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Collection Description

Collection of student theses and dissertations from as early as 1939, but mainly from 2010 to present.

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¿Cómo está la línea? Understanding the lived experience and perceived stress of transborder workers in the Baja California-San Diego borderlands
U.S. immigration and border enforcement have intensified militarization and surveillance throughout the United States-México transborder region. The Baja California-San Diego borderlands is one of the most crossed border regions in the world where transborder people frequently commute and interact with U.S. agents at militarized ports of entry. Limited research has demonstrated transborder commuters experience stress from long border wait times and border policing. However, research has not been conducted to understand how transborder workers live with the associated stress in their everyday lives. This study explored the lived experience of transborder workers navigating from México through U.S. ports of entry in the Baja California-San Diego borderlands and the embodiment of structural violence through perceived stress. Through a hermeneutic phenomenological design, the study centered the testimonios (lived experiences) of nine participants to understand the relational meaning of their experiences and the phenomenon of perceived stress. Purposeful and snowball sampling methods were used to recruit participants and semi-structured one-on-one phone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. van Manen’s six-stage approach (1990) guided the iterative explicitation of the data to highlight salient themes. The findings revealed four themes: 1) Positionality, 2) Environment, 3) Situations, and 4) Adaptation and Coping Strategies. The participants had between two to 35 years of experience crossing to San Diego from México and crossed between two to six times a week. Participants’ perceived stress were expressed through feelings of anger, anxiety, fear, or relief when experiencing unpredictable interactions with U.S. agents, personal questioning, fragility of documentation, loss of time from long wait times, traffic congestion, and direct exposure to weather conditions. Also, participants reported experiencing mental and physical exhaustion and chronic stress as long-term health outcomes of commuting. The findings illustrate U.S. immigration and border enforcement (re)produce mobility inequalities that sustain time poverty across the different processing lanes and participants constantly adapt their strategies to cope. The study highlights the importance of addressing the experience of perceived stress among transborder workers and monitoring the health impacts of chronic stress to inform policy change on border policing practices., San Diego State University
Ñuu Savi Sini Ñu'un Tiatyi: A renewal of Mixteco epistemology of Mother Earth
This thesis shows how the Mixteco epistemology of Mother Nature (Ñuu Savi Sini Ñu'un Tiatyi) is continued and renewed in the Mixteco (Ñuu Savi) community of San Diego, particularly through the teachings of Don Erasto Camacena, a Mixteco elder. Due to the way Indigenous knowledge has been undermined by the colonial relations established in the American continents, it has been a challenge to Indigenous scholars to legitimate Indigenous philosophies in the academy, which is based on the Western tradition of thought of the colonizers. As a result, my work seeks to decolonize my academic approach to the studies of Indigenous migrant communities through the adaptation of an Indigenous Paradigm in my writing. Two important questions will be addressed in this thesis. First of all, how does the Ñuu Savi Sini Ñu'un Tiatyi create knowledge about the self and the world? And secondly, how do I respond to a fragmented system of Western knowledge in a United States research setting through the Ñuu Savi Sini Ñu'un Tiatyi? Subsequent questions that emerge are: How can the use of an Indigenous paradigm serve collaborators who work with Indigenous communities to account for the orally transmitted knowledge of their elders in a research project? How can I use interpretive methodologies to create a space for the practice and results of my collaboration with Don Erasto? I will use an auto-ethnographic approach coupled with Indigenous storywork in order to reveal how the Ñuu Savi Sini Ñu'un Tiatyi operates within myself and how it has in this way encountered Western knowledge. In chapter one I will discuss culture loss and how it connects to my personal challenge of finding an adequate means to responsibly account for the teachings of elders. Chapter two will elaborate on the way Indigenous knowledge has been undermined by Western knowledge and how the Indigenous paradigm has emerged as a means to reincorporate these epistemologies into current academic work on Indigenous peoples. Chapter three will focus on how interpretive methodologies championed by third and fourth world scholars are useful in framing my personal narrative. In Chapter four I will discuss the role of the border in understanding the limitations imposed on Indigenous epistemologies. Chapter five will narrate my experience with the Ñuu Savi community in San Diego and my progressive change in consciousness away from a fragmented way of knowing. Chapter six will conclude this thesis.
