17,514 research outputs found

    Elite perceptions of the Victorian and Edwardian past in inter-war England

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    It is often argued by historians that members of the cultivated Elite after 1918 rejected the pre-war past. or at least subjected it to severe denigration. This thesis sets out to challenge such a view. Above all, it argues that inter-war critics of the Victorian and Edwardian past were unable to reject it even if that was what they felt inclined to do. This was because they were tied to those periods by the affective links of memory, family, and the continually unfolding consequences of the past in the present. Even the severest critics of the pre-war world, such as Lytton Strachey, were less frequently dismissive of history than ambivalent towards it. This ambivalence, it is argued, helped to keep the past alive and often to humanise it. The thesis also explores more positive estimation of Victorian and Edwardian history between the wars. It examines nostalgia for the past, as well as instances of continuity of practice and attitude. It explores the way in which inter-war society drew upon aspects of Victorian and Edwardian history both as illuminating parallels to contemporary affairs and to understand directly why the present was shaped as it was. Again, this testifies to the enduring power of the past after 1918. There are three parts to this thesis. Part One outlines the cultural context in which writers contemplated the Victorian and Edwardian past. Part Two explores some of the ways in which history was written about and used by inter-war society. Part Three examines the ways in which biographical depictions of eminent Victorians after 1918 encouraged emotional negotiation with the pas

    Victims' Access to Justice in Trinidad and Tobago: An exploratory study of experiences and challenges of accessing criminal justice in a post-colonial society

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    This thesis investigates victims' access to justice in Trinidad and Tobago, using their own narratives. It seeks to capture how their experiences affected their identities as victims and citizens, alongside their perceptions of legitimacy regarding the criminal justice system. While there have been some reforms in the administration of criminal justice in Trinidad and Tobago, such reforms have not focused on victims' accessibility to the justice system. Using grounded theory methodology, qualitative data was collected through 31 in-depth interviews with victims and victim advocates. The analysis found that victims experienced interpersonal, structural, and systemic barriers at varying levels throughout the criminal justice system, which manifested as institutionalized secondary victimization, silencing and inequality. This thesis argues that such experiences not only served to appropriate conflict but demonstrates that access is often given in a very narrow sense. Furthermore, it shows a failure to encompass access to justice as appropriated conflicts are left to stagnate in the system as there is often very little resolution. Adopting a postcolonial lens to analyse victims' experiences, the analysis identified othering practices that served to institutionalize the vulnerability and powerlessness associated with victim identities. Here, it is argued that these othering practices also affected the rights consciousness of victims, delegitimating their identities as citizens. Moreover, as a result of their experiences, victims had mixed perceptions of the justice system. It is argued that while the system is a legitimate authority victims' endorsement of the system is questionable, therefore victims' experiences suggest that there is a reinforcement of the system's legal hegemony. The findings suggest that within the legal system of Trinidad and Tobago, legacies of colonialism shape the postcolonial present as the psychology and inequalities of the past are present in the interactions and processes of justice. These findings are relevant for policymakers in Trinidad and Tobago and other regions. From this study it is recognized that, to improve access to justice for victims, there needs to be a move towards victim empowerment that promotes resilience and enhances social capital. Going forward it is noted that there is a need for further research

