Browsing by Author "Gould, Mark"
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- ItemAmericanized Buddhism and the Rise of the Individual-Experiential Religious Consciousness(2018) Kaplow, Benjamin J.; Gould, Mark; Herrala, MarkDrawing upon fieldwork conducted at two Buddhist centers in the Philadelphia area, I characterize the nature of religious commitment within Americanized Buddhism as part of a distinctly American transformation in religious thought, rather than a superficial modification of Asian Buddhist practice. This form of the religious commitment, the Individual-Experiential Religious Consciousness, is defined by the attributes of individualism, the primacy of experiential practice, and the universalization of religious validity, ritual, and access to religious truth. I claim that the Individual-Experiential Religious Consciousness is not limited to Buddhism, but is found in a variety of religious groups arising from the counterculture of the 1960s-70s. Utilizing Mark Gould’s theory of motivated religious disorder (Gould 2014), I analytically characterize the requisite causal conditions for the genesis of the Individual-Experiential Religious Consciousness, and aim to trace its institutionalization across religious movements. Drawing on a case study of Erhard Seminars Training, I argue that the Human Potential Movement and imported Zen of the 1960s and 70s were the first religious organizations to articulate this form of religiosity. Utilizing resource mobilization theory, I aim to articulate why the Individual-Experiential Religious Consciousness was first institutionalized in these movements. Lastly, by examining the organizational and religious composition of those early individual-experiential movements, I attempt to explain why they were superseded by the contemporary form of Americanized Buddhism.
- Item"But You Don't Look Sick": Medical Gaslighting and Disability Identity Among Individuals Living with POTS and ME/CFS(2021) Evenson, Sarah; Gould, MarkSome chronic illnesses are routinely screened for, easily recognized by physicians, and have effective treatments or perhaps even acure. Others are less-easily detected. Conditions that have a wide variety of subjective symptoms and do not appear on routine laboratory investigations present a specific diagnostic challenge. Patients with such conditions often experience medical gaslighting because the physician is unable to provide an explanation other than "it's all in your head." POTS and ME/CFS are two conditions that allow us to observe this phenomenon. The mostly-invisible nature of these illnesses makes them an ideal case for studying the ways in which health, illness, and disability are seen in our society. Doing so illuminates the ways in which capitalism dictates our bodily experiences. Using the narratives of 477 survey participants and 59 interviewees living with POTS and ME/CFS, this paper hopes to explain some of the difficulties of living with chronic, invisible illness by focusing on experiences of medical gaslighting and ableist microaggressions. I also examine how these experiences, when combined with internalized ableism, shape people's decision to self-identify as disabled or not.
- ItemClassroom Structure and Student Achievement: A Theory and Case Study(2011) Hulleberg, Anders; Gould, MarkOver the preceding decade, elementary school students in the Middleton and Orchardville school districts performed comparably on the mathematics section of the yearly state-administered standardized test. During the same period, however, secondary school students from the same two districts consistently performed disparately on the same section of the same test. After reviewing and rejecting the prevailing perspectives on inequality in student achievement, I propose that the divergence in test scores results from a lack of cooperative learning in Middleton secondary schools. I construct a theory of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the successful implementation of cooperative curricula in a classroom, hypothesizing that at least one of these conditions is absent in Middleton. Data collected during participant observation research, though not representative of the two districts, suggest that cooperative learning is more prevalent in Orchardville.
- ItemContingency, Validity, and Consent: A Critique of Power in Williamson’s Transaction Cost Economics(2010) Sanchez, David V.; Gould, MarkIn his Transaction Cost Economics, Oliver Williamson conceptualizes power as hierarchical fiat that is obeyed by agents out of their self-interest. This conception of power is consistent with the neoclassical nature of his theory, but it means that he cannot understand the motivation of consummate performance in the workplace (and hence the solution to the principal-agent problem), the constitution of valid power that is obeyed by an agent even when it is not in her self-interest, or the importance of reduced complexity for the successful operation of power. In contrast, conceptualizing power as a generalized medium of communication allows one to better understand the operation of power within the firm.
- ItemCrisis and Resolution in the Development of Judaism(2014) Stadler, Christopher; Gould, MarkIn 587 B.C. the kingdom of Judah was invaded by the Babylonian empire, the Davidic king was dethroned, his heirs slaughtered, and Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon were razed. These events motivated the construction of a new religious logic, characterized by universal natural law and covenantal particularism, which became constitutive of Judaism. I specify the conditions under which this cultural structure was generated and identify them historically. This serves as an exercise in constructing a model of cultural change in which cultural attributes can be given causal explanations.
