ABSTRACTS

CONNECTIONS 20(1):54-55
1997 INSNA

 

Dissertations

 

Adkins-Hutchison, C. D., 1996. Social Support And Adjustment Among Black Psychology Graduate Students. Ph.D. Dissertation, Rutgers The State University Of New Jersey, G.S.A.P.P.

A review of the literature pertaining to an underrepresentation of ethnic minority service providers in psychology revealed a need to examine minority students' experiences in graduate school for the purpose of identifying possible remedies for the shortage. Prior studies have utilized social network analysis to study these experiences with respect to the relationship between social integration and adaptation among ethnic minority graduate students. The current study employed this framework to examine the relationship between social support and adjustment among 25 black graduate students in four doctoral psychology programs at Rutgers University. Data were collected via survey format. As the study was exploratory in nature, analyses were conducted to detect relationships and differences among subsets of variables reflective of social integration and adjustment. Overall results indicate that feelings of academic success and emotional happiness increase in black psychology graduate students as their social integration into their departments and into the surrounding non-academic professional community increase. Specifically, positive outcomes for black graduate students correlated positively with the number of school and non-school activities they engaged in and the frequency of contact they had with non-black faculty and students and black professionals from the community. The students' perceptions of their academic success and their positive affect were also positively correlated with (a) more egalitarian patterns of initiating social contact with non-black and black faculty members, respectively, i.e., faculty initiated contact with students as often as the students did with faculty, and (b) higher levels of satisfaction with support for both personal and academic matters from non-black students and faculty and from black non-academic professionals. Students' perceptions of academic success also correlated positively with the density of their social networks, i.e., with the degree of interrelatedness among the members of their social networks. Dissatisfaction with academic performance, however, correlated significantly with satisfaction with support from black faculty. The implications of these findings for ethnic minority student retention are presented along with recommendations for future research.

Barsa, B. R. N., 1996. The Physical Health Of Hispanic Elderly In An Urban Setting, Its Relationship To Activities Of Daily Living, And The Need For Social Networks. Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University.

This study, conducted in a geriatric medical clinic in New York City, examined the relationship between social support networks, impairment in activities of daily living, physical health, and mental health among 96 elderly Hispanics, 36.5% Dominican, 32.3% Puerto Rican, 30.2% Cuban. Almost three quarters of the population sample had 0-8 years of schooling.

Seventy eight percent of the subjects had lived in the United States for 20 or more years with 33% being able to read and write in English, and 52% being able to speak English from fairly well to very well. The seven major illnesses reported by subjects were hypertension (79.2%), arthritis or rheumatism (65.6%), glaucoma or cataracts (62.5%), circulation problems of the arms and legs (43.6%), heart trouble (33.3%), urinary tract disorder (32.3%), and diabetes (30.2%).

Data was collected by study author in a structured, in-person interview of approximately 20 minutes duration with each subject. A standardized instrument (OARS) with mostly closed-ended questions was completed in Spanish. Frequency distributions, crosstabulations, bivariate correlations, analysis of variance, and multiple regression techniques were employed. There were assorted differences between the three Hispanic elderly groups in responses to individual mental health, physical health, social support, and ADL questions.

It was found that in spite of having multiple medical and socioeconomic problems, the Hispanic elderly in this study, perceived their affective support needs met by their informal support systems (composed of close family members, such as spouses and adult children, whom they live with). They were able to get help if they became too sick to care for themselves, and were actually getting help from family.

Bartlett, S. N., 1996. The Significance Of Housing For Parents And Children In Poverty. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of Massachusetts.

This study is an exploration of the relationship between housing and the rearing of young children among families in poverty. A year long open-ended, qualitative investigation was conducted with three families living in a small town. Frequent visits allowed for familiarity with family members, household routines, social networks, changing circumstances, and life problems. Families spent at least part of the year in secure and pleasant non-profit housing; but time was also spent in inadequate housing, doubled up with relatives, or in one case in a homeless shelter. The children involved ranged from one to nine years of age. An in-depth analysis of particular events and circumstances in the household lives of these families clarified ways in which housing contributed to patterns of parental behavior and perception which powerfully undermined or supported the best interests of these children. A case is made for considering housing assistance as a most appropriate form of support for families living in poverty.

Briggs, X. D. S., 1996. Brown Kids In White Suburbs: Housing Mobility, Neighborhood Effects And The Social Ties Of Poor Youth. Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University.

This study examines the effects of housing desegregation and neighborhood context on the social networks and delinquency of poor black and Latino youth. A sample of 132 low-income male and female adolescents, ages 13 to 18, is used. Roughly half (65) of these live in overwhelmingly white, middle-income suburban neighborhoods of East Yonkers thanks to a court-ordered housing mobility program. These 'movers' have left behind the mostly non-white, high-poverty neighborhoods of Southwest Yonkers where the other 67 youth, a control group of 'stayers,' still live.

Regression and lowess scatterplot techniques are used to examine the structure, diversity, and supportiveness of the youth's social networks. These analyses provide a view of social isolation, and of mechanisms through which neighborhoods may affect youth, that are missing in previous research.

Results indicate that movers have fewer neighborhood acquaintances but have found new hangouts and are no more cut off from close friends and relatives than are stayers. Few differences in network diversity or supports were found: movers appear to be somewhat more confident of receiving everyday favors from neighborhood adults. Few movers or stayers have significant ties to whites, and most of these are neighbors in public housing. Moreover, roughly half of the youth have no kin with a high school diploma, and most show more access to social support than 'leverage' forms of social capital -- good sources of job information, career advice, etc. Finally, Latino youth, especially those whose parents are foreign-born immigrants, have fewer and less well-placed contacts, spend less time with peers, and report less network support than do African-Americans.

Results for delinquency show no important effects of moving but strongly confirm the importance of parent monitoring as an inhibitor of problem behavior. Movers who socialize frequently with peers in the old neighborhood are more likely to be delinquent, so ties to 'problem peers' appear to have traveled with some movers.

Overall, mover experiences so far point to the support benefits of living in enclaves of socially similar families, not the leverage benefits of living in more affluent and diverse areas. Implications for research and 'moving-to-opportunity' policies are discussed.

Buame, S. K., 1996. Entrepreneurship: A Contextual Perspective. Discourses And Praxis Of Entrepreneurial Activities Within The Institutional Context Of Ghana. Ph.D. Dissertation, Lunds Universitet (Sweden).

This study is motivated by the understanding that entrepreneurship varies from one context to another as there are distinctive factors that influence the development and organization of entrepreneurial activities in any particular national context. Using qualitative methodology the study aims at developing a conceptual and empirical framework for the study and understanding of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship as an organizing and social process.

