Recent Submissions

  • The Antonine Wall: Reasons for the Roman Retreat

    Sund, Kira Caitlin (The University of Arizona., 2014)
  • Linking Self-Perception of Stressful Experiences with Blood Pressure and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Undergraduate College Students

    Wiley, Kyle Steven (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    A large body of research suggests self-perception of stressful experiences is not always a good predictor of stress biomarkers. On this front, anthropologists have an opportunity to disentangle the interactions between individual perceptions of stress and the stress response. To better understand these interactions we chose a sampling frame that allows individual participants to self-identify as high, medium, and low stress responders. We chose to conduct this research in an undergraduate student community for two reasons: 1) final exams serve as a similarly timed stressor, 2) given the perceived stress associated with student work loads, recruitment should be easier in an undergraduate community. With two data collection points, we recruited and sampled thirty-two students. Stress biomarker data include blood pressure and salivary cortisol, analyzed using Salimetrics high sensitivity salivary cortisol enzyme immunoassay kits. A short questionnaire was used to indicate an individuals’ perception of the role of stress in their lives. Our interview data suggest an awareness of highly variable responses to stress. By comparing the interview data to stress biomarkers across self-designated categories of stress reactions we plan to link variation in perception, reactivity, and biomarkers to develop a more nuanced understanding of the stress response and its physiological outcomes.
  • Medical Interpreters: Bridging Language Barriers as Cultural Advocates

    Polasek, Staci Nichole (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    In this thesis I take an anthropological approach to examining the doctor-patient relationship and how barriers to this relationship, such as language or cultural differences, effect medical treatment. This literature review analyzes questions such as: What are the roles of medical interpreters, how can medical interpreters act as advocates for the patients, and how do they affect the trust in the doctor5patient relationship? I examine the impacts on trust of cultural differences, language barriers, and use of Medical Interpreters within the doctor-patient relationship. By better understanding the doctor-patient relationship from an anthropological perspective, I will answer questions that show how doctors and patients can establish trust, overcome language barriers, and have higher cultural competency. These answers will aid in closing the gaps between doctors and patients and renew a stronger-trusting relationship. The use of Medical Interpreters is the key to improving the relationship and overall health of limited English speaking patients.
  • Violence and Recidivism at Point of Pines and Turkey Creek Pueblo Through Cranial Analysis

    Lacroix-Martin, Jillian (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    This thesis documents the incidence of cranial trauma from the Mogollon sites of Turkey Creek and Point of Pines Pueblo, spanning the time from A.D. 1000- 1450. The Mogollon were located in the American Southwest and during this time period the population began to coalesce and eventually dispersed. This dispersal led to increased warfare and pillaging of resources and women and represents a time of considerable social change and tension throughout these two regions. The comparisons of cranial trauma made by placement of trauma on cranium, sex of the individual, and also the number and sex of individuals with evidence of recidivism may suggest the use of domestic violence towards women in the population. This is important because it may provide a snapshot into the violence that was used among the Mogollon. Data found that out of 518 skeletal samples, 40 (7.72%) showed signs of cranial trauma. Out of these 40 subjects there were 19 females (47.50%), 16 males (40.00%), 1 sub-adult (2.50%), and 4 unknown (10.00%). Out of these 40 subjects, 7 females (17.50%) and 5 males (12.50%) showed evidence of recidivism. By mapping cranial trauma based upon sex on one skull, the pattern of injury for females were found to be more centrally located on the frontal bone and along the saggital suture and more randomized all around the skull for males. Although these results were in accordance with the hypotheses tested for in this experiment, the results were too close to provide adequate support for domestic violence against women in these pueblos during this time period.
  • Cultivating Community: Social Networks, Gardening, and Community Resilience in the Sonoran Desert

    Kokroko, Kenneth Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    This research seeks to identify, describe, and understand community as it is expressed in the local and urban gardening sphere of Tucson, Arizona. Underlying this effort is the ethnographic intent to qualitatively document and explore whether, and ultimately how, members or components of the social network interact. The relevance of this research lies not only in better understanding how people experience community in specific contexts, but also in its aim to demonstrate that both physical and virtual relationships - virtual referring to a conceptualized essence or effect not manifest in concrete appearance or form - contribute to the development, manifestation, and common ownership of communities. Gardening-related and support-oriented resources and spaces in Tucson - namely the Seed Library of the Pima County Public Library and Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm - served as field sites for this research and represent vertices which link subgroups physically and virtually within the social network itself. Importantly, examining the synergy characterizing relations between members and components of the network aids efforts to qualitative describe the community’s resilience.
  • Accelerator Mass Spectrometry: A Video Tour of the Carbon-14 Dating Process

