235 research outputs found

    Prophets and Priests of the Nation: Naguib Mahfouz’s Karnak Café and the 1967 Crisis in Egypt

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    Similarities between religion and nationalism are well known but not well understood. They can be explained by drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's sociological theory in order to consider symbolic interests and the strategies employed to advance them. In both religion and nationalism, the “strategy of the prophets” relies on charisma while the “strategy of the priests” relies on cultural capital. In 20th-century Egypt, nationalism permitted intellectuals whose cultural capital was mainly secular, such as Naguib Mahfouz, to become “priests of the nation” in order to compete with the ʿulamaʾ for prestige and influence. However, it severely limited their autonomy, particularly after Nasser took power and became a successful nationalist prophet. Mahfouz's novel Al-Karnak, which explores the fate of the Nasser regime's political prisoners and the effects of Egypt's 1967 military defeat, reflects this limitation. Under a nationalist regime, the film adaptation of the novel contributed to Mahfouz's heteronomy

    The brain's response to pleasant touch: an EEG investigation of tactile caressing

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    Somatosensation as a proximal sense can have a strong impact on our attitude toward physical objects and other human beings. However, relatively little is known about how hedonic valence of touch is processed at the cortical level. Here we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of affective tactile sensation during caressing of the right forearm with pleasant and unpleasant textile fabrics. We show dissociation between more physically driven differential brain responses to the different fabrics in early somatosensory cortex - the well-known mu-suppression (10-20 Hz) - and a beta-band response (25-30 Hz) in presumably higher-order somatosensory areas in the right hemisphere that correlated well with the subjective valence of tactile caressing. Importantly, when using single trial classification techniques, beta-power significantly distinguished between pleasant and unpleasant stimulation on a single trial basis with high accuracy. Our results therefore suggest a dissociation of the sensory and affective aspects of touch in the somatosensory system and may provide features that may be used for single trial decoding of affective mental states from simple electroencephalographic measurements

    A scoping study of interventions to increase the uptake of physical activity (PA) amongst individuals with mild-to-moderate depression (MMD)

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    Background - Depression is the largest contributor to disease burden globally. The evidence favouring physical activity as a treatment for mild-to-moderate depression is extensive and relatively uncontested. It is unclear, however, how to increase an uptake of physical activity amongst individuals experiencing mild-to-moderate depression. This leaves professionals with no guidance on how to help people experiencing mild-to-moderate depression to take up physical activity. The purpose of this study was to scope the evidence on interventions to increase the uptake of physical activity amongst individuals experiencing mild-to-moderate depression, and to develop a model of the mechanisms by which they are hypothesised to work. Methods - A scoping study was designed to include a review of primary studies, grey literature and six consultation exercises; two with individuals with experience of depression, two pre-project consultations with physical activity, mental health and literature review experts, one with public health experts, and one with community engagement experts. Results - Ten papers met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Consultation exercises provided insights into the mechanisms of an uptake of physical activity amongst individuals experiencing mild-to-moderate depression; evidence concerning those mechanisms is (a) fragmented in terms of design and purpose; (b) of varied quality; (c) rarely explicit about the mechanisms through which the interventions are thought to work. Physical, environmental and social factors that may represent mediating variables in the uptake of physical activity amongst people experiencing mild-to-moderate depression are largely absent from studies. Conclusions - An explanatory model was developed. This represents mild-to-moderate depression as interfering with (a) the motivation to take part in physical activity and (b) the volition that it is required to take part in physical activity. Therefore, both motivational and volitional elements are important in any intervention to increase physical activity in people with mild-to-moderate depression. Furthermore, mild-to-moderate depression-specific factors need to be tackled in any physical activity initiative, via psychological treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. We argu

    A consensus-based transparency checklist

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    We present a consensus-based checklist to improve and document the transparency of research reports in social and behavioural research. An accompanying online application allows users to complete the form and generate a report that they can submit with their manuscript or post to a public repository

    Development and evaluation of an intervention providing insight into the tobacco industry to prevent smoking uptake: a mixed-methods study

