Texas A&M International University

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    Cybercrime and Facebook: An Examination of Lifestyle Routine Activity Theory
    Morales, Kristina E; San Miguel, Dr. Claudia
    The purpose of this study is to determine if Facebook® utilization impacts online victimization experience, and if prevention measures moderate such impact. This study primarily focuses on Facebook® users due to this social media outlet being considered the most prominent online networking site today (Milanovic, 2015). It will focus on an understudied population—Hispanic college students. Additionally, this study argues that lifestyle-routine activity theory is appropriate in the attempt of explaining cybercrime. Overall, this study will explain and define: online victimization, types of cybercrimes, prevention measures, Facebook® utilization, Hispanic and college student statistics, and studies on the application of lifestyle-routine activity theory in the explanation of cybercrime victimization.
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    The Determination and Comparison of the in vitro Lectin, Antimicrobial and Anti-HIV Reverse Transcriptase Activities of Three South Texas Fabaceae Leaf Extracts
    Palacios, Patrick James; Ynalvez, Ruby A
    Plant extracts have proteins that possess significant biological properties. Studies on plant lectins reported that a number of lectins possess antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are of non-immunological origin and possess agglutination capabilities. The objective of this study was to determine lectin activity and biological activities of therapeutic potential of three South Texas Fabaceae leaf extracts. These were Senegalia berlandieri (Bentham), S. greggii (Gray) and Vachelia rigidula (Bentham). There was no significant difference in lectin activity among the three leaf extracts. Scanning electron microscopy images showed S. berlandieri extracts caused extracellular damage to Aspergillus niger. All three leaf extracts exhibited high anti-HIV1 RT activity when tested using an enzyme linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA). In order to determine any correlation between lectin activity and anti-HIV activity, ammonium sulfate precipitation was done. Correlational analyses suggest that another molecule other than the lectin may be responsible for the high anti-HIV1 RT activity exhibited by the leaf extracts. Further analyses and biomolecule isolation would prove beneficial in concluding the results of this study.
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    Testing Social Bond Theory on Hispanic Youth
    Alvarez, Carla; San Miguel, Claudia E
    Hirschi's social bond theory plays a substantial role in the explanation of juvenile delinquency. While social bond theory appears to play an important role in explaining delinquency among Non- Hispanic Whites, research on Hispanic populations is limited. The purpose of this study is to test the validity of social bond theory within the context of delinquency among a sample of Hispanic youth. In this research, self-administered surveys were given to 169 middle school students at United Independent School District (UISD) in Laredo, Texas. Assault, school delinquency, and public disturbance were used as measures of delinquency. Multiple regression analyses were employed to determine the significance of social bond theory in regards to Hispanic youth. Results indicated that for total delinquency, only attachment to parents demonstrated significance. For school delinquency, only school commitment was significant. However, delinquent friends, a control variable, demonstrated consistent statistical significance among all delinquency measures. Findings extend prior research on social bond theory and Hispanic delinquency but suggest that it is premature to conclude that social bond theory can account entirely for Hispanic delinquency. Further research should consider differential association and social learning theories, in addition to assimilation and generational status when testing delinquency among Hispanics.
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    Evaluation of the Antimicrobial Activity from Secondary Metabolites in Different Plant Families (Boraginaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, and Lauraceae)
    Compean, Kassandra Lorraine; Ynalvez, Ruby A.
