Organizational Unit:
School of History and Sociology

Research Organization Registry ID
Previous Names
Parent Organization
Parent Organization
Includes Organization(s)

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Item
    The Emergence and Development of Cross-National Knowledge Sharing and Production: Case Studies of International Collaborative Projects in South Korea
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2021-04-26) Lee, Soo A
    Highlighting South Korea’s transition from a recipient of official development aid (ODA) to a donor country in 2010, this study examined two cases of cross-national university knowledge sharing and production in South Korea: one with the US and the other with Tanzania. Methodologically, this study entails qualitative approaches such as ethnography, participant observation, and semi-structured interview, and theoretically, Bourdieu’s concepts of symbolic powers and habitus are used. The findings of this study suggest that economic, social, and cultural capital simultaneously promotes and hampers cross-national knowledge sharing and production among developed, developing, and bridging countries. In addition, this study argues that actors from a bridge country (South Korea) contribute to cross-national knowledge sharing and production by balancing structural discrepancies through different forms of agency. In-depth analyses of findings with Bourdieu’s framework of structure and agency offer unique insights to literature regarding cross-national university collaborations and development, and relevant S&T policies.
  • Item
    The role of engineering technology as a pathway for African Americans into the field of engineering
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2018-05-21) Dempsey, Ron D.
    Engineering Technology serves as a potential pathway for African Americans into engineering. Yet research and data demonstrate that African Americans are severely underrepresented in the field of engineering. This study examines the role that engineering technology plays in the field of engineering and its impact on African Americans as a potential pathway in the field. The study employs conflict sociology and Critical Race Theory as theoretical frameworks and uses a mixed methodology for data collection. This study’s primary data are derived from the 2014 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and from a survey and interviews of engineering technology faculty and alumni from Purdue University and Southern Polytechnic State University. Pearson’s Chi-Square Tests of Independence are conducted on data derived from these sources. Descriptive analysis is conducted on additional data collected from institutional curriculums and state licensing sites. This study has the following major findings. First, African Americans graduate at a higher percentage rate from 4-year bachelor degree engineering technology programs than from 4-year bachelor degree engineering programs. Second, engineering technology alumni, including African Americans graduates, chose engineering technology due to issues of program costs, program flexibility with employment, and the hands-on pedagogy of engineering technology. Third, though these engineering technology graduates were employed as engineers and not as engineering technologists, barriers exist for graduates of engineering technology programs such as achieving licensing as a professional engineering, obtaining federal engineering jobs, and being perceived a subordinate to those with engineering degrees. The study concludes that engineering technology is a potential pathway into the field of engineering for many individuals, especially African Americans, and, therefore, recommends it be given equal status alongside engineering programs with appropriate curriculum changes. The advantages of such an engineering educational system include the accommodations of multiple learning styles (applied versus theoretical, abstract versus embedded mathematics), an educational system that is more correctly aligned with the industry, a flattening of the engineering hierarchy, and most importantly, a legitimized and equal pathway into engineering that better aligns with the life experiences of African Americans.
  • Item
    Redefining the sacred in 3D virtual worlds: exploratory analysis of knowledge production and innovation through religious expression
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-10-30) Atwaters, Sybrina Yvonne
    This dissertation contributes to conversations regarding the impact of open user centered innovation on cultural production by focusing on the construction and production of religious products within one large-scale open user-centered technological environment, 3D virtual worlds. Particularly, this study examines how virtual world users construct (non-gaming) religious communities and practices and how the technology impacts the forms of religious expression these users create. Due to its existing religious sector and affordances for user-created content, Second Life (SL) was chosen as the context of study for this dissertation project. Building upon Von-Hippel's (2005) user-centered innovation theory, construction and production within three different user-centered religious communities in SL were explored. Using a comparative ethnographic approach over a 14-month period, involving participant observations, interviews and hyper-media techniques, the social construction of customized religious products amidst technical, social, and economic virtual/non-virtual structures were analyzed. Exploratory findings demonstrate that the democratizing of cultural innovation, that is the construction of heterogeneous cultural religious products by the everyday user, is a matter of patterned relational pathways. The greater possible patterned pathways the higher potential for democratized cultural innovation, an increasing number of users developing new ways of doing religion. The fewer patterned pathways the less the potential for democratize cultural innovation and the greater potential for reproducing within the virtual realm the same cultural frames that define the current social order in the non-virtual realm.
  • Item
    Technological discipline, obese bodies and gender: A sociological analysis of gastric banding
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-08-22) Borello, Lisa Joy
    America's obesity ̒epidemic̕, coupled with increasing use of biomedical technologies in healthcare, has helped usher in new technoscientific methods to medically manage the bodies of overweight and obese individuals. Potential patients now have several surgical options to choose from in efforts to lose weight and (potentially) improve health outcomes, including gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric banding; this research focuses on the gastric band, an implantable and adjustable silicone device designed to restrict the amount of food consumed. This study involves: in-depth interviews with predominantly female gastric banding patients, medical practitioners, bariatric surgeons, and representatives from the two U.S.-based biomedical firms that manufacture the gastric band; a multi-site ethnography examining the patient experience and the clinical encounter; and content analysis of scientific and non-scientific texts. Through this mixed methodological approach, this study charts the band's evolution and the complex forces guiding its design, development and adoption, and draws attention to the ways in which gendered assumptions enter into the pre- and post-surgical space with repercussions for patient care. Findings suggest that patients̕ decision-making process is shaped by - and shapes - multiple social, political, economic, and regulatory contexts. As a contested and unstable technology, the band's efficacy and ̒foreignness̕ is continually both challenged and reaffirmed by a diverse arena of social actors with a vested interest in the bariatric surgical space. These actors construct the band's role in the obesity epidemic in oppositional ways, affecting its use and perceived misuse: the depiction of the band as a safe, less invasive and - most significantly - removable technology helps drive its use, directing some patients away from other options - specifically, the anatomically changing gastric bypass procedure - portrayed as unnatural and extreme, though simultaneously more effective. While the band's reversibility represents freedom over technology and control over their bodies, it also reflects patients̕ struggle for both autonomy and desire for technological assistance in managing their weight. However, despite patients̕ attempt to assert themselves as active agents, the gastric band emerges as a disciplinary weight loss technology which serves to reinforce the perceived need for clinical intervention in the care and treatment of obesity. This study contributes to our understanding of the possibilities and limitations offered by biomedical technologies, and the ways in which humans resist, comply or are ambivalent toward their adoption and use.