    Genovese, Taylor Robert (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    The purpose of this project is to create a video that engages and informs an undergraduate audience about the Carbon-14 dating process. The video takes you through the history of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Lab at the University of Arizona as well as discussion of what exactly carbon-dating is. The audience is then given a walking tour of the actual accelerator while the steps of Carbon-14 dating are explained.
  • Alaska Native subsistence and sovereignty: An unfinished work

    Wolf, Barbara F. (The University of Arizona., 2003)
    Alaska Native cultures are based on subsistence fishing, hunting and gathering, which also remain important sources of food supply. The 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) extinguished all aboriginal rights to territory, hunting and fishing, creating Native corporations to own Native land in fee simple, instead of reservations with land in trust with the U.S. government (Indian country). ANCSA led to the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which protects subsistence activities on federal land. Alaska followed ANILCA's subsistence guidelines on state land, until the preference was found unconstitutional in 1989. Subsistence and sovereignty today are linked to a network of interacting institutions such as tribal governments, Native corporations, ANCSA, ANILCA and court decisions. The thesis examines these and argues that institutional changes must occur for Alaska Natives to be sovereign and protect subsistence resources and culture. Suggestions include restoring Indian country to Alaska, resource co-management, and amending ANILCA.
  • Village formation during the Pueblo III to Pueblo IV period transition: Contextualizing Bryant Ranch Pueblo, Arizona

    Scholnick, Jonathan B. (The University of Arizona., 2003)
    Understanding the mechanisms structuring increasing aggregation during the late-thirteenth century in the Silver Creek drainage in East-Central Arizona has been central to the Silver Creek Archaeological Project's research over the last ten years. Key questions about this pattern of increasing village size and sedentism concern the changing social and economic environment, particularly the emerging Pueblo IV craft and subsistence economies. Excavation and analysis data from a small site that immediately pre-dates the Pueblo IV-period aggregation, Bryant Ranch Pueblo, allows us to better understand the trends in this transition. This study examines evidence of craft production and circulation through compositional analyses, as well as ceramic consumption patterns through multivariate analyses of the ceramic assemblages to address the changing social and economic contexts in the Silver Creek region and its surroundings during this transition.
  • Educational travel for societal change: An exploration of popular education along the Mexico-United States border

    Perin, Jodi R. (The University of Arizona., 2003)
    During the past few decades, anthropologists have become increasingly interested in how different cultural frameworks come together. One opportunity to view such interactions is presented by travel seminars based on a transformative education model, which aim to educate middle-class people about conditions in economically depressed areas through travel. The task of this thesis is to examine the experiences of U.S. participant groups in one transformative education program, paying particular attention to interpersonal contact, both within groups and between them and local people, and to how participants experience the location of poverty. I argue that multiple factors play a role in terms of whether, how, and why trip participants appear to form new meanings based on their experiences. These factors include the individual's ability to empathize with the 'Other' (i.e. local people) met on the trip and previous experience in and knowledge of economically depressed areas, especially the Third World.
  • Conserving cultural heritage with microcredit: A case study of the Dogon Culture Bank in Fombori, Mali

    Deubel,Tara F. (The University of Arizona., 2003)
    This thesis presents a case study of the Dogon CultureBank in Fombori, Mali, a local initiative started in 1997 to conserve cultural heritage through the provision of microcredit loans. Participants obtain credit to support small enterprise by using cultural objects as collateral; the objects are conserved and exhibited in a community museum collection. This innovative approach to microfinance has provided financial incentive for cultural conservation in a rural Dogon community, increased social capital among participants, and heightened community awareness of the importance of cultural heritage as a resource for development. Results of quantitative analysis demonstrate a significant increase in overall income generation patterns among participants; however, male borrowers have consistently benefited from both higher loans and greater increases in income generation than female borrowers who are targeted as the primary beneficiaries. The study concludes by highlighting the contributions of the model to the broader field of microfinance in developing countries.
  • "Cooking the body" in a changing world: Post-partumpractices in the Mixteca