From institutional and social networking perspective, the study describes and analyses how the societally embedded socio-cultural values and beliefs impact on the development and organizing of entrepreneurial activities within the broader historical, economic and institutional context of Ghana. While re-reading and thereby challenging some of the mainstream arguments underlying the conventional wisdom of entrepreneurship that lay emphasis on psychological attributes of the entrepreneur, the study argues that the nature and quality of the environment in which the entrepreneurial process is initiated and organized becomes very crucial to the successful development and survival of any entrepreneurial activities.

The empirical findings lend a strong illustrative support to the proposition that the development and organizing of entrepreneurial activities in any national context is an interplay between the individual characteristics and the nature of the organizing context. For example, in a developing country, like Ghana, colonialism and political instability, mismanagement of the economic, paucity of the macro-infrastructures and misguided and inconsistent government policy directives have contributed to the non-development of effective indigenous entrepreneurial activities. And in a society with strong family orientation, social networks (connections) -- patron-client relationship and reciprocity as a mechanism for collective survival are used essentially as a countervailing mechanism for circumventing any institutional inadequacies. Thus, the study proposes the integration of both psychoanalytical and contextual perspectives in the study and development of entrepreneurial activities.

Finally, the study not only calls for the 'retuning' of the dysfunctional aspects of the environment with regards to the mainstream socio-cultural values, basic institutions and the various administrative setups that still bear the hallmarks of the colonial structures but also argues for the 're-embeddedness' of the mainstream concepts of entrepreneurship into the specificity of the socio-economic and cultural context of an emerging economy like that of Ghana for an effective development and promotion of entrepreneurial activities.

Bump, P. H., 1996. Searching For A Grounded Theory Of Social Capital: Hearing The Voices Of Head Start Mothers In Rural Michigan. Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University.

This study explored social capital in the lives of low-income women who cared for children attending Head Start in a rural town in Michigan. The problem, 'How does social capital facilitate the development of human capital for children growing up in rural poverty?' was addressed from an ecological perspective through qualitative family research.

All women listed as mothers on the Head Start applications for the 1994-95 school year were invited to participate in the study. Twenty women were interviewed concerning their aspirations for their children and the supports and obstacles they experienced in their efforts to achieve their goals.

While all the women interviewed had mainstream goals for their children, the constraints of poverty made the goals seem remote from the realities of their daily lives. The discrepancy between the women's aspirations and their life contexts led to a search for a grounded theory of social capital.

The themes which emerged from the interview data included: (a) the ecology of stress, which influenced the daily lives of the women and their families, (b) the interaction between stresses and supports, (c) the extent to which the women felt in control of their environments, and (d) the invisible loyalties binding them to the people in their social networks.

The concept of negative social capital, understood as the ecological life context, was introduced. The role of negative social capital in the development of human capital was discussed, and the ethic of care (Gilligan, 1982) was seen as an alternative perspective from which to view social capital. In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development.

Carter, E. F., 1997. The Realignment of Social Networks over the Development of Romantic Relationships. Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Research on social relations suggests there is a social space in which relationships are embedded and out of which identities are constructed. These relationships constitute relationship networks and are governed by rules that occupants of roles within the network negotiate. Additions to the relationship network force the role occupants to renegotiate the rules and realign in social space. The emergence and development of a romantic relationship is one of the most influential roles within a network. The purpose of this study was to explore how the roles are realigned in social space as the romantic relationship develops. The relationship networks of 191 undergraduate students were studied. Four phases of romantic relationships development (nonexclusive dating, exclusive dating, engaged, married) and two special groups (dissolved and cohabiting) within these phases were examined. Activity and communication patterns between participants and their network members were used as indicants of social space. The underlying structure of social space was compared between the four phases. The locations of roles on the common dimensions of social space were also compared across the phases and the special groups. Findings revealed that romantic relationship development does not affect the underlying structure of social space. Roles on the dimensions, however are realigned across the phases. Implications were advanced for understanding the development of romantic relationships, the relation of romantic relationship development to identity and relationship satisfaction, and for research and practice.

Cooley, S. R., 1996. In Their Own Words: An Analysis Of Personal Narratives From Father's Perspectives On The Death Of A Child. Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University.

This study included five fathers' narratives of the death of their child. It was guided by a social constructionist perspective of the event. Social constructionism assumes that each person is involved in the creation of their reality through their languaged interactions with others. This perspective encourages individuals to function as the authors of their own story instead of accepting others stories about them. The creation of narratives in fathers' voices was particularly important because of the marginalization of fathers in research, in general, and in bereavement research, in particular.

Four research questions guiding this study were: (1) How do men describe (construct) their experience of grief after their child's death? (2) How do fathers see themselves adjusting to their child's death? (3) How has this experience changed them as fathers and men? (4) What would the fathers like to teach others about their experience?

The long interview (McCracken, 1988) was the qualitative methodology used in this study. The interview sequence consisted of two interviews approximately three weeks apart. Participants were recruited from social networks of coworkers. The criterion for inclusion in the study was the father should have experienced the death of a child no less than six months prior to the first interview.

Previous research depicted fathers as less bereaved than mothers. In viewing the fathers as valid constructors of the reality of their personal grief, the intensity and length of their grief became more visible. The interviews afforded the fathers validation of their grief and a structured manner in which to examine that grief.

Conclusions of this study are that fathers view their grief as life long. Fathers experience a double bind when acting in the role of protecting not only in their marital relationship, but also in relation to others. In protecting others from the anxiety produced by the expression of strong emotions, their grief is often invalidated by those they protected.

Cummins, L. K., 1996. In And Out Homelessness And 'Making It On My Own': A Qualitative Study Of Rural Women. Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University.

This study explored events that led six rural women into homelessness, strategies for surviving, and personal, contextual, and structural barriers to stability. Participants were homeless in 1990 in one Appalachian county in Ohio and had participated in The Ohio State University 'Rural Homelessness in Ohio' study in 1990. The women were relocated in 1993 and interviewed over a 6-month period. The women described homelessness as a process that emerged as four distinct stages: (a) the road to homelessness, (b) stepping into homelessness, (c) surviving in homelessness, and (d) the journey back.

Decisions to leave abusive and controlling relationships most often contributed to the women's homelessness. Social control was defined using Gagne's (1992) epistemological categories of normative, persuasive, violent social control. Other factors contributing to homelessness included illness and loss of employment. The women's material stability was most frequently attained through the use of formal social welfare services, employment, and vocational and college education. Social welfare services that supported the women's movement toward economic self-sufficiency were most often subsidized housing and AFDC. Social supports provided a sense of safety and facilitated the women's development of psychological resources. Contextual and structural barriers to stability included harassment and abuse from estranged partners, withdrawal of family supports, community shunning, and discriminating institutional practices.

