27,664 research outputs found

    Identifying and responding to people with mild learning disabilities in the probation service

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    It has long been recognised that, like many other individuals, people with learningdisabilities find their way into the criminal justice system. This fact is not disputed. Whathas been disputed, however, is the extent to which those with learning disabilities arerepresented within the various agencies of the criminal justice system and the ways inwhich the criminal justice system (and society) should address this. Recently, social andlegislative confusion over the best way to deal with offenders with learning disabilities andmental health problems has meant that the waters have become even more muddied.Despite current government uncertainty concerning the best way to support offenders withlearning disabilities, the probation service is likely to continue to play a key role in thesupervision of such offenders. The three studies contained herein aim to clarify the extentto which those with learning disabilities are represented in the probation service, toexamine the effectiveness of probation for them and to explore some of the ways in whichprobation could be adapted to fit their needs.Study 1 and study 2 showed that around 10% of offenders on probation in Kent appearedto have an IQ below 75, putting them in the bottom 5% of the general population. Study 3was designed to assess some of the support needs of those with learning disabilities in theprobation service, finding that many of the materials used by the probation service arelikely to be too complex for those with learning disabilities to use effectively. To addressthis, a model for service provision is tentatively suggested. This is based on the findings ofthe three studies and a pragmatic assessment of what the probation service is likely to becapable of achieving in the near future

    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

    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

    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 ‘decolonize the criminal question’ 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’ 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 ‘anticitizen’. The concept builds on Souza’s (2007) ‘subcitizen’ 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 – the normative approach to influencing judicial decision making around pre-trial detention – 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 inglĂȘs ver (law [just] for the English to see)

    Political Islam and grassroots activism in Turkey : a study of the pro-Islamist Virtue Party's grassroots activists and their affects on the electoral outcomes

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    This thesis presents an analysis of the spectacular rise of political Islam in Turkey. It has two aims: first to understand the underlying causes of the rise of the Welfare Party which -later became the Virtue Party- throughout the 1990s, and second to analyse how grassroots activism influenced this process. The thesis reviews the previous literature on the Islamic fundamentalist movements, political parties, political party systems and concentrates on the local party organisations and their effects on the party's electoral performance. It questions the categorisation of Islamic fundamentalism as an appropriate label for this movement. An exploration of such movements is particularly important in light of the event of 11`x' September. After exploring existing theoretical and case studies into political Islam and party activism, I present my qualitative case study. I have used ethnographic methodology and done participatory observations among grassroots activists in Ankara's two sub-districts covering 105 neighbourhoods. I examined the Turkish party system and the reasons for its collapse. It was observed that as a result of party fragmentation, electoral volatility and organisational decline and decline in the party identification among the citizens the Turkish party system has declined. However, the WP/VP profited from this trend enormously and emerged as the main beneficiary of this process. Empirical data is analysed in four chapters, dealing with the different aspects of the Virtue Party's local organisations and grassroots activists. They deal with change and continuity in the party, the patterns of participation, the routes and motives for becoming a party activist, the profile of party activists and the local party organisations. I explore what they do and how they do it. The analysis reveals that the categorisation of Islamic fundamentalism is misplaced and the rise of political Islam in Turkey cannot be explained as religious revivalism or the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. It is a political force that drives its strength from the urban poor which has been harshly affected by the IMF directed neoliberal economy policies. In conclusion, it is shown that the WP/VP's electoral chances were significantly improved by its very efficient and effective party organisations and highly committed grassroots activists

    Speakers of Languages Other than English as an Invisible Minority

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    American higher education institutions are becoming more diversified. While there are ample recent studies on the experiences of visible minorities and the impact their college or university experience can have in their identity development and emancipation, there is a lot less on invisible minorities. Speakers of languages other than English can feel oppressed, on campuses, because they have to leave an important part of themselves at the door. There are no spaces for them to exchange and grow in their language. Speaking other languages can even be seen as a weakness. Elsewhere in the world, including in Ontario, there are considerable efforts being made and individuals speaking up to guarantee the creation of learning and research opportunities in other languages. Unfortunately, these efforts are often met with great obstacles. This article is a call to action to any student, faculty, or staff who can speak other languages. I urge you to proudly live and share your linguistic diversity

    Return is the reason of our migration. Changing perceptions about return in the experience of migrants in the Estado de Mexico

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    ArtĂ­culo cientĂ­fico publicado en la Revista EntreDiversidades de la Universidad AutĂłnoma de Chiapas.El estudio de la migraciĂłn de retorno de mexicanos en Estados Unidos ha cobrado mayor importancia a partir de la crisis econĂłmica internacional de 2008. Si bien son diversas las aproximaciones teĂłricas que lo explican, en este trabajo se reflexiona sobre la propuesta conceptual de las “movilidades del retorno” para comprender la complejidad de este proceso, asĂ­ como los sentidos que adquiere entre sujetos migrantes que hacen parte de la dialĂ©ctica entre el “aquĂ­ en el allá” y el “allĂĄ en el aquí”. A partir de una metodologĂ­a cualitativa se exponen tres casos que explican el constante reposicionamiento del retorno ante las circunstancias, particularidades y contextos en los que se ven inmersos estos sujetos migrantes originarios del Estado de MĂ©xico y/o establecidos en el mismo, cuyas experiencias se entrelazan en varias expresiones que van de lo real a lo virtual, hasta lo imaginado, deseado, forzado y/o negado

    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’s 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’s 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’s 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

    Walking with the Earth: Intercultural Perspectives on Ethics of Ecological Caring

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    It is commonly believed that considering nature different from us, human beings (qua rational, cultural, religious and social actors), is detrimental to our engagement for the preservation of nature. An obvious example is animal rights, a deep concern for all living beings, including non-human living creatures, which is understandable only if we approach nature, without fearing it, as something which should remain outside of our true home. “Walking with the earth” aims at questioning any similar preconceptions in the wide sense, including allegoric-poetic contributions. We invited 14 authors from 4 continents to express all sorts of ways of saying why caring is so important, why togetherness, being-with each others, as a spiritual but also embodied ethics is important in a divided world
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