29,964 research outputs found

    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 cultural center of the world : art, finance, and globalization in late twentieth-century New York

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    This article explores why New York City’s municipal government, together with private benefactors, poured an unprecedented amount of money into the arts during the 1980s, a time of broader austerity. While other public expenditures saw dramatic cuts, the arts were considered essential to the city’s future as a center for global capital—as a way to lure financial elites and young professionals to the city, create new forms of revenue-raising consumption, and cement New York’s reputation as the ultimate global city. New York had always had a vital arts scene. But in the 1980s, the arts were monetized in new ways to serve capital—and capitalists. Arts and culture were central to the new urban lifestyle that helped produce the explosion of global finance. But as arts and culture increasingly came to be associated with a luxury lifestyle, the arts themselves became a luxury, inaccessible to most New Yorkers

    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

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    The labour supply and retirement of older workers: an empirical analysis

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    This thesis examines the labour supply of older workers, their movement into retirement, and any movement out of retirement and back into work. In particular the labour force participation, labour supply and wage elasticity and other income elasticity of work hours are estimated for older workers and compared to younger workers. The thesis goes on to look at the movement into retirement for older workers as a whole by examining cohorts by gender, wave and age. The thesis also presents a descriptive and quantitative ‱ examination of the changes in income and happiness that occur as an individual retires. Finally the thesis examines the reasons why an individual may return to work from v . retirement. The results of the findings suggest: that younger workers are significantly more responsive to wage and household income changes than older worker

    Reforming the United Nations

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    The thesis deals with the financial crisis that the United Nations faced starting in 1985 when the US Congress decided to withhold a significant part of the US contribution to the UN regular budget in order to force a greater say for the major contributors on budgetary issues, budgetary restraint and greater efficiency. The UN responded by the adoption of resolution 41/213 of 19 December 1986 that was based on the recommendations of a Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts ("G-18") set up a year earlier. A new system was introduced regarding the formulation of the regular budget of the United Nations Organisation and a broader process of reform was initiated including a restructuring of the Secretariat and of the intergovernmental machinery in the economic and social fields. After an introductory chapter (Chapter I), the thesis examines the UN problems at the budgetary/financial and administrative/structural levels, the solutions proposed from within and without the United Nations established framework and the actual attempts at reform (Chapters II and ifi). The realisation that the implementation of reforms is rather disjointed and often unsuccessful (e.g. the failure to restructure the intergovernmental machi.neiy) prompts a search for the deeper causes of the UN problems at the political level and the attitudes of the main actors, namely the USA, the USSR, some up-and-coming states, notably Japan, the Third World states and, finally, of the UN Secretary-General and the Secretariat (Chapter 1V). Although the financial crisis may have subsided since 1988 and the USA seem committed to paying up their dues, the deeper UN crisis of identity has not been resolved and is expected to resurface if no bold steps are taken. In that direction, some possible alternative courses for the UN in the future are discussed drawing upon theory and practice (Chapte

    Pontus in Antiquity: aspects of identity

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    The purpose of this thesis is the presentation of the interaction between the successive inhabitants of Pontus in antiquity, indigenous Anatolians, Greeks, Persians and Romans. Limited archaeological evidence cannot determine the precise extent of interaction, although the available information substantiates the notion of a slow, but steady amalgamation. Initially, the intermingling was based on mutual trading links. Although the Hellenic cultural element tended to surface, Eastern factors remained visible. The Mithridatic dynasty was established around the vicinity of Pontus, creating the 'Kingdom of Pontus' which reached its height under Mithridates VI. His administrative and military policy appears to have placed the foundations for the later, Roman corresponding structures. His policies-propaganda reflected the GraecoEastern image of a king, which appealed to the Greek and Persian-Eastern inhabitants of his kingdom, Asia Minor and, to a lesser extent, mainland Greece. This GraecoEastern image might have nourished the concept of a shared history among the inhabitants of Pontus. Their interactions appear to have given rise to an unnamed, local culture, which was enriched with the relevant Roman practices. Around the third century A.D., the Roman administrative patterns might have established an externally defined appellation. During Roman times, Christianity started to be established in Pontus. Although it was not yet a socio-political factor, its non-racial nature prevailed in later centuries. The influence of the Roman-Christian elements can still be observed in the modern Ponti an identity. In antiquity, (lack of) evidence indicates that no group defined themselves as 'Pontics' or 'Pontians' and an internally defined Pontic identity is unlikely to have existed. However, people associated themselves with the geographical area of Pont us, cultural and religious concepts were frequently amalgamated, while the notion of a common descent and a shared history might have been unconsciously fostered. These factors can assist in the understanding of the 'Pontians' today