External movement toward economic self-sufficiency and inner journeys of emotional emancipation were mutually supporting processes that facilitated the women in regaining stability. The women's inner journeys were conceptualized using Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule's (1986) model of women's development. Of importance to the women's development of Self was the presence of significant supportive others and new social networks. These new contexts facilitated the women's development of social and psychological resources and validated the women's emerging Self. Through the discovery of Self and acquiring and maintaining 'my own place,' home took on the meaning of 'having control over my own life.'

Working from a feminist theoretical perspective, the researcher discussed a grounded theory of rural patriarchy and homelessness among rural women and offered implications for social work.

Freidberg, S. E., 1996. Making A Living: A Social History Of Market-Garden Work In The Regional Economy Of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of California, Berkeley.

This dissertation traces the twentieth century social and environmental history of market-gardening sector around Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso's second largest city. Originally introduced as a form of forced labor during the early decades of French colonial rule, intensive vegetable cultivation, or maraichage, has since become one of the most important sectors in the regional economy, contributing both to employment and the urban food supply.

The narrative focuses on the changing economic and social meanings of work -- the many tasks and processes required to get produce from farm to market to cooking pot -- in order to examine the on-the-ground effects of a set of interrelated historical forces, namely: urbanization, climate change, international development aid (especially for hydrological projects) and, most recently, state austerity and liberalization under a World Bank/IMF structural adjustment plan.

During the colonial years, the traumatic experience of compulsory labor, the expansion of the market economy, and the teachings of Catholicism and Islam all influenced local perceptions of gardening work, as well as definitions of gender and age-based divisions of labor in both production and marketing. After Independence, a brief period of relative prosperity and dynamism in the commercial gardening sector gave way to increasingly unfavorable environmental and economic conditions. Declining rainfall and urbanization led to the deterioration of the local river water supply, while a stagnant regional economy and government austerity programs depressed demand for garden produce. The resulting hardship and uncertainty has aggravated tensions within the households and peri-urban village communities involved in market-gardening. It has also affected relations between and among producers, wholesalers and retailers. In general, wholesalers' capital reserves, social networks, and collaborative strategies have enabled them to weather economic crisis more successfully than most gardeners or retailers.

In the wake of recent trade liberalization, increasing numbers of small-scale exporters are arranging production contracts with gardeners. In turn, gardeners are adopting more 'entrepreneurial' strategies in order to secure access to external markets and aid. These livelihood strategies both reflect and inform the changing meanings of market-gardening work.

 

Gaines, K. R. E., 1996. Adolescents' Perspectives Of Social Support: Child And Family Influences. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of Alabama At Birmingham.

To increase understanding of children's emerging sense of social support from family members and peers, especially as influenced by their own characteristics and family environment during the adolescent years, a population-based sample of 152 middle class children and families was studied longitudinally. Within their social networks, children rated their peers highest, followed by mothers, then fathers. Collectively, the data indicate that subjective impressions about the family ecology and social support show differentiated patterns of association. There appears to be a strong relationship between more adolescent problem behaviors and lower ratings of support provided by mothers, fathers, and peers. More family stressors in the home were associated with adolescents reporting higher support scores. Particular to fathers, positive parenting behaviors played an especially important role in adolescents' feelings of paternal social support. Interestingly, with regard to peer social support, the number of children in the family positively influenced adolescents' perceptions of their peer relationships but not of their parental relationships. Further, adolescent females tended to report more positive feelings of peer social support than did adolescent males.

Kint, A. M., 1996. The Community Of Commerce: Social Relations In Sixteenth-Century Antwerp (Belgium). Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University.

This dissertation examines how Antwerp's residents created and maintained social order during the city's so-called Golden Age (1486-1577). Over the course of these years, the city experienced an almost unparalleled demographic and economic growth. The result was a highly diversified population whose members shared few economic interests and little social or cultural background. Traditional loyalties such as neighborhoods, parishes, and corporations rarely elicited loyalties strong enough to overcome these social differences. The emergence of Protestantism worsened rather than mitigated the social stresses in Antwerp society. Furthermore, Antwerp's municipal policy acerbated the tensions among the different social groups in Antwerp as it emphasized rather than tempered the social contrasts among the city's residents.

Nevertheless, Antwerpers collaborated successfully and created a social community in which master artisans, merchants and rentiers worked together, negotiated conflicts among themselves, and prevented the political upheavals which might have been expected to spring from such deep social divisions. My dissertation proposes that Antwerp's success rested upon a combination of different factors. Firstly, an analysis of citizenship and religious bequests demonstrates that Antwerp's inhabitants succeeded in creating new social networks which were based upon loyalty to the city as a whole. Secondly, the city's political structure relied upon the participation of very different social groups. In this way, no single political interest could be pursued to the exclusion of all others. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Antwerp's citizens' were able to implement a rhetoric -- formulated in documents of civil administration as well as in cultural processes such as public rituals, theater, and fiction -- which described Antwerp as a community of people bound together by commerce. This narrative presents trade as the base of the city's welfare, a welfare in which all social groups shared. Although this rhetoric represented different values to different social groups, the shared vocabulary and ritual used to express this rhetoric was a powerful force to hold Antwerpers together in the face of social tension.

Koehly, L. M., 1996. Statistical Modelling Of Congruence And Association Between Perceptual And Complete Networks. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign.

Structural analysis of social networks using statistical techniques has been evolving into sophisticated models for the last 60 years. These statistical models and techniques have been predominantly concerned with the structure of a global network. Statistical approaches to the analysis of cognitive networks, either full cognitive social structures or ego-centered networks, are few. The statistical analysis of cognitive. social structures has been limited to evaluating some common, or average, network from the set of perceptual networks. The premise of these approaches is to find a common network which reflects the 'cultural' consensus. Then, upon deriving the cultural consensus network, differences between the individual perceptions and the common network are evaluated and systematic patterns in the perceptual bias are explained. These consensus approaches to perceptual networks have not attempted to describe the structure within each perceptual network or the structure of the consensus network.

This thesis defines a set of statistical models designed for a set of interrelated perceptual networks, either complete perceptual networks or ego-centered networks. Two types of models are presented. The structural models can be used to describe the structure within each perceptual network, the structure between the set of perceptual networks, and the association between each perceptual network and the global structure, or some other reference network. The congruence models provide a stochastic framework for evaluating the overall congruence and actor specific congruence between the perceptual networks and some reference structure.