‘Audibles’ in attitude: Persuasive messages and the presentation of anti-bullying campaign messages in the context of sport
The culture of bullying in the context of sport is a problem for many athletic organizations. There is a growing desire among athletes, coaches, fans, and the general public to see this epidemic of bullying subside. Despite these trends, there are still many social groups who are unaware or opposed to such initiatives to combat bullying. The state of the topic is reviewed, including current events of bullying in sport, and the continuum of gayacceptance and affiliation, which has been shown to be a common factor in many instances of athletics-based bullying. The general assumption is that sport often cultivates homophobic and hegemonic masculine roots. Next, frame theory is addressed to provide a conceptual perspective toward the process of message campaigns designed to influence attitudes toward bullying in sport. This study was designed to survey college students through an online questionnaire and to collect data on the most effective messages and techniques that could be used to persuade the public in adopting anti-bullying and gay-acceptance sentiments in the context of sport. A detailed procedure of the study will then follow, as well as predicted hypotheses will be outlined in the proposal to this research, along with possible future directions. Finally, the results section will detail how that although the three hypotheses were not supported, and the reliability of some elements of the survey were hard to establish, the data shows that there are indeed preferred messages amongst the participants. Specifically, participants rated gain frames higher than loss frames, females rated messages generally higher than males, and age influenced responses on bullying education and types of sport.
“#iorestoacasa”: Twitter and the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic in Milan, Italy. A Temporal and translation comparison using word clouds and frequency tables, pointwise mutual information, and latent Dirichlet allocation topic models
In 2020, the Italian city of Milan became one of the first epicenters of COVID-19 outside of Asia. Its decision-makers were ill-prepared in managing the outbreak. This research conducted content analysis of geotagged tweets in Milan during the government enforced lockdown in March 2020 and after the lockdown in May 2020. It provides a temporal and translational comparison of over 545,000 Italian language tweets and their English translation. The Italian tweets were harvested using Italian and English keywords. The translation tool deepL was used to translate all Italian tweets into English. Three methods were used for the temporal and translational comparisons: word clouds and frequency tables, pointwise mutual information (PMI) score, and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic models. The temporal comparison reveals that tweets during the lockdown in March 2020 (Phase I) focused more on the containment of the virus and the disruption on daily routine, like soccer events and gatherings. When the lockdown was lifted in May 2020 (Phase II), the themes included testing, origin, vaccines, possible treatments for COVID-19, political criticism on pandemic management, and unsafe public health behavior. The translation comparison revealed that translation mistakes can make or break communication and understanding during high-stakes situations like the pandemic. It showed contextual mistranslations, mistranslations due to encoding, gender errors, and possible machine learning model errors that can be improved over time. By combining both the temporal and translational analysis, this work hopes to help local leaders in managing future pandemics and other healthcare crises from a multilingual perspective., San Diego State University
“A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men”: Breaking the secrecy between African-American mothers and daughters about familial childhood sexual abuse
Keeping the secret of childhood sexual abuse creates unbelievable pressure for the carrier of that secret. Childhood sexual abuse is the sexual mistreatment of any child under the age of 18. It is a phenomenon shrouded in secrecy that affects children of every race, sex, culture, and ethnic group. Abuse suffered during childhood or adolescence breeds shame, distrust, and most of all secrecy. Children who have been abused may hold onto their secrets for months or even years. Unfortunately, cultural norms may also hinder the child from sharing their secret. As is the case in the African-American generational culture of secrecy, African-American mothers teach their children, especially their daughters, at very young age, not to relay information to anyone outside of their home, perpetuating the culture of “keeping your business out of the street.” This generational culture of secrecy comes at a very high cost to the child, breeding a future of long-term mental and emotional scars that follow them well into adulthood. This research is a qualitative study using an autoethnographic approach in order to investigate the communicative breaks in the relationships between African-American mothers and daughters who have survived childhood sexual abuse. I interviewed women from my immediate family and close friends concerning their experiences with familial childhood sexual abuse and the lack of communication they had with their mothers. The aim of this study is to understand what communicative elements hinder disclosure between African-American mothers and daughters.