    Recent Hong Kong cinema and the generic role of film noir in relation to the politics of identity and difference

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    This thesis identifies a connection in Hong Kong cinema with classical Hollywood film noir and examines what it will call a 'reinvestment' in film noir in recent films. It will show that this reinvestment is a discursive strategy that both engages the spectator-subject in the cinematic practice and disengages him or her from the hegemony of the discourse by decentring the narrative. The thesis argues that a cinematic practice has occurred in the recent reinvestment of film noir in Hong Kong, which restages the intertextual relay of the historical genre that gives rise to an expectation of ideas about social instability. The noir vision that is seen as related to the fixed categories of film narratives, characterizations and visual styles is reassessed in the course of the thesis using Derridian theory. The focus of analysis is the way in which the constitution of meanings is dependent on generic characteristics that are different. Key to the phenomenon is a film strategy that destabilizes, differs and defers the interpretation of crises-personal, social, political and/or cultural-by soliciting self-conscious re-reading of suffering, evil, fate, chance and fortune. It will be argued that such a strategy evokes the genre expectation as the film invokes a network of ideas regarding a world perceived by the audience in association with the noirish moods of claustrophobia, paranoia, despair and nihilism. The noir vision is thus mutated and transformed when the film device differs and defers the conception of the crises as tragic in nature by exposing the workings of the genre amalgamation and the ideological function of the cinematic discourse. Thus, noirishness becomes both an affect and an agent that contrives a self-reflexive re-reading of the tragic vision and of the conventional comprehension of reality within the discursive practice. The film strategy, as an agent that problematizes the film form and narrative, gives rise to what I call a politics of difference, which may also be understood as the Lyotardian 'language game' or a practice of 'pastiche' in Jameson's terminology. Under the influence of the film strategy, the spectator is enabled to negotiate his or her understanding of recent Hong Kong cinema diegetically and extra-diegetically by traversing different positions of cinematic identification. When the practice of genre amalgamation adopts the visual impact of the noirish film form, the film turns itself into a playing field of 'fatal' misrecognition or a site of question. Through cinematic identification and alienation from the identification, the spectator-subject is enabled to experience the misrecognition as the film slowly foregrounds the way in which the viewer's presence is implicated in the narrative. This thesis demonstrates that certain contemporary Hong Kong films introduce this selfconscious mode of explication and interpretation, which solicits the spectator to negotiate his or her subject-position in the course of viewing. The notions of identity and subjectivity under scrutiny will thus be reread. With reference to The Private Eye Blue, Swordsman II, City a/Glass and Happy Together, the thesis shall explore the ways in which the Hong Kong films enable and facilitate a negotiation of cultural identity

    Stimulating Non‐Energy Exports in Trinidad and Tobago: Evidence from a Small Petroleum‐Exporting Economy Experiencing the Dutch Disease

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    The motivation for this study hinges around the fact that Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is suffering from the Dutch disease which inadvertently hinders the growth of non-energy exports. This paper examines measures that can be adopted for a small petroleum-exporting economy to dampen the effect of Dutch disease by promoting non-energy trade. This paper is novel and contributes to the literature in using panel data for the T&T case, as it investigates the effect of a devaluation of the TT dollar in order to stimulate non-energy exports (a combination of agriculture and manufacturing trade). Note that previous studies would have examined the Marshall–Lerner condition on the aggregate trade balance which is heavily influenced by energy revenues. The panel autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) method is used for ten of T&T’s main trading partners for the period 1991 to 2019 to establish findings. The results show that the Marshall–Lerner condition does not hold for aggregate trade in the long run, as expected. However, when non-energy trade is isolated, it is found that a devaluation of the TT dollar does have a positive impact on non-energy trade and the Marshall–Lerner condition holds. Other measures are also recommended to stimulate non-energy exports in the long run
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