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The tunica miracle, sin and savior in America's Ethiopia a poverty and social impact analysis of casino gaming in Tunica, MS /

by Farrigan, Tracey L.

Abstract (Summary)
One of the greatest methodological fallacies of the last half century in social research is the belief that science is a particular set of techniques; it is, rather, a state of mind, or attitude, and the organizational condition which allow that attitude to be expressed. (Dingwall 1992: 212, quoted in Lavalli 2000: 114) Realist philosophy reflects the state of mind and realist methodology the organizational condition that allows for an open and sophisticated examination of the complexities of the social world. Yet, realist methodologies are underdeveloped and poorly understood in the field of geography, which limits geographers’ ability to translate their dynamic theories of the social world into as equally dynamic research in practice. This study emphasizes the need for greater investment in the development, communication, and application of realist approaches by demonstrating the value of this approach to the study of persistent poverty. Specifically, the Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) framework developed by the World Bank as a means of assessing the distributional impacts of policy reform on vulnerable populations in developing nations is applied to a critical case in the United States––Tunica County, Mississippi, one of the nation’s historically most impoverished counties, previously known as America’s Ethiopia. This comprehensive impact assessment of casino gaming as an economic development strategy in the Tunica area details the questionable politics of class, congruent with the region’s history of race relations, as the primary causal factor in determining the poverty outcome. This is accomplished by using a realist methodology to amass conclusive evidence to argue that despite the success of the casino industry in Tunica County, where much has changed; much has tragically remained the same for the majority of the poor in this region.
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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