    For several decades, there has been an increased interest in the antimicrobial activities of different extracts obtained from traditional medicinal plants. There are more than 20,000 species of plants used in traditional medicines. Drugs can be derived from natural products, which are usually secondary metabolites and their derivatives. The increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria emerging from the extensive use of antibiotics may render the current antimicrobial agents insufficient to control at least some bacterial infections. Therefore, the search for new antimicrobial agents is an important line of research. The objective of this study was to determine the antimicrobial activities of plant extracts from Sassafras albidum (Nutt.), Ehretia anacua (Terán & Berl.), Melissa officinalis (Linn.), Eysenhardtia texana (Scheele), and Melissa odorata. The ethanol and aqueous extracts were prepared for each of the five plant species and tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci faecium. The ethanol E. anacua extract was found to have a potential for anti-S. aureus activity. E. anacua was also subjected to soxhlet extractions with acetone, diethyl ether, and ethanol. These extracts were tested against S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, Yersinia enterocolitica, Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescens, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The ethanol and diethyl E. anacua extracts were found to have anti-S. aureus activity. HPLC successfully isolated one major phytoconstitutent. Phytochemical analysis showed detectable presence of alkaloids and diterpenes in the ethanol and diethyl E. anacua extracts.
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    The Association Between Perceived Parenting Styles and Aggression in Mexican American Young Adults
    Medrano, Maria R; Munoz, Monica E.
    The relationship between parenting styles and aggression in children has recently received ample attention throughout the psychological literature, with some aspects of this relationship yielding consistent results while others involve more complex dynamics that require further exploration. One factor that may influence both parenting styles and aggression is culture. While many researchers have investigated the relationship between culture and parenting styles, as well as the relationship between culture and aggression, there appears to be a lack of research investigating the relationship and interactions among these three constructs. It is important to further explore the relationship between perceived parenting styles and aggression to understand the negative consequences that can result during young adulthood from exhibiting aggressive behaviors during primordial days. Given that research on this topic with Mexican American young adults is scarce, and the influence of parenting styles, and perceived parenting styles, that has often been found in the literature may not be applicable due to differences in culture, and levels of acculturation. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between perceived parenting styles and aggression in young adults of Mexican descent, as moderated by individual differences in acculturation. Results indicated that perceived permissive and authoritative parenting, in interaction with acculturation are significant predictors of aggression. Perceived authoritarian and permissive parenting styles also significantly predict aggression.
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    Pax7 Expression and Color Pattern Development in Two Populations of Metriaclima ‘msobo’ from Lake Malawi, Africa
    Anzaldua, Sonya; Kidd, Michael R.
    In Lake Malawi, 450-600 species have evolved from one riverine ancestor within the past million years. The dynamic speciation of Lake Malawi’s endemic fauna has coincided with a diversification of color patterns, driven by sexual selection. Little is known about the genes determining male color pattern, despite its importance during population divergence and speciation. This study attempts to identify genes underlying the divergence of male color patterns between two populations of Metriaclima ‘msobo’ from Lake Malawi. Adult males from the Lundo population display blue and black vertical bars, while adult males from the Magunga population have blue and black blotches. The Magunga color pattern is similar to the common orange-blotch (OB) pattern observed in female cichlids, which is controlled by overexpression of the Pax7 gene. The major time points for individual color pattern development were on days 11, 16, and 23. The role of Pax7 was tested on the Magunga specific color pattern using qPCR to examine gene expression during color pattern development between the barred and blotchy populations. Primers for Pax7, as well as for two housekeeping genes (GAPDH and beta-actin), were designed and optimized to normalize qPCR data. Several embryos from three Metriaclima ‘msobo’ species—each from days 11, 16, and 23—were sampled in preparation for qPCR. The total RNA from each of these embryos was analyzed through the Experion chamber and was of optimum purity. cDNA samples were run through qPCR with the optimized primers, combined with SYBR Green fluorescent dye. Bio-Rad qPCR software was used to calculate the amount of Pax7 expression relative to that of the housekeeping genes. The analysis of variance showed that while there was a trend of expression within the Magunga embryos, the standard devations and errors were too large. However, there was no significant difference in Pax7 expression between the Magunga and Lundo populations.