    The place where curses are manufactured : four poets of the Vietnam War

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    The Vietnam War was unique among American wars. To pinpoint its uniqueness, it was necessary to look for a non-American voice that would enable me to articulate its distinctiveness and explore the American character as observed by an Asian. Takeshi Kaiko proved to be most helpful. From his novel, Into a Black Sun, I was able to establish a working pair of 'bookends' from which to approach the poetry of Walter McDonald, Bruce Weigl, Basil T. Paquet and Steve Mason. Chapter One is devoted to those seemingly mismatched 'bookends,' Walt Whitman and General William C. Westmoreland, and their respective anthropocentric and technocentric visions of progress and the peculiarly American concept of the "open road" as they manifest themselves in Vietnam. In Chapter, Two, I analyze the war poems of Walter McDonald. As a pilot, writing primarily about flying, his poetry manifests General Westmoreland's technocentric vision of the 'road' as determined by and manifest through technology. Chapter Three focuses on the poems of Bruce Weigl. The poems analyzed portray the literal and metaphorical descent from the technocentric, 'numbed' distance of aerial warfare to the world of ground warfare, and the initiation of a 'fucking new guy,' who discovers the contours of the self's interior through a set of experiences that lead from from aerial insertion into the jungle to the degradation of burning human feces. Chapter Four, devoted to the thirteen poems of Basil T. Paquet, focuses on the continuation of the descent begun in Chapter Two. In his capacity as a medic, Paquet's entire body of poems details his quotidian tasks which entail tending the maimed, the mortally wounded and the dead. The final chapter deals with Steve Mason's JohnnY's Song, and his depiction of the plight of Vietnam veterans back in "The World" who are still trapped inside the interior landscape of their individual "ghettoes" of the soul created by their war-time experiences

    Building body identities - exploring the world of female bodybuilders

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    This thesis explores how female bodybuilders seek to develop and maintain a viable sense of self despite being stigmatized by the gendered foundations of what Erving Goffman (1983) refers to as the 'interaction order'; the unavoidable presentational context in which identities are forged during the course of social life. Placed in the context of an overview of the historical treatment of women's bodies, and a concern with the development of bodybuilding as a specific form of body modification, the research draws upon a unique two year ethnographic study based in the South of England, complemented by interviews with twenty-six female bodybuilders, all of whom live in the U.K. By mapping these extraordinary women's lives, the research illuminates the pivotal spaces and essential lived experiences that make up the female bodybuilder. Whilst the women appear to be embarking on an 'empowering' radical body project for themselves, the consequences of their activity remains culturally ambivalent. This research exposes the 'Janus-faced' nature of female bodybuilding, exploring the ways in which the women negotiate, accommodate and resist pressures to engage in more orthodox and feminine activities and appearances

    Towards a sociology of conspiracy theories: An investigation into conspiratorial thinking on Dönmes

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    This thesis investigates the social and political significance of conspiracy theories, which has been an academically neglected topic despite its historical relevance. The academic literature focuses on the methodology, social significance and political impacts of these theories in a secluded manner and lacks empirical analyses. In response, this research provides a comprehensive theoretical framework for conspiracy theories by considering their methodology, political impacts and social significance in the light of empirical data. Theoretically, the thesis uses Adorno's semi-erudition theory along with Girardian approach. It proposes that conspiracy theories are methodologically semi-erudite narratives, i.e. they are biased in favour of a belief and use reason only to prove it. It suggests that conspiracy theories appear in times of power vacuum and provide semi-erudite cognitive maps that relieve alienation and ontological insecurities of people and groups. In so doing, they enforce social control over their audience due to their essentialist, closed-to-interpretation narratives. In order to verify the theory, the study analyses empirically the social and political significance of conspiracy theories about the Dönme community in Turkey. The analysis comprises interviews with conspiracy theorists, conspiracy theory readers and political parties, alongside a frame analysis of the popular conspiracy theory books on Dönmes. These confirm the theoretical framework by showing that the conspiracy theories are fed by the ontological insecurities of Turkish society. Hence, conspiracy theorists, most readers and some political parties respond to their own ontological insecurities and political frustrations through scapegoating Dönmes. Consequently, this work shows that conspiracy theories are important symptoms of society, which, while relieving ontological insecurities, do not provide politically prolific narratives

    The Professional Identity of Doctors who Provide Abortions: A Sociological Investigation