This set of congruence and global association models for cognitive networks provides us with a wealth of modelling tools. We can use them to examine the interdependencies within a single cognitive structure or to explain the structure within and/or between a set of cognitive networks. We can explore the effects of assuming that the perceivers' perceptions of network structure are dependent or independent. The congruence models allow us to investigate relationships between perceptual bias and the perceiver's role in the global structure. The ego-centered congruence models allow us to ask whether individuals can accurately reconstruct relationships within their world; with the cognitive social structure models, we can ask whether these actors can accurately reconstruct the outside world, too. The statistical theory, model specification and substantive applications of the models are presented here.

Korfmacher, K. S., 1996. Evaluating The National Estuary Program: A Case Study Of The Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study. Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University.

There is a growing recognition that traditional, single-sector management is not sufficient for addressing modern challenges of environmental protection. The ecosystem approach has been advocated as a solution to these challenges. Ecosystem management involves using applied science, enhancing management coordination, and involving the public. Regional, stakeholder-based institutions have been proposed to implement ecosystem management. However, little is known about how well these ecosystem management institutions function to achieve the goals of ecosystem management.

The National Estuary Program, created by the Clean Water Act of 1987, was intended to address the problems of critically threatened estuaries by promoting ecosystem management in these areas. The National Estuary Program establishes Management Conferences in each of the critical estuary regions. Management Conferences involve managers, scientists, and stakeholders in a five-year, federally-funded planning effort. The result of this planning effort is a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

Through a case study of the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study (APES), this dissertation addresses the question of how well ecosystem management institutions achieve the goals of appropriately using science, promoting management cooperation, and involving the public. Several methods were used to explore how well these goals were achieved. First, program documents were analyzed, including annual reports, budgets, meeting minutes, correspondence, and technical reports. Second, over 75 in-depth interviews were conducted with program participants. Third, a mail survey was sent to all 169 participants.

The dissertation concludes that, while many traditional measures of evaluation would indicate that APES failed, the program made many 'invisible' contributions that moved the region in the direction of ecosystem management. Particular attention is paid to three aspects of ecosystem management: characteristics of the participants, implications of institutional structures, and susceptibility to external forces. These challenges may pose limits to how well these institutions can accomplish the objectives of ecosystem management in the short-term. In order to better reveal and understand the progress of these institutions, the evaluatory criteria for ecosystem management should be broadened. Future research should focus on how ecosystem management institutions develop as social networks to support changes in awareness, relationships, and behavior.

Kuekes, J. J., 1996. Parents' Perception Of Their Adult Developmentally Disabled Children's Understanding Of Death. Ph.D. Dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology - Los Angeles.

This study was designed to examine the ability of parents to accurately reflect their adult developmentally disabled child's understanding of death. Developmentally disabled people are exceptionally vulnerable to serious emotional disturbances following a significant loss as they are often unable to verbalize their feelings and are usually without extensive supportive social networks. Developmentally disabled persons often must rely exclusively on close family members to help them cope with a significant loss. Clinical implications of this study will be discussed.

It was hypothesized that parents would underestimate their adult developmentally disabled child's understanding of death. It was further expected that there would be an inverse correlation between parental death anxiety and parent-adult child congruence on the Understanding of Death Questionnaire. It was expected that parent-adult child congruence on the Understanding of Death Questionnaire would be greater for dyads in which the adult child was in residential placement rather than living in the home. Finally, it was hypothesized that parents would be more congruent with their adult children on the earlier, more concrete, concept of cessation than on the later, more abstract, concept of universality.

A self-selected sample of 39 parent-adult child dyads were interviewed using an Understanding of Death Questionnaire developed by the researcher, addressing five basic subconcepts of death including cessation, irreversibility, causality, necessity and universality. Parents were asked to predict how their adult developmentally disabled child would respond to the interview questions. Parents also completed Templer's (1970) 15-item Death Anxiety Scale to measure parental death anxiety.

Statistical analysis revealed that, overall, parents overestimated their adult developmentally disabled children's understanding of death. There was a trend that suggested that as parents' death anxiety level increased their congruence with their adult children decreased, however this inverse correlation was not great enough to reach significance. There appeared to be no relationship between parent-adult child congruence on the Understanding of Death Questionnaire and the living site of the adult child. Finally, it was determined that parents were more congruent with their adult children on the earlier concept of cessation than on the later concept of universality.

Lee, C.-S., 1996. Variation In Use Of Korean Honorfic Verbal Endings: An Interactional Sociolinguistic Study. Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston University.

Traditional studies on Korean honorific verbal endings, whose basic function is to encode the social relationship between speaker and addressee(s), have centered on typological categorization and description of macrosociolinguistic factors that determine usage (e.g., power and solidarity variables such as social status, occupation, age, kinship, gender, and intimacy, inter alia). The traditional approach has recently come under criticism from ethnographers and variationists for disregarding the social contexts in which patterns of usage vary across and within speech communities and social networks. However, these studies based on community norms also have limitations. They do not account for speaker choice of verbal endings stemming from the context of interaction. There is a paucity of research addressing the processes by which situational features constrain choice of the honorific variants and by which speakers manipulate expectations arising from such constraints for strategic purposes.

The present study addresses this gap in the literature and aims more generally to contribute to the study of the relationship between situational context and language use. To achieve these purposes, the study draws principally on Goffman's theory of social interaction, Gumperz's theory of conversational inference and Myers-Scotton's theory of the role of markedness in communicative expectations. The study uses a corpus of naturally occurring conversations and investigates the situational variability and communicative functions of choice of Korean verbal endings.

On the basis of this research I propose an interactional model in which the primary linguistic meaning of the honorific verbal endings is simply relative social distance. This abstract meaning is situationally interpreted to generate a variety of specific and complex social meanings. Under this model, analyses are presented of features of interaction regulating choice of verbal endings and of the process of interpretation of strategic choices. The analyses show that choice of verbal endings is constrained by such features as speaker identity, role and the degree of imposition posed by particular speech acts. These constraints operate at multiple levels of activity. The inferences which provide meanings of strategic choices also occur at multiple levels of framing, and are characterized by a proposed process of 'double contextualization.'

McEvoy-Jamil, P. A., 1996. Acculturation, Second Language Acquisition, And Academic Environment: A Neo-Ethnographic Case Study Of An International Student's Coping Strategies And Academic Achievement. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of San Francisco University Of San Francisco.

