Browsing by Author "McKeever, Matthew"
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- ItemAn Apple a Day: An Exploration of Primary Care Physicians' Definitions of Health(2022) May, Phoebe; McKeever, MatthewThis thesis examines how physicians define health and prioritize care, and whether or not these definitions and priorities vary given geographic location and demographics of patient population. 18 different primary care physicians, including pediatricians, adult primary care providers, and geriatricians and from different areas on the East Coast, were interviewed. They served patient populations of varying demographics, some in privileged communities and others in underserved communities. The doctors that worked in privileged communities defined health as an individual social concept, focusing on holistic evaluations of care. The doctors that worked in underserved communities focused on how larger social institutions impacted the health states of their patients. Given these social barriers, these physicians provided care practically, working to ensure the provision of basic, physical health care to their patient populations. This data exposes problems with the canonical distinction between illness and sickness, a central health definition framework in medical sociology. To expand this framework to more adequately reflect how health functions and is defined, I propose expanding the definition of 'sickness' to include holistic sickness and practical sickness.
- ItemAsian American Educational Experiences and the Malleable Persistence of Orientalism(2016) Owyang, Kelsey; McKeever, MatthewIn this thesis, I examine contemporary stereotyping of Asian American students through the lens of the persistent and malleable legacy of Orientalism (Said 1978). I argue that Orientalism has evolved from a discourse of racial inequality facilitated by European conquest of Western Asia to a set of stereotyped attitudes and practices that relegate even American-born Asians to a lower social status than whites. Using interviews with twelve Asian American college students at three California universities, I examine the emergence and influence of Orientalist, anti-Asian stereotypes from two main sources: social interactions on campus and institutional treatment of Asian Americans within the university environment. I find that out-of-classroom educational experiences exert a significant influence on Asian American student identities and are key locations for the maintenance of Orientalist attitudes and practices.
- ItemBeyond Flesh and Blood: Gay and Lesbian Kinship Structures in Mid-Century America(2015) Thorp, Makenzie; McKeever, MatthewFrom the 1950s to the early 1970s, homosexual individuals experienced unprecedentedly widespread discrimination. This was largely due to the particular importance placed on the nuclear family at the time and the perception that homosexuality was incompatible with American family values. As a result, gay men and lesbians created countercultural community structures and spaces to facilitate new forms of kinship. These new kinship norms were shaped by choice, shared history, and community values, rather than biological connection. Due to the pervasive effects of gender roles, gay men and lesbians created separate communities with extremely different social, political, and spatial orientations. These distinct values resulted in contrasting kinship structures. However, as the twentieth century progressed, the gay and lesbian communities began to merge. This was brought on primarily by the emphasis on coalition building during the AIDS crisis. Consequently, the gay and lesbian community became more of a political conglomerate and its politics grew more assimilationist. This is exhibited by the prominence of same-sex marriage in the modern LGBT rights movement. The same-sex marriage movement illustrates that while gay men and lesbians have made tremendous political strides, adherence to normative family structures remains integral to acceptance and participation in American dominant culture.
- ItemCollective Realities: A Durkheimian Analysis of Evolution, Climate Change, and Southern Identity(2017) Dwyer, Sarah; McKeever, MatthewIn this paper, I argue that the positioning of science and religion as necessarily oppositional institutions obscures their historical relationship, as well as the social and political mechanisms that have caused them to be positioned antagonistically in contemporary American cultural perceptions. I use Durkheim’s theory of religion, and specifically his concept of collective realities, to analyze the relationship between evolution, climate change, and American Protestantism. I conclude that the construction of a regional Southern identity has led to the development of a collective reality in which religion, not science, acts as the truth-bearing institution, and that the theoretical framework of collective realities can help explain why poor, white Southerners are disproportionately unlikely to believe in both evolution and climate change.
- ItemGraduation Rates, A Measure of Student Achievement(2017) White, David; McKeever, MatthewFrom the 20th into the 21st century there has been extensive research into student achievement and the factors that bring forth such an accomplishment. Much the literature revolves around student test scores as a measure of student achievement. This paper uses graduation rates as a form a student achievement. Using a spline regression analysis, I analysis the graduation rates from 6135 school districts across the United States against demographic and financial factors. Average spending per student, average instructional expenditures per student, average pupil support service, and average instructional salary per student were all correlated with a positive relationship with graduation rates. Average spending on math, science, and teacher quality was correlated with a negative relationship with graduation rates.
