34,464 research outputs found

    Illegal Migration into Assam: Magnitude, Causes, and Economic Consequences

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    This paper examines various aspects of illegal migration into Assam from Bangladesh. We first attempt to define an illegal immigrant in Assam by discussing the parameters set by history and polity of the state over a long period of time. Various estimates put the number of illegal immigrants anywhere between a few hundred thousands to 4 millions. The study finds that environmental crisis caused by population pressure in Bangladesh and relatively greater economic opportunities in terms of higher lifetime income, acquisition of land and assets in Assam, have been the primary motivations behind large scale migration. Among the beneficial effects, the immigrants have contributed to the rise of agricultural productivity by introducing better techniques, crop diversity, and multiple cropping. The supply of cheap labor by the immigrants in the informal labor market have benefitted the consumers and producers alike. These immigrants do not seem to compete with the native workers who are generally educated and seek employment in the formal labor market. However, they have put tremendous pressure on land, creating socio-political and environmental problems that have indirect adverse effects on the economy. Finally, the immigrants hardly contribute to the government revenue while the government spends a substantial amount to maintain this significantly large fraction of the population.

    Constructions of health, weight and bodily appearance among Indo-Fijian women across three generations : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University

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    Discursive constructions of a 'thin ideal' body shape today have often associated the slender body to the idea of a 'healthy weight' and physical beauty. While idealised notions of the feminine figure have trended from the curvaceous body to the thin ideal within western societies, for women from non-western cultures living in a western milieu, research in this area is limited. Culturally derived understandings about health, weight and bodily appearances affects the ways in which women construct idealised notions of body shape. This thesis explored constructions of health, weight and bodily appearances among Indo-Fijian women across three generations. Six focus group discussions were held with a total of 24 women spanning three generations, where four women participated in each group. Focus group discussions were taped, transcribed and analysed based on the principles of Foucauldian discourse analysis. The analysis revealed that idealised notions of health, weight and bodily appearances were constituted as representations of the body as healthy and feminine among lndo­-Fijian women across all three generations. The body as healthy was understood in terms of eating practices and physical activity. Eating practices were further negotiated as notions of diet, illness and weight, and in turn shaped the way in which women across three generations constructed the body as healthy. The body as feminine was understood as a way of exercising femininity and, discussed within understandings of physical appearance and slenderness. Across each generation, women discussed ideas about idealised notions of the body shape in culturally specific ways. Therefore, all participants drew on particular cultural and social practices of negotiating health, weight and bodily appearances as Indo-Fijian women living in New Zealand. It is concluded that the construction of societal idealised notions of body shape is not static, but rather contingent upon the context in which women live; therefore shaped and reshaped within interactions with dominant discourses of health, biomedicine and culture to construct idealised notions of the feminine body shape

    Giving consumers a political voice : organized consumerism and the Belgian Welfare State, 1957-1981

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    Immediately after the Second World War, the word ‘consumer’ was an ill-defined signifier. By the early eighties, citizens’ interests were often routinely equated with consumer interests. We can attribute this in no small amount to the rise of consumer movements, who published comparative tests in monthly periodicals. These private organizations became the proverbial ‘consumer trade unions’: they drew attention to the producer consumer-cleavage and raised consumer awareness. In Belgium there were two separate consumer movements. Test-Achats (1957-present) promoted individual foresight as the best strategy for consumer protection. The working-class Union Féminine pour l’Information et la Défense du Consommateur (hereafter ufidec, 1959-1984) was an organization led by social-democratic women. ufidec demanded more legal solutions from consumers and believed in strong collective action. This article investigates how and why consumer organizations gained influence and legitimacy within the welfare state. The government initially rebuffed organized consumerism, only to accommodate it somewhat after the oil crisis in 1973. However, if institutions (or proposed institutions) for consumer politics in Belgium remained relatively weak or ineffective, it was because they represented a compromise between a civil society intent upon its own survival, and a government more than willing to let consumers fend for themselves. This article is part of the special issue on consumption history.</p

    Dark Matter in SUGRA, Strings and Branes

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    A brief review is given of dark matter in SUGRA, strings and branes. For SUGRA models the implications of Yukawa coupling unification on dark matter are discussed in the light of g2g-2 and bsγb\to s\gamma constraints. A brief discussion is given of the dark matter in orbifold string compactifications under constraints of modular invariance and radiative breaking of the electroweak symmetry. Finally a new candidate for dark matter - an extra-weakly interacting massive particle or an XWIMP- is discussed. Such dark matter can arise in a wide class of models, including the Stueckelberg extensions of MSSM, in U(1) extensions of MSSM with off diagonal kinetic energy, and possibly in a wider class of models which may have a string/D-brane origin. Satisfaction of the relic density of XWIMPs consistent with WMAP is also discussed.Comment: Invited talk at the International Conference "Idenfication of Dark Matter-2006", September 11-16, 2006, Rhodes, Greece. 11 pages, 3 figure