During the past forty years numerous studies have been done to research the issues concerning international undergraduate and graduate students at colleges and universities in the United States. The majority of these previous studies were conducted using survey methods. Therefore, they did not include an in-depth investigation of the students' own perceptions of their problems and strategies for coping with them. The present study responded to the need for this research.

This neo-ethnographic case study investigated a female international undergraduate student's own perspectives on the strategies she developed as ways of coping with her own needs and problems while studying at a small, private, liberal arts college in Northern California. The data were collected from three main sources suggested for case study evidence: interviews with the informant; archival records, such as diary excerpts, academic records, and papers; and observations made during her academic classes. From analyzing this data, the researcher was able to investigate the informant's strategies for coping with her sociocultural and psychological acculturation to the academic environment and the effects they had on her academic achievement.

The present study found that this international undergraduate student's strategies were of three types: acculturation and social coping strategies, language learning strategies, and academic adjustment strategies. Some of the strategies directly helped the informant achieve academic success while other strategies only indirectly helped her academic achievement. What most seemed to help this student cope was maintaining her Spanish ethnic and cultural identity during her four years at the college. She became an educational bilingual and an educational bicultural. As a result of her academic success, she graduated cum laude from the college with a bachelor's degree in business.

The findings of this study suggest that international undergraduate students, especially women, may need to rely on their own strategies, such as social networks they build for themselves, than on the assistance of others, including the college faculty and professional staff.

McKeever, M. R., 1996. Secondary Economies Of Capitalist And State Socialist Societies: A Study Of The Informal Economy Of South Africa And The Second Economy Of Hungary. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of California, Los Angeles.

In this dissertation I examine secondary economies to show how differentiation of work into a primary and secondary economy alters stratification. To do so I use national level survey data to model labor market outcomes in the South African informal economy and Hungarian second economy. The informal economy consists of otherwise legal forms of income generation not regulated by the legal/political institutions of society, and the second economy consists of all economic transactions which take place outside of the state regulated primary economy.

I first examine who is working, and who is successful, in the South African informal economy in 1991. Informal economy theory has argued either that these jobs represent a distinct sphere of economic activity, or only further exploit workers. The data from South Africa reveal instead a diverse set of jobs subject to stratification processes almost identical to those in the formal economy. I also examine labor market shifts involving the formal and informal economy, and again find a close resemblance. Whites and men are more likely than non-whites or women to succeed, whether success is measured as income, occupational status, or retaining jobs during periods of high unemployment.

For Hungary, I first examine who succeeds in the 1982 second economy, and find a sharp distinction between successful agricultural entrepreneurs, who are descended from pre-war independent farmers, and non-agricultural workers, who possess the same individual resources necessary for primary economy success. I then examine who works in different ownership sectors in 1993, and find younger, more educated men more likely to be working, and succeeding, in the emerging private economy. However the strongest determinant of sectoral employment is the type of business worked for in 1988, showing labor market position as dependent upon past work as well as individual resources.

In the conclusion, I argue that theories of secondary labor markets as imbedded in local social networks are inadequate, as they are unable to explain similarities between primary and secondary economy stratification. The concept of 'embeddedness' must be expanded to include primary economy social relations, themselves partly a result of state regulation.

McLean, P. D., 1996. Patronage And Political Culture: Frames, Networks And Strategies Of Self-Presentation In Renaissance Florence (Italy). Ph.D. Dissertation, The University Of Chicago.

The dissertation aims, through an extensive study of documents -- diaries, treatises, tax records, and letters seeking office, tax breaks, recommendations, and other favors -- and through network analysis, at a new theory of political culture which brings together rational actor and interpretivist accounts. The focus is on practices and framing (Goffman 1974); strategic actors assemble frames improvisationally to express their distinct identity. Meanwhile, receivers of cultural signals must interpret the identity of the petitioner according to the competence of his rhetoric, his status attributes, and his position in social networks. Identity and interest thus pass through the prism of practice and daily communicative activity to get constructed, generating an aesthetics of 'networking.'

The sources of Florentine practical culture are traced from art, literature and letter-writing manuals, and their inculcation through education is outlined. Changes in the meaning of honor are traced over two centuries to discern different frames for how individuals could depict the sources of their own motivations.

Letters are analyzed in the aggregate to look for patterns in framing, and through multidimensional scaling, to identify which practices are routine and which exceptional, and whether different sorts of practices adhere to different sort of requests. Letter rhetoric is correlated with the relative social capital of writers and recipients. Individual letters or sets of letters are analyzed minutely for the way different practices and frames of meaning are assembled into an image of the worthiness of the supplicant. This discourse analysis identifies frame alignment processes, contextualization cues, communications of expectation, speaking for others, the inclusive and exclusive use of boundary-drawing pronouns, and other tactics to see how writers construct images of themselves, and thereby build careers and interpersonal trust.

Finally, the consequences of these specific techniques of self-presentation in letters are traced out for the development of the Florentine fiscal state, the organization of markets, and the rise of the modern Western notion of the self.

Mobasher-Liaey, H., 1996. Social Networks Among Nonmetropolitan Utahns. Ph.D. Dissertation, Utah State University.

Researchers have long applied social network analysis to study social relations. However, the emphasis has been on methodology or on networks as support systems. Theoretically grounded efforts to define and operationalize network concepts have been limited. Similarly scarce have been examinations of network aspects besides support, for instance patterned conflict and reciprocity. The present research attempts to address these shortcomings by exploring relationships between particular socio-demographic variables and features of social networks including conflict and reciprocity. The data comes from a 1985 research project on non-metropolitan family stress. Multiple regression analyses suggest consistent effects of respondents' socioeconomic status (SES), age, and religion across network types. Gender differences emerge only with respect to conflict. The variability of effects that the same socio-demographic factors have on different network types indicates network types are independent constructs and should be examined independently, not assumed to parallel support network features. Conflict and reciprocity as well as support must be investigated as regular features of social networks.

Olutoye, O. A., 1996. Factors And Forces Influencing The Adoption Of New Technology: A Case Study Of The Downy Mildew Disease Resistant Maize Varieties In Ondo State Of Nigeria. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University Of Wisconsin - Madison.

Past studies that have analyzed the adoption of recommended agricultural innovations have tended to emphasize the characteristics of individuals. Most of these studies focus on the personal attributes that make farmers more or less likely to innovate. While some deal implicitly with groups by incorporating shared values into the decision-making framework, a few other researchers have looked at the impact of social networks on innovativeness. But in actuality very little attention has been given to the influence of collective group processes on adoption decision-making. This study was designed to deduce factors and forces influencing the adoption of downy mildew resistant varieties in Ondo state of Nigeria and an assessment of the impact and influence of social organizations on the decision making process of farmers was one of the major objectives.

