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Pitzer Senior Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Sea Turtle As A Marketing Symbol For The Anti-Plastics Movement, Hannah Chiu Jan 2019

The Sea Turtle As A Marketing Symbol For The Anti-Plastics Movement, Hannah Chiu

Pitzer Senior Theses

The anti-plastic straw movement uses the sea turtle to bring an empathetic symbol to broaden the scope of the plastics problem in the ocean, giving the public a powerful visual image for the first time in the history of the anti-plastics movement. In this thesis, I build on existing conversations on charismatic megafauna and flagship species, to explore the emerging anti-plastic straw movement and its use of the sea turtle as a symbol. I also provide an analysis of the imagery and comments on social media sites of green marketing companies and non-governmental organizations. These social media sites, such as ...


Women In The Wage Economy: A New Gendered Division Of Labor Amongst The Inuit, Hannah Buehler Jan 2019

Women In The Wage Economy: A New Gendered Division Of Labor Amongst The Inuit, Hannah Buehler

Pitzer Senior Theses

Inuit constructions of gender in the pre-colonial period were centered around a gendered division of subsistence tasks. It is through this division of labor which gender roles, gendered socialization and spousal roles were formed. However, during the colonial period Inuit subsistence and the role it plays in Inuit society was rapidly and drastically changed. By analyzing the work of three different Arctic ethnographers documenting Inuit subsistence in different time periods and national contexts, this thesis will analyze how political, economic and environmental change in the Arctic has altered Inuit subsistence practices from European contact through the contemporary era. By analyzing ...


The Educational Opportunity Structure And Stratification Of College Counseling At Southern California Public High Schools, Adriana Ceron Jan 2018

The Educational Opportunity Structure And Stratification Of College Counseling At Southern California Public High Schools, Adriana Ceron

Pitzer Senior Theses

This study documents how organizational strategies underlying college counseling departments modify counselors’ ability to perform their academic and college advising duties. To examine this, fifteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews with public high school counselors in Southern California were conducted. A district’s commitment to college access and opportunity, as well as parents’ expectations for maintaining a college-going culture, shaped the nature of college counseling and organizational habitus in a school. Counselors reported that access to different forms of institutional support and resources diminish or exacerbate the structural constraints known to surface in public schools. This influenced when and how counselors advised ...


Why Do Underrepresented Minorities Leave Science And Engineering?, Cindy Onyekwelu Jan 2018

Why Do Underrepresented Minorities Leave Science And Engineering?, Cindy Onyekwelu

Pitzer Senior Theses

This paper extends upon Jennifer Hunt’s research on “Why do women leave science and engineering?”, that contributes to existing literature that overlooks underrepresented minorities level of commitment to STEM fields based on their STEM educational backgrounds and additional contributing factors that relates to women engineer’s leaving their felid to another felid that does not have any relation to their STEM degree. The following independent factors are the respondents’ gender, reasons for leaving the felid of major, how much does their highest degree relate to their current principle/ primary job, parents’ level of education, current citizenship status, level of ...


Indigenous-Led Resistance To Environmental Destruction: Methods Of Anishinaabe Land Defense Against Enbridge's Line 3, Charlotte Degener Hughes Jan 2018

Indigenous-Led Resistance To Environmental Destruction: Methods Of Anishinaabe Land Defense Against Enbridge's Line 3, Charlotte Degener Hughes

Pitzer Senior Theses

Enbridge has proposed the Line 3 “Replacement” Project, a new pipeline project taking a new route strait through Anishinaabe treaty territory in what is known as northern Minnesota. In the middle of the regulation process, the future remains unclear of how the State of Minnesota will move forward with the permitting process, but Anishinaabe communities, a range of non-profit organizations, and local landowners remain firmly against the line. Rooted in varied frameworks of Native sovereignty, the land, and Indigenous feminism, Anishinaabe communities lead the resistance against a product of ongoing settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and environmental racism. This thesis contextualizes ...