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    Background Smokers who start smoking at an early age are less likely to quit and more likely to die from their habit. Evidence from the US Truth® campaign suggests that interventions focusing on tobacco industry practices and ethics may be effective in preventing smoking uptake. Objectives In an exploratory study, to develop, pilot and provide preliminary evidence of the acceptability and effectiveness of Operation Smoke Storm, a school-based intervention based on the premise of the Truth® campaign, to prevent smoking uptake. Design Mixed-methods, non-randomised controlled study. Component 1 was delivered to Year 7 students, and student focus groups and teacher interviews were conducted to refine the lessons and to develop components 2 and 3. The revised Year 7 lessons and accompanying family booklet were delivered to new Year 7 students 1 year later in one school only; Year 8 students in both schools received the booster session. Setting and participants Students in Years 7–8 (aged 11–13 years) in two UK schools. Intervention A three-component intervention comprising (1) three 50-minute classroom-based sessions in Year 7 in which students acted as secret agents to uncover industry practices through videos, quizzes, discussions and presentations; (2) an accompanying family booklet containing activities designed to stimulate discussions about smoking between parents and students; and (3) a 1-hour interactive classroom-based booster session for Year 8 students, in which students learnt about tobacco marketing strategies from the perspectives of an industry executive, a marketing company and a health campaigner. Main outcome measures Odds ratios to compare the self-reported prevalence of ever smoking and susceptibility to smoking in Year 8 students after the delivery of the booster session in study schools compared with students in local control schools. Qualitative data on acceptability of the intervention. Results The combined prevalence of ever smoking and susceptibility increased from 18.2% in Year 7 to 33.8% in Year 8. After adjusting for confounders there was no significant difference in the odds of a Year 8 student in an intervention school being an ever smoker or susceptible never smoker compared with controls [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83 to 1.97; p = 0.263] and no significant difference in the odds of ever smoking (aOR 0.82, 95% CI 0.42 to 1.58; p = 0.549). Students mostly enjoyed the intervention and acquired new knowledge that appeared to strengthen their aversion to smoking. Teachers liked the ‘off-the-shelf’ nature of the resource, although they highlighted differences by academic ability in the extent to which students understood the messages being presented. Use of the family component was low but it was received positively by those parents who did engage with it. Limitations Logistical difficulties meant that students’ responses in Year 7 and Year 8 could not be linked; however, baseline smoking behaviours differed little between intervention and control schools, and analyses were adjusted for confounders measured at follow-up. Conclusions Operation Smoke Storm is an acceptable resource for delivering smoking-prevention education but it does not appear to have reduced smoking and susceptibility. Future work The lack of a strong signal for potential effectiveness, considered alongside logistical difficulties in recruiting and working with schools, suggests that a fully powered cluster randomised trial of the intervention is not warranted

    The Youngest Victims: Children and Youth Affected by War

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    In 1989, the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child declared, “[state parties] shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.” In addition to attempting to secure the welfare of children in armed conflict, the Convention went on to ban the recruitment and deployment of children during armed conflict. Despite the vast majority of sovereign nations signing and ratifying this agreement, this treaty, unfortunately, has not prevented children and youth from witnessing, becoming victims of, or participating in political, ethnic, religious, and cultural violence across the past three decades. This chapter offers an “ecological perspective” on the psychosocial consequences of exposure to the trauma of war-related violence and social disruption

    "Monstrous and indefensible"? Newspaper accounts of sexual assaults on children in nineteenth-century England and Wales

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    This material has been published in Women's Criminality in Europe, 1600–1914 edited by Edited by Manon van der Heijden, Marion Pluskota, Sanne Muurling, https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108774543. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © 2020 Cambridge University Press.Popular crime reportage of sexual violence has a long history in England. Despite the fact that from the 1830s onwards newspapers and periodicals – and sometimes even law reports – were increasingly liable to skim over the reporting of sexual offences as ‘unfit for publication’, this does not mean that such reportage vanished entirely. Instead, certain linguistic codes and euphemisms were invoked to maintain a respectable discourse. Given the serious problems with gaps in the surviving archival record for modern criminal justice, newspapers remain an essential tool for understanding the history of sexual violence in nineteenth century England and Wales. Using keyword searches in digitized newspaper databases such as the British Newspaper Archive and Welsh Newspapers Database, this chapter examines the continuities and changes in the reporting of sexual violence against children between 1800 and 1900, and explores what these euphemisms and elisions reveal about attitudes to gender and crime in nineteenth-century England and Wales.Peer reviewe

    Intraperitoneal drain placement and outcomes after elective colorectal surgery: international matched, prospective, cohort study

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    Despite current guidelines, intraperitoneal drain placement after elective colorectal surgery remains widespread. Drains were not associated with earlier detection of intraperitoneal collections, but were associated with prolonged hospital stay and increased risk of surgical-site infections.Background Many surgeons routinely place intraperitoneal drains after elective colorectal surgery. However, enhanced recovery after surgery guidelines recommend against their routine use owing to a lack of clear clinical benefit. This study aimed to describe international variation in intraperitoneal drain placement and the safety of this practice. Methods COMPASS (COMPlicAted intra-abdominal collectionS after colorectal Surgery) was a prospective, international, cohort study which enrolled consecutive adults undergoing elective colorectal surgery (February to March 2020). The primary outcome was the rate of intraperitoneal drain placement. Secondary outcomes included: rate and time to diagnosis of postoperative intraperitoneal collections; rate of surgical site infections (SSIs); time to discharge; and 30-day major postoperative complications (Clavien-Dindo grade at least III). After propensity score matching, multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression were used to estimate the independent association of the secondary outcomes with drain placement. Results Overall, 1805 patients from 22 countries were included (798 women, 44.2 per cent; median age 67.0 years). The drain insertion rate was 51.9 per cent (937 patients). After matching, drains were not associated with reduced rates (odds ratio (OR) 1.33, 95 per cent c.i. 0.79 to 2.23; P = 0.287) or earlier detection (hazard ratio (HR) 0.87, 0.33 to 2.31; P = 0.780) of collections. Although not associated with worse major postoperative complications (OR 1.09, 0.68 to 1.75; P = 0.709), drains were associated with delayed hospital discharge (HR 0.58, 0.52 to 0.66; P < 0.001) and an increased risk of SSIs (OR 2.47, 1.50 to 4.05; P < 0.001). Conclusion Intraperitoneal drain placement after elective colorectal surgery is not associated with earlier detection of postoperative collections, but prolongs hospital stay and increases SSI risk
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