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Please visit our honors thesis library in suite 2202 of the FedEx Global Education Center to read these amazing pieces of scholarship. For a full list of theses collected in the curriculum in Global Studies, visit our Honors Thesis Database.


Evaluating Agricultural Productivity Development Projects in Rural Cambodia

Advised by Pamela Jagger


Eva Archer analyzes three case studies of development projects in rural Cambodia that target agricultural productivity as a tool for poverty alleviation. Each case is grounded in a different ideology of development and takes a separate approach to tackle the goals of diversifying and intensifying food production. She examines the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability of each project and makes recommendations for future implementations and public policy.



The History of the Holocaust in Film and Fiction

Advised by Donald Reid



Spencer Beasley examines a documentary film and two novels that pertain to Holocaust history in order to evaluate the ways in which film and fiction perpetuate societies’ evolving Holocaust memory. She contends that, by way of their ability to foster a personal, emotional connection to audiences, cinematic and fictional projects such as these three effectively carry on the living memory of the Holocaust and thereby ensure its continuing importance today.



Makings of a Modern ‘Model Minority’: Ethnic Koreans in Northeast China

Advised by Michael Tsin

conklinThis thesis is part of the larger body of literature that looks at minority relations in the context of a modern nation-state, examining in particular, China’s minority nationality policies. The main body of this work takes a critical approach to the ‘model minority’ stereotype of ethnic Koreans in northeastern China and its significance for contemporary minority relations in China. It places the origin of the stereotype in the comments of China’s Minister of Education in 1951, deconstructs the historic elements that contributed to the stereotype, and explores how the stereotype and the ethnic Korean community it describes have changed over time, paying close attention to the time since China’s market opening and reforms began. The goal is to see how the ethnic Korean community in Northeast China has responded to China’s economic reforms and how the economic reforms have affected ethnic Koreans’ place in the Chinese state.


James DING

Watts, Water, Wireless: The benefits and deficiencies of “tech waves” in rural India

Advised by Nikhil Kaza

dingThis thesis examines the role that platform technologies play in poverty reduction in one of the most disadvantaged regions of the world—northwestern India. Once a small, remote village acquires infrastructural public goods, why and at what rate do individual households then procure the technological products and services that these platform technologies enable? Especially in the India context, how are the socioeconomic benefits elicited from these platforms and products skewed along the lines of caste and socioeconomic class?

Fourteen interviews were conducted in Kadmal, a village in the state of Rajasthan. Quantitatively, household assets and expenditures were itemized. Qualitatively, we sought to understand the benefits that various technologies have had and the distribution of these benefits.

Findings indicate that the past few decades have witnessed a technological revolution in this small, remote village, especially in the realms of electricity, water, and telecommunications. Six major impetuses drive the patterns of household procurement of these three technologies. Most importantly, access to technological public goods and the ability to capitalize on nascent technologies continue to be severely skewed against the lower castes and the poor.



Living with Disability in Mae Wan: an In-Depth Examination of Disabilities in Rural Northern Thailand

Advised by Iheoma Iruka


Hannah Kibort-Crocker’s thesis provides an examination of disability in the developing world by presenting a detailed look at the lived of people with disabilities in a rural community in the periphery of Northern Thailand. This study brought to light considerable inequality in the spheres of education and employment as well as underutilization of medical services and a significant urban-rural service gap.



Identifying the Strengths and Weaknesses of South Africa’s Social Assistance Programs

Advised by Heidi Reynolds

mahinAs stated in the title, the purpose of Mahin’s research was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of three South African social assistance programs: the Old Age Pension, Child Support Grant, and Disability Grant. While trying to understand the relative and strengths of weaknesses of these programs she focused on the extent to which these programs are addressing the needs of the most vulnerable groups. What she found is that existing South African social assistance programs are addressing the needs of a number of South Africa’s vulnerable groups. She identified two groups whose needs did not appear to be met by these programs and these were a group that she termed the “near old” (which she used to refer to persons between 40- 60 years of age) and HIV affected households. Mahin defined HIV affected households as households with at least one HIV affected person.



Implications of Concentrated Media Ownership: A Study of the Chilean Case

Advised by Evelyne Huber

merrilThis thesis examines ownership of print media in Chile and hypothesizes political and societal consequences of this specific example of consolidated ownership. Today in Chile, ownership of the press is highly concentrated among two conglomerates: Consorcio Periodístico de Chile S.A (Copesa) and El Mercurio. In 2008, publications of these two companies accounted for 83.3% of average daily readership in the Santiago area, which is the most highly populated region of the country. While it is true that media ownership everywhere is becoming increasingly concentrated, the distinguishing factors in the Chilean case are: 1) very few publications present an opposing viewpoint and even fewer have significant readership; and 2) the process of consolidation occurred largely as a result of political actions as opposed to simply the forces of the free market.

Through a content analysis of selected sections of El Mercurio and La Tercera, the principle publications of el Mercurio and Copesa, respectively, I examine the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of candidate coverage in Chilean presidential elections since the return of democracy. This analysis includes the elections of 1993, 1999/2000, 2005/2006, and 2009/2010. By doing this, I was able to compare the characteristics of coverage for the political Right versus the political Left and postulate the implications of what I found to be biased news coverage.


