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School of History and Sociology

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 33
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    The amphetamine years: a study of the medical applications and extramedical consumption of psychostimulant drugs in the postwar united states, 1945-1980
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009-11-16) Moon, Nathan William
    The Amphetamine Years is a history of psychostimulant drugs and their clinical applications in post-World War II American medicine. Comprising such well-known substances as the amphetamines (Benzedrine, Dexedrine), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and phenmetrazine (Preludin), this class of pharmaceuticals has been among the most widely consumed in the past half-century. Their therapeutic uses for a variety of indications such as depression, obesity, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, not to mention their relevance for a number of different medical specialties, reveals that psychostimulants have occupied an important, if underappreciated role in the practice of modern medicine. In this dissertation, I illuminate the various ways in which physicians, particularly psychiatrists, put these drugs to work in clinical practice. In short, I contend that physicians exploited the wide range of physiological and psychological effects of psychostimulants and made a place for them in different therapeutic settings, even ones characterized by competing views and theories about the workings of the human body and mind. My dissertation is distinguished by two prominent themes. First, I emphasize the clinician perspective as a vehicle for understanding the history of the psychostimulants, as well as related developments in psychiatry, pharmacotherapy, and the political economy of drugs, in the second half of the twentieth century. Scholars such Nicolas Rasmussen, David Courtwright, and Ilina Singh have elucidated the history of psychostimulants by emphasizing how pharmaceutical companies positioned their products in the medical marketplace. My dissertation takes a different, yet complimentary approach by studying clinicians, themselves, to further historical comprehension of the place of these pharmaceuticals within postwar medicine, society, and culture. Second, I advance the concept of "therapeutic versatility" to explain their historical trajectories. The complex set of psychological and physical effects these drugs produced made them ideal for a diverse range of therapeutic applications, which explains why they were embraced by many different medical specialties, why they were marketed by manufacturers for a variety of indications, and why they have enjoyed an enduring therapeutic lifespan, in spite of increasing efforts since the mid-1960s to regulate their availability and control their consumption. In addition to these two overarching themes, I advance five specific arguments in my dissertation. First, I contend that pharmaceutical markets were simultaneously created by the drug industry and clinicians. Pharmaceutical firms' efforts to develop markets for their products have been well documented by historians, but in my dissertation, I underscore the role also played by clinicians in discerning drugs' applications. Second, I argue that twentieth-century psychiatry's conception of illness and therapeutics may not be served best by strictly dividing its history along lines of institutional and outpatient treatment. Third, I demonstrate how the use of psychostimulants by analytically oriented psychiatrists during the 1950s complicates historical notions of paradigm shift from a psychodynamic to biological orientation. Psychotherapy and psychopharmacology were not competing paradigms; in practice, doctors often employed both. Fourth, I assert that an appreciation of psychiatrists' empirical and eclectic approaches to the use of drugs is necessary to comprehend the rise of psychiatric pharmacotherapy in the postwar era. Finally, I contend that in order to understand the relationship between medical applications of psychostimulants and their extramedical consumption, it is necessary to conceive of a plurality of distinct "amphetamine cultures," each characterized by a unique set of relationships between physician-prescribers, patient-consumers, pharmaceutical firms, and political authorities.
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    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.
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    Right modern: technology, nation, and Britian's extreme right in the interwar period (1919-1940)
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009-04-06) Zander, Patrick Glenn
    This study examines the extreme right wing political tendency in Great Britain during the interwar years and particularly its relationship to technological modernity. The far right has been much misunderstood and under-researched, often seen as part of "Appeasement Conservatism" and as a group of out-dated elites inhibiting Britain's modernization. In fact, this study suggests, the extreme right was distinct from Tory Conservatism and promoted its own (exclusionary and objectionable) paradigm of modernism. In its policies, rhetoric, and practices, the far right, above all, advocated a technically modernized Britain. Only such a modernized state, they believed, (in terms of industrial and military strength), could take its place in the new generation of Great Powers in a predatory and chaotic world. Extreme right leaders were convinced that Britain must insulate itself from such economic and political chaos by preserving its Empire, creating an autarkic economy, eliminating "foreign elements" at home, and by creating a lethal modern defense. For Britain to accomplish these objectives, it would have to master and apply modern science and technology on a national scale. For Britain to maintain (or re-assert) its former world leadership, said the far right, it had to become a "Great Technological Nation." Members of Britain's extreme right were especially influenced by the fascist dictatorships - their crushing of Marxism, their supposed elimination of class war, and especially their apparent accomplishments of modernization. A disproportionate number of British fascists and fascist supporters were key members of Britain's industrial and high-tech. elite. As they praised the dictatorships and attacked Britain's liberal-democratic system, they used issues of national modernization (aviation, modern highways, radio communications, military mechanization) as a key battlefield for political debate. In such debates they routinely positioned their own tendency as the best hope for progress against the supposed irrationality of the left and the alleged ineptitude of professional politicians created by democracy.