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    The Service Learning Experiences of Hispanic High School Students on the U.S.-Mexico Border
    Garza, Andrea Joy; Coronado , Jennifer
    This phenomenological qualitative study explored the service learning experiences of Hispanic high school students on the U.S.-Mexico border. This study took place in a high school located in south Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border; population approximately 248,142 and ethnically 95.6 percent Hispanic (U.S. Census, 2013). The participants were selected via purposive sampling, thus it was restricted to participants involved in the service learning opportunity with the Volunteer Income Tax Assessor (VITA) program while taking a high school level financial analysis class. Service learning education is defined as the integration of academic material, service activities, and critical reflection based on reciprocal partnerships that engage students and community members to achieve academic, civic, and personal learning objectives (Bringle, Clayton, & Hatcher, 2013). Semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted after school in a general education classroom located on the participants’ school campus. Through the use of open-ended questions, participants discussed their experiences. The researcher first analyzed data based upon the preconceived themes of transfer of knowledge, student motivation, and students’ self-assessment of their role in their community through student-centered, participatory, and activist forms of instruction. The researcher found the overarching themes based upon the participants’ experiences included: (1) better understanding and application of knowledge, (2) enjoyment of working with the community, (3) enhanced confidence when problem solving and working with diverse people, and (4) the development of positive relationships.
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    Sympathy for the Devils: An Analysis of the Villain Archetype Since the Nineteenth Century
    Martin Del Campo, Michel; Dean, John
    The portrayal of villains has changed dramatically since the late nineteenth century. Modern villains are not necessarily punished, and they are presented as relatable or at the very least sympathetic. An analysis of the major events that shook the Western World in the last century reveals a pattern that links the classical style villain to the modern anti-villain via sociological and cultural changes. The Victorian period showed the West that the British Empire was not eternal and could be threatened. Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula represented these fears and forced the Victorians to reexamine everything from their belief in science to the role of family. The Modernists came to further question the validity of things like manhood and bravery, and characters like Robert Cohn Ernst Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises served as a way to teach readers that even assumptions about race said more about those who made the assumptions than the targets of said prejudices. His portrayal as a complex human being labeled as a “villain” simply because the other characters vilified him helped set up the idea that antagonists need not be vile creatures to stand against the “heroes.” Finally, the Post-Modern period continued this trend by showing the West that nuclear weapons could destroy life on Earth, not just target nations. As the Cold War overshadowed politics, the Joker in Batman comics came to symbolize the grotesque and evil Other, and yet his characterization in The Killing Joke draws parallels between his relationship with Batman and the relationship between the United States and Russia. The Joker represents the final evolution before the twenty-first century anti-villain. He forced readers to question just what separates a hero from a villain. These three examples explain today’s anti-villain. Today’s antagonists are charismatic and sympathetic. The new wave of fear following the 9/11 attacks rekindled the old colonial fears of the Victorians, and the threat of nuclear or biological weapons has brought back the fears of the Cold War. Additionally, the War on Terror has created the kinds of trauma that plagued the Modernist period. Villains today help us cope with these problems by offering a way to examine questions that “heroes,” by virtue of being “good,” cannot answer.
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    Is There Balance? Mexican Medical Practitioners’ Work- Life Experiences And Emotion Management On The U.S.- Mexico Border
    Ramirez, Ana Luisa; Gonzalez, Ariadne A
    The purpose of this study is to analyze medical doctors’ work-life experiences and emotional management while practicing on the U.S.-Mexico. They have varying experiences and there is a constant shift of doctors attempting to manage work and personal lives; they must learn how to cope with the emotions that derive from their profession and the added pressures of practicing medicine with precaution due to the ongoing drug war in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Additionally, doctors on the border treat patients from both Mexico and the U.S. There are significant pressures and tensions involved in practicing medicine, and this is even more relevant when working on the border region. This is why this study is relevant and important. Through qualitative methodology, I acquired the experiences of Mexican doctors on the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo border. Through a thematic analysis of in-depth interviews, doctors described the difficulties they encountered when dealing with emotions at work, which gave deeper meaning to their statements. Kidnappings, muggings, and extortions put significant constraints on doctors’ occupational lives. Doctors modify their work practices, work schedules, and other daily routines, which intersect with their work and personal lives. Doctors also displayed resilience to continue practicing on the border regardless of the violence. Doctors in my study experience Clark’s (2000) border theory, developed to fill in the gaps causing criticism of other work and family theories and work-life mechanisms (Clark, 2000). In addition to the border theory (Clark, 2000) the role theory (Kahn et al. 1964) also describes my participants’ multiple role amalgamation. This theory proposes workers, in this case, doctors, are involved in varying life roles such as employee or family member amongst other roles that sometimes are incompatible (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985).