Stormwater Capture In The Built Watershed: Fostering Public Awareness Of Water Conservation Through A Parcel-Level Approach To Stormwater Management, Benjamin Rigby Jan 2018

Stormwater Capture In The Built Watershed: Fostering Public Awareness Of Water Conservation Through A Parcel-Level Approach To Stormwater Management, Benjamin Rigby

Pitzer Senior Theses

As California contends with climate change and more extreme cycles of drought and deluge, water management agencies and conservation groups are looking towards solutions to the decreasing reliability of imported water supplies. Stormwater has historically been perceived as a threat to development but when captured properly, it presents a resource that can augment local water supplies. Solutions to water supply issues in California have traditionally employed technical and centrally controlled methods for importing water, but there is a growing understanding that parcel-level capture through vegetated swales presents an opportunity for reducing the impact that development has on California’s hydrology ...


Sustainability-Efficiency Paradox: The Efficacy Of State Energy Plans In Building A More Sustainable Energy Future, Austin Zimmerman Jan 2018

Sustainability-Efficiency Paradox: The Efficacy Of State Energy Plans In Building A More Sustainable Energy Future, Austin Zimmerman

Pitzer Senior Theses

State energy plans are created at the request of a sitting governor or State Legislature in order to provide guidance set goals for the state’s energy sector. These plans will be critical indicators of energy trends such as the future market share of coal, natural gas, and renewables. If the future of energy in the United States is to be remotely sustainable, low-carbon policies must headline state plans. The strength of a state’s energy plan in terms of sustainability is directly related to that state’s willingness to prioritize and commit to incorporating energy sources that produce negligible ...


The Experiences Of Teachers At Southern California Continuation High Schools: Exposing The Barriers Within Alternative Education, Gabriela R. Ornelas Jan 2017

The Experiences Of Teachers At Southern California Continuation High Schools: Exposing The Barriers Within Alternative Education, Gabriela R. Ornelas

Pitzer Senior Theses

My project explores the role of teachers at Southern California continuation high schools as it relates to serving low-income students of color in the face of the institutional barriers within alternative education. My study focuses on the teachers’ career, interactions with students, and opinions on accessibility to resources and funding. I have examined their experiences through twenty in-depth, semi-structured interviews with teachers from three districts. My findings indicate that district members’ misconceptions of Latinx students as inherently deviant and academically unengaged drive institutional issues creating financial burden for which teachers are forced to compensate. My study highlights that continuation high ...


Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, Please: Transit Equity, Social Exclusion, And The New York City Subway, Taylor Novick-Finder Jan 2017

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, Please: Transit Equity, Social Exclusion, And The New York City Subway, Taylor Novick-Finder

Pitzer Senior Theses

The history of transportation planning in New York City has created disparities between those who have sufficient access to the public transportation network, and those who face structural barriers to traveling from their home to education, employment, and healthcare opportunities. This thesis analyzes the legacy of discriminatory policy surrounding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and city and state governments that have failed to support vital infrastructure improvement projects and service changes to provide multi-modal welfare to New York’s working poor. By exploring issues of transit equity as they pertain to the New York City subway system, this thesis raises ...


Democracy In The Dark: An Energy Democracy Model Centering Property And People, Feby Boediarto Jan 2017

Democracy In The Dark: An Energy Democracy Model Centering Property And People, Feby Boediarto

Pitzer Senior Theses

The United States’ electric macro-grid provides electricity for all people to sustain our lifestyle. The current governing institutions that generate our electricity limit community representation, causing procedural injustice particularly to communities of color. This thesis is a contribution to the Energy Democracy literature, describing a community-based electricity model that includes two components: property and people. I argue to include an in-depth study of John Locke’s theories on property, in addition to Elinor Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development Framework to promote local knowledge in understanding how physical space and governing bodies strengthen the Energy Democracy movement. In addition, I ...