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    Abortion is a medicalised problem in England and Wales, where the law places doctors at the centre of legal provision and puts doctors in control of who has an abortion. However, the sex-selection abortion scandal of 2012 presented a very real threat to 'abortion doctors', when the medical profession's values and practices were questioned in the media, society and by Members of Parliament. Doctors found themselves at the centre of a series of claims that stated doctors were acting both illegally and unethically, driven by profit rather than patient needs. Yet, the perspectives of those doctors who provide abortions has been under-researched; this thesis aims to fill that gap by examining the beliefs and values of this group of doctors. Early chapters highlight the ambiguous position of the abortion provider in Britain, where doctors are seen as a collective group of professionals motivated by medical dominance and medical autonomy. They outline how this position is then questioned and contested, with doctors being presented as unethical. By studying abortion at the macro-, meso- and micro-levels, this thesis seeks to better understand the values of the 'abortion doctor', and how these levels shape the work and experiences of abortion providers in England and Wales. This thesis thus addresses the question: 'What do abortion doctors' accounts of their professional work suggest about the contemporary dynamics of the medicalisation of abortion in Britain?'. It investigates the research question using a qualitative methodological approach: face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with 47 doctors who provide abortions in England and Wales. The findings from this empirical study show how doctors' values are linked to how they view the 'normalisation of abortion'. At the macro-level doctors, openly resisted the medicalisation of abortion through the position ascribed to them by the legal framework, yet at the meso-level doctors construct an identity where normalising abortion is based on further medicalising services. Finally, at the micro-level, the ambiguous position of the abortion provider is further identified in terms of being both a proud provider and a stigmatised individual. This thesis shows that while the existing medicalisation literature has some utility, it has limited explanatory power when investigating the problem of abortion. The thesis thus provides some innovative insights into the relevance and value of medicalisation through a comprehensive study on doctors' values, beliefs and practices

    The temporality of rhetoric: the spatialization of time in modern criticism

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    Every conception of criticism conceals a notion of time which informs the manner in which the critic conceives of history, representation and criticism itself. This thesis reveals the philosophies of time inherent in certain key modern critical concepts: allegory, irony and the sublime. Each concept opens a breach in time, a disruption of chronology. In each case this gap or aporia is emphatically closed, elided or denied. Taking the philosophy of time elaborated by Giorgio Agamben as an introductory proposition, my argument turns in Chapter One to the allegorical temporality which Walter Benjamin sees as the time of photography. The second chapter examines the aesthetics of the sublime as melancholic or mournful untimeliness. In Chapter Three, Paul de Man's conception of irony provides an exemplary instance of the denial of this troubling temporal predicament. In opposition to the foreclosure of the disturbing temporalities of criticism, history and representation, the thesis proposes a fundamental rethinking of the philosophy of time as it relates to these categories of reflection. In a reading of an inaugural meditation on the nature of time, and in examining certain key contemporary philosophical and critical texts, I argue for a critical attendance to that which eludes those modes of thought that attempt to map time as a recognizable and essentially spatial field. The Confessions of Augustine provide, in the fourth chapter, a model for thinking through the problems set up earlier: Augustine affords us, precisely, a means of conceiving of the gap or the interim. In the final chapter, this concept is developed with reference to the criticism of Arnold and Eliot, the fiction of Virginia Woolf and the philosophy of cinema derived from Deleuze and Lyotard. In conclusion, the philosophical implications of the thesis are placed in relation to a conception of the untimeliness of death

    Sexual violence as a form of social control : the role of hostile and benevolent sexism