“No one is close to me, and no one ever will be”: An autoethnographic study of familial silence surround depression and sexuality
Depression is prevalent all over the world. Yet, depression is an illness that people are afraid to talk about because of the stigma associated with it. However, research reveals that most people with depression benefit from discussing with others their illness and accompanying symptoms. While opportunities may exist for people to talk about their depression, a wide range of factors inhibit their openness, thus limiting the support that family or friends might offer the affected individual. Specifically, depressed individuals fear that expressing their symptoms might burden others and possibly risk losing their close friendships. Furthermore, this relates to the fear of disclosure for gay men. Thus, individuals develop techniques for silencing themselves and withdrawing from contexts in which they might disclose to others. Although these disclosures may occur, many individuals integrate self-silencing tactics into their daily lives that exacerbates their depression or creates disconnect with others. Some research has shown that abstaining from disclosing may have negative ramifications. By unveiling the reasons people remain silent about their identities in families, professionals could enhance their understanding about silence, depression, and coming out. As someone who has suffered with depression and attempted suicide, I have engaged in the self-silencing techniques of my medical condition within my family. Moreover, before coming out, I engaged in concealment from my family about my sexuality. This research will investigate the perceptions of silencing that my family members and I have experienced throughout my episodes of depression and coming out. Through an autoethnographic approach that includes introspection and interviewing, this research blends my story with the stories my family members tell of their perceptions of depression, sexuality, communication, and silencing. Keywords: Stigma, Depression, Sexuality, Family Communication, and Silence
“We need to text” Romantic relationship conflict mediated through text messaging
Texting is becoming more normalized through having casual conversations with friends and loved ones, but what happens when there is a conflict between a romantic couple and they attempt to solve their disagreement via text messaging? The majority of research that currently exists on computer-mediated communication (CMC) discusses the use of email and online instant messaging (IM) technologies, through social networking sites (SNS), for relational conflict and maintenance purposes. This study is one of the only studies that attempts to explore how romantic partners utilize text messaging when navigating relational conflict, and the result that this text messaging has on conflict and relational outcomes. Results revealed that using texting to traverse conflict could yield both positive and negative relational outcomes. The relational outcome may be dependent on the message strategies used, either constructive or destructive, as well as the individual’s conflict style. Furthermore, replying to a conflict message quickly is more preferable during conflict, but latency to the message is associated with both positive and negative relational outcomes. Overall, this paper draws light on the complex nature of text messaging when attempting to handle romantic relationship conflict. Keywords: conflict, romantic relationships, computer-mediated communication (CMC), text messaging, conflict styles, response latency, relational satisfaction
“Ya acabó la canción:” Reproductive injustice and Chicana testimonio as resistance in Madrigal v. Quilligan
Between 1971 and 1974, hundreds of women of Mexican descent were sterilized without their knowledge or consent at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, a federally funded teaching hospital. With the support of then-recently graduated lawyer Antonia Hernández and the feminist organization Comisión Feminil, ten women came forward and testified on their experiences in the landmark civil rights case Madrigal v Quilligan. This thesis attempts to uncover the ways access to public health has been racialized and gendered and the ways the women who testified embodied experiences of trauma, healing, and community. By exploring court testimony and amplifying the women’s voices, this thesis hopes to expand the historiography of reproductive justice advocacy by showing how testimony and access can be used as a strategy for resistance and disrupt systems of whiteness. Pairing court testimonies and women’s narratives with traditions of storytelling, community pláticas (conversations), and curanderismo (holistic healing) – this paper demonstrates the way public health has rejected and problematized bodies of color and nonwesternized ways of healing and thinking. This research engages with critical race theory, embodied knowledge, and oppositional consciousness to explore disparities in access to public health and reproductive rights. Through the analysis of these sources, this work critically engages with systems of whiteness embedded in law and medicine that attempt to place women of color under structures of reproductive bondage. This work fits into the growing field of Chicana feminist studies by exploring the dangerous implications of medical abuses on women of color alongside broader histories of power and care within the Chicano/a Rights Movement., San Diego State University