The tested hypothesis of the study is that varietal-specific traits of the recommended maize varieties are more important in determining farmers' adoption behaviors than farm, or farmer-specific characteristics as often indicated in the adoption diffusion literature. The sample consisted of 84 maize farmers, 10 maize researchers, and 18 extension staff. The research site was Ondo State of Nigeria, it is the most downy mildew infected state in the country with a recorded 40 percent production output loss in 1990-91 attributed to the disease. Data collection was carried out using three separate research instruments, directed at each group and the results were coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics and Spearman's correlation.

Results showed that both farm or farmer specific variables (age, education, contact with extension and access to credit) and varietal specific variables (yield, grain size, maturity period and disease resistance) were the important determinants that explained 40.5 percent adoption of the improved maize varieties. This study not only confirms the conclusions of several past studies that indicates farm or farmer specific variables as important determinants in the decision making process but also partially supports the hypothesis that varietal characteristics are more important in determining farmers adoption behaviors. The study also indicated weak linkages between farmers, extension staff and maize researchers with adequate room for improvement, although farmers appeared to have a better relationship with extension staff, the relationship between extension staff and research scientists was very weak and those with farmers barely existed with the exception of those who had participated in on-farm trials.

The study highlighted several practical implications. First, it reinforces the view that farmers possess indigenous knowledge which could make its way into research agendas to aid researchers at setting their research priorities if only researchers desist from believing that knowledge rests solely with them and all that needs to happen is for such knowledge to be passed down through extension to farmers. Secondly, it shows that networking opportunities are available to be tapped through social organizations which currently exists. The study implied that there is a need for appropriate government policies that would strengthen linkages between and among researchers, extension staff and farmers to ensure improved maize production in general and the adoption of downy mildew resistant maize varieties in particular.

Opipari, L. C., 1996. Parental Differential Treatment In Two Family Contexts: Associations With Children's Sibling Relationships, Adjustment, And Social Networks. Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University.

Parental differential treatment of siblings in families with and without a chronically ill child was examined. Associations between differential treatment and children's adjustment and sibling relationships were assessed, as well as the moderating influence of social support on these relationships. Subjects were 48 children (target child), half with a younger sibling with cystic fibrosis (CF) and half with a younger healthy sibling, and their mothers. Children and mothers completed measures of their perceptions of parental differential treatment, and the target child's sibling relationship quality and social and emotional adjustment. Children were interviewed about their social network composition and support. Subsequently, children and mothers participated in five phone diaries that provided a record of their daily activities and interactions. Maternal diaries measured mothers' differential behavior with siblings in terms of time, activities, and quality of interactions. Child diaries assessed children's daily social network involvement. Home interview and diary data indicated that a greater magnitude of differential treatment occurred in the CF versus Comparison group. Differential treatment was associated with children's sibling relationship quality and social and emotional adjustment; however, a different pattern was found between the two groups. Little evidence was found for a moderating influence of social support on these relationships. Results are discussed in terms of the use of diary and perceptual measures in the study of differential treatment. The utility of studying differential treatment across different family contexts is discussed.

Ott, D., 1996. Democratization In Small States: An Analysis Of The Gambia And Trinidad And Tobago. Ph.D. Dissertation, Brown University.

This dissertation examines the relationship between state size and the formation and maintenance of democratic political systems. Using a cross-national, multiple case study of The Gambia in West Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, in combination with a quantitative data set on all the nations in the world, the study examines the effects of smallness, when measured by population size, on a number of variables including the probability of becoming and remaining democratic, access to information, political instability and political violence. The dissertation argues that the small scale social structure which is prevalent in small states directly affects the social interaction of individuals in these states through the multiple-role relationships created as a consequence; and indirectly affects the political and economic systems of these states through the impact of such social networks on political interaction, etc. The case studies examine the effects of smallness on two states which, aside from being small and democratic, share few background characteristics. The use of the 'most different systems' model allows for the exploration of the effects of smallness on democratization in two diverse cases. It is argued that small state size acts as an enabling environment for democratization, increasing the likelihood that such states will become and remain democratic, as occurred in Trinidad and Tobago. The case of The Gambia illustrates the limitations of smallness to overcome other obstacles to democratization including economic, social and systemic limitations. The quantitative analysis establishes a significant statistical relationship between small state size, when measured by population, and the formation and maintenance of political democracy, and an increased likelihood of political violence, when measured by political riots and deaths by political violence. The analysis concludes with a discussion of the implications of such findings, including transferability through the application of targeted decentralization programs.

Owusu, T. Y., 1996. The Adaptation Of Black African Immigrants In Canada: A Case Study Of Residential Behaviour And Ethnic Community Formation Among Ghanaians In Toronto (Ontario). Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of Toronto.

This study examines the spatial and social dimensions of the adaptation of Ghanaian immigrants in Toronto. In terms of their residential behaviour, the study finds that most of them live in the older suburbs of Toronto. Within these suburbs, they are highly concentrated in particular neighbourhoods, and in particular buildings, often in Limited Dividend (privately owned, but publicly assisted) housing. Analysis showed that their residential concentration is attributable to their need for low-rent accommodation, the effects of chain migration, the desire for proximity to fellow Ghanaians, and the reliance on Ghanaians for information about housing. Only a small proportion of Ghanaians have experienced racial discrimination in housing. This is due, partly, to chain migration, and the reliance on fellow Ghanaians for information in seeking alternative housing. This tends to restrict the housing search to neighbourhoods with a significant Ghanaian population.

Ghanaian immigrants also have a relatively low rate of homeownership. Analysis showed that this is due to the recency of their migration, their relatively low incomes, and their desire for home-ownership in their homeland rather than in Canada. This, in turn, is related to their intentions to return permanently to their homeland in the future. Ghanaian immigrants have also established associations which provide economic assistance, social fellowship, and enable them to express their culture. They also enable them to respond to political issues, and to mobilize financial and material resources for their homeland. In terms of social interactions, they maintain tight social networks involving fellow Ghanaians. Only a small proportion belong to non-Ghanaian associations, or maintain close friendships with non-Ghanaians. Lack of common social and cultural interests were cited as the principal reasons for the weakness of social relationships with non-Ghanaians. Racial discrimination was not explicitly cited as a factor, but the nature of their social networks must be viewed against the backdrop of the social distance between blacks and other ethnic groups in Canada. Overall, the findings suggest that the strength of kinship ties, strong back-home commitments, and return migration intentions, are crucial factors shaping the adaptation of Ghanaian immigrants in Toronto.