Drowning In Rising Seas: Navigating Multiple Knowledge Systems And Responding To Climate Change In The Maldives, Rachel Hannah Spiegel Jan 2017

Drowning In Rising Seas: Navigating Multiple Knowledge Systems And Responding To Climate Change In The Maldives, Rachel Hannah Spiegel

Pitzer Senior Theses

The threat of global climate change increasingly influences the actions of human society. As world leaders have negotiated adaptation strategies over the past couple of decades, a certain discourse has emerged that privileges Western conceptions of environmental degradation. I argue that this framing of climate change inhibits the successful implementation of adaptation strategies. This thesis focuses on a case study of the Maldives, an island nation deemed one of the most vulnerable locations to the impacts of rising sea levels. I apply a postcolonial theoretical framework to examine how differing knowledge systems can both complement and contradict one another. By ...


The District's Stepchild: The Total Erasure Of Low-Income Latinx Students' Needs At Continuation High Schools, Gabriela R. Ornelas Jan 2017

The District's Stepchild: The Total Erasure Of Low-Income Latinx Students' Needs At Continuation High Schools, Gabriela R. Ornelas

Pitzer Senior Theses

My study explores the underlying factors that allow systemic structural issues to exist within continuation high schools which result in the low educational performance of low-income Latinx continuation students. My study focuses on educators’ experiences, as I conducted 20 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Southern California continuation high school teachers. I focused on the following areas of study: the teacher’s career, the teacher’s interactions with students, and the teacher’s opinions regarding their accessibility to funding and resources. My findings indicate that teachers, the outer community, and school-board administrators utilize cultural deficit thinking and stigmatization as tools of total ...


When Society Becomes The Criminal: An Exploration Of Society’S Responsibilities To The Wrongfully Convicted, Amelia A. Haselkorn Jan 2016

When Society Becomes The Criminal: An Exploration Of Society’S Responsibilities To The Wrongfully Convicted, Amelia A. Haselkorn

Pitzer Senior Theses

This thesis explores how society can and should compensate those who have been wrongfully convicted after they are exonerated and how we can prevent these mistakes from happening to others in the future. It begins by presenting research on the scope of the problem. Then it suggests possible reforms to the U.S. justice system that would minimize the rate of innocent convictions. Lastly, it takes both a philosophical and political look at what just compensation would entail as well as a variety of state compensation laws.


Locating Gendered Resistance: Interethnic Conflict, Environmental Disaster, And Feminist Leadership In Sri Lanka, Allison A. Donine Jan 2016

Locating Gendered Resistance: Interethnic Conflict, Environmental Disaster, And Feminist Leadership In Sri Lanka, Allison A. Donine

Pitzer Senior Theses

In geographically vulnerable and politically unstable regions such as Sri Lanka, I argue that linking natural hazards and climate-induced disasters to existing social issues is more pressing than ever. In the case of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, it was impossible to dissociate the two. Looking though the lens of distress, in conflict and environmental disaster, this thesis explores how women have transformed moments of victimization into opportunities for resistance and agency. This thesis examines the following questions: Within the geo-political context of Sri Lanka, how does social stress (human-made or environmental) produce conflict and resistance to patriarchal traditions along ...


Faith In A Changing Planet: The Role Of Religious Leaders In The Fight For A Livable Climate, Morissa Zuckerman Jan 2016

Faith In A Changing Planet: The Role Of Religious Leaders In The Fight For A Livable Climate, Morissa Zuckerman

Pitzer Senior Theses

Progressive religious leaders are playing an increasingly important role in the effort to combat climate change. Through a combination of unstructured in-depth interviews and primary source analysis, this thesis highlights nine U.S. religious leaders from various denominations of Christianity, Judaism and Islam who are actively involved in working on climate issues. Drawing on literature in social movement theory, I explore how clergy are uniquely influential in climate issues because of the organizational advantage and moral authority they hold through their positions as religious leaders, granting them the ability to highlight social justice implications of climate change with distinctive legitimacy ...