- ItemHow to Be Both: Negotiating Professionalism and Activism in the Nonprofit Sector(2018) Friedman, Amanda; McKeever, MatthewIn this paper, I identify a conflict between professionalism and activism in the contemporary U.S. nonprofit sector (NPS). These two dimensions of the sector conflict in that they value and prioritize different facets of the NPS, are structured by different institutional logics, and have incompatible attitudes toward rationalization processes. I make the argument that the professionalism impulse shaping the sector threatens to overpower and displace the activism impulse. To evidence the conflict between activism and professionalism, I interviewed 12 nonprofit professionals employed at food justice organizations in Philadelphia and New York. From these interviews, I learned that despite the increasing professionalization of the NPS, nonprofit employees continue to enact the activist core of the sector by drawing motivation from personal activist commitments, approaching optimization and efficiency-maximizing processes with skepticism, centralizing community organizing and advocacy in their work, and strategically using relationships with funders to further their goals. Finally, I question what is at stake when all activism within a social movement landscape is confined within organizational forms.
- ItemInstagram vs. Reality: Conceptions of Authenticity Among Instagrams Micro-Influencers(2019) Connors, Noah E.; McKeever, MatthewSocial media micro-influencer marketing is a booming, multi-billion-dollar industry, and Instagram is, far and away, the platform of choice for marketers. Central to narratives advanced in popular media and advertising industry publications is the notion that influencers are effective at advertising products because they are considered ‘authentic’ in the eyes of their respective audiences. This thesis attempt to interrogate the concept of authenticity among Instagram influencers themselves, and asks: What is considered authentic among the micro-=influencers of Instagram, and what is its significance? Drawing upon previous research and interviews with five Instagram micro-influencers, I argue that authenticity is a fraught performance. I then suggest detail three ‘balancing acts’ central to micro-influencers’ strategies of performing authenticity: 1) a balancing act between back-stage practices and front-stage performance, in a dramaturgical sense; 2) a balancing act between practices of emulation and practices of distinction; and 3) a balancing act between relatability and marketability.
- ItemRestorative Justice Education and Masculinity: Three Interactional Resources Gained in a Prison Context(2019) Grolig, Amanda; McKeever, Matthew; Ronen, ShellyThis paper identifies three interactional resources that supported and continue to support four men in enacting non-violent masculinities both during and after a period of incarceration. These include discursive resources, which are the new ways in which the respondents learned to speak about harm, justice, their pasts, and the incidents that led to their incarceration; positive social ties, which are the support networks that enable them to live in accordance with their aspirations; and affective resources, which are the emotional capacities that allow them to create non-violent and close relationships with other people. They gained these resources through several prison programs and activities, but the effects of Let’s Circle Up, a restorative justice education group, are specifically explored. I assert that Let’s Circle Up provides a model for how programs (both inside and outside of prison) can support men in enacting non-violent masculinities.
- Item"Sustainability" and the Consumer: The Ideological and Discursive Limits of Environmentalism(2020) Kesterson, Hayden; McKeever, MatthewThis paper explores what is meant when one says a food is sustainably produced. Conversations with the main food buyer in the households of college professors on the Main Line of Philadelphia are analyzed through the frameworks of ideology and discourse as laid out by Althusser and Foucault, respectively. Such an analysis of the understandings made by a well educated and (relatively) financially well off group of their grocery buying decisions reveals a complicated conception of what it means to be sustainable. Sustainability, though acknowledged as a structural concern, is melded through the ideological apparatuses at play in the grocery store and wider discourses of consumption, to ultimately be an attribute of individual habits. "Sustainability," as a concept, is thus curtailed to an amorphous and apolitical meaning. Ideological subject formation and the discourse that comes concomitantly with it ensure that "sustainability" can only ever refer to the actions of an individual or group of individuals within current political and economic systems, rather than a potential bridge to the type of social change necessary to combat climate change according to climate experts.