  • Item
    Exploring regional innovation capacities of PR China: toward the study of knowledge divide
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011-11-14) Yoon, Jungwon
    This study investigates the underlying factors influencing the large variances in innovation performance among the Chinese regions. What is specified in the study is the issue of the knowledge divide in China as existing regional inequalities have appeared in conjunction with the production of knowledge and innovation in its transformation into an innovation-driven economy. While the Chinese innovation system has achieved some promising developments at the aggregate level over the past few years, the inequality between the coastal and inland regions are widening with substantial disparities in the level of innovation capacity. In order to understand the major reasons for this new trend in regional divergence, the study explores the different levels of innovation activities among the provincial-level regions of China and analyzes the determinants of regional innovation capacity, employing a comprehensive and unified framework of a regional innovation system. The overall results suggest that while the Chinese regional innovation systems have evolved over time, increasing human and capital resources in innovation and accumulated knowledge stock/the level of economic development, together with the development of innovation-enhancing policies, industrial cluster environment, and linkages between innovation actors, are all crucial determinants of regional innovation capacity, leading to significant disparities in the level of innovation capacity among Chinese regions.
  • Item
    The earnings of Asian computer scientists and engineers in the United States
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009-07-06) Tao, Yu
    While Asians are overrepresented in science and engineering, they receive limited scholarly attention in sociology of science. To fill the knowledge gap about this understudied group, this study examines the effects of race, nativity, degree origin, gender, field, employment sector, and nationality on the earnings of Asian computer scientists and engineers working in the U.S. Data are derived from the National Survey of College Graduates, 1993 and 2003. Using quantile regression, this study has the following findings. First, race and nativity had some effects on the earnings of Asian computer scientists and engineers in 1993 at both 90th and 50th quantiles, but they disappeared in 2003 with one exception. Degree origin had an effect in 1993 in some cases at the 90th quantile but across gender, field, and two sectors at the 50th quantile. However, it disappeared in 2003 with two exceptions. Second, all the four women's groups--white, Asian American, U.S.-, and Asian-educated immigrant women--earned less than their male counterparts in 1993 or 2003 at either quantile. Furthermore, U.S.-educated immigrant women suffered from the double bind effect, or being disadvantaged due to both their gender and race, at the 50th quantile. Third, computer scientists earned slightly more than their engineer counterparts in both years at both quantiles. Fourth, educational institutions and state/local government paid less than industry in 1993 and 2003 at both quantiles. Federal government eliminated the gap in 2003 at the 50th quantile. Finally, this study finds that a few but not all nationality groups suffered from earning disadvantages in 1993 or 2003 at either quantile. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the earnings of workers in the upper tail (90th quantile) are less influenced by factors that this study examines than those at the median (50th quantile). Overall, the findings partly reaffirm the structural barriers that some groups, notably women, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants, face in the U.S. workplace. The degree origin effect in 1993 could be due to the lower quality of degrees from Asia. The disappearance of such an effect in 2003 could be due to the interactions between structural forces and human capital.
  • Item
    The Politics of Particularism: HBCUs, Spelman College, and the Struggle to Educate Black Women in Science, 1950-1997
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-07-10) Scriven, Olivia A.
    Since the close of WWII, higher education has been central to the growth of U.S. science, but the role of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)has been under-explored within this narrative. The nation s 105 HBCUs constitute less than one percent of the U.S. higher education community, but consistently have served as a major conduit for the production of African Americans in the sciences, technology, mathematics and engineering. National Science Foundation data reflect an average 29 percent share for the period 1994-2001. The output is even more striking when examined by degrees awarded in disciplinary clusters 50 percent in the agricultural sciences, 45 percent in the physical sciences and mathematics, and 42 percent in the biological sciences. This research explores the role of HBCUs in educating African Americans in science from the boosterism period shortly following World War II, through affirmative action legislation of the 1960s and 1970s, and concluding with current federal policies. A particular analysis is undertaken of Spelman College, a private liberal arts college founded by New England missionaries in the South during the late 19th century as a seminary for former slave women and girls. Spelman presents a unique case to analyze the particularistic characteristics of race, gender and institutional setting within the context of a so-called normative structure of science. Over a 25-year period, Spelman was able to rise beyond the structural limitations of its position as a Black college, a women's college, and a southern college to become one of the single most productive undergraduate institution for African American women earning the baccalaureate degree in science. What new perspectives might the Spelman story specifically and the history of HBCUs generally offer about the history of U.S. science, the notion that careers be open to talent, and current public policy discourse regarding efforts to increase the participation of under-represented racial minorities and women in science, engineering and mathematics? My thesis is that it is the politics of particularlism, not an ideal of universalism, that has fundamentally determined who participates in science and has had a significant impact on HBCUs. Despite these constraints, the contributions that these institutions have made to the U.S. scientific workforce have been enormous.