2010 Research Projects

Summary of Graduate Student Projects (2010)

Julia Ridgeway-Diaz: Ecosystem Change, Westernization, and Women’s Health in Amazonian Ecuador

This project works in collaboration with the Shuar Health and Life History Project of the UO Department of Anthropology to collect data on the health and levels of westernization with the Shuar people of the Amazonian Morona-Santiago region of South-Eastern Ecuador. This thesis topic focuses on the effect of the westernization of the Shuar lifestyle on women’s health and reproduction, specifically reproductive health and family planning decisions. In addition, the project hopes to apply this work to predicting future pressures on the ecosystems of the Shuar’s territory. In the short term, the project helps the Shuar track the changes in the health of their community as their economy and environment change. In the long term, this knowledge can be used by other indigenous groups undergoing rapid socioeconomic change to maintain the health of their people and their land.

Lindsay Naylor: Harnessing multiple movements: The intersection of fair trade and the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico

This project focuses on the tension between livelihood and sustenance in Southern Mexico through an analysis of fair trade and the Zapatista movement in Chiapas. Ultimately the research will attempt to show how Zapatista communities have harnessed the fair trade marketplace to maintain and further their political agenda, assess who benefits from fair trade production and identify how land use has changed in fair trade producing communities.

Rene Kladzyk: Pathways and Fences: Gender, Violence, and Mobility in the Paso del Norte Region of the US/Mexico Border

This research seeks to uncover linkages between globalization and violence through an analysis of mobility and economic activity among female laborers in Juarez and recent migrants to El Paso, whose displacement is often linked to danger in Juarez. Drawing from anthropology, political theory, and feminist geographic scholarship, this project will analyze the complex patterns and pathways of mobility in the Paso del Norte region. This research will amplify the voices of Latina women living in a locality as it reels from transnational forces, and will contribute to a critical discourse on gender and borderland identity.

Sonia de la Cruz: The effects of collaborative media on lived experiences: the case of the women of Trama Textiles in Guatemala

De La Cruz PDF  This project will work towards finishing a publishable article about a collaborative video produced with indigenous women in Guatemala. The overall purpose of this analysis is to be able to enhance knowledge about Central American grassroots organizations and understand how the production of media can create avenues for social development and empowerment. Research activities include revisiting collected images and video footage, which will help bring about emotions and memories of time spent in Guatemala, as well as triggering deeper reflections of the collaborative experience. Follow-up phone interviews will also be conducted to further assess the collaborative process.

Anna Cruz: After the Uprising: Gender Roles Among Oaxacan Teachers Post-2006 Uprising

This project examines the gender roles experienced and enacted by rural teacher members of the APPO movement in Oaxaca, Mexico. Research activities will directly engage, and analyze the gendered roles outside the space of public activism experienced by female teachers; the project will analyze gender roles in everyday arenas, such as the home, schools of employment, teachers’ organizations/ unions and rural communities in which they live and work. At a larger level, the project will contribute information on the key factors that allow women to move into leadership and public positions during a social movement, as well as those that allow such changes to continue once the movement has subsided.

Summary of Faculty / Community Collaborators (2010)

Gerardo Sandoval (PPPM) and Megan Smith (Community Service Center, CSC): “Sustaining Latino Businesses in Springfield, Oregon.”

Dr. Gerardo Sandoval—assistant professor of Planning, Public Policy and Management—is collaborating on a project with the University of Oregon’s Community Service Center (CSC) that will help emerging Latino businesses in Springfield establish themselves and contribute to the sustainability of that growing community. Both units shall work closely with entities in the Springfield community, such as the City of Springfield, the Eugene/Springfield Latino Business Network, and other stakeholders in the area. This collaboration will begin through an urban revitalization course taught by Dr. Sandoval in the Winter Quarter through the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management. Specifically, the students in the course will create a multicultural revitalization strategy for Springfield through a collaborative engagement process that would help link the Latino community to the city’s main redevelopment program. This project could potentially serve as an example for economic sustainability related to Latino communities in the state of Oregon and could lead to similar projects in other multicultural communities.

Bob Bussel (Labor Education and Research Center, LERC), Marcela Mendoza (Centro LatinoAmericano), Edward Olivos (Education Studies), and Daniel Tichenor (Political Science): “Assessing Community Leaders’ Views on Immigrant-Community Relations in Lane County.”

With large numbers of immigrants arriving over the last three decades, issues of social inclusion and exclusion can neither be avoided nor ignored if Oregon and its increasingly diverse local communities are to adapt successfully to the multicultural realities of the 21st century. Nonetheless, with some exceptions Lane County has lagged in its efforts to help immigrants adapt to their new milieu. These circumstances underscore the need for a thorough assessment of community leaders’ views on immigrant-community relations that the Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) will undertake along with collaborators from other departments at the University of Oregon.

The results of this assessment will help shape the “Community Conversation on Immigrant Integration in Lane County” that LERC will host in Springfield on November 19, 2010.  Funded by the Oregon Council for the Humanities and open to the public, this conversation will also involve key stakeholders who serve immigrant populations or have a role in shaping public policies relevant to immigrants. The assessment of community leaders’ attitudes regarding immigrant-community relations is a necessary prerequisite that will help make this community conversation relevant and productive.

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