- ItemCultural Codes and Emotional Expression: The New Racism in Psychiatric Interviews(2014) Howe, Nora; Gould, MarkThe tools used to make psychiatric diagnoses are unable to evaluate effectively the emotional expression of African American patients. The different histories and social positions of Caucasians and African Americans mean that the two groups have different cultural norms. Cultural norms, the learned and shared meanings that allow us to interact with others, regulate all facets of our behavior, including emotional expression. In this thesis, I analyze psychiatric transcripts of Caucasian and African American patients and find that the tools used for psychiatric diagnosis--the semistructured interview and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--favor the emotional expressions consistent with Caucasian cultural norms. Further, the bias in the diagnostic tools creates the possibility that emotional expressions common to African Americans, such as anger and defensiveness, will be interpreted as psychosis. Psychiatric diagnosis and treatment of African Americans will remain ineffective and potentially harmful to patient wellness until psychiatric tools are restructured to account for the impact of cultural norms on emotional expression.
- ItemDoctors on Wall Street: A call for corporate responsibility through a sociological reconstruction of corporate law(2018) Ferro, Marco; Gould, Mark“Maximizing short term stock price” has become the watchword of the modern corporation. A law and economic conception of corporate law does not allow for a meaningful characterization of multiple principal – single agent relationships. The result is that within corporate law, executives of public corporations have fiduciary duties towards shareholders that do not extend to other stakeholders. This characterization of corporate fiduciary responsibilities leads to a set of socially undesirable outcomes that compromise product quality, undermine worker’s safety, and damage communities. To prevent corporate irresponsibility executives must be granted the space to make decisions in the interest of all corporate stakeholders. This is only meaningful, however, if corporate law is grounded in a sociologically reconstructed economic theory that allows managers to act as fiduciaries for multiple constituents.
- ItemEducation in Post-Colonial Tanzania(2022) Todd, Seth; Gould, MarkThis paper examines public education in post-colonial Tanzania, primarily from the period of 1964-1985, when Julius Nyerere lead the country as its president. I examine the post-colonial, socialist ideology that served as the guide for post-colonial state building. In the education system specifically, I examine the "community schools" that were developed in accordance with the Arusha Declaration, which codified Ujamaa as the unifying ideology of the new nation state, and intended to build socialism through agricultural modernization. This paper argues that there were significant problems with the community schools that hindered the completion of goals outlined by the Arusha Declaration. Namely, the continued usage of British examination systems, the national curriculum that was used, and the national-local conflicts that occurred in educational administration. I do this by analyzing Nyerere's personal writings, workforce composition of the time period, and a case study of a prototype community school in the Kwamsisi region prior to national adoption of the structure.
- ItemGender Equality in an Authoritarian State: Russia (1917-2016)(2022) Kozitskaia, Anastasia; Gould, MarkThis work will explore the regression of the progressive reforms of the Russian Revolution in 1917 to the ascendancy of an authoritarian social order in its effects on gender and sexuality. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, under Yeltsin's leadership, feminist discourse emerged that attempted to implement values that were initially outlined within the 1917 revolutionary agenda as well as, again, in the post-Stalin liberation movement (post-1953). The values that were central to the Russian Revolution were inclusive of women, challenging the patriarchal social order as well as family structures. Unfortunately, the Revolution never succeeded in eliminating the traditional-hierarchical values that subordinated women and other gender and sexual minorities in Russian society. Forty years later, in the post-Stalin era, the next Russian rulers attempted to establish a more liberal society with the transition to social democracy under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. Policies, such as glasnost' ("openness") and perestroika ("reconstruction), were implemented, ultimately leading to the demise of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, feminist movements and organizations reappeared to implement more fully values that were taken from the Russian Revolution. With considerable efforts in place, it seems paradoxical that the feminist movement was unable to legitimate itself within the broader Russian society, failing to mobilize activist groups and generate support for the liberal feminist ideas. Instead, Vladimir Putin's government developed nationalistic narratives appealing to "cultural authenticity, tradition, and religion" to legitimate an authoritarian regime where "traditional notions of family and femininity are endorsed so as to represent national power against the West and to invigorate social unity and morality in [Russian society]" (Dogangun 2020). Why has this shift occurred? How was Putin able to consolidate a patrimonial government and legitimate anti-feminist measures in opposition to the liberal-democratic wave?
- ItemIn Pursuit of Flexibility: U.S. Higher Education and Young Overseas Chinese Elites(2021) Jia, Jixin; Gould, MarkThis paper investigates the pursuit of "flexible citizenship" (FC) through U.S higher education system among young overseas Chinese elites and describes its relationship with Berry's (1997) model of acculturation strategies (AS). Drawing upon in-depth interviews with 30 undergraduate Chinese students from eight elite colleges and universities in the U.S., this paper outlines the structural forces and psychological processes that are involved in the pursuit of FC. I argue that not all the young overseas Chinese elites have the motives to pursue or attain FC, and FC can only be pursued through the adoption of a certain AS. More specifically, findings from my research suggest that: 1) Two motives for the young overseas Chinese elites to pursue FC through U.S higher education system are: a. He/she/they is interested in acquiring a permanent residency in the United States. b. He/she/they is interested in working/living in a place where the cultural/social/symbolic capital one accumulates through U.S higher education could boost or facilitate his life orcareer there. 2) "FC" can be pursued in the education system if and only if one adopts an "integration" strategy, as defined in Berry's model, in the acculturation process. In other words, adopting any one of the other three ASs in the same model (assimilation, separation, and marginalization) does not lead to the pursuit, or the attainment of FC.
