Dissertation Information for Timnah Christine Card Gretencord
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: From outreach to engagement: An actor-network-theory analysis of attracting Spanish-speaking participants to public programming
Abstract: This study is an investigation and analysis of the process of developing new partnerships among public service agencies and making more durable connections with local Spanish-speaking families that seeks to answer the question: " What forces motivate and demotivate members of this minority community to participate in public programs designed to increase participants' ability to self-direct? " A conveniently accessed but purposefully selected sample of public service agency employees and Spanish-speaking family members, especially parents and grandparents returned qualitative and quantitative data from more than a year of participant observations and interviewing. These data were coded and then analyzed according to the principles of "translation" as described in actor-network-theory to discover some reasons why certain public programs saw higher attendance from the target population. Factors such as the terms of employment, family demands such as food preparation, access to transportation, and social connections motivate and demotivate minority involvement in public service programming. However, the impact of these factors is altered among individuals and families who self-identify as information and help sources--in their own terms, fuentes --for their social circle. These fuentes describe what may be termed religious or ethical 'conversion experiences' to their community work, experiences that continue to define their motivating ideals. Some fuentes view the recruitment of additional fuentes as essential to future success, both in public service agency outreach and in minority community activism, to sustain and to replace existing fuentes who grow weary under their responsibilities.
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