25,391 research outputs found

    Metaphors of London fog, smoke and mist in Victorian and Edwardian Art and Literature

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    Julian Wolfreys has argued that after 1850 writers employed stock images of the city without allowing them to transform their texts. This thesis argues, on the contrary, that metaphorical uses of London fog were complex and subtle during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, at least until 1914. Fog represented, in particular, formlessness and the dissolution of boundaries. Examining the idea of fog in literature, verse, newspaper accounts and journal articles, as well as in the visual arts, as part of a common discourse about London and the state of its inhabitants, this thesis charts how the metaphorical appropriation of this idea changed over time. Four of Dickens's novels are used to track his use of fog as part of a discourse of the natural and unnatural in individual and society, identifying it with London in progressively more negative terms. Visual representations of fog by Constable, Turner, Whistler, Monet, Markino, O'Connor, Roberts and Wyllie and Coburn showed an increasing readiness to engage with this discourse. Social tensions in the city in the 1880s were articulated in art as well as in fiction. Authors like Hay and Barr showed the destruction of London by its fog because of its inhabitants' supposed degeneracy. As the social threat receded, apocalyptic scenarios gave way to a more optimistic view in the work of Owen and others. Henry James used fog as a metaphorical representation of the boundaries of gendered behaviour in public, and the problems faced by women who crossed them. The dissertation also examines fog and individual transgression, in novels and short stories by Lowndes, Stevenson, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad. After 1914, fog was no more than a crude signifier of Victorian London in literature, film and, later, television, deployed as a cliche instead of the subtle metaphorical idea discussed in this thesis

    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

    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

    Iam hiQ—a novel pair of accuracy indices for imputed genotypes

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    Background Imputation of untyped markers is a standard tool in genome-wide association studies to close the gap between directly genotyped and other known DNA variants. However, high accuracy with which genotypes are imputed is fundamental. Several accuracy measures have been proposed and some are implemented in imputation software, unfortunately diversely across platforms. In the present paper, we introduce Iam hiQ, an independent pair of accuracy measures that can be applied to dosage files, the output of all imputation software. Iam (imputation accuracy measure) quantifies the average amount of individual-specific versus population-specific genotype information in a linear manner. hiQ (heterogeneity in quantities of dosages) addresses the inter-individual heterogeneity between dosages of a marker across the sample at hand. Results Applying both measures to a large case–control sample of the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), comprising 27,065 individuals, we found meaningful thresholds for Iam and hiQ suitable to classify markers of poor accuracy. We demonstrate how Manhattan-like plots and moving averages of Iam and hiQ can be useful to identify regions enriched with less accurate imputed markers, whereas these regions would by missed when applying the accuracy measure info (implemented in IMPUTE2). Conclusion We recommend using Iam hiQ additional to other accuracy scores for variant filtering before stepping into the analysis of imputed GWAS data

    Women’s Experiences of Accessing Breastfeeding and Perinatal Health Support in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence: An Interpretive Description Study

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    Background: Women experiencing intimate partner violence are at a heightened risk of negative perinatal and breastfeeding outcomes. This study explored the experiences of accessing breastfeeding support for women who endorse a history of intimate partner violence. A study of five in-depth semi-structured interviews were completed at 12-weeks postpartum with breastfeeding mothers with a history of intimate partner violence. Findings: Women expressed difficulties in accessing a healthcare provider who had specialized skill in breastfeeding support. Trust in their healthcare provider, built through displays of compassion and competence, was important to mitigate obstacles experienced during care access for this population. Trauma-and-violence-informed care principles were beneficial to the development of the therapeutic relationship in perinatal care. Women placed value on breastfeeding support received from both healthcare providers and social supports, which impacted mothers’ perceived breastfeeding support and self-efficacy. Further, mothers described increased levels of breastfeeding self-efficacy after engaging in a trauma-and-violence-informed care program aimed at supporting breastfeeding. Conclusions: Trauma-informed care may aid in the development of trust in the therapeutic relationship, which in turn impacts access to breastfeeding support and breastfeeding self-efficacy. The inclusion of trauma-and-violence informed principles in perinatal care may be effective at mitigating barriers to access for women who endorse a history of intimate partner violence. health care on how to employ trauma-informed breastfeeding care to may lead to better support for this population

    Examination of a Brief, Self-Paced Online Self-Compassion Intervention Targeting Intuitive Eating and Body Image Outcomes among Men and Women

