type of violence depicted were significant moderators for several of the relationships examined; however, these effects were relatively small and inconsistent. Social, clinical and legal implications of these findings are discussed - along with directions for future research.
We don't give birth to thugs; we give birth to children: The emotional journeys of African-American mothers raising sons under American racism
Year of Dissertation:
ABSTRACT We don't give birth to thugs; we give birth to children: The Emotional Journeys of African-American Mothers Raising Sons under American Racism by Robyn Brown-Manning The emotions of African-American mothers of sons are an understudied area in social work research. Given the disproportionate representation of Black male youth on social service caseloads, a more in-depth understanding of their mothers' experiences while raising them is very important. Using group storytelling formats, this qualitative study examines the emotional content of a small cohort of African-American mothers in New York City and Westchester County, New York, with sons ranging in age from infancy through 30. Viewed through the theoretical frames of Africana womanism and nonfinite loss, the study finds that African-American mothers of sons are emotionally fatigued. They fear for their sons' safety in the presence of police. They worry about a variety of factors that affect their sons' well-being. The mothers feel guilty about choices they have made in life, particularly regarding husbands. They often feel abandoned, and long for stronger connections with other African-American mothers of sons. Throughout everything, they love their sons and are very proud of them. Practice implications include reframing challenging emotional expressions and behaviors as indicators of emotional fatigue; forming alliances with African-American mothers of sons to address oppressive practices in law enforcement and schools; and co-creating culturally grounded support groups with African-American mothers of sons.
Teaching style: an investigation of New York City public high school teacher dress practices
Year of Dissertation:
In recent decades there has been increasing interest in regulating teacher appearance in the schools. While there is a great deal of anecdotal data available about what dress standards for teachers should be, to the best of the researcher's knowledge no one has undertaken scholarly research to investigate teacher attitudes towards their constructions of self, self-as-teacher, and educational philosophies as expressed by dress practices. Predicated upon the theory that the study of self presentation provides a window through which we can gain insight into these constructions, this dissertation investigates how a sample of nine New York City public high school teachers use dress to define `personal self' and `self-as-teacher' identities as well as their educational beliefs. It is hoped that the findings of this research will contribute to better understanding of a topic that thus far has largely been neglected by educational scholars even while it has nationally attracted both interest and debate within and beyond the realm of public schools.
Politics as a Sphere of Wealth Accumulation: Cases of Gilded Age New York, 1855-1888
Year of Dissertation:
This dissertation examines political wealth accumulation in American political development. Scholars have long understood the political system selects for "progressive ambition" for higher office. My research shows that officeseekers have also engaged in "progressive greed" for greater wealth. I compare the career trajectories of four prominent New York political figures during the Gilded Age: William Tweed, Fernando Wood, Roscoe Conkling, and Chester Arthur. Using correspondence, census, tax and land records, government reports, investigations, and newspaper coverage, I explain why each political figure chose to either seize or pass up opportunities for political wealth accumulation. I also examine the principal sources of fortunes and the types of political practices that generated them. Profit-maximizing behavior during the late nineteenth century was central to the consolidation of politics as a vocation. Career-altering events such as an election loss, or alternatively, the opportunity to join a dominant party faction, often recalibrated a politician's strategic calculation in the tradeoff between power and wealth. Furthermore, the dominant view of self-aggrandizement is that public officials either steal or extract rents, for example, in the form of bribes or loans. However, none of the large fortunes examined among my cases were built through conventional rent seeking, and peculation was only a minor source of income. Instead, the great fortunes were built through marketing-making activities. Tweed, Wood, Conkling, and Arthur accumulated political wealth by securing dominant market positions, or by creating new markets altogether. These figures accumulated productive personal property, or political capital, through control over political institutions, most notably by speculating in real estate, railroads, and finance, and by the establishment of politically dependent businesses, such as banks, lotteries, newspapers, and law firms.
Children's Tolerance of Word-form Variation
Year of Dissertation:
This study compared children's (N=96, mean age 4;1, range 2;8-5;3) and adults' (N=96, mean age 21 years) tolerance of word-onset modifications (e.g., wabbit and warabbit) and pseudo affixes (e.g., kocat and catko) in a label extension task. Trials comprised an introductory phase where children saw a picture of an animal and were told its name, and a test phase where they were shown the same picture along with one of a different animal. For `similar-name' trials, participants heard a word-form modification of the previously introduced name (e.g., introduced to a dib, they were asked, `which animal is a wib?'). For `dissimilar-name' trials, participants heard an entirely new word (e.g., introduced to a dib, they were asked, `which animal is a wuz?'). Specific types of modifications were repeated within each experiment to establish productive inflectional patterns. Across all experiments, children and adults exhibited similar strategies: They were more tolerant of prefixes than onset-modifications involving substitutions of initial consonants, and they were more tolerant of suffixes than prefixes, which may reflect a statistical tendency for inflections to adhere to the ends of words. Additionally, participants parsed novel productive inflections from stems when choosing targets. These findings point to word learning strategies as being flexible and adaptive to morphological patterns in languages.