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    Thinking in Uno and Reading en Otro: Codeswitching in American Novels
    Munoz, Mary Elizabeth; Broncano, Manuel
    Throughout history, languages that have come into contact with each other often fought for supremacy, but ultimately, they ended up coexisting in peace for the most part. The United States is a prime example of multiple languages mixing together, and after generations of doing so, some have blended almost entirely; this is not necessarily a bad thing. The U.S. has a history of being a nation that harbors multiple cultures along with those many languages, and even after wars, expansion, and segregation, those cultures and languages that remain cannot be suppressed. The United States houses multiple cultures, and there are several factors that determine which languages get adopted and which get discarded in different social situations. Factors, such as belief and age, for example, are vital to make these distinctions, and codeswitching (CS) texts have become more significant because they record and showcase how these factors push people to choose which language to use. Spanish and English, primarily, have been in contact for many years, and in the U.S., there have been multiple attempts at pushing out Spanish, but English-only laws have never taken hold nationally. For Americans who are born in the U.S. to Latin American immigrant parents, both Spanish and English are languages that shape their identity and thought process. These people grow up thinking and speaking with both languages running simultaneously through their minds, and they often become bicultural, bilingual readers who are able to read in both languages and can understand CS texts. It is important for their sense of identity that we continue studying what makes these texts so unique, and luckily, readership today is starting to acknowledge not only the existence and legitimacy of CS works, but also the importance of celebrating the unique blend of cultures and Spanish and English in literature. The number of CS texts is expected to grow, and more readers, both bilingual and monolingual, demand more texts like these. This thesis analyzes what makes written CS so relatable to many types of American audiences and how the prevalence of these texts legitimizes their inclusion into the American literary canon.
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    Exploring the Possible Relationships between Terrestrial Arthropod and Plant Community Structures in the South Texas Plains
    Campbell, Chad; Mott, Daniel
    The South Texas Plains is one of many locations worldwide that has rapidly changed from grass-dominated rangeland into a relatively densely wooded thicket; a mechanism of succession termed the “mesquite-nucleus hypothesis,” which states that a mesquite tree is well evolved to encroach on grassland and change the micro-habitat, thereby allowing other woody species to encroach more easily, has been proposed. The current study tests the mesquite-nucleus hypothesis by studying arthropod community structure and its relationship to the surrounding plant community structure. Arthropods are easily trapped and counted, but complete survey data for South Texas is sparse. Pitfall traps were used in three distinct transect lines to collect arthropods between 19 September 2015 and 31 March 2016. Most arthropods were identified to the order level, spiders were identified at the family level, and ants were keyed to the genus level. Relative abundances, direct comparisons of relative abundances, Simpson indices, Shannon indices, G-tests of independence, richness extrapolation, and richness estimation were used to compare arthropod community structure among the transect lines, and the point-centered quarter method was used to characterize plant communities and place traps. The mesquite-nucleus hypothesis is weakly supported by some of the data, but experimental replicants are needed. Overall, evenness and diversity were highest in the mesquite transect, but the transect dominated by blackbrush had the highest arthropod abundance. The relative abundance data for several taxa raise questions that should be further investigated: Diptera abundances seem negatively correlated with the average distances between shrubs or perhaps prefer to be near blackbrush, Salticids were found to prefer blackbrush, and Gnaphosids were disproportionally present in the transect referred to as mixed. Ant communities were similar among transects.