Parting The Green Curtain: Tracing Environmental Inequality In Portland, Oregon, Lindsay E. Mccord Jan 2016

Parting The Green Curtain: Tracing Environmental Inequality In Portland, Oregon, Lindsay E. Mccord

Pitzer Senior Theses

This thesis utilizes a lens of environmental justice to analyze the history of Portland, Oregon and the formation of the Albina neighborhood in North Portland to understand how this community became a space of environmental inequality. Portland has been a leader in sustainable development, and yet, even with its successes, the city either been unable or unwilling to address the disproportionate impacts of environmental hazardss on low-income and communities of color in Albina. Through an examination of Portland’s history of segregation, stigmatization of Albina and its residents, housing policies, and urban renewal as they relate to Albina, this thesis ...


The Price Is Right: Investigating Net Metering Policies For Rooftop Solar In California, Jesse Honig Jan 2016

The Price Is Right: Investigating Net Metering Policies For Rooftop Solar In California, Jesse Honig

Pitzer Senior Theses

As an increasing number of homeowners decide to take advantage of distributed renewable resources such as rooftop solar, we may need to rethink the current regulatory paradigm and governance structure of the electric market. This thesis examines the shortcomings of current net metering programs in California. While the current Net Metering 2.0 proceeding highlights a clash of solar advocates and electric utilities, it is in fact revealing an underlying structural flaw that has been present all along. In order to send the appropriate price signals to solar customers, both the structure by which utilities recover costs and the rate ...


What A Waste: Segregation And Sanitation In Brooklyn, New York In The Post-Wwii Era, Amanda T. Chang Jan 2016

What A Waste: Segregation And Sanitation In Brooklyn, New York In The Post-Wwii Era, Amanda T. Chang

Pitzer Senior Theses

Through studying the intersections of sanitation and segregation in Brooklyn, New York in the post-WWII era, this thesis reveals a web of willful white negligence that constructed a narrative that supports continued environmental injustices towards black Americans. As a result of housing discrimination, the lack of sanitation, and the political and social climate of the 1950s, black neighborhoods in Brooklyn became dirtier with abandoned garbage. Institutional anti-black racism not only permitted and supported the degradation of black neighborhoods, but also created an association between black Americans and trash. In the present day, this narrative not only leads to the increased ...


“Becoming Ioway: Using Auto-Ethnography To Understand The Fourteen Ioways’ Journey Of Colonization, Spirituality And Traditions Through Tribal Dance Exhibitions, Sarita R. Mc Gowan Jan 2016

“Becoming Ioway: Using Auto-Ethnography To Understand The Fourteen Ioways’ Journey Of Colonization, Spirituality And Traditions Through Tribal Dance Exhibitions, Sarita R. Mc Gowan

Pitzer Senior Theses

This thesis analyzes the colonization and traditional spiritual practices of the Ioway people to show that their traditions have survived the effects of colonization also known as white settlers. I focus on issues of cultural traditional exhibition dance and that complicates the question of the nation-state’s exclusively trying to dissemble the Native Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska of colonization and the effects on the Ioway people past and present. I use personal experience of being a tribal member to discuss how the tribes’ oral history allows for the preservation of Ioway cultural identity and religious traditions.


“A Give And A Take”: Lived Experiences In A Real Sharing Economy, Lauren F. Phipps Jan 2015

“A Give And A Take”: Lived Experiences In A Real Sharing Economy, Lauren F. Phipps

Pitzer Senior Theses

This thesis contrasts a “real” sharing economy with the commonly held understanding of this new mode of exchange. By examining the lived experiences within a successful example of sharing, we can see its true value and acknowledge where other businesses fall short. Based on in-depth interviews with users of freecycle.org, this thesis illustrates the importance of motivation within a real sharing economy, highlighting the existence of generalized reciprocity, the value of community, and altruism between members of this gifting platform.