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    Ideals for appearance and body image are pervasive in Western culture in which men and women are portrayed with unrealistic and often unattainable standards (Ferguson, 2013; Martin, 2010). Exposure and reinforcement have created a culture of social acceptance and internalization of these ideals, contributing to pervasive body image disturbance (i.e., body dissatisfaction; Fallon et al., 2014; Stice, 2001; Thompson & Stice, 2001; Thompson et al., 1999). Research has suggested that body dissatisfaction is expressed differently across sexes (Grossbard et al., 2008), with attention to thin ideals among women and muscular ideals among men. Body dissatisfaction has been linked to numerous poor outcomes, including dieting, unhealthy weight control behaviors, disordered eating, and increased psychopathology. Although dieting is one of the primary mechanisms employed to reduce body dissatisfaction (Thompson & Stice, 2001), research has shown that such efforts are contraindicated as dieting predicts weight gain over time (Pietiläinen et al., 2012) as well as preoccupation with food, disordered eating, eating disorders, emotional distress, and higher body dissatisfaction (Grabe et al., 2007; Johnson & Wardle, 2005; Neumark- Sztianer et al., 2006; Paxton et al., 2006; Tiggemann, 2005). Restrictive dietary behaviors suppress physiological cues to eat (e.g., hunger) that presents a vulnerability to eating in response to alternative cues, both internal (e.g., emotions) and external (e.g., availability of food). Intuitive eating is a non-restrictive approach to eating that encourages adherence to internal physiological cues to indicate when, what, and how much to eat (Tylka, 2006) and has demonstrated an inverse relationship with disordered eating, restrained eating, food preoccupation, dieting, body dissatisfaction, and negative affect (Bruce & Ricciardelli, 2016). Self-compassion, relating to oneself in a caring and supportive manner (Neff, 2003a), has been proposed as a pathway to increase intuitive eating and reduce body dissatisfaction (Neff & Knox, 2017; Schoenefeld & Webb, 2013; Webb & Hardin, 2016). Research has highlighted the efficacy of self-compassion interventions in addressing weight-related concerns (Rahimi-Ardabili et al., 2018) as well as brief experiential exercises for reducing body dissatisfaction (Moffitt et al., 2018). Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of internet-based self-compassion interventions (Mak et al., 2018; Kelman et al., 2018; Nadeau et al., 2020). The purpose of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of a brief, self-paced online self-compassion intervention targeting body image and adaptive eating behaviors and potential mechanisms of change (e.g., self-compassion and psychological flexibility) among undergraduate men and women. This study also examined outcomes among men and women in the area of self-compassion, body dissatisfaction, and intuitive eating as research has highlighted the need to determine who benefits more from self-compassion interventions (Rahimi-Ardabili et al., 2018). The study compared a one-hour, self-guided online self-compassion intervention to an active control condition. The intervention was comprised of psychoeducation, experiential exercises, and mindfulness practice designed to increase self-compassion surrounding body image and eating behaviors. In contrast, the active control condition consisted of self-care recommendations and self-assessments for nutrition, exercise, and sleep. The study was administered over three parts (e.g., baseline, intervention, and follow-up) in which variables of interest were assessed at each time point. Outcome variables included self-compassion, intuitive eating, disordered eating, body appreciation, muscle dysmorphia, internalized weight bias, fear of self-compassion, and psychological inflexibility. Participants were randomized on a 2:1 intervention to control ratio at the second time point in order to make comparisons between groups while simultaneously having sufficient power for examining mediation and moderation within the treatment condition. Overall, 1023 individuals (64% women, Mage = 18.9, 67.4% white) signed informed consent and participated in at least one part of the study whereas 101 participants (71% women, Mage = 19.3, 71% white) completed all three study portions. As predicted, self-compassion was correlated with all variables of interest, and all study variables were correlated with each other (p < .01). In contrast to hypothesized outcomes, the self-compassion condition failed to demonstrate improvements across time or between conditions on all study outcomes. These results persisted when participants were screened for levels of intuitive eating as well. Contrary to prediction, internalized weight bias, muscle dysmorphia, and fear of self-compassion demonstrated increased levels within the intervention condition and decreases in the control condition. There were significant gender differences on multiple outcome variables, with men demonstrating higher levels of self-compassion and body appreciation whereas women endorsed higher levels of disordered eating, internalized weight bias, muscle dysmorphia, and psychological inflexibility. Additionally, there were significant gender interactions for internalized weight bias, body appreciation, and muscle dysmorphia. The interactions existed such that men demonstrated increased internalized weight bias and muscle dysmorphia across time whereas women displayed decreased weight bias and muscle dysmorphia. The opposite pattern was found within body appreciation; women demonstrated increased body appreciation across time while men reported decreased levels of body appreciation. Despite this study’s intent to examine underlying mechanisms of change, the condition in which participants were randomly selected did not have any relationship, positive or negative, with the outcome variables of interest. As such, mediation within the current study was not conducted as it would violate statistical assumptions required to examine this hypothesis. Finally, upon examining the moderating relationship of fear of self-compassion between self-compassion and outcome variables, there were main effects for self-compassion on intuitive eating, emotional eating, internalized weight bias, body appreciation, and psychological inflexibility as well as main effects of fear of self-compassion on psychological inflexibility. There were significant interactions for intuitive eating and emotional eating, such that as fear of self-compassion increased, the effect of self-compassion on intuitive eating decreased, and the effect of self-compassion on reducing emotional eating behaviors decreased. Overall, the brief, self-paced online intervention delivered in the current study did not prove to be an effective means for improving self-compassion, intuitive eating, body appreciation, disordered eating, muscle dysmorphia, and psychological inflexibility. Nevertheless, the relationships between self-compassion and outcome variables of interest throughout the study mirror that of the existing literature. Findings from this study, in general, were also consistent with differences between men and women despite a gap in the research for intervention outcomes. Although fear of self-compassion demonstrated a moderating effect on the relationship between self-compassion and intuitive eating as well as emotional eating, this does not account for the lack of significant findings. The context surrounding this study, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, provided a considerable challenge to examining the efficacy of the current intervention. However, the findings of this study suggest future research will likely need to identify ways to enhance the delivery of experiential exercises that encourage engagement, provide a safe and warm environment for participants, and create flexibility and willingness surrounding painful and difficult experiences in order to undermine internalized and socially accepted beliefs about body image and eating behaviors
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