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    Civil Liberties V. National Security: A Study of Hispanic Students' Public Opinion
    Alvarez, Carlos; Bernat, Frances P.
    The purpose of this study is to understand Hispanic students’ public opinion on whether they want to protect their civil liberties or prefer more national security to respond to terrorism. I sent an electronic survey to 900 students attending a South Texas university with 193 completed surveys returned. I replicated eight individual counter-terrorism measures from Welch (2015), and derived a component dependent variable using a data reduction technique called principal component analysis. In this study, my independent variables are measures of nationalism, ethnocentrism, and political affiliation. Political affiliation was significantly related to the support for counter-terrorism policy, and the gender of respondents had a significant main effect. Furthermore, females did not support counter-terrorism policies if it meant subjugating their civil liberties. Male respondents supported counter-terrorism policy for more national security, despite the loss of some civil liberties. My study contributes to the fundamental understanding of the role of gender in the support for counter-terrorism policies.
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    An ERP examination of figurative language processing in Spanish-English bilinguals
    Abastta, Betsy Janet; Cieslicka, Anna B.
    This study examined the differences in Event-Related Potential (ERPs) amplitudes and reaction times (RTs) with English-Spanish bilingual readers when processing English idiomatic phrases. Twenty-eight English-Spanish bilinguals from Texas A&M International University participated in the study (13 males, 15 females). Participants were administered a meaningfulness judgment task. In this task, participants were asked to determine if a visually presented target, was related to the preceding context, kick the bucket-DIE. The measures recorded were the reaction time (RT), accuracy of the response, and N400 and P600 wavelengths signifying the activation of literal and figurative meanings. It was hypothesized that idiomatic expressions that are less salient (i.e., less well-known and less familiar) would be interpreted by bilinguals dominant in Spanish first in their literal sense and that the literal meaning of the phrase would be more readily available in their mental lexicon. For the bilinguals dominant in English, it was hypothesized that the figurative meaning would be more readily available and processed faster than the literal meaning, thus evoking shorter reaction times and smaller amplitudes of the N400 and P600 potentials. An example of figurative incongruent is, I was feeling nervous about going up on stage, but my fellow actors all told me to take a deep breath and break a leg.-DAMAGE, and for incongruent literal, I received a package from my mother, who always told me that I’m too skinny, and it turned out to be a piece of cake.-SIMPLE. Analysis of the results showed only a partial support for the hypothesis that dominant English bilinguals would have smaller N400 and P600 amplitudes for incongruent figurative than for incongruent literal targets. There was a dynamic interplay of literal and figurative meanings of idioms, conforming to the N400 hypothesis but not the P600 hypothesis wavelength. The N400 wavelength results are consistent with the Configuration Model (Cacciari & Tabossi, 1988) and Literal Salience Model (Cieślicka, 2006a), and the P600 wavelength results are consistent with Giora’s (2002) Graded Salience Hypothesis.
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    Conservtion Status and Habitat Assessment of the Mexican Fawnsfoot (Truncilla cognata) in the Rio Grande: Laredo, Texas
    Rojas, Bianca E; Mott, Daniel J
    Overharvesting, environmental degradation, pollution, and the rapid spread of exotic mussel species have been instrumental in 15 native freshwater mussels being placed on the threatened/endangered species list by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Nine species of freshwater mussels currently listed at a state level are being petitioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be placed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Truncilla cognata, commonly known as the Mexican Fawnsfoot, is considered to be endangered at both the federal and state level. Little is known regarding habitat preference, larval stage, fish host, and spawning seasons of T. cognata. The focus of this study was to examine various hydrological environments in order to assess current distribution, locate and evaluate existing populations, and determine the habitat requirements of T. cognata. Several sites were selected along an 88 kilometer stretch of the Rio Grande in Webb County near Laredo, TX. The riverbed for each site was searched for live T. cognata at multiple random points either by hand, the combination of 51 m2 plots (see Randklev et al., 2010), and/or single 1 m2 random plots. Exposed river banks were also searched for deceased specimens. Measurements of the length, width and height (thickness) of each specimen were recorded (Warren, 1958). Data collected during this research established the largest known population of T. congata with 35 live and 206 very recently dead found at a single site. Although T. cognata is not as uncommon as it was initially thought to be, optimal habitats are scarce and populations limited to substrates with a mixture of medium sand (0.25-0.5 mm) and medium (8-16 mm) to coarse (16-32 mm) gravel in continuously running shallow (< 1.0 m) waters.
