31,940 research outputs found

    Consent and the Construction of the Volunteer: Institutional Settings of Experimental Research on Human Beings in Britain during the Cold War

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    This study challenges the primacy of consent in the history of human experimentation and argues that privileging the cultural frameworks adds nuance to our understanding of the construction of the volunteer in the period 1945 to 1970. Historians and bio-ethicists have argued that medical ethics codes have marked out the parameters of using people as subjects in medical scientific research and that the consent of the subjects was fundamental to their status as volunteers. However, the temporality of the creation of medical ethics codes means that they need to be understood within their historical context. That medical ethics codes arose from a specific historical context rather than a concerted and conscious determination to safeguard the well-being of subjects needs to be acknowledged. The British context of human experimentation is under-researched and there has been even less focus on the cultural frameworks within which experiments took place. This study demonstrates, through a close analysis of the Medical Research Council's Common Cold Research Unit (CCRU) and the government's military research facility, the Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment, Porton Down (Porton), that the `volunteer' in human experiments was a subjective entity whose identity was specific to the institution which recruited and made use of the subject. By examining representations of volunteers in the British press, the rhetoric of the government's collectivist agenda becomes evident and this fed into the institutional construction of the volunteer at the CCRU. In contrast, discussions between Porton scientists, staff members, and government officials demonstrate that the use of military personnel in secret chemical warfare experiments was far more complex. Conflicting interests of the military, the government and the scientific imperative affected how the military volunteer was perceived

    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

    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

    Comportamientos de agilismo en un equipo de una organizaci贸n financiera de la ciudad de Medell铆n

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    Objetivo. Este estudio pretende promover comportamientos de agilismo en un grupo de l铆deres de una organizaci贸n financiera de la ciudad de Medell铆n. M茅todo. Intervenci贸n comportamental no experimental de tipo transversal, desarrollada en un grupo de l铆deres de una organizaci贸n financiera de la ciudad de Medell铆n, basada en sesiones individuales de feedback y env铆o de mensajes tipo nudge informativos por medio de correo electr贸nico, en la cual se hizo un diagn贸stico previo a la intervenci贸n que dio insumos para su dise帽o. Posterior a la implementaci贸n de la intervenci贸n se evalu贸 el efecto de esta. Resultados. Se pudo evidenciar un cambio en la percepci贸n del agilismo en una etapa posterior a la intervenci贸n, representada en una perspectiva m谩s positiva frente al agilismo como forma de trabajo y una mayor motivaci贸n frente a la misma. Conclusi贸n. Implementar acciones que motiven los l铆deres desde su quehacer, como el reconocimiento de sus habilidades y actos frente a la forma de trabajo, pueden propiciar un mayor compromiso frente al agilismo. Los mensajes tipo nudge pueden llegar a ser una herramienta 煤til si contienen informaci贸n que genere valor para los l铆deres y que sea clara y aplicable

    Coloniality and the Courtroom: Understanding Pre-trial Judicial Decision Making in Brazil

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    This thesis focuses on judicial decision making during custody hearings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The impetus for the study is that while national and international protocols mandate the use of pre-trial detention only as a last resort, judges continue to detain people pre-trial in large numbers. Custody hearings were introduced in 2015, but the initiative has not produced the reduction in pre-trial detention that was hoped. This study aims to understand what informs judicial decision making at this stage. The research is approached through a decolonial lens to foreground legacies of colonialism, overlooked in mainstream criminological scholarship. This is an interview-based study, where key court actors (judges, prosecutors, and public defenders) and subject matter specialists were asked about influences on judicial decision making. Interview data is complemented by non-participatory observation of custody hearings. The research responds directly to Aliverti et al.'s (2021) call to 鈥榙ecolonize the criminal question鈥 by exposing and explaining how colonialism informs criminal justice practices. Answering the call in relation to judicial decision making, findings provide evidence that colonial-era assumptions, dynamics, and hierarchies were evident in the practice of custody hearings and continue to inform judges鈥 decisions, thus demonstrating the coloniality of justice. This study is significant for the new empirical data presented and theoretical innovation is also offered via the introduction of the 鈥榓nticitizen鈥. The concept builds on Souza鈥檚 (2007) 鈥榮ubcitizen鈥 to account for the active pursuit of dangerous Others by judges casting themselves as crime fighters in a modern moral crusade. The findings point to the limited utility of human rights discourse 鈥 the normative approach to influencing judicial decision making around pre-trial detention 鈥 as a plurality of conceptualisations compete for dominance. This study has important implications for all actors aiming to reduce pre-trial detention in Brazil because unless underpinning colonial logics are addressed, every innovation risks becoming the next lei para ingl锚s ver (law [just] for the English to see)

    Carbon dioxide removal potential from decentralised bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and the relevance of operational choices

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    Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology is expected to support net-zero targets by supplying low carbon energy while providing carbon dioxide removal (CDR). BECCS is estimated to deliver 20 to 70 MtCO2 annual negative emissions by 2050 in the UK, despite there are currently no BECCS operating facility. This research is modelling and demonstrating the flexibility, scalability and attainable immediate application of BECCS. The CDR potential for two out of three BECCS pathways considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios were quantified (i) modular-scale CHP process with post-combustion CCS utilising wheat straw and (ii) hydrogen production in a small-scale gasifier with pre-combustion CCS utilising locally sourced waste wood. Process modelling and lifecycle assessment were used, including a whole supply chain analysis. The investigated BECCS pathways could annually remove between 鈭0.8 and 鈭1.4 tCO2e tbiomass鈭1 depending on operational decisions. Using all the available wheat straw and waste wood in the UK, a joint CDR capacity for both systems could reach about 23% of the UK's CDR minimum target set for BECCS. Policy frameworks prioritising carbon efficiencies can shape those operational decisions and strongly impact on the overall energy and CDR performance of a BECCS system, but not necessarily maximising the trade-offs between biomass use, energy performance and CDR. A combination of different BECCS pathways will be necessary to reach net-zero targets. Decentralised BECCS deployment could support flexible approaches allowing to maximise positive system trade-offs, enable regional biomass utilisation and provide local energy supply to remote areas

    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

    Blue Dog Blues: The Fall of the Blue Dog Democrats in the 2010 Midterms and the Future of Swing District Representation in a Nationalized Congress

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    Nationalization has defined American politics in recent years as voters increasingly view state and local government through their national party loyalties. The 2010 midterm elections were intensely nationalized: Hundreds of races for the United States House of Representatives focused on President Barack Obama鈥檚 agenda instead of local issues. After election night, Republicans gained 63 seats in the US House, giving them their largest majority since the 1940s. One of the political victims of the election were members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of centrist, fiscally conservative Democrats in Congress. Over half of the Blue Dogs lost re-election, including Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota and Harry Mitchell of Arizona鈥檚 5th District. In Congress: The Electoral Connection, congressional scholar David Mayhew outlines three re-election strategies that members of Congress pursue: credit claiming, advertising, and position taking. This thesis applies those three approaches to Sandlin and Mitchell鈥檚 races to argue that nationalization may increasingly pose a threat to traditional, swing district re-election strategies in the future; vulnerable incumbents may not be able to avoid national controversy as the significance of local political issues recede in the minds of American voters
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