Roots Versus Wells: Grassroots Activism Against Fracking In New York And California, Shannon J. Leap Jan 2015

Roots Versus Wells: Grassroots Activism Against Fracking In New York And California, Shannon J. Leap

Pitzer Senior Theses

The reliance upon and depletion of fossil fuels as an energy source puts pressure on individuals, communities, energy companies, and policy-makers. Hydraulic fracturing – known colloquially as fracking – as a method of drilling for oil and natural gas temporarily alleviates this pressure since it allows for the extraction previously inaccessible fossil fuels in shale rock deposits deep beneath the Earth’s surface. This has resulted in a nationwide “fracking boom,” which has come with its share of economic benefits. However, the process of fracking can be detrimental to human and environmental health. In reaction to the increasing development of this practice ...


The State Of Sachets: Ghana’S Private Sector Solution To A Public Infrastructure Problem, Robert J. Little Jan 2015

The State Of Sachets: Ghana’S Private Sector Solution To A Public Infrastructure Problem, Robert J. Little

Pitzer Senior Theses

Known colloquially as “purewater”, sachet water has outcompeted all alternatives to Ghana’s unreliable government water infrastructure and serves as the cheap, portable, omnipresent solution for narrowing the safe water access gap. Each single-use sachet holds 500 ml of filtered potable water and is heat-sealed in a high-density polyethylene bag. Insufficient and often skeptical scholarship exists surrounding the state of sachet water in Ghana, and almost no research incorporates qualitative data into analysis and future recommendations. In the face of incomplete and decontextualized research on sachet water, this study aims to use qualitative data concerning Ghanaian viewpoints to showcase the ...


Soft Power Played On The Hardwood: United States Diplomacy Through Basketball, Joseph Bertka Eyen Jan 2015

Soft Power Played On The Hardwood: United States Diplomacy Through Basketball, Joseph Bertka Eyen

Pitzer Senior Theses

This thesis demonstrates the importance of basketball as a form of soft power and a diplomatic asset to better achieve American foreign policy, which is defined and referred to as basketball diplomacy. Basketball diplomacy is also a lens to observe the evolution of American power from 1893 through present day. Basketball connects and permeates foreign cultures and effectively disseminates American influence unlike any other form of soft power, which is most powerfully illustrated by the United States’ basketball relationship with China. American basketball diplomacy will become stronger and connect with more countries with greater influence, and exist without relevant competition ...


The Effects Of Adherence To Asian Values And Extraversion On Cardiovascular Reactivity: A Comparison Between Asian And European Americans, Lindsay K. Yamaoka Jan 2014

The Effects Of Adherence To Asian Values And Extraversion On Cardiovascular Reactivity: A Comparison Between Asian And European Americans, Lindsay K. Yamaoka

Pitzer Senior Theses

This study investigated the effects of personality type and ethnicity on reactivity to stressful stimuli by examining acculturation and adherence to Asian American cultural values as moderators. Twenty-two Asian American and twenty-two European American students performed a mental arithmetic task and a speech task while cardiovascular (CV) reactivity was monitored. Level of extraversion, acculturation, and adherence to Asian American values were assessed. As predicted, Asian Americans exhibited less CV reactivity to stressful stimuli and lower levels of extraversion than European Americans. Support was found for adherence to Asian American values as a moderator of the relationship between level of extraversion ...


Let's Not Eat Alone: A Search For Food Security Justice, Emma Shorr Jan 2014

Let's Not Eat Alone: A Search For Food Security Justice, Emma Shorr

Pitzer Senior Theses

The food justice movement has taken off in recent years. Despite its call for justice in the food system, it has been critiqued as being inaccessible to people who need food the most. The food system marginalizes women, minorities, and low-income people, making these groups the most at risk for food insecurity. Solutions to food insecurity come from both government and non-governmental avenues. This thesis calls for a merger of solutions to food insecurity and food justice in food security justice, and assesses the ability of solutions to food insecurity to confront issues of injustice. Community-based solutions currently have the ...