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    Seeking Reading Motivation Within English Language Learners in an Economically Disadvantaged Environment
    Balderas, Janette Lizette; Coronado, Jennifer
    “Reading motivation is a contributing factor to the number of English Language Learners (ELL) and economically disadvantaged struggling readers. Parental involvement fosters reading motivation amongst these readers” (Mohr & Amp; Mohr, 2007).The purpose of this research is to examine how reading motivation can be increased through the use of parental involvement and native language books. This study also investigates how parental involvement can be increased through the use of books that are written in their Spanish native language and can be easily used to assist their children. The research questions included are the following: Research Question 1: Will an increase in parental involvement improve reading motivation amongst ELLs/Economically Disadvantaged children? Research Question 2: Will using native language recreational reading books increase parental involvement in ELLs/Economically Disadvantaged children’s daily reading? A quantitative study was designed where two teachers’ classes were purposely selected to participate in the six week intervention. These classes were selected in order to answer the first question in the study. Parents of these participants were also selected as participants that would help answer the second question of the study.
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    Diffusion of Innovation: The Introduction of a Point-Of-Use Ceramic Water Filter to South Texas Colonia Residents
    Buentello, Sara A.; Kilburn, John C.
    People living in South Texas colonias continue to face developing world living conditions. Many residents of the colonias still live without basic and fundamental utilities including running water in their homes. Worldwide lack of access to clean running water is a major social problem and found in new colonias. Research has found that point-of-use ceramic water filters (CWFs) are a viable and cost effective way to purify water and developing countries throughout the world use them today. This study employs Everett Rogers’s 1964 Diffusion of Innovation Theory. Rogers’s theory has been applied in countless studies to analyze the processes through which communities adopt new technologies or practices. One adoption technology, CWFs are made by a facility in the general area in which the residents interviewed for this study live. Results found that residents were interested in the CWF but had not been introduced to the filter and were unaware that a filter making facility was near their homes. While the focus of this study was to determine whether residents would adopt CWF technology, what came into question was why the innovation had not diffused. Research has found that a major reason attributed to a failure to diffuse is that outreach services do not rapidly adapt to the creation of new colonia residents through contact and education about the water filter. Potential adopters did show interest in the CWF when its use was explained as a part of this study. State and local resources need to be deployed to prevent communication of water-borne diseases and preserve new colonia resident’s health.
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    Anticipations of Kant in Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner
    Salazar, Raul Zachary; Murphy, Jonathan W.
    Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy resonates in the works of one of the most important Romantic writers in history, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In chapter one of Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793), Kant diagnoses the human race as being radically evil; they raise selfish incentives of desire above the moral law. Kant also expresses that the human race cannot extirpate themselves of radical evil because they are frail, impure, and perverse. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a follower of Kant, seeks to remedy Kant’s diagnosis of radical evil in his works Aids to Reflection (1825) and Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) by suggesting that the “human will,” when tempered by Reason, awakens mankind’s spiritual mind and safeguards him from sin. This thesis closely examines the first chapter of Kant’s Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason in order to familiarize readers with Kantian arguments and key terms. The thesis then examines the similarities between Coleridge’s Aids to Reflection and Kant’s Religion. These similarities make a Kantian interpretation of Rime possible, which is the heart of this thesis.