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    Harnessing nature's timekeeper: a history of the piezoelectric quartz crystal technological community (1880-1959)
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009-03-05) McGahey, Christopher Shawn
    In 1880, French brothers Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered the phenomenon of piezoelectricity in naturally occurring quartz crystal, sometimes referred to as 'nature's timekeeper.' By 1959, tens of millions of devices that exploited quartz crystal's piezoelectric character were being used in the technologies of radio, telephony, and electronic timekeeping. This dissertation analyzes the rapid rise of quartz crystal technology in the United States by looking at the growth of its knowledge base as reflected primarily in patents and journal articles. The major finding of this analysis is that the rise of quartz crystal technology cannot be fully understood by looking only at individuals, institutions, and technological factors. Rather, this work posits that the concept of technological community is indispensible in explaining rapid technological growth and diffusion that would otherwise seem inexplicable. In the late 1920s, and again in the early 1940s, the knowledge base of quartz crystal technology experienced exponential growth, partly due to U.S. government patronage and enlightened regulation. However, as this study shows, quartz crystal engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs could not have mobilized as quickly and effectively as they did unless a vibrant technological community already existed. Furthermore, the United States' ability to support such a thriving community depended in part on an early 20th century American culture that displayed an unmatched enthusiasm for democratic communications media, most especially broadcast radio and universal telephone service. Archival records, professional journal articles, government reports, manufacturer catalogs, and U.S. patents have been used to document this history of the quartz crystal technological community. This dissertation contributes to the literature on technological communities and their role in facilitating technological and ecomonic growth by showing that though such communities often form spontaneously, their growth may be nurtured and stimulated through enlightened government regulation. As such, this dissertation should be of interest to scholars in the fields of history of technology, business history, management studies, and public policy.
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    Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009-02-12) Blackmon, Douglas A.
    Slavery by Another Name unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude. It also reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the modern companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the system’s final demise in the 1940s, partly due to fears of enemy propaganda about American racial abuse at the beginning of World War II.
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    Medical Marijuana: Redefining the Social Politics of Reality
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008-12-15) Farmer, Kathryn Elizabeth
    Medical marijuana is a pertinent and controversial topic in contemporary American society. Those against medical marijuana cite the "dangers" the drug presents to society and claim that there is no, and has never been, any medical utility of marijuana. Advocates of medical marijuana refute preconceived ideas of marijuana being dangerous and cite thousands of years of historical evidence that lends credence to the proposed therapeutic effects. Since the prohibition of marijuana in 1937, the federal government has portrayed a negative image of marijuana that remained dominant in public opinion until it began to be challenged forty years ago. Contrary to the statements of the federal government that marijuana has no medical use, world history and modern science has indicated its therapeutic potential. As a result of several medical marijuana laws being enacted since 1996, Congress held a hearing in 2001 to discuss the issues of medical marijuana, federal law enforcement, and the supremacy clause. Many images of marijuana and the user were presented that represented old, traditional beliefs, as well as new images that represent the emerging medical marijuana culture. The disparate views of marijuana can be explained by each person’s own special perception of the drug, which is shaped by one’s own pre-conceived notions, environment, personal experiences, and special view of "reality." Marijuana Medical marijuana
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    Locked Out?: How the United States Limits Voter Participation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008-09-17) Winders, William P.
    Until recently, only about half of eligible voters in the United States voted in presidential elections. Even with the substantial increase in turnout in 2004, more than 40 percent of Americans stayed away from the polls. Turnout in state and local elections is even lower. Why? How can we explain such low levels of voting? In a variety of ways, our political system, especially the rules governing elections, actually hampers people voting. This talk will explore the effects of a variety of election policies, such as our registration system and voter ID laws, by putting them into historical and comparative perspectives.
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    Which Witch? The Controversy Surrounding Bewitched and Harry Potter
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008-05-05) Turbiville, Natalie F.
    Beginning in 1999, J.K. Rowling began to receive criticism about her Harry Potter series, which was first published in 1997. Christian Fundamentalists in opposition to the books argued that occult themes present in the series were harmful to the spiritual development of children. Those in opposition cited the negative response to the popular TV series Bewitched during its initial airing in the 1960s as grounds for rejecting Harry Potter. This connection was made because the popular television series and the successful book series both contained witchcraft elements; however, this connection is false. Primary sources show that Bewitched was not challenged based on the issue of witchcraft during its initial airing in the 1960s and 1970s. Despite modern Christian fundamentalistsâ claims, the modern negative response to Bewitched is built on contemporary reflection. When Christian fundamentalists seek to prove that their outcry against the witchcraft used in Harry Potter is not unique it is suggested that America had rejected a form of media based on witchcraft when the public spoke out against Bewitched in the 1960s. In fact, the claim that Bewitched received criticism during its initial airing is incorrect. My research shows a direct contemporary correlation between the protest to Harry Potter beginning in 1999 and the rejection of Bewitched by Christian fundamentalists based on the issue of witchcraft.
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    Brutalism, Masterplans and Swinging London: Piccadilly Circus Re-imagined 1957–1973
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008-04-14) Gilbert, David
    David Gilbert is Professor of Urban and Historical geography in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway College, University of London, a member of the department’s Social and Cultural Geography Group and Director of the MA in Cultural Geography (Research). His research interest is in the geography and history of Twentieth-century London, and on British modernity more generally. He is currently Director of a major research project exploring relationships between fashion and urban change in post-war London. Other work on London has focused on the influence of imperialism on London’s physical, social and cultural landscapes. This work on Imperial Cities was sponsored by Leverhulme Trust. Dr. Gilbert has also written on urban tourism, and on suburban culture and identity. Earlier work concerned the historical geographies of protest, community and collective identity, and was particularly concerned with strikes and the British coal industry.
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    The Rosewood Massacre: Reconstructing a Cold Case File
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008-02-28) Tereshchuk, David
    David Tereshchuk has written for many US publications including The New York Times, and AM New York, where "The Media Beat" began as a weekly column. He has also contributed to The Guardian, The Observer, and the New Statesman in London. On television he has reported and made documentaries for American and British networks from many countries around the world, and he has acted as a media adviser to corporations, non-profit organizations and the United Nations. He wrote and produced for ABC News and The Discovery Channel the TV documentary "Rosewood Massacre: The Untold Story", about a lynch-mob’s destruction of a Florida community.