A Mother's Paradox: Choosing A Birthing Method In The 21st Century, Jenae Franklin Jan 2014

A Mother's Paradox: Choosing A Birthing Method In The 21st Century, Jenae Franklin

Pitzer Senior Theses

Investigating childbirth, one of the biggest moments of a woman’s life, this thesis examines the reasons behind women’s preferred birthing methods. This research explores the fundamental decisions women make during the birthing process: the amount of prenatal care mothers will receive, the type of health care provider they will use, picking the place of delivery, views on technological and medical interventions, and outlooks on natural childbirth. In addition to an extensive literature review, in-depth interviews with mothers, midwives, and obstetricians are used to examine the various controversies of childbirth. This thesis begins with a review of the transition ...


Cultivating Human-Nature Relationships: The Role Of Parents And Primary Caregivers In Development Of Environmental Identity, Anne E. Bremer Jan 2014

Cultivating Human-Nature Relationships: The Role Of Parents And Primary Caregivers In Development Of Environmental Identity, Anne E. Bremer

Pitzer Senior Theses

Industrialized societies have been characterized by a trend of disconnecting humans from our natural environment, leading to environmental and psychological damage. Therefore, in order to work toward repairing such damage, reconnecting humans and the natural environment is critical. One way of conceptualizing human-nature relationships is through “environmental identity,” a term that describes self-identification as part of a larger ecosystem, aesthetic, spiritual, or recreational enjoyment of nature, environmentally positive behaviors, and a social, political, or moral identification with environmentalists. Despite the literature having emphasized childhood experience in nature as being essential to the development of an environmental identity, parental influence in ...


Missing Voices, Hidden Fields: The Gendered Struggles Of Female Farmworkers, Keiko A. Budech Jan 2014

Missing Voices, Hidden Fields: The Gendered Struggles Of Female Farmworkers, Keiko A. Budech

Pitzer Senior Theses

Known for its fertile soil and ideal climate, California has been one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world. Often left out of this picture are the farmworkers who make it possible. Within this farmworker community, females are a sub-class that has been even more marginalized. This thesis investigates the gendered aspects of fieldwork and exposes female leadership working towards changing these specific struggles, such as sexual harassment in the fields, domestic abuse, pesticide exposure, and the perpetuation of submissive gender roles in the household and workplace. An in-depth case study of Lideres Campesinas, a community- based grassroots ...


A Discussion Of The Impact Of Political And Economic Forces On Equitable Access To Potable Water In Ecuador And Recommendations For Improvement Through Better Watershed Management, Eliza States Jan 2014

A Discussion Of The Impact Of Political And Economic Forces On Equitable Access To Potable Water In Ecuador And Recommendations For Improvement Through Better Watershed Management, Eliza States

Pitzer Senior Theses

This thesis will address the impact of political and economic forces on the equitable access to fresh water in Ecuador. Demographic factors such as the rural-to-urban migration and the political and economic forces have strongly influenced the debate over the privatization of the provision of potable water and sanitation services. Within the context of Ecuador, two different approaches by the largest cities, Quito and Guayaquil, are analyzed; in Guayaquil, the services were privatized, while in Quito, the public utility was corporatized, remaining under public control. It concludes arguing that in the face of political instability and a lack of regulatory ...


Fossil Fuel Divestment: The Power And Promise Of A Student Movement For Climate Justice, Jessica Grady-Benson Jan 2014

Fossil Fuel Divestment: The Power And Promise Of A Student Movement For Climate Justice, Jessica Grady-Benson

Pitzer Senior Theses

In the face of dire threats posed by anthropogenic climate change, a growing international Movement for Fossil Fuel Divestment has emerged to challenge the political and economic power of the fossil fuel industry. Building off a history of college and university divestment campaigns, students are spearheading the movement to rid their institutions’ endowments of investments in the top 200 companies with the largest reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas. Highlighting perspectives from within the movement and drawing from literature in social movement theory and Climate Justice, I explore three crucial components of the student Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement: Climate ...