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    This thesis examines the feminist hypothesis that rape functions as a tool of social control through which women are kept in subordinate social positions (Brownmiller, 1975). In examining this hypothesis, the current thesis explores the role of benevolent and hostile sexism in accounting for people's responses to different types of rape (i.e. stranger vs. acquaintance rape). An examination of the literature suggests that there are general societal beliefs in the distinction between "good" and "bad" rape victims (Pollard, 1992). Interestingly, researchers have observed that benevolent sexism (BS) is related to the idealisation of women in traditional gender roles (i.e. "good" women; Glick et aI., 2000). It is, therefore, argued that individuals who idealise women in traditional roles (i.e. high BS individuals) are more likely to negatively evaluate rape victims who can be perceived as violating these norms. Nine empirical studies are presented in this thesis. Study 1 examines the potential role of BS in accounting for previously observed differences in the amount of blame attributed to stranger and acquaintance rape victims (e.g. Pollard, 1992). Studies 2 and 3 examine the psychological mechanisms that underlie the relationship between BS and victim blame in acquaintance rape situations. Studies 2 and 4 also explore the psychological mechanisms that underlie the relationship between hostile sexism (HS) and self reported rape proclivity in acquaintance rape situations (c.f. Viki, 2000). In Study 5, the relationship between BS and paternalistic chivalry (attitudes that are simultaneously courteous and restrictive to women) is examined. Studies 6 and 7 examine the role of BS in accounting for participants' responses to stranger vs. acquaintance rape perpetrators. The last two studies (Studies 8 and 9) examine the potential role of legal verdicts in moderating the relationship between BS and victim blame in acquaintance rape cases. Taken together, the results support the argument that BS provides a psychological mechanism through which differences in the amount of blame attributed to stranger and acquaintance rape victims can be explained. In contrast, HS provides a mechanism for explaining differences in self-reported proclivity to commit stranger and acquaintance rape. The thesis concludes with a summary of the findings, a discussion of the methodological limitations of the studies and suggestions of directions for future research

    The crisis of cultural authority in museums : contesting human remains in the collections of Britain

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    Museums in Britain have displayed and researched human remains since the eighteenth century. However, in the last two decades human remains in collections have become subject to claims and controversies. Firstly, human remains associated with acquisition during the colonial period have become increasingly difficult to retain and have been transfered to culturally affiliated overseas indigenous groups. Secondly, a group of British Pagans have formed to make claims on ancient human remains in collections. Thirdly, human remains that are not requested by any community group, and of all ages, have become the focus of concerns expressed about their treatment by members of the profession. A discourse arguing for 'respect' has emerged, which argues that all human remains should be treated with new care. The claims made on human remains have been vigourously but differentially contested by members of the sector, who consider the human remains to be unique research objects. This thesis charts the influences at play on the contestation over human remains and examines its construction. The academic literature tends to understand changes to museums as a result of external factors. This thesis argues that this problem is influenced by a crisis of legitimacy and establishes that there are strong internal influences. Through a weak social constructionist approach I demonstrate that the issue has been promoted by influential members of the sector as part of a broader attempt to distance themselves from their foundational role, as a consequence of a crisis of cultural authority stimulated by external and internal factors. The symbolic character of human remains in locating this problem is informed by the unique properties of dead bodies and is influenced by the significance of the body as a scientific object; its association with identity work and as a site of political struggle, in the high modem period

    The interpretation of Islam and nationalism by the elite through the English language media in Pakistan.

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    The media is constructed and interpreted through what people 'know'. That knowledge is, forthe most part, created through day to day experiences. In Pakistan, Islam and nationalism aretwo components of this social knowledge which are intrinsically tied to the experiences of thePakistani people. Censorship and selection are means through which this knowledge isarticulated and interpreted.General conceptions of partially shared large scale bodies of knowledge and ideas reinforce,and are reinforced by, general medium of mass communication: the print and electronic media.Focusing on the govermnent, media institutions and Pakistani elites, I describe and analyse thedifferent, sometimes conflicting, interpretations of Islam and Pakistani nationalism manifest inand through media productions presented in Pakistan.The media means many things, not least of which is power. It is the media as a source ofpower that is so frequently controlled, directed and manipulated. The terminology may beslightly different according to the context within which one is talking - propaganda, selection,etc. - but ultimately it comes down to the same thing - censorship. Each of the three groups:government, media institutions and Pakistani elites - have the power to interpret and censormedia content and consideration must be taken of each of the other power holders consequentlyrestricting the power of each group in relation to the other two. The processes of thismanipulation and their consequences form the major themes of this thesis
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