    Resau, Laura S. (The University of Arizona., 2002)
    For women in the Lower Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Mexico, the post partum period is traditionally a vulnerable time, when, for forty days, women feel that their bodies are "open" to coldness entering and causing immediate or future illness. Women take protective measures to remove coldness from their "raw" bodies and restore heat by following special diets, dressing warmly, and "cooking the body"---taking hot herbal water baths (banos de cocimiento) or steam baths (banos de temazcal). Based on the narrated experiences of eighteen women in the Mixteca, this thesis explores how several generations of women experience shifts in post partum practices and ideas as their society changes. Women believed that post partum vulnerability varied from woman to woman, depending on where she lived, her habits and customs, and her generation.
  • Testing farmers' perceptions of climate variability with meteorological data: Burkina Faso and the Sulphur Springs Valley, Arizona

    West, Colin Thor (The University of Arizona., 2001)
    This thesis tests perceptions of climate variability with actual rainfall data. It also compares the perceptions of agriculturists in Burkina Faso, West Africa with those of agriculturists in the Sulphur Springs Valley, Southeastern Arizona. This study contests claims by other researchers that farmers' perceptions of climate change are shaped by events rather than variation in climate. The analyses demonstrate that people in both regions are able to detect variations in climate on time-scales of at least a decade. Both groups of farmers key into intra-annual variation that is related to seasonality. That perceptions are based on seasons is due to the fact that seasonality shapes the vulnerability of farming to climate in both regions. This thesis adds perceptions to the analytical field of climate vulnerability studies and points out that the atmospheric phenomena behind the variability farmers perceive merits scientific investigation.
  • Swallowing health ideology: Vitamin consumption among university students in the contemporary United States

    Hardenbergh, Loren Ito (The University of Arizona., 2001)
    The moral coloring of eating behavior in the contemporary U.S. reflects the value placed on taking charge of one's health through diet, exercise, and self-control. At the same moment that health promotion efforts focus on individual responsibility, the population is experiencing time famine, or a chronic shortage of time that does not allow people to live as they think they should. In this context, health behaviors such as exercise and a health-balanced diet may be compromised. Vitamin consumption is one way that individuals maintain a moral identity in the face of time pressure. Drawing on twenty open-ended interviews, this paper explores the multiple meanings vitamins have in the lives of vitamin users, including their role as food substitutes and productivity enhancers. Issues related to efficacy and the tension between biomedical sources of health information and localized "embodied" knowledge also receive attention.
  • Ceramics and social dynamics: Technological style and corrugated ceramics during the Pueblo III to Pueblo IV transition, Silver Creek, Arizona

    Neuzil, Anna Astrid (The University of Arizona., 2001)
    Prehistoric social networks reveal paths of behavior that are vital to the understanding of past life. Utilitarian ceramics that were a part of everyday life and regular household activities, and the elements of technological style they possess, are accurate indicators of local social dynamics. Corrugated ceramic vessels in particular contain subtleties in their decoration that may distinguish learning frameworks within and between groups on a small, perhaps household-level scale. My study uses these premises to examine corrugated sherds, and the social patterns they reflect, from several sites in the Silver Creek area of east-central Arizona.
  • Locations of self in smoking discourses and practices: An ethnography of smoking among adolescents and young adults in the United States

    Tesler, Laura Eve (The University of Arizona., 2000)
    Whereas the presence of an ashtray on every table in American restaurants was once the norm, smoking in public places has become increasingly restricted during the late twentieth century. Given the changes in numerous physical and social environments impacting on smoking messages and behaviors within the larger context of contemporary American ideologies about morality, identity, the body, and the social order, how has the relationship between smoking and identity changed? The task of this thesis is to explore this question from the perspective of 22 contemporary young adults with personal smoking histories. After reviewing social trends in cigarette consumption during the past century, I examine the present relationship between smoking and identity, including the influence of social factors, and the significance of identity to motivations and practices pertaining to self-restricted smoking and cessation. The work of constructing, reconstructing and negotiating one's moral identity through discourse and practice receives special attention.

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