- ItemInstrumental Activism at the End of Life: Theorizing the Role of American Culture in the Provision of Aggressive Medical Care(2013) Ikeda, Daniel; Gould, MarkIn this thesis, I move to situate the provision of "aggressive" end of life care within the broader context of Americans' cultural understandings of death and dying. Drawing principally from the works of Talcott Parsons, Victor Lidz, and Renée C. Fox, I argue that Americans approach death with a cultural orientation of “instrumental activism,” a pattern of action whose roots in a neo-Weberian conceptualization of the Protestant Ethic leads individuals to dedicate themselves to activities that, on rational grounds, seek “to maximize human control over the conditional elements of the life situation” (Parsons and Lidz 1967: 139). As a result, I hypothesize, individuals steeped in an American cultural orientation of “instrumental activism” are more apt to embrace aggressive care—like CPR—at the end of life even with the knowledge that such interventions might not prove successful in the meaningful extension of life.
- ItemStructures, the Construction of Meaning, and Subsequent Strategies in Online Poker(2007) Ezrapour, Shawn; Gould, Mark
- ItemTHE AMERICAN MILITIA MOVEMENT: The Reassertion of Traditional-Hierarchical Values in the Face of Egalitarianism(2022) Gorski, Mark Heydorn; Gould, MarkThrough the election of Donald Trump, the far-right militia movement has been incorporated as a violent wing of a wave of populism in America. By publicly evoking traditional-hierarchical values which are racist, xenophobic, and sexist, Trump created space within which far-right factions can operate and legitimate their activities. Militias violently reassert traditional-hierarchical values in the face of dominant, egalitarian values. Contemporary militias, though, are part of a long tradition of white men reacting to perceptions of changing power structures that I view through the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement as well as in light of legal decisions like Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Militias use traditional-hierarchical values to resist perceived national incursions upon their autonomy; they endeavor to reconstruct hierarchical race relations and the power ingrained in those relations. By tracing the trajectory of traditional-hierarchical and egalitarian values throughout American history, we may dissect the relationship between mainstream conservatism and militias.
- ItemThe Birth of the Clone: The Emergence of Gay Masculinity in the United States, 1900-1980(2018) Chalfoun, Andrew J.; Gould, MarkAt the beginning of the twentieth century, the dominant paradigm of gay identity in the United States was the fairy, whose primary distinguishing feature was the adoption of culturally feminine characteristics and mannerisms. By the seventies, the fairy was a small minority in the gay community, which was dominated by “clones,” who expressed their sexuality through a butch masculinity. In this thesis, I characterize the mechanism of this transition, focusing on the impact of social control. To instill fairy identity among its members, the subculture needed to overcome the masculine socialization that gay individuals experienced in the family and the larger society. This required a stable set of institutions in which gays could act in an effeminate manner and new entrants could be educated to conform to a feminine gender identity and presentation. Beginning in the thirties, law enforcement agencies increased their repression of gay life, using effeminacy as a signifier of homosexuality. This undermined gay institutions’ capacity to instill and reinforce the subculture’s norms, so that entrants into the community after the thirties were more likely to retain the masculine gender categories into which they were socialized. These new entrants formed subgroups within the community that redefined sexual interest in men as consistent with masculinity. These groups expanded until masculinity became the dominant expression of gay sexuality.
- ItemThe Carceral State and the Welfare State: Traditional Racism and New Racism in the Context of Mass Incarceration(2014) Thorn, Joshua; Gould, MarkIn my thesis I attempted to synthesize two distinct ways of looking at racism in American society. Michelle Alexander calls our criminal justice system explicitly discriminatory and racist, specifically indicting mass incarceration and the war on drugs, making the system seem guilty of traditional old‐fashioned racism. However, other scholars have argued out that the racism of today's U.S. is a 'new racism', which arises due to egalitarian assumptions about equal opportunity when certain groups perform less well than other groups. This is different from the explicit racism that characterized slavery and Jim Crow, where certain groups were denied equal opportunity on face. My thesis attempts to make clear how new racist assumptions and labeling were able to be institutionalized in our criminal justice system in such a way that the system acts in ways that are explicitly discriminatory. I first looked at survey data from the General Social Survey and the 1991 National Race and Politics Survey that dealt with respondents' attitudes towards criminality and welfare, arguing that the racial stigma surrounding criminals is the same sort of stigma that Martin Gilens tracked when analyzing opposition to welfare and its reform in the 1990s. I then looked at the effects of contact with the criminal justice system on individuals, using Vesla Weaver's argument that close contact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system makes individuals less likely to engage with civic and political institutions. I last look at the current calls towards decarceration, and argued that, due to the already institutionalized assumptions that certain groups are less sympathetic as criminals/offenders, specialized courts (like drug courts) would have an unintended effect of increasing racial disparity in the U.S. prison population.