Siddarth NAGARAJ

Primary Health Care in Urban India: Selection and Satisfaction

Advised by Sara Smith

nagarajSiddarth Nagaraj’s work examines the motivating factors that lead individuals in the city of Bangalore, India to seek medical services in government funded Primary Health Centres (PHCs) as opposed to small, privately owned primary care clinics that are administered by an individual doctor.  Although medical treatment provided in Primary Health Centres (which are also single-physician facilities) is free of cost, many PHCs suffer from understaffing, supply shortages and misuse of resources. Patients who visit these clinics are largely uninsured and have low income, while the vast majority of Indians who can afford to pay for healthcare avoid Primary Health Centres altogether and favor private sector healthcare instead.

In the course of his research, Nagaraj traveled to three PHCs and three private clinics in Bangalore and interviewed 152 patients and 7 doctors to determine what influences the choices made by patients in both types of clinic when they select their regular primary care physician. He concluded that apart from issues of cost, accessibility and awareness, confidence in a single physician and the presence of a strong doctor-patient relationship were major determinants in shaping individuals’ decisions about where to seek medical care, suggesting that despite its many shortcomings India’s flawed public health system can satisfy its constituent patients just as private clinics can if doctors form strong ties with those who come to see them.



Tibetan Women of the Tibetan Women’s NGO at the Nexus of Social Change

Advised by Lauren Leve

roozenMcKay Roozen’s thesis looks at Tibetan women’s NGOs and how Tibetan culture and the Chinese government are simultaneous constraints and challenges to the success of these NGOs. Her research discovered that the women who work at Tibetan Women’s NGOs are at the forefront of social change in their communities as Chinese and as Tibetans and that there were many restraints to their success. She expected to find that the Chinese government was the biggest restraining power to the success of Tibetan women’s NGOs. However, she discovered that Tibetan cultural restraints were a surprisingly important restraint that was often overlooked.


Benjamin ROSADO

Examining Structural Violence in Guatemala through Conceptions of Depressive Symptoms

Advised by Sue Estroff

rosadaBenjamin Rosado’s thesis offers a description as to how individuals in the Western highlands of Guatemala conceptualize the expression of depressive symptoms that were presented to them in a vignette. He interviewed 46 different individuals from different genders, ages, ethnicities, and geographic backgrounds. Throughout the interviews various themes relating to structural violence and social inequalities arose. This caused Rosado to shift the focus his study to examining the connection between expressions of depressive symptoms and its linkage to these elements of structural violence embedded in Guatemala’s social matrix. His thesis argues that conceptions of depressive symptoms can be used as a lens for examining dimensions of structural violence and social inequalities, and for examining the embodiment of those forces at the level of the lived experience.



Eating Behavior is Children’s Programming: Investigating a potential contributor to childhood obesity

Advised by James Ferguson

stephensonThere is a myriad of research correlating advertising with childhood obesity, but a dearth of studies analyzing the food content of the actual programs themselves. Given previous research on child vulnerability, there is strong reason to believe that the content of children’s programs–that is the food discussed and consumed by on-screen characters–may be contributing to the correlation between screen-time and childhood obesity. After coding the food content of 64 episodes (sixteen hours) of children’s programming on PBS, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and the Disney Channel, Elise Stephenson found that all networks were significantly different from two respected sources for dietary recommendations.  More specifically, 35-53% of the food presented fell into the category of solid fats and added sugars, compared to a recommendation of less than 4-10% by the American Academy of Pediatrics and United States Department of Agriculture. Further analysis showed significantly low amounts of dairy, fruits, and vegetables on these networks. This evidence suggests that the content of children’s programs may be contributing to childhood obesity, thereby presenting a new area for regulation and reform.

Brittany TEAGUE

El Embarazo After Emigration: Identity Reconceptualization during Pregnancy and Early Motherhood among Middle-Class Latina Immigrants in North Carolina

Advised by Julia Cardona Mack

teagueBrittany Teague’s honors thesis explores how middle-class Latina immigrants prepare to bring new lives into the world while they are in the absence of close family members from their countries of origin. After conducting in-depth interviews with ten Latina immigrants in North Carolina, she argues that pregnancy and early motherhood are illuminating times in which to study identity reformation among Latina immigrants because it is during these transition periods in which women must synthesize advice from family members and decide how to raise their children.  The decisions made at this point during an immigrant’s pregnancy establish the parameters in which she will operate throughout motherhood and throughout her life.  The results of the research highlight the numerous issues related to emigration that are illuminated during motherhood, such as differences between Latino and American culture, the significance of the name that first-generation parents give their second-generation child, and the importance of the retention of the mother’s culture and language of origin in second-generation Latinos.


A Revolution Makes Possible the Revolution: The impact of Zapatismo on indigenous women’s access to reproductive health services in Chiapas, Mexico

Advised by Altha Cravey

williamsCaitlin Williams’ research explores the impact of the creation of the rebel Zapatista health system on rural indigenous women’s access to health in Chiapas, Mexico. She compares the varying degrees to which the Zapatista health system and the federal government’s public health system address different barriers to care, such as language, militarization, and reproductive rights violations.