War Baby: Race, Nation, and Cultural Conceptions of Lesbian Motherhood
Year of Dissertation:
The Interwar period was a time of exaggerated social anxieties about gender, race, class, and sexuality. One of the primary vehicles for expressing this agitation was through a pronatalist cultural focus on maternity that posited women as gatekeepers of racial purity, traditional gender roles who perform a specifically patriotic duty--akin to men's military service--through reproduction. Concurrently, thanks to the ubiquity of Radclyffe Hall's image after the obscenity trial for The Well of Loneliness in 1928, the general public in England and the USA had a visual, collective idea of "the lesbian" for the first time. "The lesbian" was in many ways a foil for the idealized, domestic mother, and three novels from this period that are frequently considered classics of lesbian literature all place a heavy, yet currently under-explored, emphasis on the embattled relationship between lesbianism and maternity: Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness (1928), Sylvia Townsend Warner's Summer Will Show (1936), and Nella Larsen's Passing (1929). Despite her notoriety, Hall's novel places a deeply conservative value in women's reproductive capacity; a driving force in the plot is the female invert Stephen Gordon's need to compel her "normal" lover Mary Llewellyn to heterosexual reproduction--to prevent Mary from using lesbianism as contraception--over Mary's protestation. Warner's novel takes a more politically radical stance, tracing its protagonist Sophia Willoughby's disillusionment with white, aristocratic motherhood, ultimately having her reject not just marriage and maternity, but other forms of kinship in order to focus on her personal and solitary process of political radicalization. Larsen's novel focuses on the domestic and racial entrapment of bourgeois marriage and motherhood. Larsen conjoins the paranoia of racial and sexual passing through metaphors of pregnancy; Clare Kendry's paranoia about producing a black baby is recapitulated in Irene Redfield's anxiety about her attraction to Clare. These themes are reinvigorated and retold in contemporary narratives about lesbian mothers. The final chapter focuses on the lesbian television soap The L Word (2004-2009), which problematically posits the lesbian nuclear family as a locus of social protest and, along with gay military service, a primary conduit for fighting institutionalized homophobia.
The Seventh Regiment Armory Commission and Design: Elite Identity, Aesthetic Patronage and Professional Practice in Gilded Age New York
Year of Dissertation:
This dissertation is an exploration and analysis of the Seventh Regiment Armory, a privately funded, purpose-built headquarters for the nineteenth century's most elite volunteer militia. This project demonstrates how the conception and funding of the building were a direct response to Gilded Age labor-capital conflict--a means by which even non-member elites could participate in the most contentious socio-political debates of the day. Simultaneously, the Armory's commission and design reflected a new level of professionalization in the design profession(s) and specialization in architectural typology, and I argue that transformations in politics and professional practice were not discrete phenomena, but were manifestations of elite class consolidation in the face of unprecedented social change. This study tracks the evolution of the Seventh, establishing a connection between military proficiency and elite identity as reflected in a series of facilities used over the years. I connect the Seventh's policing duties with other elite initiatives to compel fiscal and social "reform" while establishing Aestheticism as a visual and stylistic corollary to those endeavors. Implemented by the first generation of American design professionals--architects, engineers and even artists--the class-based component of professionalism was brought to the fore in the late 1870s by the nascent labor movement, and this project explores the heretofore unexamined role that striking workers played in further catalyzing class consolidation among elite patrons and their peers in the design professions. The Armory was an exemplar of these professional and stylistic transformations. This analysis illuminates the continuity between the Seventh's interiors and other contemporaneous projects that are united (to a remarkable degree) stylistically, but otherwise typologically and geographically varied, further linking Aestheticism to the broader project of class consolidation and identity formation. By the mid-1880s, the style had fallen out of favor, thus the Armory is significant as a rare, extant example. It was the precedent for a subsequent boom in armory construction and inspired a number of imitators locally and across the country, but its sumptuous interiors were never matched. The Armory is an important and heretofore unexplored monument to a moment of incredible transformation in the country and city's history.