- ItemThe Economic Foundations of Democratization: The Case of Taiwan and Implications for Mainland China(2019) Zhu, Wei (William); Gould, MarkWhy did democratization occur in Taiwan in the 1980s and 1990s? What can Taiwan’s democratization experience tell us about Mainland China’s prospect of democratization? This paper introduces an original version of modernization theory to answer these questions. I show that from the late 1970s to the 1980s, Taiwan transitioned from the labor-intensive manufacturing economy to the tech-innovation economy. Under an embedded authoritarian Kuomintang (KMT) party state, the economic restructuring achieved limited growth and caused the public to develop motivational goals for democratization. The combination of weakening state control and strong public motivations for democratization generated the conditions for democratic movements. To avoid a democratic revolution, the authoritarian KMT party initiated democratic reforms in 1986. Meanwhile, Mainland China’s industrial economy lagged behind Taiwan by 30 years. Since 2006, China has been pushing for an economic upgrading from a labor-intensive to a techinnovation economy. From the comparative case study of China’s Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region and Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, I show that the predatory authoritarian YRD regional government hinders the growth of the tech-innovation industry, and thus eliminates the public motivations for democratization. In contrast, the embedded authoritarian PRD regional government promotes the growth of the tech-innovation industry but inhibits it from attaining global competitiveness, and thus generates the public motivations for democratization. Hence, this paper predicts that if the state control weakens in China, democratic movements are likely to occur in the PRD region and unlikely to occur in the YRD region.
- ItemThe Intersections of Civil Religion, Secularism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity: the Case of Modern Day India(2023) Bhat, Amolina; Gould, Mark
- ItemTHE KING'S REVOLUTION: A Prolegomenon on De-Democratization at the Dawn of the 21st Century(2021) Benjamini, Jonah; Gould, MarkThe 21st century has seen a global resurgence of right-wing populist movements that challenge extant democratic institutions, making the search for a systematic approach to these ‘democratic-backsliding' events of ever-increasing importance. This paper defines the phenomenon under examination as revolutionary to employ a general theoretical framework through which de-democratization may be analyzed and proactively addressed: (1) strain, an opportunity structure, an authorizing belief, and precipitating factors constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions for the genesis of intra-state revolutionary activity; (2) an authorizing social movement elects a candidate who then affects a revolution from within along a developmental progression from are definition of executive powers, to a reorganization of the political collectivity, then a redefinition of institutionalized norms, and finally a total revolution of the base values that enable a radically different authority structure; (3) the sustainability of the anti-democratic movement is determined by its ability to garner legitimation from the societal community by a set of subterranean values, justification through patrimonial allegiances within a formal bureaucracy, and surplus product from the economy. This scheme is applied to the contemporary United States, where it is argued the 2016 election of Donald Trump and his activity in office manifest latent proto-fascist conditions in the first stages of what might become a more radical revolution within the state. Effective policy targets the variables that constitute the source of popular support.
- ItemThe Morals of the Market: Implementing Fiduciary Standards in Financial Advising(2018) Niesobecki, Stephen Paul; Gould, MarkIn this essay I provide a sociological characterization of the changes that the Department of Labor’s “Fiduciary Rule” proposes for the financial advising industry. The “Fiduciary Rule” would hold financial advisors to fiduciary standards when providing their clients with advice pertaining to a limited set of financial instruments. As fiduciaries, financial advisors would be legally obligated to act solely in the interest of their client rather treating their client as a contracting party. Fiduciary law also regulates professional relationships, legally reinforcing the professional ethics that obligate professionals to act solely on behalf of their clients. I conceptualize the “Fiduciary Rule” as an attempt to impose professional ethics upon a non-professional occupation by sanctioning financial advisors whose actions do meet fiduciary standards. Professional ethics are binding on professionals only insofar as professional groupings reinforce them collectively. Without such a grouping there is no way to institutionalize a set of professional ethics that would motivate financial advisors to act as fiduciaries in the absence of proximate situational sanctions. The “Fiduciary Rule” may therefore succeed in mitigating fraud and abuse by financial advisors while at the same time failing to transform financial advisors into fiduciaries.