- ItemThe De-Legitimation of Evo Morales(2020) Provencal-Fogarty, Daniel; McKeever, MatthewIn 2005, Bolivia elected its first indigenous president, Evo Morales, to office. Morales ran on a radical platform of socialist reform and indigenous empowerment, and in doing so became the first president to earn over 50% of Bolivia's popular vote. Over the course of his presidency, Morales succeeded in carrying out many of his campaign promises: significant improvements were made to Bolivia's infrastructure, economy, and public schools, and the country drastically reduced rates of illiteracy and poverty. Yet, nearly 15 years later, Morales was removed from power following mass protests and pressure from the Bolivian military. He fled the country along with many of his party's elected officials, leaving Jeanine Añez Chavez, a right-wing politician with an explicitly anti-indigenous agenda to serve as the interim president. This paper seeks to answer the question of why this transition of power took place, considering that many of Morales' policies were successful in actualizing many of his campaign promises which had mobilized revolutionary support less than 20 years ago—or more simply put, what caused such a dramatic shift in the values reflected by Bolivia's political leadership?
- ItemThe French Disconnection: Tracing the Expression of French Jewish Identity from Emancipation to Vichy(2018) Sax, Daniel Louis; McKeever, MatthewIn this paper I argue that the militant expression of Jewish identity among youth in Vichy France was not dependent on changes internal to the Jewish community, but rather on political and social constraints imposed by Vichy legislation. I present an analysis of Jewish identity development from the time of Jewish emancipation in France through the height of Vichy oppression to illuminate the extent to which French Jews altered their perception and performance of Jewishness in accordance with their social world. I rely on an adaptation of Weber’s theory of the ideal type to provide a framework through which I can form an initial typification of post-emancipation Jewish identity. Once this characterization is established, I examine how changes in the constraints faced by the Jewish youth community altered their participation in popular youth movements of the interwar and Vichy eras. I find that although post-emancipation Jewish identity expression was constituted through the abandonment of Jewish particularistic practice and adherence to French egalitarian values, interwar and Vichy French Jewish youth viewed their French and Jewish identities as compatible, and, furthermore, actively sought avenues through which they could defend their belonging as Jews in France.
- ItemThe New War on Drugs : How Biomedicine and Science Have Disguised the Value Conflict Over Harm Reduction(2019) Halperin-Goldstein, Gabriel; McKeever, MatthewWhile other countries such as Canada and Portugal have embraced safe injection facilities (SIFs), establishments that permit people to inject drugs under the supervision of medical personnel in order to prevent drug overdose-related mortalities, the United States has been resistant to this political change. This thesis examines how politicians and stakeholders use moral values and science to make claims pertaining to health policy, specifically focusing on the controversy over SIFs in Philadelphia. Political stakeholders frequently claim that the rise of scientific technology has removed moral value commitments from the political response to drug addiction, and that an appeal to scientific studies can help Philadelphia land on the best policy. However, I argue that the appeal to science disguises the true nature of the political controversy: a conflict of individualistic values versus values of social justice, the same value conflict that existed during the War on Drugs.
- ItemTwo Parties Diverged: Identifying Features of Congressional Cosponsorship Using Network Analysis(2021) Weiss, Ethan; McKeever, MatthewAcross the social sciences there has been rising concern over the level of polarization among American elites and the harmful implications of this trend. However, most approaches to this issue have been limited by their over reliance on Congressional voting records as a measure of cooperation, their inability to endogenize the stable working relationships integral to the legislative process,and their theoretical approaches that failed to synthesize the social and the structural influences on Congressional cooperation. Using records of cosponsorship in the House of Representatives dating back to 1999, I build and analyze cosponsorship networks to identify the significance of party affiliation and gender in determining patterns of bipartisan work over time. The most general conclusion is that a more comprehensive theoretical model for cooperation in Congress that includes both social and structural influences is possible. There are two notable findings when it comes to party. First, the pressure to work across party lines is greater for the minority party than for the majority party. Second, the Republican party is much more diverse in its approaches to compromise than the Democratic party. There are three important results regarding gender. First, women in both parties in the House generally cosponsor more than men, though this trend is stronger among Democrats than Republicans. Second, in the Democratic party, women cosponsor within their own party more than men but cosponsor across party lines at the same rate as men. The opposite is true for Republicans. Finally, twenty years ago women worked more across party lines with women than men, but this trend has disappeared today. Implications and avenues for future research are briefly discussed.