 

Parker, J. A., 1996. Labor, Culture, And Capital In Corporate Fast Food Restaurant Franchises: Global And Local Interactions Among An Immigrant Workforce In New York City. Ph.D. Dissertation, City University Of New York.

This dissertation is a qualitative study of labor and cultural processes in corporate fast food restaurant franchises in New York City. Immigrants from virtually every continent in the world, but mainly from the Third World, provide a growing labor supply to corporate fast food restaurants in New York City. I show how a multitude of factors including both structural and cultural demands of the industry and various features to do with this immigrant labor supply shape a workforce that is globally and culturally diverse. I examine seven restaurants in three different New York City areas: Chinatown Manhattan, Washington Heights, and Downtown Brooklyn, and show how the social stratification of a fast food workforce turns out to be geographically shaped and culturally defined according to local characteristics of these neighborhoods and districts. I find that recruitment and hiring practices linked to immigrant social networks work to reinforce and reproduce patterns of social stratification among a fast food workforce in New York City. But fast food restaurants tend to employ ethnically diverse workforces, rather than homogenous groups of 'co-ethnics.' This diversity is reinforced by social class diversity, where people from a range of family backgrounds, work experiences, and life chances come together in the fast food restaurant. Culture, ethnicity, and social class in the fast food restaurant, then, is seen in the context of a larger global and ethnic hierarchy among immigrants in New York's labor market. I also show how the shifting technical and social organization of the fast food restaurant affects the way immigrants are organized in this industry. Most importantly, a growing emphasis on 'service interaction' (which parallels the implementation of new technologies such as computerized registers) has affected cultural and gender divisions of labor, and cultured and gendered based opportunity in the restaurant. Further, I explore social relations within the workforce, showing how racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity shapes relations, perceptions, attitudes and biases among different groups new to New York's labor market. I show how these relations shape culturally and ethnically based experiences as well as employment opportunities and chances for mobility among employees. I then broaden my focus to explore the role the fast food job plays in people's lives and households, showing how low-wage fast food employment fits into employees' life-long occupational trajectories, and, the extent to which employees and their families do or do not depend on fast food wages today, not only as a 'first' job, but also as a 'moonlighting' job, a second or third job, or, as a job of 'last resort.'

Peek, M. K., 1996. Social Networks In The Life Stress Process. Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University.

The main goal of this research is to better understand the way in which people's social networks affect their mental health. One strategy for accomplishing this is through the expansion of one theoretical model: the convoy of social support model developed by Kahn and Antonucci in 1980. Using primarily a social network approach to revise the convoy model, this dissertation examines specifically how social role (kin composition) and social support (convoy circle composition) aspects of social support network composition influence one measure of mental health, psychological distress. Three main hypotheses are tested: (1) kin and convoy circle composition decrease psychological distress; (2) kin and convoy circle composition mediate the effects of stress; and (3) kin and convoy circle composition buffer the effects of stress on distress. Gender and age differences are also addressed.

Data used for this analysis come from a three wave panel health study (1979-1982) conducted in upstate New York (n = 639). The first section of the analysis focuses on age differences in the effects of network composition on psychological distress. The second section investigates the gender differences in the influence of network structure on distress. Both Ordinary Least Squares regression and structural equation models (LISREL) are estimated.

The results indicate that kin composition significantly reduces distress, particularly for younger individuals and for men. There is also evidence that suggests that kin composition mediates and buffers the effects of stress on distress. However, there is little evidence that demonstrates that convoy circle composition decreases distress or has any significant mediating or buffering effects. Finally, implications for the convoy model are discussed.

Pettit, S. K., 1996. The Arts As A Social Movement: A Case Study In Atlanta, Georgia. Ph.D. Dissertation, Georgia State University - College of Arts and Sciences.

The dynamics behind public support of the arts in the United States and grassroots mobilization to protect this support are framed in a broad social context of symbolic meaning, politics and the economy. This research explores the social organization of the arts, mobilization of grassroots support and indicators which suggest the emergence of a social movement for the arts. The theory of social movements from Manuel Castells and others form the theoretical perimeters for this research. Castells cites four primary indicators that mark successful grassroots social movements including a relationship with the government, a relationship with professionals, a collective identity and collective consumption. Economic indicators and an analyses of social networks have been added to supplement the theories of social movements since the social organization of the arts in the United States centers around well defined social and economic linkages.

Rosenthal, E. A., 1996. Social Networks And Team Performance. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University Of Chicago.

Each of us has a unique network of contacts which will be referred to in this dissertation as 'personal networks'. Although the people and the precise relations between the people in each of our personal networks differ, there are patterns to the ways in which our contacts are connected which makes some networks similar to others. These patterns are the defining characteristics of our personal networks.

Understanding the relationship between the underlying social structure and performance inequities is one of the key concerns of the social structure discipline. Social structure theories postulate that social structure matters with regard to performance inequities. Empirical studies with firms and individuals as their unit of analysis have supported this idea that the underlying structure has something to do with who succeeds and who does not.

Teams are responsible for much of the work that is done in professional organizations today. Understanding how social structure is related to performance inequities where teams are concerned makes a contribution to our knowledge about how existing social structure theory aggregates to the group level and adds to our understanding of how small groups work.

Earlier empirical work has found a negative association between constraint in an individual's network and their performance. Constraint is a quantitative measure which describes the pattern of connections between contacts in personal network. I am investigating whether this relationship holds true when individuals are aggregated into a team. I hypothesize that there is a negative association between team constraint and team performance.

Constraint is measured with sociometric choice booklets given to team members. Performance is measured with Quality Manager ratings and are standardized by plant. There are 15 process improvement teams from the same company (114 team members) in the sample.

The major finding is that there is negative association between team constraint and team performance for large teams but not for small teams. There is a direct effect between social structure and group performance for large groups and there may be indirect effects for all groups. Exploring the effects of social structure on intra-group dynamics would be a fruitful direction for future research.

Savage, L. A., 1996. Negotiating Common Ground: Labor Unions And The Geography Of Organizing Women Workers In The Service Sector. Ph.D. Dissertation, Clark University.

This dissertation examines the ways in which U.S. labor unions use geographically informed organizing strategies in light of contemporary economic changes, especially those related to the rise of service employment. Organizing service workers means organizing women, people of color, and immigrants -- groups of workers unions have not targeted traditionally. In addition, organizing strategies that were created for the manufacturing sector must change to take account of the different spatial arrangements (i.e., factory floor vs. individual offices) and economic geographies of service workplaces.