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    The Quest for Truth in A.S. Byatt’s Possession
    Meza, Cristina F; Niemeyer, Paul J
    By examining A. S. Byatt’s Possession, we can see that Byatt is showing the limitations of postmodern thought in examining historical works of literature, particularly in regards to women writers. The focus of this paper is on the novel’s critique of modern critical theories that conceptualize the text as being impossible to define or understand. This paper argues that Byatt satirizes her postmodern scholars to demonstrate the deficiencies of certain postmodernist principles such as the death of the author and the complete nullification of intended meaning and implicit truth. In order to show how Byatt satirizes the postmodern scholars in the novel, the scholarly characters’ analyses are discussed and revealed to be incorrect. This work discusses how the scholarly characters’ postmodernist approaches result in nothing more than inaccuracies and endless deconstruction. Their approaches, in turn, leave them feeling powerless and deem them incapable of understanding even themselves. The process the characters must go through to discover the inaccuracies of their assessments and overcome their misguided notions is also described. The intent of this thesis is to show that although the novel satires academic study and critical theories by contrasting different views of the Victorian writers being studied—views which are all incomplete until the researchers share their work with each other and let go of their own biased view—rather than altogether rejecting that truth is attainable, Possession counters postmodernist failings with a solution that involves a collaborative effort and utilizes a recursive and circular method of discovering meaning as opposed to an isolated and linear approach. Consequently, this paper contends that it is not until all of the contemporary scholars collaborate and reevaluate certain postmodern viewpoints that postmodernist deconstruction ends in totalizing reconstruction and the rebuilding of the Victorian works in the novel. This paper also contends that Possession culminates in hope, both for its scholarly protagonists and for its postmodern readers.
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    The Great American Riddle: Ulysses S. Grant and Civil Rights
    Castillo, Christopher R; Blackwell, Deborah L; Menaldo, Mark A
    The prevailing scholarship on Ulysses S. Grant and Reconstruction was established by authors who wrote on the subjects in the aftermath of Reconstruction. Scholars of the “Lost Cause,” include the likes of John Burgess and William Dunning and many pupils. The arguments set forth by these writers and scholars created the notions that Grant was a butcher general during the Civil War who sent thousands of Union soldiers to needlessly die during his military campaigns, and that he was one of the nation’s worst presidents. Furthermore, they have argued that Grant was intellectually incompentent, corrupt, and unable to handle the political aspects of the Civil War and Reconstruction. These arguments have created a social construction of the past that has dominated American thinking on Grant, and have been carried on by modern scholars in the field. Because Grant rarely shared his views, publicly or privately, he did not leave behind the large volumes of historical evidence one expects from esteemed generals and former presidents. Since he was silent on most issues, extensive analysis of what is available is required. Most historical scholars have not been able, or willing, to remove themselves from established writings on Grant and have failed to fully analyze the historical sources left by the general, leading to sweeping generalizations about his views an character. This thesis seeks to challenge the established historiography on Grant by arguing the he was more than capable of comprehending the political and military aspects of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Grant demonstrated this, as he progrssed from fighting for the Union first, to accepting and protecting emancipation and black civil rights. Moreover, as both Commanding General of the United States Army and President, Grant was willing to expand his use of the U.S. Army as the proper means of upholding cvil equality for free blacks and protecting the Union from further violence. It is necessary to understand the complex, yet evolutionary nature of Grant, as doing so will lead to a more nuanced understanding of how his policies aided in transforming American society.
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    Wealth, Class, and Status in William Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy
    Cornelius, James Bryan; Broncano, Manuel
    This thesis discusses three of Faulkner’s later novels: The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion. It examines the concept of class stratification with respect to the theories of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Pierre Bourdieu. The work analyses the major characters in all three novels with respect to wealth, class, and status as identified by the sociological concepts introduced by these respective sources. Concentration is focused on the factors that constitute the divisions of upper class, middle class, and lower class by evaluating the impact of not only economic factors, but also the social and cultural influences that affect an individual’s reputation within a community. Considerable attention is also given to various environmental and developmental aspects such as power and prestige, the means for measuring the level of each, and the effects on those in society who are lacking of either.