On the Fringe of Italian Fascism: An Examination of the Relationship between Vinicio Paladini and the Soviet Avant-Garde
Year of Dissertation:
Vinicio Paladini's career as an artist, architect, and cultural critic illuminates the paradoxes of the Italian avant-garde between the World Wars. He emerged as an early proponent of communist-Futurism in 1922 and attempted to integrate futurist techniques with the Marxist theories of Antonio Gramsci. In addition, Paladini provided a direct point of contact between the Russian and Italian avant-garde, traveling to Moscow and reporting to the Italian public on Soviet artists' developments in film, photomontage, and architecture. Yet he struggled to merge his leftist ideology with his artistic practice as Fascism spread throughout Italy. Although he has been largely neglected in studies of Italian modernism, Paladini was well known to fellow artists and architects in the 1920s and 1930s, but he quickly became a pariah due to his unwillingness to compromise his ideals for regime recognition. Mussolini's pluralistic patronage, however, provided Paladini and leftist intellectuals with opportunities to continue contributing to the state-sponsored artistic milieu. A study of Paladini's career imparts valuable insights into why and how leftist intellectuals worked under the auspices of the fascist government. His participation in fascist-affiliated groups, such as Futurism and Rationalism, and contributions to government approved journals implicated his work in regime propaganda, yet also allowed him a public platform for the expression of his revolutionary ideas. Despite the origins of his art in Soviet Constructivism and communist agit-prop, he influenced the style, iconography, and propaganda efficacy of the futurist machine aesthetic, the state-sponsored film industry, and regime exhibition design in Italy. Clear divisions between left and right-wing factions within post-war art movements, such as Italian Futurism and Rationalism, are difficult to draw. Rather, it is vital to consider how Paladini consciously blurred the lines between the two in the wake of World War I and in response to Fascism. By examining the shifts within his leftist agenda and how it became commandeered by fascist propaganda, or unwittingly served it, my research documents commonalities in the politicized aesthetics by both left and right.
The Effects of Social Influence, Power, and Tangible Rewards on Need-Fulfillment, Coworker Attraction and Helping Behaviors
Year of Dissertation:
Dr. Kristin Sommer
Much of the research on influence in the workplace has focused on identifying strategies to obtain compliance from coworkers and the effectiveness of such strategies. Little is known about why people want to influence others. Recent theory and research suggest a link between influence and need-fulfillment, interpersonal attraction, and helping behavior. Three studies were designed to examine these links and to observe how common workplace elements, specifically power and rewards, impact the psychological and interpersonal benefits of successfully influencing coworkers. Studies 1 and 2 examined how the possession of power by either the source or target of influence moderates the outcomes of having influence. In Study 1, participants attempted to persuade a subordinate in a simulated fund-raising task using either harsh or soft forms of power. In Study 2, participants attempted to persuade either a leader or a peer to change his or her stance on mandatory comprehensive exams. In Study 3, participants either received a reward for attempting to influence a peer, regardless of the outcome (engagement-contingent), were rewarded only if they successfully influenced a peer (performance-contingent), or were asked to influence a peer without any expectation of rewards. Participants in all three studies were given false feedback indicating whether their influence attempts were successful. Following the manipulations, participants' need-fulfillment, liking for the target and willingness to help the coworker were assessed. Across studies, participants in the successful compared to unsuccessful influence conditions reported greater attraction to and willingness to help the target of influence and higher task satisfaction. Contrary to expectations, no reliable effects were found for need fulfillment. Perceptions of similarity and task satisfaction partially mediated the effects of influence on interpersonal attraction. Finally, the results indicated that influencing someone using soft power tactics (Study 1), or in conjunction with a performance-contingent reward (Study 3), was associated with the highest willingness to help. The helping effects were not mediated by similarity, reciprocity, need fulfillment or voluntariness. The theoretical and organizational implications of the findings and ideas for future research are discussed.
The Seventeenth-Century Singer's Body: An Instrument of Action
Year of Dissertation:
In the seventeenth century, singers relied both on their voices and movements of their bodies for affective expression. This study investigates the close relationship between the body and voice in the seventeenth century from a variety of viewpoints, both theoretical and practical, offering an interdisciplinary approach to this connection. The work of natural philosophers such as Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Hooke, Huygens and Newton demonstrates sight's role as the fundamental sense through which the world was processed and understood during the seventeenth century. In this context, it is imperative to elevate the role of sight in sung performances to a position comparable to that of sound, an idea corroborated by contemporary descriptions of singing by Marino, Monteverdi and Tillet. I reexamine singing manuals and oratory, acting and iconography treatises published during this time--such as Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle, Butler's Principles of Musik in Singing and Setting, Tosi's Opinioni de' cantori antichi e moderni, Le Faucheur's Traitté de l'action de l'orateur, Hobbes's Briefe of the Art of Rhetoricke, Bulwer's Chirologia and Ripa's Iconologia--uncovering a wealth of information on how gestures of the face and hands and postures of the body may be used in song. Medical studies completed in the present and in the seventeenth century, such as Bartholin's Anatomy and Browne's Compleat Treatise of the Muscles, reveal that there are both physiological and psychological connections between the body and voice. The body plays an integral role in vocalization, which suggests that posture, movement and gesture may assist the singer in creating vocal sounds appropriate to the texts and music at hand. This research is applied to three pieces of music written for performance in different contexts: Strozzi's cantata Moralità amorosa (1654), the famous Act II recitative from Lully's Armide (1686) and "Morpheus, Thou Gentle God," a mad song by Daniel Purcell. (1699). A close reading of both music and text suggests that the composers wrote physical movement into these works, providing musical clues regarding the way that singers could manipulate their bodies in sung performances. These readings offer a new methodology for performers and historians seeking to investigate seventeenth-century performance circumstances.