This study extends our understanding of effective service sector organizing strategies by focusing on how local context affects organizing efforts in the service sector and workers' decisions about unionization. This study focuses on two organizing campaigns. The first ended in victory for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) in 1988. The second campaign is still in progress at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center where HUCTW has formed State Healthcare and Research Employees. Through interviews with organizers and employees I collected qualitative data, focusing on the ways in which local context mediates union organizing. Secondary data was also analyzed to construct a contextual narrative within which to examine the importance of local context in organizing.

Organizing efforts have traditionally been workplace-focused, but findings indicate that workers have different identities, social networks, and access to resources in each contextual setting; it is at the nexus of home, work, and community that workers make decisions about unionization. Results show that workplace geographies shape personal networks which, in turn, shape the strategies used by organizers to build a union community. Differences in organizers' access to workers in the workplace combined with workers' family responsibilities result in the need to alter strategies to contact workers. Furthermore, changes in the local economy affect workers' family economies and responsibilities and prove to be more important than workplace changes in workers' decisions about unionization. Finally, despite predominantly female workforces in each campaign, workers organize around gender and class identities that are socially constructed in locally and geographically specific ways.

Silver, M. E., 1996. Late Adolescents In Transition: Social Networks, Parent Relations, And Well-Being. Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida International University.

A two-year longitudinal study was conducted to investigate late adolescents in transition. An initial investigation with senior high school students assessed students prior to leaving home for college and after college entrance. Of the original 131 participants recontacted two years after their graduation, 78 returned surveys. The study (a) explored changes in social network structure and function, (b) determined whether late adolescent-parent-peer relations change over time, and (c) identified prospectively the impact of social support, adolescent-parent-peer relations, and attachment security on well-being and feelings about the transition after high school. Students attending college locally reported an increase in total network support at Time 2. Regardless of location, more support from friends was received after the transition from high school, whereas family support did not vary across time. Parent relations were closer after the transition and were predictive of various well-being measures and feelings about the transition from high school.

Simpson, L. M. A., 1996. Selling The City: Women And The California City Growth Games. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Of California, Riverside.

This research addresses the manner in which bourgeois women created the language and the social networks necessary to enter the male sphere of urban planning in early twentieth century California. Between 1880 and 1940, California cities such as Redlands, Oakland, and Santa Barbara took the lead in creating comprehensive city plans and zoning ordinances that characterized modern American city growth. Specifically, this work targets three California regional economies and explores the means by which women helped shape the vision and plans of cities competing for regional dominance. A new reading of the evidence suggests that women in the Western United States embraced the ideology of self interest and participated to the fullest extent possible in a capitalist society. Although often maintaining a division of labor along traditional gender lines, the California urban elite created a class alliance to shape a regional identity based on a commitment to urban growth.

First, between 1880 and 1900, in the citrus region of Southern California, bourgeois women entered what can be termed 'apprenticeships' in property ownership and management in which they were introduced to the language of capitalism and the mechanisms of city growth. Once in command of a new vocabulary, these women joined the local women's club and the Chamber of Commerce as the organizations through which they could promote their city. Second, between 1900 and 1920, in the commercial cities of Northern California, women extended their apprenticeships in property to 'apprenticeships' in city planning. They were introduced to the language of comprehensive city planning and thus to the tools that distinguished the twentieth century capitalist city growth game from its nineteenth century predecessor. They took their next logical step in developing a capitalist consciousness and vocabulary. Finally, between 1920 and 1940, in the tourist cities of the Central California coast, women mastered the tools of city and county planning. By this time, bourgeois women had demonstrated their abilities as property owners, business and professional women, and voters and had participated fully in the entire process of envisioning, building, and selling their cities. Blending the language of capitalism with the language of female moral authority, California women asserted themselves as capitalists, visionaries, and planners.

Smith-Papke, L. E., 1996. Assessing The Severity Of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Ph.D. Dissertation, Northwestern University.

The concept of severity of childhood sexual abuse has not been clearly or consistently defined in the empirical literature. Factors which have been found to influence long-term adjustment to childhood sexual abuse include characteristics of the abuse itself (abuse-specific variables), the surrounding environment, and subjective processing of the abuse. The present study was designed in order to understand more about these hypothesized underlying dimensions of severity and begin to develop a measure which can be used to answer questions concerning the differential long-term impact of childhood sexual abuse.

The Severity of Sexual Abuse Questionnaire (SSAQ) was developed by this author based on an extensive review of the literature. It is a 43-item instrument with questions about the characteristics of unwanted sexual contact(s) during childhood, reactions in the surrounding environment, and the nature of the child's family and social networks. Data were collected from a mixed community and clinical sample of 108 female adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse both on the SSAQ and the Trauma Symptom Checklist-40 (TSC-40). The TSC-40 assesses the presence and degree of current psychological and physical sequelae of abuse.

Results of a factor analysis of the SSAQ suggest the presence of two main factors, an Abuse-Specific and an Environmental factor. Internally consistent scales were developed from each of these factors and were correlated with TSC-40 scores. The Abuse-Specific scale was found to have a stronger and more distinct relationship with this measure of the long-term traumatic impact of abuse than the Environmental scale. Empirical, theoretical, and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Umlas, E. D., 1996. Environmental Non-Governmental Networks: The Mexican Case In Theory And Practice. Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University.

The dissertation analyzes the formation and dynamics of non-governmental environmental networks in Mexico. These networks represent a new effort by social actors to join disparate groups in Mexican society, particularly in the face of tremendous environmental problems and the breakdown of the country's traditional model of social integration. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are becoming increasingly important in Mexico as institutionalized political channels undergo substantial restructuring and even crises. Networks of NGOs are also on the increase but are extremely understudied.

The main assertion is that, despite important internal and external constraints, in key instances and under certain conditions networks of environmental NGOs in Mexico have affected environmental policy, created vital political space for activists, and served as bridges to other social networks and movements, thus helping to strengthen environmental activism. The dissertation outlines the optimal conditions for networks to affect the variables of policy, space creation, and movement-bridging.

The evidence from four case studies indicates that although Mexican environmental networks, with few exceptions, have failed to fulfill these conditions completely (or have done so only briefly) -- thus leading to a reduced impact on the variables -- the networks have nonetheless made important contributions to the environmental movement. The dissertation analyzes further why such networks continue to form, and what the implications are for environmental mobilization as well as democratization and the modification of social relations in Mexico. Finally, the dissertation examines several of the theoretical concepts behind the network form of organization, situating this relatively new form within Mexico's changing political system.